A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to take a hike in the mountains outside of Estes Park, Colorado. While our intention had been to snowshoe, the clear, warm weather and lack of snow disrupted our plans. Going with the flow, we found a nearby trail that carried us up to a stunning landscape of snowcapped peaks. As we neared the top of the mountain, we were brought to a full stop by an amazing view—a large rock with a perfectly round hole in the center of it.
Immediately I was reminded of something I tell myself when I feel the need to use force to dislodge something that feels stuck—situations in which I’m tempted to use a hammer to break through when things don’t go my way. During these moments, I take a deep breath and remember to be like the water that is more powerful than stone. To evoke the power of this remembrance, I close my eyes and envision water flowing around and between rocks. As I hold this vision, peace and clarity wash over me. Every day, I do my best to sustain this knowing. And yet, when faced with an obstacle, it is still challenging be like the water and allow my true path to be illuminated.
Standing face to face with an example of this message so clearly in nature fills me with joy. I am reminded that when I don’t know what to do, I need only to look in my environment for guidance and inspiration. There is wisdom all around if we can look more often and with clear sight. So often, our perspective is biased and focused on the linear path we want to take that appears to be the shortest and easiest. And, as this stone reminds me, even rocks can be worn down over time, shaped into something new by its interaction with another element. In the same way, I am changed by the environment around me, shaped into a new and different form, something often surprising and beautiful to behold.