Upstream or downstream? “Row Row Row Your Boat, Gently Down the Stream, Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily, Life is but a Dream.” Just imagine canoeing or kayaking on a river. Feel the effort and energy expended in rowing or paddling upstream. Now feel what it’s like going downstream, perhaps one can even rest the oars, no need to paddle. Effortlessly flowing downstream… It’s a wonderful metaphor on how to live life.
For the majority, life is a struggle. However, it need not be a constant struggle. By pausing, slowing down and turning within you can get in touch with your inner self. You can tap into resources that you are not aware of. Becoming aware of your gut feelings can help you to flow downstream rather than struggle going upstream. We are constantly rushing from one thing to another. We dwell on the past, regretting or rehashing events. We worry about the future and very rarely do we focus our attention on our experience in the present moment. Remember that we only have moments. Life is a series of experiences in the moment.
Esther & Jerry Hicks (The teachings of Abraham) in their book “The Astonishing Power of Emotions” describe how by tuning into our emotions, we can gauge whether we are going upstream or downstream. We can become aware of our emotions, our thoughts and sensations in our body. Mindfulness helps us to be in touch with our inner world. Noticing what is happening in our inner world is the first step. Acknowledge and allow your experience to be as it is, rather than wanting a different experience. Know that life is unfolding naturally and that all is in divine order.
Step out of automatic pilot and be aware of your experience in the present moment. Let go of constant planning, worrying or rehashing the past. Keep returning to the present moment and appreciate whatever you are experiencing with gratitude. Mindfulness practice is not difficult but it does require effort. However, it is well worthwhile practising, as there are many benefits including how to learn to flow downstream!
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