Flowing Like Water

Posted by Nandini Iyer on Apr 7, 2017
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[At this past Wednesday's Awakin Circle in Santa Clara, I was reminded of this recent experience with a neighbor.]

I love water it's my favorite thing ever, so I was very excited about this "Way of the Water" passage. I feel like it's the element I identify with the most.

All my life I've been told to be more rock-like. "Stand like a warrior. Assert yourself. Go get what you want." And it's been really hard because it's not who I naturally am. So this passage was very validating.

It reminded me of when we moved here from India, we moved to a beach town in Southern California, and I used to go to the ocean a lot. I remember being fascinated that the ocean made the sand, over time, little by little, with persistence and with really no agenda. I was blown away by that. And then, today, I had a really interesting thing happen.

A few months ago, our back fence gave way. My husband had propped it up with duct tape. Every few days, he would go there and re-duct tape it and eventually we were like, "Oh, we should talk to the back neighbors and see what we can do about this." But they were really hard to get a hold off. A few times we went there, they weren't there. We left a note, they never got back. So we finally we said, "Let's get a quote from a contractor and then we'll go talk to them." So we did that. It was a really expensive quote and we were really nervous about approaching the neighbors but we went any way and we went with this attitude of, "Okay let's get this done. We hope they agree with it, and we'll divide it up and get it done quickly."

So we went with that attitude, and the neighbor happened to be there. He was an older man from Asia who didn't speak English very well. And he was really put off by our presence, and didn't understand us, and instantly we had this antagonistic interaction. So we went home disappointed.

Then Prahallad, my husband, said, "Well that wasn't very nice of us, we should have gone with a gift and introduced ourselves better." So we went back a few weeks later with a bag of oranges from our tree, and made a really sweet card for them. But still, the same thing, he didn't respond, and instead, he told us that we should write a letter with the pictures of the fence and the quote attached. It seemed like this big ordeal. So we kind of gave up.

Finally, I decided, "Okay we'll just do what he asked us to do, and if nothing happens that's fine, we'll just pay for it." Today I started drafting the letter that he wanted me to draft, and I literally just finished one sentence, accepting the fact that we were going to pay for it, and it didn't matter. And my phone rang. Turns out, it was the neighbor, and he was asking about how we could fix the fence together!

Afterwards, I remember chatting with Prahallad and realizing, "I'm in flow right now!" :) It was really validating, and a sweet experience of what it means to accept and move inside and what changes that can bring about.

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Comments (1)

  • Somik Raha wrote ...

    I loved reading this Nandini (and Prahallad)! Thank you for sharing this. This is a great reminder for me to deepen acceptance and commitment allow the flow to emerge.