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This Changes Everything

Filled with snow melt and spring rains, the river runs high and fast. Many rocks are hiding just under the surface. Gloria, an experienced kayaker, reads the river with a wise eye. Rushing into a canyon, the riverbed narrows as it rounds a bend. Looking ahead she can see large boulders nested close together, peeking out above the surface. Making a quick decision, she opted to evade the two boulders to the left, but the fast water revealed a super-charged eddy to the right. Gloria was caught spinning until her kayak ejected straight up, tossing her out of its seat. The water is turbulent, fast and cold, the kayak too far out of reach. Carried swiftly down river, Gloria struggles to breathe as the strong water forces her under again and again. She is pressed against rock after rock desperately trying to grab something to stop her rushing through the rapids. Suddenly, she finds a broken rock with an edge she can grab.

Gloria clings to the rock’s small crag, desperately trying to think of a solution to this problem. Safe here at the rock for the moment, clearly she must let go of it at some point. If she lets go and swims really hard, she might get to the shore. But the water moves just as fast at the shore as it does out here by the rock. She would have to go quite a ways down river before making it to its edge. Who knows what that shore might be like. She could find herself trapped in the water struggling not to drown again with no way out.

Gloria can feel her fear level rising as she contemplates her only escape, which is to let go and see what happens. Images of being smashed into rocks, losing strength and going under the water, or waiting in vain for rescue threatens to weaken her in fear. Gloria feels her anxiety welling up in her body as she begins to shake. No option is a good option.

Shivering from the cold and anxiety. Something she heard as a child came rushing back to her. A man known for studying rivers had once told her that if she ever fell into one, she should let go and relax. He said, “allow the water to take you to the ocean, or to a calm spot. The water is never stopped by a rock. It flows around the rock. The water knows how to get down river. The water is your friend if you don’t fight it. Don’t try to swim any more than to keep yourself afloat. Aim your feet downstream and hold them up so they don’t smash into rocks, but protect you from any rocks that you might hit. Trust the river to take you to safety. If you become one with the flow of the water, you become part of the strength of the flow.”

Gloria looks at the water’s fast movement. She focuses on how to turn her body to aim her feet downstream. She wills her mind to see the water as a living being and befriend it. With a budding sense of kinship, Gloria releases her grip on the rock’s crag. At first the loud fast-moving water is scary, but she soon understands how to trust the wisdom of the flow. She relaxes and lets it take her where it wants her to go. The flow understands adaptation to obstacles, how to move with the shapes in the riverbed, how to stay whole. Gloria watches as the river takes her around boulders and logs almost like watching scenes from her life pass by - observing but unharmed. Eventually the canyon opens up into a wide pool with a broad beach filled with families and children playing in the shallows. The current gently carries her to the calmer water where she can swim to shore, having saved her energy by going with the flow. She is met by concerned people offering blankets, food and drink.

Gloria was changed by the river that day. She came to understand that clinging to something out of fear of what might lie ahead can, in reality, be the action that kills or takes away from living. Anxiety about the unknown future is a way for death to find her more easily. The irony of this was not lost on her. It was her willingness to surrender, to give up control that allowed her to live and find help. Going with the flow saved her life.

The flow passes through life in the same way the river moves past the boulders. Each a scene, an experience that can be noticed, informed by, but not clung to. The flow took her past the perils of the river, the same flow takes you past the perils of life to a broad beach, or the welcoming arms of the ocean. Trust in the flow and let go to guidance of your higher wisdom.

This changes everything.

If you are interested in learning how to control your instinct mind so that you can make room for higher self to guide you, we invite you to click on the button below to take our free lesson.

Please let us know what you think in the comments below, or feel free to share an experience of when you were in the flow.


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