Pillars of Light – Preparing our Vessels Part 3: Becoming Soft Like Water
By Jane Large (CCSS Circle Member)
It is no wonder that water is universally loved and desired. Waters nourished us inside and out- it not only gives us the gift of Life, but it also baths us with its healing sounds and beautiful vistas. And as it turns out, water is also one of our greatest teachers. Perhaps that is why we are drawn to it most of all; because water reminds us of the power of softness…
My favourite, and perhaps the most beloved, of all the teachings of the Lao Tzu encourages us to ‘become soft like water.’
Water is a most incredible Element. Water does not resist anything – it either moves in another direction, shifts forms or allows things to pass through it. Water itself never breaks, but continually flows and shifts forms with ease as life changes. If we imagine becoming like water, as the Lao Tzu suggests, then perhaps we would also flow or shift forms more easily whenever Life calls us to. To be able to flow and shift like water, we must first become aware of all forms resistance within us such as fear, judgement and expectations. When we are aware of our own resistance, then it can be a great compass, guiding us where we are being invited to soften.
Softeness has not always been a trait that has been valued throughout history. I myself did not value softness for part of my life. However, I have realized that the more we soften, the stronger our Vessels become because in our softness we eventually become unbreakable. As we soften, we connect with the part of ourselves that transcends breaking as we allow ourselves to be held in the Flow of Source within. When we are soft like the waters of Source, nothing can pierce us or wound us – everything simply passes through with no resistance, or we move with it or around it. In our fluidity and ability to flow with whatever unfolds, we can maintain clarity, grounded in the underlying truth of the situation. As we become softer, more fluid and elastic, we can be more responsive instead of reactive. We can become like a Qigong or Tai Chi Master who can deflect any form of ‘attack’ without expending any of their own energy and see the Big Picture within every situation.
After a long time of hardness, one day I cracked open and a waterfall of tears began to flow. These tears were initially unstoppable, the result of a back-up of the waters within me. At first the tears were also alarming to me as I felt like there was something wrong with me. I did not understand yet that this was part of my unfolding process that was preparing me to be able to embody my Truth and remember my Life Purpose. Years later now, I cry without shame because I understand the value of softness and the healing the comes from allowing my waters to flow. I have also remembered the value of rest, relaxation and vulnerability, and I allow myself to Be instead of always doing.
It is the practice of allowing that has supported me in my own softening. As I have given myself permission to soften and Be, I have noticed beautiful shifting within myself and in my life. Perhaps the most important of all is that I feel more natural, like in my softness I am more as I was always meant to be. Softening has also facilitated my ability to forgive myself and others. I routinely use the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono to humbly offer myself forgiveness or to support me in my path of forgiveness with others. True forgiveness requires humility, a very softening and clarifying state of being. When I accept the responsibility for any situation that has unfolded in my life and offer myself and the others involved Ho’oponopono, I release myself to soften even more into my Truth.
A practice of becoming soft like water invites us all to find our remaining hard edges and dance with them, seeing our resistance with new eyes. This allows us each to reclaim the gift of softness, which opens the doors to the unbreakable Vessel deep within our own Heart and Soul.
For this home practice, allow yourself to sit by a body of water or waterfall, or listen to the audio of the beautiful and sacred Lake Nipissing in North Bay, Ontario. With a humble and grateful Heart, ask the water to share with you through all your senses what it is like to be soft like water. What does it feel like to be soft like water? (Look like? Sounds like? Taste like? Smell like?)