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Do You “Push the River?”

One example of “Pushing the River” is: Have you ever been in a hurry to drive somewhere and getting really irritated at stop lights and pokey drivers? That is an example of “Pushing the River.” The fix is simple: be where you are, concentrating on the moment.

Perhaps things are not going according to your plans, or something unexpected happens to delay you. These are examples of “Pushing the River” because you are getting upset, excited, or angry about whatever it is. However, the answer is always the same: Be in the moment, experiencing your life and resolving the situation.

It sounds pretty simple, yet it can be as complicated as you make it. Life will go on, either way.

But the more you experience negative emotions (upset, angry, irritation, etc.), the less livingness you have. You are giving your power away to others and to situations that are, obviously, not under your control. Your response is your life expressing.

Have you taken the time to analyze yourself: Are you a Type A personality or Type B?

Type A personalities (per Wikipedia) are “ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving workaholics, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence…Dangerous Type A behavior is expressed through three major symptoms: (1) free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; (2) time urgency and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation – usually described as being short-fused; and (3) a competitive drive, which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality.”

Type B personalities (again per Wikipedia) are “noted to live at lower stress levels. They typically work steadily, and may enjoy achievement, although they have a greater tendency to disregard physical or mental stress when they do not achieve. When faced with competition, they may focus less on winning or losing than their Type A counterparts and more on enjoying the game regardless of winning or losing. Unlike the Type A personality’s rhythm of multi-tasked careers, Type B individuals are sometimes attracted to careers of creativity: writer, counselor, therapist, actor or actress. However, network and computer systems managers, professors, and judges are more likely to be Type B individuals as well. Their personal character may enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, and think of the outer and inner world.”

It is readily apparent that Type B personalities are more relaxed and approach problems differently than Type A personalities. You can sense the wear and tear that Type A people experience. Can you recognize your traits as more of one of these than the other? It is possible to be a mix, of course. But it is the predominance of one over the other which can rule each day.

Pushing the River is like a Commandment: Thou shalt do this or else! “My way or the highway” people have less flexibility in living and choices that they see from their frame of reference. Every other possibility is nixed before they become aware of such an idea. Can you see how limiting that can be?

Would you rather be relaxed, floating on an inner tube, paddling at will than be on a Class V river rafting trip? Life can be hard enough without starting out every day with a Class V. Wouldn’t you agree?

Can you get the sense of flowing with life’s experiences each day, seeing where it takes you? Yes, there are things that need doing – in their time. Nothing wrong with that idea. It’s just proceeding as if you have a guided tour vs. a Tour de France push. Can you sense the difference?

Are you willing to look at your daily choices to begin to make some required changes so you can live with less stress, anxiety, and anger? It is, after all, your choices that will make a new beginning for you. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

Life well lived

Change the Inside

Life Happens

Life does, indeed, happen…every second of every minute of every day. You are going along and think you know the daily occurrences. Then a variant enters in, be it health, money, unexpected change of jobs or becoming jobless, loved ones having problems which can impact you, etc. It can be good things as well as bad. Sometimes there are companions that we think are going to last a lifetime, and somehow the variants cause them to take a course that takes them into a different reality.

It is like traveling in a canoe, paddling along, peacefully enjoying the experience. Perhaps there is another in his/her canoe going with you, side by side. Then, unexpectedly, a small island comes up — you go on one side and your companion goes on the other. You pass the island, and your friend does not appear for another current took them off on another path. You cannot reach around and try to re-establish the connection before the island. Yet, it cannot happen because life has presented you with a new way to go. Your only choice is to be where you are and go forward, paddling along.

Sometimes on my journey, this has happened to me. People whom I have dearly loved have disappeared down another channel, never to return. Rarely, do they ever return. It is difficult to let them go on their path and find where it is that I am going. Yet it is mandated by Life.

Life Flows along like a river.

Some people try to stand on the bank with one foot and put the other in the canoe. They never trust the canoe (Journey), so they hobble along, trying to be safe and secure. That can be the biggest myth of all because change comes to everyone. How we respond makes the difference.

In “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff, a story is told:

“Literally, Wu Wei means ‘without doing, causing, or making.’ But practically speaking, it means without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort. It seems rather significant that the character Wei developed from the symbols for a clawing hand and a monkey, since the term Wu Wei means no going against the nature of things; no clever tampering; no Monkeying Around.

The efficiency of Wu Wei is like that of water flowing over and around the rocks in its path — not the mechanical, straight-line approach that usually ends up short-circuiting natural laws, but one that evolves from an inner sensitivity to the natural rhythm of things.

Let’s take an example from the writings of Chuang-tse:

At the Gorge of Lu, the great waterfall plunges for thousands of feet, its spray visible for miles. In the churning water below, no living creature can be seen.

One day, K’ung Fu-tse was standing at a distance from the pool’s edge, when he saw an old man being tossed about in the turbulent water. He called to his disciples, and together they ran to rescue the victim. But by the time they reached the water, the old man had climbed out onto the bank and was walking along, singing to himself.

K’ung Fu’tse hurried up to him. ‘You would have to be a ghost to survive that,’ he said, ‘but you seem to be a man, instead. What secret power do you have?’

‘Nothing special,’ the old man replied. ‘I began to learn while very young, and grew up practicing it. Now I am certain of success. I go down with the water and come up with the water. I follow it and forget myself. I survive because I don’t struggle against the water’s superior power. That’s all.’

When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort.”

In metaphysics, I have found that if I am struggling, something is amiss. Either I am hanging onto something with a strong grip (and this can be for myself or a loved one), or there are outside forces at work which need examined, dealt with, and resolved.¬† I know what my flow is like. I know I must pay attention to it and give it due process, or I will encounter more problems, which can multiply exponentially. “Just Let Go!” should be written indelibly onto my brain.

A personal example is that I fell on a freshly-mopped floor in a restaurant without a visible “Wet Floor” sign. I injured my left knee, tearing my MCL with Meniscus involvement. I am three months post accident, doing physical therapy. I would like to rush it so I can get better and go back to the activity level I had before the incident. I was starting to walk faster and created a reversal on my healing process. So now I have to slow down and quit trying to hasten the process. I must be where I am and take small doable steps so that I can heal properly. I have to remind myself, moment by moment, to quit “pushing the river.”

Another example is about a loved one’s health changing dramatically, making me very sad for their loss of being able to stay in their home or possibly a stroke changing how they can function. One can only watch sometimes as this happens to others. Yes, you can offer assistance perhaps, but not always. For instance, Dementia¬† — when changes are necessitated by the condition.

When your Life alters course, are you pliable enough to “go with the flow?” Can you chart a course in unknown waters by gathering information about possibilities, choosing the best one you can (with the understanding that the moment of absolute certainty will never arrive), and then get both feet in your canoe and start paddling? Or will you fight, struggle, and resist the new reality? It is your choice, you know.

God bless your journey!

Low water flow

Low water flow

Heavy Water Flow

Heavy Water Flow

Flood Stage Water Flow

Flood Stage Water Flow

 

 

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