I love re-watching episodes of the classic 70s TV show Kung Fu. The main character, Kwai Chang Caine, is a half-American, half-Chinese Kung Fu master trained in China. He comes to America and ventures through the Wild West in search of his brother. Caine’s only weapons are his physical and spiritual training in the martial arts.
As one would expect, Caine encounters numerous gun-toting scoundrels, cowboys and Indians during his travels, all of who challenge his Zen approach to dealing with the world. He uses Kung Fu only when absolutely necessary to defend himself. Caine refuses to engage in violence for the sake of violence, or drama for the sake of drama. And opportunities to perpetuate both were abundant in the Wild West. In one particularly memorable episode, Caine advises a friend, “Let the storm blow around you, not through you.”
Caine’s statement inspired me to reflect on my own method of dealing with the world. How many times have I let myself get swept up in other peoples’ drama? How often do I react instead of simply responding? I have come to realize that in any situation I have a choice. Do I perpetuate the storm, or choose to let it blow by me?
The practice of ‘letting the storm blow around me, not through me’, I’ve discovered, helps me stay grounded and centered. It’s empowering because my energy stays contained and is not wasted through reacting. So, Grasshopper, next time the wind whips up around you, take a deep breath, stay centered, and let the storm blow on by. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you have and how much better you feel.