“The bird of paradise alights upon the hand that does not grasp.” I found this little gem of Taoist wisdom on the cap of my Honest Tea bottle the other day and it really struck a cord with me. I will venture to say that for the majority of us, when we find someone or something that is so important and precious to us that we tend to hold on with an iron fist. We think of every way possible to not lose this wonderful gift that we have been given. However, in the attempt to hold on, we often hold too tightly, and this person, place, or experience, slips through our fingers. If you have ever been horseback riding, especially on an english saddle the first thing that your instructor will tell you is the exact opposite of what you want to do. Your first impulse is to squeeze your legs tightly against the saddle. Again, we are looking at the need to hold on tightly to something, in this case we want to survive in case the horse has a different plan than ours! The reality of riding the horse is that when you squeeze the saddle too tightly, you will pop right off if the horse decides to make an unexpected move. The idea is to allow your body to move with the horse and allow the movement to be fluid and complementary to the way the horse moves. Whether we are referencing a horse or a bird of paradise, the moral of the story remains the same. The need to control something often creates the exact opposite result. When we are able to soften into the experience and accept the people, places, and circumstances in our life for what they are, we allow them to flourish. Every situation that is in your life right now is there because you set the intention for it exist. Trust that the universe will allow everything to unfold exactly as it should. You may not understand that right now, but in time you will. Allow the bird of paradise to land in your open palm and let her go when she is ready. She will return in time if it is meant to be.

Wuf Shanti