I love the analogy of life as a river, continually flowing, as it moves us steadily through our experiences. The current is ever changing – sometimes it is fast and furious, deep and treacherous, and at other times, it is calm and pleasant. And as we all face potentially perilous rapids and waterfalls, there is always a lesson to be learned in how to navigate these waters.
Although we cannot stop the flow of the river, and even when we recognize the futility of attempting to swim back upstream, we often find ourselves fighting against the current. Perhaps we long to go back to an old idea, an old relationship – and even as the current of life is pushing and pulling us forward, we obstinately paddle against the stream, perhaps holding on to branches along the shoreline, refusing to go with the flow.
When we attempt to paddle against the current, we exhaust ourselves! The longer we struggle, the more weary we become, and no progress is made.
How does one Go With the Flow?
When you catch yourself swimming against the current, feeling exhausted, yet determined to somehow influence events that are beyond your control, envision yourself in a boat floating on the river known as Life. Imagine you pull the oars out of the water, releasing the friction caused by your personal attempts to control the situation. Breathe deeply, and trust that you are exactly where you need to be, in this moment.
- How does it feel to ‘put your oars’ back in the boat and ‘go with the flow’?
- Do you trust the process? That there is a divine purpose at play in your life?
- That what lies ahead is far greater than anything you’ve left behind?
- Can you put your oars back in and breathe with gratitude for the ride? The beautiful scenery? The confidence that everything will be just fine…?
- Is it possible that just beyond the next curve, you’ll be offered an entirely different viewpoint?[divider]
Submitting your resistance to the river and being willing to travel peacefully on the current of Life does not imply that you are not an active creator of your own experiences. In fact, the act of choosing to release your attachment to situations you cannot control is a CHOICE – combined with the act of allowing, of pulling your oars back in, of breathing and taking a new look at other possible outcomes – this is when you are able to maneuver with ease, grace, and confidence.
This analogy is explored further in a book that I happily recommend to clients who are struggling to learn how to go with the flow, “The Astonishing Power of Emotions” by Abraham-Hicks.
Challenge: Ponder areas in your life where you experience resistance from fighting against the current. Consider where your resistance comes from, and if you can trust that everything will work out in your best and highest good.
- Answer each of the questions – you may want to start a journal or a blog to reflect on your journey.
- Share your thoughts with us! (Leave a comment, make a post in the Facebook Group, or even shout out on Twitter!)
- Practice putting your oars back in the boat in order to go with the flow.
When I catch myself in a state of resistance, I repeat this mantra, “Oars back in the boat! Breathe and Go With the Flow!”