Being Like Water


Most of the time we are very conscious of our boundaries, our individuality and separateness.

This means that we tend to approach life from a position of defence. We defend our personal boundaries, both physical and emotional. We extend our boundaries to include our loved ones and our possessions and we defend those too. We may defend our thoughts, our rights and our views. We become quite rigid.

When we take a position of defence we forget our similarities and we concentrate on our difference, our uniqueness. We bolster our difference with stories about who we are so that we can be sure to stand uniquely and separately in our own space. Our focus in life is to become more defined, and to become bigger by acquiring more friends, more talents, more possessions. Our society defines success according to wealth and discernment so it is no wonder that this is the story that we accept and believe to be true.

So let’s challenge that view and see where it takes us. What happens when we soften our boundaries?

If we relax our grip on being ourselves do we lose? Do we lose our personality, our meaning, our purpose and our place? Or do we gain? If we relax our boundaries and hold ourselves more lightly, could we gain a sense of peace, of connectedness with the world? If we see ourselves more as part of the world, and less separate could we feel more at home?  Do we have the courage to try?

Taking this idea one step further, if we become fluid, like water, we can flow around obstacles, which previously we had to confront or avoid. We become more open and can take in new thinking, new experiences, new learning and growth.  We can work alongside people when our boundaries merge and we focus on what we have in common. Instead of competing, we can be like water and simply move to where there is space.


Water is one of the elemental forces of nature. Water can not only flow with ease, but can cut a course through the hardest rock over time.


2 thoughts on “Being Like Water

  1. Gary Wells

    Brilliant Jane.

    So very obvious, yet how often do we miss that which is right in front of us because we are focused too much “out” of the moment (?!)

    Gary x

  2. Jane Hanford Post author

    Thank you Gary
    You are right. We tend to hold on tightly to our notion of ‘who we are’, and to do this we need to keep our story close to us, who we have been, what we have been through and where we are going. This process of holding on to ‘who we are’ keeps us focused on the past and the future. In doing so we become dislocated from the here and now. One way of looking at the antidote to this is to relax into the present and ‘be like water’ 🙂
    Best wishes
    Jane x


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