Recently on Facebook I saw this quote from a book by Alan Watts, What is Tao? Makes a lot of sense to live life like a falling cat. Not too tense. Not too rigid. Just the right amount of relaxation.
The same attitude of relaxed gentleness [practiced in judo] is most beautifully seen when you watch cats climbing trees.
When a cat falls out of a tree, it lets go of itself. The cat becomes completely relaxed, and lands lightly on the ground.
But if a cat were about to fall out of a tree and suddenly made up its mind that it didn't want to fall, it would become tense and rigid, and would be just a bag of broken bones upon landing.
In the same way, it is the philosophy of the Tao that we are all falling off a tree, at every moment of our lives. As a matter of fact, the moment we were born we were kicked off a precipice and we are falling, and there is nothing that can stop it.
So instead of living in a state of chronic tension, and clinging to all sorts of things that are actually falling with us because the whole world is impermanent, be like a cat. Don't resist it.
This fits with a Taoist story from Chuang Tzu that I shared in a 2004 blog post, "I become a Taoist."
Take the case of a drunken man falling from his carriage: though he may suffer injury he will not die. His bones and joints are the same as those of other men, but the injury which he receives is different: his spirit is entire.
He knew nothing about getting into the carriage and nothing about falling from it. The thought of death or life, or of any alarm or affright, does not enter his breast. Therefore he encounters danger without shrinking from it. Completely under the influence of the liquor he had drunk, it is thus with him.
How much more would it be so if he were under the influence of his Heavenly constitution! The sagely man is kept hid in his Heavenly constitution and therefore nothing can injure him.
Well, I'm pretty damn sure that a sagely man can indeed be injured, but I'll give Chuang Tzu his poetic license.
His main point seems to be the same as what Alan Watts said above. Going through life in a relaxed fashion is better than being unduly tense.
As regards cats, I found a You Tube video that explains how they can fall from high places and come away in pretty good shape.