Flow like Water
As a Martial Artist, one of my favorite exercises we would train in would be a technique called Flow, similar to Push Hands. This involves a partner, sometimes multiple opponents. This is a training of softness, situational awareness, slow movements that translate into offensive and defensive action.
One could say we move through life this way preferably and consciously we can choose to move “in the Flow”. A state of ease. A state of natural unfolding. However life has many twists and turns. Things that you need to tend to. Circumstances that enter into your threshold, sometimes challenging or needing attention. It is how we maneuver through the process of what is presented to us in that moment of presence.
As an offensive move is directed your way, you can block, deflect and handle the situation as it occurs. It is a circular motion, a spiral. But, what is the quality of movement, the reaction in the process? Do you panic? Speed up, run away? Or, as in Push hands you surrender into the Flow. You ground your feet into the Earth, become the center of your own gravitational pull. Become soft, fluid, like water.
In doing so you become more sensitized, of your surroundings and outside influences. You become more adept at reading and telegraphing the next right moves. In this controlled environment of slow movement, you condition yourself to witness and anticipate open space, opportunities for you to enter into the countering of your opponent with the same sense of leveraging the present moment. Like water, one continues to flow in the direction of the next move, then the next, and the next, and so on. A dance between action and counter action.
When in the midst of this dance, I can hear my Sensei say “What you can do slow, you can do fast.” Engraining muscle memory and awareness into its practical application. When life begins to move faster, more chaotic, the fight begins. But to what degree when you can move into the eye of the storm? Release the struggle.
You can choose to empower oneself as you rely on skill, technique and your tools of how you cope and take action. When you turn up the dial on flow, presence and surrender that challenge is met with the same opportunity to find the openness in the action that follows.
The intensity at times may feel ramped up, faster, more aggressive moving water. But still an opportunity to sink into Surrender to ride out the waves.
When we feel as if we are not in the flow, it is an indicator to move back into the center of the wheel. Are you leaning to far forward out of your center of gravity? Are you physically, energetically being pulling you off your feet?
Reset. Ground. Rise. Surrender. Rinse and Repeat.
“Surrender is with no thought, no emotion, no time, no destination, nor expectation.” ~Tom Brown, Jr.
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