When are you like water?
My husband Ben and I love to bike to the Rhine River, sitting by its banks to enjoy the mesmerizing flow. Last week, it was a fearsome, rushing torrent ready to sweep away everything in its path. This week, it has dropped to a steady roar as it passes between giant boulders.
Spiritual coaching often draws wisdom from the profound teachings of nature. In the realm of spiritual growth, water serves as a guide.
In the grand confluence of streams, the journey of water mirrors our paths through the earthly realm. Our own bodies are mainly water. We are formed from seemingly nothing, yet we are as singular and identifiable as the Rhine.
Just like me, you were born into specific circumstances—within a particular time, family, and gifted with unique strengths and challenges. Much like a river with defined banks, our lives unfold within the parameters of our culture and context, encountering twists, turns, and obstacles.
Water, as a spiritual teacher, imparts profound insights on moving through the world with grace, flow, power, willingness, and community.
When the Rhine encounters a waterfall, it gains energy and propels forward. Barges are helped along their way with giant locks that make their descent smooth and slow.
Similarly, in our personal journeys, we may launch ourselves headfirst at times, and at other times remember practices that show us down and move us along peacefully.
Water encourages us not to cling to the comfort of the familiar, or get too attached to fixed ways of thinking. Its ephemeral nature reminds us that "this too shall pass". As it moves, it brings life and vibrancy to the land.
Much like the water that fearlessly moves toward and fills the lowest spaces, we too can navigate the dark moments of our lives with courage and humility, rather than evading them in fear. Water becomes a metaphor for resilience and the willingness to address voids instead of fleeing from them.
Ultimately, every river finds its way to the sea. In this communion, water demonstrates a willingness to merge with a larger power and to be transformed. It elegantly and humbly embraces the vastness, contributing its energy without resistance, rather than insisting on remaining a single, stagnant droplet.
Similarly, in our spiritual journey, we are invited to move beyond the confines of our individual egos and embrace a sense of collective power with one another.