3 Things to Know about Going with the Flow

I have been feeling too much struggle in the work I’ve been doing, so I turned to my Inner Wisdom for help. My Guide taught me about going with the flow. I am sharing my experience with you in the hope that you will find it helpful, too.

In my imagery, I’m sitting in the front of a canoe. My Guide, a muscular Native American man bare to the waist, sits behind me in the back of the canoe.

He tells me, “This is about going with the flow. You need to learn from the flow.”

I’m totally agreeable with that. It sounds like a good idea. I ask what needs to happen.

My Guide tells me to get into the water.

I hop out of the canoe and instantly I find myself under the water, floating comfortably with the current.

I see the canoe up above me and notice that when my Guide paddles the canoe it goes faster than I can, floating with the current.

My Guide says, “This is the first thing to notice: floating in the water is really fine. The effort put into paddling makes you go faster down the stream.”

Then he turns the canoe around and paddles back up the stream toward me.

He points out, “See how much work it takes to paddle up the stream?”

I’m floating down the stream and he is paddling up to me, working hard.  Floating along, I easily reach him and he is still working hard.

He says, “Note that you are making more progress doing nothing while I’m working really hard going upstream.”

The scene is comical. My quiet, dignified Guide is sweating and paddling hard, almost like in a cartoon. I definitely get it.

He says, “I’m glad you got it!” He is obviously relieved not to have to do that anymore. So he turns the canoe around and is once again floating down stream.

The message is clear:  It is better to do nothing and float downstream than to paddle furiously upstream. Not only am I comfortable floating downstream, it takes enormous effort to go upstream.  I know from my experience in canoes that paddling upstream is not only tiring. It’s not sustainable.

My Guide adds, “It’s also easy in this situation to get discouraged and feel like a failure.” He knows that I am no stranger to these feelings.

“Third of all,” he concludes, “when you are paddling up the stream you have turned your back on where you need to go! And that is never helpful.”

Where are you paddling upstream?

Take a look at your life.  Where are you putting in too much effort?  What are you attempting that isn’t working for you? What could you change that would help you to go with the flow?

Now imagine your life with those changes made.  How would your life be different?  How would these changes impact on you and the people around you?

Think of the times in your life when things felt effortless, when, clearly, you were going with the flow.  What was different about those times?  What can you learn from those experiences that can help you in the present?

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