Gina Murdock: Channeling the flow of your life
Lead With Love
I’ve learned many lessons from the river. I spent weeks at a time floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, days on end floating lazily through time and space on many Western rivers, and thrilling moments paddling like hell through raging rapids in the high country or in the jungle. Always with friends. Always in awe of the natural beauty and consumed with joy riding water from one point to another.
My days and nights on the river were some of the best of my life and the lessons I’ve learned from the flow of the water are some of the most profound.
The river carves through rocks and around obstacles flowing constantly toward the sea. It knows, regardless of how it gets there, where it is going. No question and no matter really the path it takes; it flows onward whether raging and fast or meandering and slow.
Spending time on the river helps me to think of the flow of my own life. Where am I going? What is that “sea” that I am drawn to that is my destiny, my ultimate destination? Do I want to meander slow, but deep or do I want to channel the flow of my life force to arrive at my destination, the oneness of the ocean, as quickly as possible?
I think life is about this dance, finding focus and flow, building the banks and fortifying my resolve and knowing of what I want and who I am, and then losing it, swirling around in an eddy or spreading myself way too thin feeling a loss of direction.
In the past, I’ve felt like I’ve been more of a wetland or marsh, letting my vital essence spread thin over a large landscape barely penetrating the surface. I took on too many responsibilities, tried to please too many people, and I lost my strength, power and my inner knowing of where I was going. It may have looked good on the surface, but there wasn’t a feeling of being directed by that great pull of the ocean.
More recently, I’ve been building and fortifying the banks of my river by creating boundaries in my life, saying “yes” to the true “yesses” and no to anything else. If I want to channel the flow of the river, my life force, I have to be curious and ask the right questions. I have to be willing to make the right decisions based on what’s best for me, not everybody else. Is that selfish? I don’t think so. When I live from a place of truth and authenticity I am honoring God. I think God directs us and when we listen we are in the flow as we head toward the sea.
The “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu states, “Nothing is more soft or yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it.” We can be like water.
The question is, how do you channel the flow? Using your energy, intent and awareness there is little that can stop the flow. It is powerful, but does not have to be forceful. It yields and finds the path of synchronicity and ease, embracing the mystery and magic of life. When we realize we are not in control and trust the flow, we find a sense of freedom that is immutable. That is the way of the river.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow,” Lao Tzu wrote. “Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Gina Murdock is the founder of Lead with Love, an Aspen-based nonprofit dedicated to shifting culture from fear to love. Join Lead with Love for Wild Yoga at ACES every Tuesday 5:15 p.m. at Hallam Lake. For more information on Lead with Love, go to http://www.ileadwithlove.org.
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