I grew up, and still live today, in a city that was built around the fork (or actually merger) of two rivers. The Red River travels north from somewhere in the USA, through Winnipeg, the city where I live, and empties into Lake Winnipeg, north of the city. From the west, comes the Assiniboine River. It merges with the Red River in the heart of our city. It is a place of historical significance. It has been a meeting place for centuries.
I grew up and have lived most of my life close to a river. When I was young, I could look out my bedroom window, and sometimes, through the trees and the houses on the next street, get a glimpse of the Red River. Today, I live a block away from the Assiniboine River. I love to take walks along its banks, find a park bench and just sit and watch the water flow.
Rivers are so powerful. The water keeps moving, pushing forward. If you try to block it, it just finds another way around and keeps going. In the Spring when the snow melts, or after a heavy rain, sometimes the river overflows its banks and reminds us that it cannot be contained or controlled.
The River has become a powerful symbol for me. It is a reminder to surrender – to let go. Imagine yourself in the middle of a river, maybe swimming or floating on a raft. What happens if you try to travel against the current?
When I picture this, I see myself treading water in one place until I get tired, or maybe I manage to get myself to the shoreline, thrown upon the rocks along the shoreline, or maybe exiting the river all together.
Relating this image to our life path – our purpose, when we try to swim against the flow of our life’s purpose, life feels difficult. It takes a lot of energy just to get through our day to day tasks. We might face challenges like landing amongst the rocks. Maybe we stop trusting that voice inside us that is calling us in a particular direction and leave the river all together. Sometimes we try to force things to happen a certain way – it’s kind of like trying to push or direct the river. Life around us is going to continue to flow and will find the easiest path, even if we don’t choose to get in flow with it.
What happens if we let go? If we surrender and allow our lives to flow along, trusting that if we just put one foot in front of the other the path will reveal itself. Maybe we have a larger vision for our lives, but we don’t need to know all the details of how we are going to get there. We don’t need to micromanage everything and everyone around us to force the outcome we think we want.
Trust, pay attention to the voice inside, that feeling in your gut. When you are inspired by something, or find something that gives you joy, take a step towards it and see how that feels. For me, the more I do this the more I feel like my life is in flow and the more things show up to support me on that path and the less effort I need to make to move forward in my life. Sometimes I receive the gift of finding myself moving in a new direction that I hadn’t even considered before.
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Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Practitioner www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca and Financial Advisor. “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 46 years this has been and currently is the place I call home. I have been working as a Financial Advisor for the past 15 years educating people about their finances, helping them restructure and reduce debt, invest for the future and properly protect their families. A strong sense that there is something more I am supposed to do in the world, a fascination with energy and a series of intuitive nudges has led me to begin practising Reiki. I have a desire to learn and practise other healing modalities, as well as serve children and empower young women around the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories with you.”