Swimming Upstream

Some time ago while I was on a silent meditation retreat, I had the opportunity to observe something that I found intriguing. As I sat by the edge of a cliff overlooking the river below me, I spotted something in the distance moving upstream in the river. At first I thought it might be a otter, ferret or something similar; but as it got closer I was stunned to see that it was a tree branch.


Despite the fact that the river was flowing in the opposite direction, this little branch seemed to be determined to head in the other direction. I sat there mesmerized for more than twenty minutes. And then I started to see other small branches and sticks doing the same. I noted at least five in that time.

I considered this to be a message. No matter how easy it might be to just let yourself follow the current, you have to stay true to your values and mission in life. If that means you must struggle to make your way upstream against the current, then do it.

There are times in life; however, where you need to be reminded of those messages; times when you feel as though you’re being swept up in the current and rushed out to sea.  It is crucial to make sure you are able to anchor  yourself and stop that flow.  It may take substantial effort, both physically and mentally, but it is so very important to do it.  Once you’ve managed to anchor yourself in the current, you can then, consciously, shift your momentum into the other direction.

It will not be easy. Life will throw many scenarios, events, and people your way to try to get you to just let go and be content with where you are.  These are but tests.  If you want to live to your full potential, to be fully realized, you need to recognize these actors in your life, and work through them.  You need to see the triggers and the reactions that they are causing you to have.  This will help you avoid them going forward.  It takes a lot of introspection and self-awareness.

Today, I feel as though I am adrift.  I recognize that.  I’m trying to find my anchor, to keep me from getting swept up too far in the current.  It will take some time.  It will take some effort.  But I will be that stick moving upstream again.  And when I do, I can only hope that someone else will now see that stick and be awakened to the possibilities that await us.  We all deserve the absolute best that life has to offer us.  We just need to activate ourselves to get it.

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