I listened to an interesting TED Talk by Raymond Tang and he uses the metaphor of water to prescribe a certain way of living. He says we should strive to be:
(1) Humble - helping to give life to those around us without seeking attention or recognition in return.
(2) Harmonious - finding our way around obstacles, rather than fighting against what we confront in our environment.
(3) Open - willing to change and grow based on new experiences and lessons we learn from others.
In situations where we feel angry, nervous, anxious, stressed or otherwise triggered, he prompts us to ask ourselves, "What would water (H2O) do?"
This metaphor really clicked for me and my intentions for this trip. In terms of being open, I remember when I was a freshmen in college and just so overwhelmed with my workload and wanting to prove I was "smart enough" to be among my peers. My aunt mailed me a quote by Wayne Dyer that said, "Be a student. Be open and willing to learn from everyone and anyone. Being a student means you always have room for new input." This quote changed the trajectory of my college years (and beyond) because it reminded me that I was there (and I am here now) to learn; and learning meant (means) that I wouldn't (won't) always get the straight A's. This perspective made learning fun for me and took the pressure away from having to always get things right.
In regard to the second "H" (harmony), one thing David and I have been working on is establishing self-care habits that we can do together, but that also satisfy our individual needs. I want to wake up early and he likes to wake up naturally next to me (which is usually a bit later than I am used to) and have time to stay in bed for his mind to turn on before starting our day. We are both interested in exploring new healthy breakfast ideas and new workout options; and we have been flexible to support each other's wishes/desires/needs. One day we'll do a short run and a yoga class (Keri); and other days we'll do a HIIT workout in the park with some pull-ups (David). In all of this I have found that even if I don't always get what I want, I am still able to enjoy whatever we do and I am fortunate to share those things with my partner, lover and best friend. I have been able to recalibrate and find the fun/beauty/adventure/awe in whatever this experience and each moment brings me/us. Some days it takes a bit more creativity, but I am still getting all my needs met.
And, humility will be my active pursuit for this trip. I will strive to remain curious and interested about others. What can I learn from everyone I interact/connect with? Rather than spilling myself all over others with my own stories (me, me, me), I will ask myself, "What can I do or say to this person that might leave them better off than when I found them?" In asking this question, I will apply a sense of empathy and compassion, so I will be guided to share based on what I've heard him/her express, rather than imposing what I think they need.
In what ways will you flow like H2O in your day? How will you show up to the next moment with humility, harmony and openness?