“Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.”
— Lao Tzu
There are many moments in life where the best action is persistence and strength, but there is an often ignored quality, being soft. What if I could just be with the anxiety and fear? Instead of looking to overcome it, what if I could meet it where it is? Learn something from it?
Each time I’ve ignored or barrelled past feelings of disease in my routine or thoughts I’ve delayed learning the lesson and compounded the pain. If our only response to friction is to apply more force, then we miss the opportunities to alter the course.
Nature tends to follow the path of least resistance as this conserves the most energy and is often the most elegant and repeatable path to results. Natural selection. Although competition and conflict are frequent sources of growth and development, embracing the opposite can often lead us to results and decisions that are best aligned with ourselves.
Next time you feel that oh so familiar resistance, ask yourself, what if I sat with this?