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Don't Push the River


A friend reminded me last week of a bit of wisdom that I've heard before but that is easily forgotten in the rush of our oh-so-busy lives.

"Don't Push the River, It Flows By Itself"

The first time i heard this statement, I felt like I was smacked on the forehead with a deep wisdom that I should have already known, but which also eluded me. I have always been someone who pushed my limits and this has served me well in many ways, but it also came at a cost that I am no longer willing to pay.

Consider a river. It flows, sometimes quietly and gently and sometimes loudly and with lots of turbulence. But no matter what, the river always gets to where it's going in its own time. There is no time, there is just the flow. There is no amount of external force is going to make it happen any faster or slower than it wants to happen naturally.

Our lives are like this. When we strive and reach and push we can sometimes exhaust ourselves in the process and we don't get where we're going any faster than we would have if we surrendered to the flow. Healing is also like this and I often tell trauma survivors that the slower you go, the faster you get there. It may seem like a contradiction, but decades of personal and professional experience have taught me that it is true.

Slow down, drift with the natural flow and allow life to unfold. it works and it feels soooo much better!

So where do you try to push the river? What can you let go of that is holding you back? Where can you enter a place of ease and flow, even if just for a moment?

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