I have had plenty of great Christmas mornings and I am very fortunate for that, I know. I have had Christmas mornings waking up as an ELATED child ready to bombard my parents. I have also been witness to being the one bombarded when my nephews were young. I even shared many memorable Christmas mornings with my former significant other. 2017's Christmas was quite different however. This time, this morning... was whatever I wanted. Its selfish I know but is that wrong?
For this Christmas, it was just me and the west coast. My plan was to wake up and take a drive to Santa Monica beach. There I just wanted to breathe. Watch the sunrise from the pier. Walk along the beach. Smoke my pen (Bougie LA). And read about Taoism. Now previously mentioned, I understand that my purpose is not rooted within religion but rather the idea of "religion" somewhat being rooted within my purpose. I consider myself an Omnist by trade if you want a forced answer. I believe all religions are right. But I also think that if many would just take a step back - They'd see that all religions have snippets of similar foundations that if combined - would make better humans.
As my new 2018 Motto goes: "People Are Terrible. Try To Be A Decent Human" - Mainly because my meteors didn't work out in 2017.
Anyway - as I watched the sunrise, I began to digest the foundations of Taoism through some of the teachings passed down by Lao Tzu. A few pages in, there was a break in the reading with a quote.
"Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you" - Lao Tzu
As I finish reading the quote, a larger wave breaks and completely drenches my new shoes. As if the universe wanted to test me at that moment. You see, the anger sharks were swimming in my head and I was on the verge of losing my mind upon the wave.. But on the next page, I understood the sign. You see, what I learned next is that Taoism actually counsels those to live their lives like water. Throughout the texts, Lao Tzu and his disciples make various comparisons to water, "The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving." Or "the water is not "afraid" of any dangerous place, of any "falling" and there is nothing making it lose its essence. Under all circumstances, it remains equal to its nature."
Its a non violent approach that isn't necessarily accompanied with a passive, "go with the flow" mentality but rather a more understanding and purposeful navigation through obstacles that stand between us and the common good, wearing them down like a river erodes boulders.
I've never truly thought to ever appreciate water the way Taoism does. Its flexible yet dominant. It does not resist yet it conquers all. It gives life and continues to move throughout all that live, remaining tasteless, clear and pure. I go back to the river analogy. Even when a boulder is in the way, the river finds a way around while simultaneously beginning to erode that boulder. This will ultimately make it easier for the water coming after it, to pass. A legacy.
At the end of my spiral, I came to the conclusion that California really has allowed me to see a path or at least gather an understanding of a proper mentality, especially when looking at ways to affect those that I encounter on my path. To live like water, and as the river continues to move, so do I...the journey continues.