Live like a River Flows

I would love to live like a river flows….carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.  John Donohue

A Taoist story tells of an old man who accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a high and dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed downstream at the bottom of the falls. People asked him how he managed to survive. “I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I survived.”

I love this parable.  Many times I have resisted the rapids of life, trying to control which way I was headed.  As I learned to trust and let go, I allowed myself to be shaped by the many twists and turns that life presented and over time, I began to see that these experiences opened my soul and allowed me to grow.

30 thoughts on “Live like a River Flows

  1. So much easier to flow. Resistance causes suffering. I think I mentioned before, one of the phrases I say to myself when encountering resistance is, “ok, Mary…let go sooner.” It’s like, I know I need to let go of whatever it is….but I put it off. Thanks Karen.What a great river photo too!

    1. I love your phrases Mary. Life is too short not to let go sooner. I will see you in the river my friend. The picture is of Devils Hole Rapids on the Niagra River. Amazing place.

  2. I love this. There are times in my life when I should carry the idea around with me like a mantra. Thank you for your inspiration. Donohue must surely be an angel…

  3. Love this quote and the story! We don’t need to try to ride on top of the waves, just trust in going with the swirl. That takes more courage than building a raft!

  4. So often (as you describe) a tendency exists to “fight the currents in life.” The idea that resistance creates a clear separation from others helps establish a sense of self identity. In some cases this may be beneficial. In some cases it becomes an instinctive defensive response causing such emotional and physical duress, that identity is sacrificed in the process. At this point, the “current” becomes the arbiter of all future outcomes.
    This post provides an important message for all of us.

  5. Playing catch ups, reading all your wonderful posts. We have been watching Kung Fu with our daughter and there are many lessons like this one in that show. I am slowly letting myself be taken by the flow of the rapids without resistants but its not easy Karen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s