“Mind like water” is the concept that one react appropriately in any given situation. The concept is visual. Throw a pebble in water. A small splash rises from the water and ripples spread out from where it enters.
Unfortunately, when it comes to reacting to body language, my mind is no longer like water. The ripples usually wait a minute before rippling.
But I have a good reason for this. Body language differs between cultures. Living in China I learned not to assume someone’s body language means the same thing it might in the U.S. For example, in China, if someone nods his head it doesn’t necessarily mean he agrees with what I’m saying, as it typically does in the States. It just means he’s listening to me. So I have come to first consider what one’s body language is telling me, based on context and past experience, before I react to it. The problem for me is that people aren’t expecting the hesitation. And since body language is an important part of in-person communication, I get the feeling that this sometimes makes people feel a little awkward around me when I don’t ripple at the right time.