Imagine you're in a canoe. Oars are resting inside with you, and you're peacefully and delightfully floating down a beautiful river. After a little while you take the oars in hand, turn the boat around, and decide to paddle upstream...
In life, it's so much more fun and relaxing to flow with the rushing waters of the river rather than force against it. This visual came from the amazing book, The Astonishing Power of Emotions, by Esther and Jerry Hicks, and it works for EVERYTHING! The slightest bit of tension or stress can be relieved if I just figure out a thought or an action to turn my canoe back downstream. Resistance is upstream, relaxation is downstream.
For example. I was driving. People drive SLOWLY in St. Augustine in the summertime when they're tourists gawking out the window at any and every possible establishment roadside. I was behind a giant Chevy Tahoe, all black, and in my grandmother's Buick I could not see over or around it, which always annoys me. Plus I was super eager to get out of traffic and onto the faster moving highway towards my destination. As we pulled to a complete stop in the middle of the bridge, nowhere near the stoplight, I felt my entire body tense up with impatience and annoyance. Just then I did something radical. I noticed it! My tense body was a perfect signal that my canoe was pointing upstream. All I had to do then was aim it downstream.
By thinking a slightly lighter thought. "This truck in front of me is SO BIG", keeps me doing upstream, against the flow, in an energy of resistance and tension. But the next thought I tried was, "well at least I'm not late yet". That led to, "and it's a beautiful day today. I'm really not in any kind of hurry". Which led to the most amazing discovery...
The Chevy Tahoe happened to be very clean (perhaps because we have multiple sideways rain thunderstorms per day lately that would rival the finest drive through carwashes). On the back of this car was a perfect mirror reflection of the bridge - the lamp posts along the bridge's sidewalk, the sun, the clouds, me and the silver Buick, even boats in the water. The car's curvature allowed for the view to be wider-lens than the usual naked eye, taking in even more of the scene behind, beside, above, and below me. And because the car was black with a darkly tinted window, it was easier on the eyes than actually turning around to see the real thing, perfectly dimming the reflection of the especially bright sun. Then we started to roll forward.
Everything in this mirror reflection moved backwards, slowly, like the most detailed, breathtaking, moving art/videography installation I could imagine. I felt my body tingle as I marveled at the art and beauty fish-eyed on the back of this once annoying Tahoe, and I knew I was again flowing downstream.
May you have a day filled with oarless canoe floating on the sweetest downstream waters of your dreams.
Love and epic west coast dinnertime sunsets,