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Turn With the Flow

I struggle with feeling so much in the world. I struggle understanding why I feel. I’m stuck in the belief understanding will give me insight to control all I feel. I go round and round with the same idea year after year. I become the wasp stuck in the window banging and buzzing.

The world has changed. I have changed and continue to change, opening deeper and deeper.

A change of mind is called for but I haven’t found the words yet. I’m working on it. I practice wound care and then regroup and reset. Today I pray for acceptance as I find the opening in the window and I fly free with acceptance for who I am and how I am.

I choose to stop my stuckness. I choose to accept. I choose to be free of an old behavior that no longer serves my growth, but keeps me stuck in a habit. I choose to be free.

Currents pull us,

tides, crosswinds.

We come out of an eddy

in a stream, into a

narrow place,

a curve where

water has a

power of its own.

The river has its strength,

the pull of stream downhill

in whitewater, around

a bend, the power of

the seas and oceans, too,

the tides.

And we have choices still

in how we are

within that flow,

as if reed-like we float

so that the current pours

within and through us,

or else in grasping not to go

to some new place,

we lodge crosswise

and broken against rocks,

safely unmoving and

yet crushed by force

of water pushing against us.

We have a choice,

not of the current,

but of the way

we turn ourselves

within its strength.

We cannot foil the tides

but we can learn the timing

and the grace of turning

so that the force of water

gives us strength,

and helps us on our way

to some new place we

Didn’t mean to go,

yet where we can arrive

in safety, with exhilaration,

gratitude, relief,

still whole and even more ourselves

for having found a way to be

in partnership with currents

we had not anticipated.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I’d like to share. During the meditation, I had an ‘aha’ moment. I’ve been an empath all my life and from the reading this morning, I suddenly realize, and hopefully I get it, that I’ve been trying to change the tide and currents instead of changing myself. I “have a choice, not of the current, but of the way” I turn myself within the strength of the current. I can learn the grace of turning.

  • My reflection is on noticing sensations in my body. My spiritual director is challenging me to do this because I am usually oblivious. When we started the meditation, I noticed I had a tension headache behind my ear. I’ve heard from yoga teachers for years to breathe into the pain. So I did and got lost in the meditation and breathing. When I checked back in with the pain, it was gone. I usually get distracted and never get back to it. Today, I did get back to it and was amazed.

  • I really appreciate your sharing of your new ‘aha’ breakthrough. I grew up four blocks from the Mississippi River. Many times I would go there when I was resisting something in my life because the current of the mighty Mississippi is like no other. That river empties much of the country through it. During the meditation, it was a way of going to the top of the levee and letting go. Your meditation made me realize I haven’t been to the river in a while, although every morning when I meditate, I allow Spirit to bring me to whatever body of water that I need. Sometimes it’s a bubbling brook, sometimes it’s a lake, many times the seashore. In the course of that, I do realize that I have a choice how I react to the currents. In my best times, my spirit will bring me to a place where I am the water. That choice then allows for the healing to occur. Sometimes I need violent water, sometimes still water. There’s a oneness that exists and the resistance can be lifted if we allow that to happen. I believe that is the choice. You’ve inspired me to go to the Mississippi today.

  • Thank you for the reading. It brought me back to my younger days when I was a whitewater kayaker instructor. Whenever we were paddling on the river, if you had some skill, you could pull into an eddy. It was a safe place. The students would get panicked and couldn’t remember the eddy. They would fall out of the boats trying to get into it improperly. Sometimes in big water I too could got into a panic and forgot. It brought me back to a joy in younger days and reminded me that practice and experience can really help develop skills to help navigate that current. It’s a good reminder. I love having these kinds of metaphors that I can apply.

  • Thank you to each of you for what you’ve shared. We are in the process of moving within the month. I am overwhelmed by all the different steps to make it happen. We are moving to a retirement community which will be a whole different lifestyle. My spouse’s health is declining. It’s a massive thing. What I appreciated about the reading and sharing is that it put me in touch with what it means. It’s a metaphorical jump for us. A place to let go and see what happens. To not be connected to the expectations of what it will or will not bring. It’s huge, but in some ways, more calming. When change comes, take small steps and relax into the current supporting me instead of fighting it.

  • Thank you. I grew up in a city on the Mississippi. It was wonderful to be reminded of what that feels like. You could taste the river; you could feel it in the air. What came to me in the meditation was a time in my life when I was on an extended vision quest. I was traveling around the country very much in that flow. It didn’t matter where I went, I would go with the flow. I was up north somewhere in a semi-truck. I’d been hitchhiking. We went by a little stream. The truck driver said that’s a tributary to the Mississippi River. That was so poignant for me, to see that little stream and know that it moved into the bigger river. I loved the idea that so much of the country flows into that river. Thank you for the memories and that image of the river.

  • I’m listening to everyone talk about the river. I’m in awe because I never heard a word about the river. During the meditation, I sit by the window. One of the first things I heard you say in the reading was about a fly caught in a window. I became the fly as soon as you said those words. I was exploring the window trying to figure out how to get out. I never heard one word after that. I’m wondering how did I miss the river. Since the start of the year, I’ve got habits I’d like to change. I appreciate working from home, but at the same time, my day has no structure. I dress when I feel like it, I log on when I feel like it. I don’t go anywhere other than the market. I’m having a hard time getting motivated to make some changes, because I have no structure. I think that’s why I became the fly. I’m trapped, doing the same thing over and over every day, wanting to make tomorrow a better day, incorporating a small change. And yet, I wake up and my day is the same as it was the day before.

  • I swear that is the power of the Higher Self. It gives us what we need to hear. Your example is perfect because look at where it brought you, bumping into the same window. It helps me understand my frustrations.

  • Thank you. During the meditation, I thought about The Good Witch and how she makes things happen by empowering other people. She trusts that they will be empowered and she goes with the flow. Even moving out of her house just trusting that the people around her have been empowered and that they will solve the problem for her without her trying to go against the current. That current, you can never tell where it’s going to take you. In the 1800’s, there was an earthquake and the Mississippi River changed direction and went the other way. Shocking if you are caught in a current like that. You have a choice to resist it or go along with it. It’s a challenge. Going with the current is a comfortable way to live because you aren’t trying to control something uncontrollable. So much easier to say than to do. It’s a challenge. No one wanted to be in the middle of this pandemic, but look at the beautiful community it brought together. Thank you.

  • The Mississippi River sounds amazing. I’ve never been near it. I tell my cats they are the cutest cats this side of the Mississippi. In terms of moving, I moved during the pandemic. You said the Divine comes when you need it. I struggle with my family member’s pain. I was looking at the fire escape. I had put two solar-operated lanterns out there. I thought the batteries were long gone. One evening, I was feeling desperate and I looked out and saw the light go on. I wondered if it was my dear friend in spirit who became like a mother to me. I heard a voice saying ‘remember the light shines bright within.’ I like the song Shenandoah even though I don’t know the words. It soothes me as I sing it.

  • Thank you. Thank you for all the visuals and the words. Thank you for listening and sharing your thoughts. I really feel that I have more understanding, that I have been trying to control the current rather than how I turn in the current. I think it’s a valuable lesson. I hope you all have a gentle day.

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