I was riding my bike in Cherokee park the other day, it was one of those fall days before the weather started turning cold, it was beautiful and crisp. I was right next to the stream and I was noticing how clear and clean the water seemed to look. I also noticed it was not flowing very fast. I stopped my bike to take a picture of the beautiful nature of that spot like I often do and then sent it in a text message that said “Still waters are the clearest, but moving water is more powerful.” I hopped back on my bike and was smiling smugly because I thought I just came up with a cool new “wise wisdom saying”.
I continued to pedal on though and was examining my statement. Moving water is very powerful yes, but does being clear mean that it had to be still? I was thinking of all the clear water that I have seen in motion, and I realized my statement was wrong, but I still kept thinking about it. The Ohio River divides Kentucky from Indiana where I live in Louisville, and honestly the Ohio River is not very clean to look at. It is always flowing, and there is a lot of … well for lack of a better word, crap that is swept along with it. It is ugly because it has a lot of gunk in it.
I was thinking though if you took a glass of Ohio River water and just let it sit there on the counter for a while, the sediment and gunk would soon sink and the water would eventually look clear. The longer it was still, the more transparent it would become until it was “clear”. At that time you could put the water into motion through a siphon or whatever, and you have clear water being pretty powerful. If you left it in the glass and just put it into motion by stirring it with a spoon, some of the gunk would get stirred back up into the water and it would start looking ugly again.
So whether it is clear or dirty, water in motion is pretty powerful, but water can’t become clear while in motion. It could pass through a filter but that adds something third party to the mix, and most filters cause water to slow down to pass through, so we are adding an element of stillness to the water even with a filter. The interesting thing is that if the water is still, the clutter from it eventually sinks to the bottom and the water itself becomes clear.
Isn’t this like our mind as well? Our mind can be chugging or racing along with all kinds of thoughts about family work and just life, and things are going along pretty smoothly and powerfully. But in motion all the time, some clutter comes in and sometimes our thoughts can become cloudy or ugly with all sorts of gunk of our own. Keeping busy does not let the gunk go away. We can still be effective and powerful beings, I know that even myself I have muscled through things to get things done, but knew I had all sorts of junk in my head and in my heart as well. This is where I think we need to stop and be still for some intentional time. Maybe it is sleep for some; maybe it is meditation, or maybe just a conscious thought of breathing for a few breaths at a stoplight. It is this act of being still, that lets the gunk and junk settle and get out of the clean and fluid thoughts. This does not really make you a stronger or more powerful person, nor does it really make you able to think better, but it does make the thoughts flow smoother I think, with a crystal beauty that you will marvel at and find a simple beauty in.
So water and our thoughts and our souls all can be powerful if they are in motion. Actually, they NEED to be in motion to be powerful. But intentional stillness allows for the natural filter of gravity to clean up the water and your thoughts. Perhaps your soul will be brighter too. Yet after a while, they water cannot become any clearer than clear… and in a state of stillness, no power is produced – so things need to get moving again, but this time with a clearness of the fall day that I was looking at the stream in Cherokee park.
John “Z” Zeydel
Teaching the business person to breath and find the stillness for clarity
And training to PUSH and create motion for action and success.