Sunset at Westport, WA

Sunset at Westport, WA

A friend recently told me about a Chinese Proverb in Feng Shui that states,”Birds do not fly, they ride the wind. Fish do not swim, they are carried by the water.” With Feng meaning wind and Shui meaning water, Feng Shui is a way of arranging your furniture so as to take advantage of the forces already present in order to get the most out of your space.  So according to this philosophy, in our lives we shouldn’t waste our energy trying to change the forces already present, but instead we should use these forces to strategically move ourselves further along.

I’ve been going through a bit of a struggle in my life over the past few years.  Along with my own health and emotional challenges, I’ve gotten caught up in other people’s patterns.  There have been a few people with very similar patterns, but this last one really snaggled up my heart strings in an unintelligible knot.  I have tried to change the pattern, but have instead been harmed repeatedly.  I have tried many different approaches and the results are the same every time.  I do realize that I cannot control someone else’s behaviors, feelings, thoughts or beliefs, but I still keep finding myself trying to do just that.

I know this pattern is not my fault and that I cannot change it.  I know that how another person feels (even about me) has more to do with them, than with me.  I know that I have wasted a lot of my precious time and energy trying to change something I can’t change and it’s long past time to stop.  I know that this is the path to a wasted life full of suffering, but the heart wants what the stupid heart wants.  I’m at a crossroads and need to find a different path toward what I want to achieve in this life, but my heart breaks at the thought of moving on, so I want to share this Dana Faulds poem in hopes that it will encourage all of us to find better ways to spend our energy than fighting against things we cannot change, and give us the strength to endure the loss that we may feel as we give up our pointless battles:


by Dana Faulds

There is no controlling life. Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado. Dam a stream and it will create a new channel. Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet. Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.

The only safety lies in letting it all in – the wild and the weak; fear, fantasies, failures and success.  When loss rips off the doors of the heart, or sadness veils your vision with despair, practice becomes simply bearing the truth. In the choice to let go of your known way of being, the whole world is revealed to your new eyes.



About Jennifer Shipley

I am an artist, musician and a rockhound with a passion for nature, animals and minerals. I have an etsy shop where I sell mineral specimens and my handmade crystal and gemstone jewelry. I am into healthy, natural living, spirituality, quantum activism and Buddhist psychology. I earned my BFA in Printmaking at California State University, Long Beach and taught drawing and painting for two years at Suha Art Institute in Torrance, CA.

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