The nature of reality is that it is constantly changing. Through the practice of self-hypnosis for mindfulness, a person can begin to pay attention to the flow of life through each present moment. The winter turns to spring. People are born, grow old, and die. Neighborhoods flourish and then disappear. Entire cultures of people and species of creatures grow and then cease to exist.
This is the truth – that our lives are like flowing streams, constantly changing. We cannot stop the flow of change, and yet so often we try to pretend otherwise. I have a good story about going down a river. One hot July day when Sam was a senior in high school, we decided to paddle down the Wenatchee River, from the bridge at Monitor, Washington all the way down to the confluence of the Wenatchee and the great Columbia River. Scott and I were in the canoe and Sam had the kayak.
The river was flowing fast that summer day. Being in the front of the canoe, I saw that we were headed for some big rapids, but first would be rounding a large island with some low hanging tree branches that arched over the water. As we neared the branches, my fear of the rapids grew, and as we passed the branches, I grabbed ahold of them, in a frantic effort to “stop the flow of life” as I was experiencing it at the time!
The canoe swung sideways, and we nearly capsized, as Scott lunged forward to grab my paddle, which I had let go of in my effort to slow our progress down the river. Sam, having the most agile boat, was able to paddle back to where we were and shout, “what is going on?” I realized that I must let go of the branches and face the rapids, so I did.
As we entered the rapids, I froze – my paddle in mid-air. Then I heard the command: “PADDLE!!!” Scott shouted as loud as he could. I un-froze and began paddling, and as I did, I then understood a very important law about going down a river: you cannot stop the flow of the river and just stay put, once you have committed to being in the flow. However, you CAN navigate the best course by paddling and steering. The end of the story is that we had a lovely and memorable day paddling the Wenatchee River.
Mindfulness is a way of navigating while in the flow of life. Mindfulness is acceptance of change and openness to what is possible within that change. The longer I live, the more I witness in my own life and in the lives of others – difficult changes that transform themselves into a whole new life’s purpose.
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