The gentle overcomes the strong.
I am looking at a river flow; a steady, slow, stream. There are heavy rocks anchored beneath the pulsing river. I lean forward to sense the depth and touch the movement of this moment. Up close, I see the rocks worn, clearly effected, transformed even– by the ambling unhurried dance of water passing eternity after eternity over them.
In this instance I am reminded of the Tao Ching:
“Тhe gentle overcomes the rigid. The slow overcomes the fast. Everyone knows that the yielding overcomes the stiff,
and the soft overcomes the hard. Yet few apply this knowledge.”
I look to the river for the wisdom and courage to apply this knowledge.
River speaks to me in whispers and slow rhymes. River says, “Watch me. I am unhurried, and I have been for millions of years. I know my rhythm and the very drum beat of life. I am soft and fluid, yet I change every thing I touch. I am changed by every thing that touches me. I resist nothing. Most years, I am gentle.”
Photo by: Thu Tran
Here I am. By my river. Being changed. Effecting change. When I left my previous career to teach yoga full time and “see” what else I’m here to see I was literally known as the “power sweat hard core yoga teacher lady” in my town. Acknowledging a series of personal and relentless truths and real deep healing experiences via yin, restorative, and alignment based yoga with one of my teachers in Atlanta- Gina Minyard–my flow changed. The course of my river is following a new bend. As I’ve become a different yoga student, I’ve become a different yoga teacher.
The shift has resonated with some. Others have scratched their heads. Some days I want to pretend that nothing is changing or has changed about my practice, teaching, learning: me.
I have gained and lost both teachers and students.
I offer my past to the river.
I stand here in the present being washed over, yet fully participating in the shift. As I am cleansed. I am worn.
For tomorrow, I carry both the wisdom of the river and the soul of the rock in my heart.
Honestly, I am afraid.
Truthfully, I am still brave.
There ain’t no turnin’ round.