For years I’ve been working on stress management, meditation, self-discovery, and living in the moment. In truth, I’m a bit of a control freak and I have some issues when life doesn’t go according to plan. I do know that I’ve missed out on some joys in life by trying to control it. Flowing with the natural chaos of life? It’s not my strong suit. So . . . I continue to study the masters trying to learn their secrets and techniques.
The Taoists have a belief that part of what gets in our way is our “ego” – defined a bit differently than we usually think of it. Our ego is when we think we have a better way, such as swimming against the river. I’ve always loved this analogy. We think we are going to develop our own ability, with a different approach to the universe. So, the Taoists say, you can swim against the river or learn to flow with the river.
The benefit of flowing with the river is that you actually learn how the river flows and then you can connect with the energy. Swimming against the river will cause pain, suffering, energy loss, and ultimately death, while seldom getting very far.
Of course, no matter which way you decide, with or against the river, you still have to go down the river, because that is the natural flow of the universe. Defying the river creates separation from the universe.
Ok, so that’s a really brief explanation of a rather complicated belief that incorporates a lot more thoughts . . . but I wanted you to get the basic idea. I have a tendency to try and combat the river rather than flow with it, frequently leaving me separated, exhausted, and unfulfilled. Or, at least I used to – until Miley Cyrus entered my life.
Around April of 2010 (ish) Miley Cyrus put out a movie that included the song Hoedown Throwdown. Now, this is not the greatest piece of cultural art, but for some reason my son loved that song. He would listen to it over, and over, and over, and over, and over. Unfortunately, he’s young so this song was being shared in the car, in the house, by his own personal singing versions, etc. with the entire household. Frankly, it was irritating the heck out of me, yet making him very happy! What’s a mom to do?
Breathe deep, and realize this is my river! Yes, as soon as I made that connection, I embraced the song. I learned the lyrics. I’m probably the only person over 40 years of age (outside of the Cyrus family) who learned the dance (yes, there’s a dance!). My son and I bonded over this song. I learned how it flowed; I connected with the energy.
Not only was I flowing with the river, I had grabbed the inner tube, put on my sunglasses, grabbed a drink with an umbrella in it, and was enjoying the ride! And truly, I really was. It took Miley Cyrus to force me to find the fun in the moment. I’ll forever be thankful.