If life is a river, then I have flowed gently along its banks. I have struggled against the current. I have been caught in its eddies. I have been hurled over the waterfall. And I have emerged to flow gently down the river once more.
How about you?
Immersed in the river of life, have you watched how events seem to flow with little effort, then comes unexpected turbulence – when rapids or even waterfalls seem to grip you?
At times we may have struggled against currents or whirlpools, feeling at the mercy of events beyond our control. Worries about the past or uncertainty about the future crowd our consciousness, challenging us to stay afloat. We struggle for balance. We may feel stalled out.
How can the feeling of peace and balance – a sense of flowing gently down life’s river - be restored?
Faced with problems and disturbances, we may simply freeze up. We can’t think and we can’t take action. Alternatively, we may grasp at straws, temporary solutions at best. Blame, anger or defeat can threaten to overwhelm us, blinding us to new opportunities. Fearful thoughts direct the mind where the ego wants to go – absorbed in rapids, eddies or waterfalls.
Answers are close by – they can be found within the heart.
Listening to our hearts, inner wisdom and inspiration can help us negotiate the rapids and flow peacefully down life’s river. At a deep level, we know this is possible: We have experienced joy and happiness emanating from the heart when it is nurtured by peace, acceptance and harmony.
How can we avoid becoming trapped in turbulent waters? The answer lies in discovering fresh insights and new perspectives.
Insights provide the key to seeing beyond turbulence.
I have used the following approaches to help reconnect thoughts and emotions and generate new awareness, fresh insights and unique solutions to restore balance.
Spiritual masters throughout the ages have written of forgiveness, love and peace. Their guidance and insights can be invaluable sources of inspiration. In quiet times, as well as during turbulence, we may seek divine intervention to move beyond or to take charge of a troublesome situation. Meditation can help focus attention, or help open up attention - withholding judgment. This type of mental exercise can promote beneficial physiological and psychological changes that help restore health and balance.
A variety of well-established practices combine physical movement with contemplation and meditation. Examples include Tai Chi, several types of yoga and QiGong. These ancient spiritual practices are believed to open a heart connection, to allow intuition to flow freely and thus provide a counterbalance to an ego preoccupied with fear and uncertainty.
Celebration of Each Day
When we choose to see each new day as a fresh opportunity to break free of old, confining thoughts and feelings, we open ourselves to new ways of seeing, unlimited by the past or uncertainty of the future. Such a fresh perspective becomes a fountain for new health-promoting habits. As Goethe said, “Nothing is worth more than this day.”
Acknowledging our blessings can dramatically change how we view our situation. Being grateful for what we have, need not deny reality. Rather, we can learn to appreciate what we do have. Expressing gratitude lays the foundation for forgiveness.
Nature as a Teacher
Setting aside time to observe natural surroundings offers another channel of internal communication. Mountains, prairies, beaches, gardens, streams, forests, flowers, birds, sunsets and sunrises, moonlight, clouds and snowflakes– All can open the heart, when we are willing to listen.
Expressing your emotions, thoughts, concerns, and wishes on the pages of your journal can open the door to fresh understanding. This is an opportune place to record your blessings and personal affirmations. Your journal can record each small victory, providing milestones of growth.
Companionship and Community
The loving, non-judgmental support of family, friends and communities is a foundation upon which to build new healthful habits. Changing old patterns that are no longer beneficial can be challenging, however the task can be simplified through unconditional love.
The above suggestions have helped me and can assist you with insights to return to balance, allowing your heart to guide you in the flow of life.
I would love to hear what approaches work best for you to restore peace and balance when you are caught in the turbulence.