#677 Interbeing

Qi Gong, Thich Nhat Hanh, You, Me, and Rain Drops

In our last +1 we talked about those two 50-pound sandbags I got to carry back to the car yesterday after someone decided to go Beastmode on me and borrow my bag for the day. (Hah! Go them!!)

I briefly mentioned that it was raining when I was training.

Now, I never miss a day and I just LOVE hitting the Trail in the rain. I basically have the mountain all to myself and there’s something magical about honoring my commitment to show up every.single.day—especially on those days when it’s wet and nearly freezing.

I also just love being outside in the rain.

There’s one spot on the mountain that I particularly enjoy when it’s raining. It’s about a mile up the mountain. There’s a little flat part that perfectly points East toward the rising sun. I stop there every.single.day and do my super-simple 1- to 3-minute qi gong practice.

(I do this series that I learned from my friend Michael Gelb. I’ve done it every day since he taught me; except for the few days I missed—which I “repaid” the next day by doing two sessions Habits 101 style.)


I basically start my qi gong practice with my arms hanging loosely from my sides. With my eyes gently gazing at the mountain and the rising sun, I say to myself “I am one with all of this.”

For three breaths.

“I am one with all of this.”
“I am one with all of this.”
“I am one with all of this.”

For whatever reason, when it’s raining, I REALLY feel the connection. And, this morning it was particularly poignant as I looked down at my shoulder and saw rain drops beading on my arm. (I always wear the same Optimize tank top—rain or shine!)

I thought to myself. That drop of water is “me.” It was “me” before it landed on “me” and it will even more literally be so after the water soaks into my skin and body.

Then I shook my head in joyful awe and carried on.

Thich Nhat Hanh describes this reality as “interbeing.”

In his great book Fear, he puts it this way: “When we look deeply into a sheet of paper, we see that it’s full of everything in the cosmos: the sunshine, the trees, the clouds, the earth, the minerals, everything—except for one thing. It’s empty of one thing only: a separate self. The sheet of paper cannot be by itself alone. That is why the word inter-be can be more helpful than the word be. In fact, to be means to inter-be. The sheet of paper cannot be without the sunshine, cannot be without the forest. The sheet of paper has to inter-be with the sunshine, to inter-be with the forest.


← That’s Today’s +1.

Let’s slow down and take a moment to appreciate the fact that NOTHING exists in and of itself.

Everything (!) is interconnected.

Here’s to remembering and honoring those inter-being connections just a little more Today!

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