With the troubles of the world on a large scale in addition to our busy and hectic lives on an individual level, it seems impossible to avoid negativity.
That’s why I am so grateful to have come across this beautiful and practical tool that my boyfriend and I now use on a daily, and really moment-to-moment, basis.
The concept is one of the spiritual guide/inspirational speaker, Abraham Hicks, and it goes like this:
Imagine life as a flowing river. You are in the river, in a canoe, with a pair of oars. With each moment, you have a choice to either pick up these oars and push force against the river to try to get upstream, OR drop the oars and just float along downstream, trusting that the river will take you exactly where you need to be.
Abraham explains that with each decision we make, every thought that we choose to create and furthermore, express, we are either flowing with life, or struggling against it.
Let’s use our self-talk as an example. When you think a thought such as, “I really shouldn’t be wearing this, what was I thinking?” Or, “I am going to completely mess this up.” Or, “I shouldn’t be eating this.” You are pushing upstream.
If you think a thought such as, “I trust it will all work out.” Or, “I know I am capable of anything I put effort into.” Or, “I love the way this feels.” You are allowing your life energy to flow. You are dropping the oars and allowing what may come to come. You are not resisting your feelings and you are open to possibilities.
You know which type of thoughts feel calm, in control, confident, and which type of thoughts lead you to feel negative feelings such as judgment, fear, doubt, and insecurity.
Now, this may be applied to the big picture of your life, and your trust in the happenings of it, but it can also be used as a very practical tool throughout daily conversations with yourself or with others. Here are a few examples of how we apply it-
We will be driving along, and someone completely cuts us off. We may outwardly make a judgement or even simply a noise of annoyance. Then, whichever one of us realizes the scenario from a larger perspective says- “Downstream. Stay downstream.”
Another may be the moment that I wake up, and I feel that it may be a bit of an overwhelming day and I simply don’t know where to begin. The ideas and the pressure begin to build even while I’m still lying in bed. This is when I realize that I’ve got those damn oars in my hand and I quickly acknowledge this struggle I am created and drop them. I drop the negativity and I find a downstream thought to focus on.
Considering we live in our minds, this is a constant practice. Because it is a simple metaphor, it is extremely simple to apply and it also allows you to take yourself out of a feeling and be an observer of it, instead of controlled by it.
In a nut shell, choosing downstream thoughts & comments vs. choosing to paddle upstream against the flow of life, is just another way of saying ‘choose love over fear’.
Remind yourself of this constantly, and try using this fun and simple tool today!
*I have linked a youtube video where I first learned about this concept. I hope this video can help you to further understand, to become inspired, and possibly even curious to check out further related videos. I’ve watched many of hers and learn something new each time!
Don’t forget to take a deep breath, speak your mind, and try your best to stay downstream 🙂
Thanks for reading & for simply being you.