A river attends to itself, its flow, and everything on its periphery as necessary. Animals and plants receive life from the river, but not because the river plans it or thinks about it or efforts to achieve their needs. The river simply flows.
Also, it is the flow of the river that creates its banks. The banks don’t make the course of the river. This is important, because if the river is analogous to a person, then:
- the flow of the river represents centeredness,
- the ease of the river to adapt to environments and circumstances corresponds to the human capacity for the same. The river’s flowing nature makes it naturally adaptive. Human centeredness and open-minded intelligence is the source of our adaptability.
- our inner state creates our outer life. In other words, our flow from the inside creates the banks and peripheral circumstances that we, then, have to navigate. If we are uncentered, our banks will be loose, will crumble, and require more effort on our part to accomplish the tasks and responsibilities of the day. However, if we are centered, the flow of our day will come from that source. Our banks (boundaries) will be strong, our feeling of integrity will stand firm and composed, as well as generous and mindful through the day’s interactions.
Flow is not necessarily multi-tasking, but multi-tasking can be joyful flow. The criteria for flow – real flow – is that is comes from the inside, from center. Therefore, as we complete Step 3 of The Practice of Living Awareness, feel flow. Feel it in your breath, in your moments, in your thoughts. Feel when the flow is true flow: a centered outgoing. Feel when it is not. Feel when thoughts, like a whirlpool, don’t stop. Then take a breath, long slow and deep. Feel the tip of the nose, the brightness of your face and mind, and then feel the centeredness of your heart. Real flow comes from there.
Downloadable podcast: The river makes the banks.