"Be like water, you pour water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You pour water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Be like water."
- Bruce Lee


I remember vividly being 14 years old in my high school swim team. What stood out the most about those days were the morning training sessions held at 6am every day. I remember arriving at the pool and staring at the surface of the water, amazed at its stillness – without a single ripple of movement. There was something that just intrigued me about seeing that still, ripple-free and calm body of water. Perhaps it was own innate desire to be still, to have more inner stillness amidst the chaos of daily life and amidst the struggles that occupied my life. I also remember wanting to be the first one to jump in and disrupt that stillness, to be the first one to make a mark on what seemed like no movement. Seemingly a contradiction in nature don’t you think? On one hand, wanting and desiring the inner serenity and stillness and on the other hand, wanting to disrupt the stillness that exists? Can you remember or imagine now what a still and calm swimming pool looks like early in the morning? I wonder if you look back at your life and past right now, if can you also identify moments where you experienced or felt similar contradicting feelings and emotions.

The Inner Nature of Water

What I realize now though is that, just because a body of water, just like a swimming pool in the morning, can be absolutely still, calm and exist without a single ripple, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any movement at all. We don’t see the movement but it is there. Any body of water is made up of millions or even billions of atoms and molecules vibrating a certain frequency, always in constant movement internally and externally. The atoms which could be considered the essence of the molecules are always moving, bouncing around within each molecule. The water molecules on the other hand which can be considered the essence of the body of water, are also in constant motion, even when the body of water looks still and calm. It is interesting how something or someone that seems so still, silent and calm can be full of life, energy and vibrancy within itself, is it not?

Alignment with Purpose

So I ask myself, what is the purpose of the atoms and molecules that are present in that body of water? What is their common purpose and outcome? The most simplistic answer that comes to me is - to be water!
The atoms and molecules exist in their natural state simply to be water in whatever state the water is in. At one moment the body of water may be completely still. At another moment, as soon as someone jumps into the pool, the body of water begins to move, ripples expand outwards, hit the walls and move back inwards toward an ever changing center point of balance and convergence. It’s almost as if the water molecules are not afraid or restricted to expand outwards in whatever direction seems right at the moment. It’s almost as if the water molecules innately realize that no matter which way they take or expand or grow outwards, they will always bounce and come back to a center point. They may know that that center point of balance will always change, the place they will converge at will always be different but that too is ok. There is a naturalness and effortlessness in their movement because they do not fight the every changing reality of movement and life. And in that they find serenity. The atoms in the molecules adapt to whatever state they are required to be in, to be water – if someone jumps into the pool causing movement, then the frequency of vibration of atoms speed up naturally and if the movement of the water slows down, then the speed of vibration of atoms slow down. The atoms naturally adapt to whatever state its environment is in and it always knows its purpose and outcome – to be water. The atoms and molecules do not resist the external forces or changes (the human jumping into the pool), but they simply adapt and by adapting are in constant flow with their environment. Being in flow, non-resistance, and non-attachment to the environment, their past or present state seems to allow them always be able to find serenity and stillness once again.

Reflecting Back on Ourselves

So if we stay with this analogy or metaphor for a while and examine our lives as we know it. Perhaps you already know what your main purpose and outcome in life is, and if you did know, maybe you could naturally and easily adapt to the environment to which you belong. If you could naturally and easily adapt to the changes of your environment and at the same time always keep your main outcome and purpose clearly focused in mind, how much greater would the quality of your life be? How much greater would the quality of your life be if you could be more like water or more specifically like the atoms of water molecules? How much greater would the quality of your life be if you knew without a drop of doubt what your greater outcome, mission and purpose in life was and kept that naturally and clearly in focus? What outcome and purpose can you choose now to have for your life which would naturally give you the most energy, excitement and extraordinary feeling of being alive AND at the same time create a sense of stillness, calm and serenity if your life? And if you had even more stillness, calm and serenity in your life amidst all the excitement and energy that is constantly present, how much more could you focus your thoughts and energy in a way that flows with your environment, so as to be most effective and efficient in achieving your outcome and being in alignment with your purpose? Think of this. If you were swimming in dark or murky water, even if you knew where you wanted to go, it would be a struggle to get there. If you were swimming in clear water, getting where you wanted would be easier.

Perhaps you’ve already thought about all this or asked yourself these questions but if you haven’t, I hallucinate that it would be of some, if not great value to find answers to these questions. Very often we just have to watch nature and how it acts or reacts naturally, in order to learn how to be most effective and efficient with our actions. My own life has been filled with numerous experiences, moments and phases when I found myself either being too attached to my past or what I believed about how life should be. My life has been filled with experiences where I was resistant towards changing who I was in order to adapt to the people around me or the circumstances present in my life at that moment. My life has been filled with times of believing so much that I was “one” certain type of person with certain characteristics. When I look back now at all those times I see how the only commonality, the only thing that remained constant in all those numerous experiences was this – resistance to adapting, attachment to certain concepts I held onto too tightly and believing I was always right, eventually only led to more uncertainty, conflict and difficulty in life.

Water on the other hand, will still be water whether it is kept in a teacup or a pot or a glass or a bowl. It adapts to the shape of what it is in – its environment, but it always remains as water. Water knows it is water; it does not resist its changing environment or battle with it because it naturally has full acceptance and what and who it is. It is in that state of acceptance and adaptability that it finds its true power to carve shapes and paths through Earth and rock. It is in its natural inner knowing of what its strengths and weaknesses are; where it can go and can’t go for the moment that it finds serenity in movement. How many more empowering ways can you choose to be more adaptive to your environment whilst always remaining true and natural to your personal essence, the true and higher you?

Water can be the fluid that quenches your thirst as plain water or it can be the fluid that is part of the juice that you drink or it can be part of the sodas that you drink. It remains as its true essence but it can easily combine with most other elements in order to meet any desire or wish that you have, to provide you with what you want. How much more powerful would you be as a human being if you could naturally and easily adapt and mix in with other aspects of your environment or people you meet in order to provide others with what they need or desire most in life – to be the solution and answer to the questions that others seek? How much more could you give to people you love or people in need if you knew your natural higher purpose in life and your strengths and weaknesses? What outcome and purpose can you choose for your life if you haven’t yet so that you can be a major force of good in the lives of others?

When I was young I always had a fleeting feeling that somehow I was put here for a bigger reason than what was obvious at that moment. As I grew up I was influenced, conditioned and taught to just keep doing the “normal” things that the majority does. I was, in essence taught that it was “normal” to be kept or put in a certain type of container of a certain shape. I was taught to believe, or rather “they” the “normal people” tried to convince me to believe that being a particular type of person of a particular shape was the best thing to do so that life would be easier, less complicated. I ask the question: Were “they” thinking of life being easier and less complicated for me or were they thinking of life being easier and less complicated for themselves because by putting me in a box I could be understood easily? Mankind has never been good at understanding or accepting men or women who lived outside the box, who took on a different shape than they were used to or who were flexible enough to be whatever shape, form or color they wanted. I believe that each individual, right at this moment, is a powerful force for good, is the complete solution and gift for a certain group of people. I believe it is up to each individual to discover his or her purpose and to live it with full acceptance.

Just look at nature, just look at how water behaves and you will see how effortlessly it flows. You will see how easily it takes on different shapes and yet still remain its true nature. You will see how it patiently and efficiently it can carve Earth and rock, literally changing the face of Earth as we know it. You will see how it knows when to flow slowly down the river, it knows when and how to be still in a stagnant part of the river, it knows how to flow fast and strong, it knows also naturally knows how and when to be a thundering waterfall and finally it knows how to naturally and easily flow to the sea and become part of that.

As I think of how water is and how it can be, I can’t help but wonder and ask myself “How much more powerful, impactful, transformative human being can I be if I would be more like water?” After all, my body is made of more than 70% water. How great would it be if I could take on the essence of water even more for every area of my life, for everything that I do in my life and for everything that I create in my life or during my creative process? What great things would start coming into being for your life if you were to ask this question every day?
As if I haven’t already presented enough answers in the form of questions to you, I hereby leave you with the last question: “How much more powerful can you be, how much more can you transform yourself and others around you naturally and easily, and how much more efficiently can you flow down your own river of life and reach your own ocean, achieve your outcome or outcomes in life if you were to be more like water?” My own personal journey has been gifted with finding the right tools of spiritual healing and growth, the right strategies for personal transformation and the ability to develop and cultivate and ever increasing sense of awareness of who I am, what my strengths and non-strengths are.

My “used-to-be” huge ego has been reduced to a smaller size and I have been humbled many times by great teachers, amazing life coaches, mind-expanding yogis and great spiritual teachers. And for all that and more, I am so fortunate and grateful. And it is with the intent of seeing more beings liberated from the inner struggles of their own mind that I share this with you. It is with that intent that I say, “EVERYBODY, EACH HUMAN BEING, can create a life of inner serenity right at this moment if they choose to and if they have the strategies that can lead them that way – to being more like water.”

Thank you….


Author's Bio: 

Mahindra Raj is a Mind, Body and Soul Transformation Coach who specializes in helping people get the Results they want, create more Balance in their lives, create better Health and feel more Balanced. He lives in Mexico City now where he shares and teaches from what he has learnt, experienced and what other great teachers have inspired him to teach and share.

Be Like Water - Experience Serenity