Are You A River or A Lake?

Life, like a river, can at times be rushing, wild, and swift.  You can have days, years, even decades that resemble the high intensity energy of a river.

Yet, life can also be like a lake — calm, spacious, and still.  Sometimes it takes an illness or a vacation before life’s waters calm and allow for a spacious silence.  Or sometimes life simply plateaus into a measured pattern of easy days that spread uneventfully over weeks and months.

However, if the stillness of the lake seems far away, if you’re in perpetual river mode, then I would suggest that you find ways to bring quiet moments into your river life.  Here are three ways to create spacious snippets every day:

Stop and breathe – the breath is an easy key to lake life because it’s always with you.  However, most of us breathe shallowly and unconsciously.  Take a moment to breathe in deeply from the belly.  Expand your rib cage and let breath rise up all the way into your collar bones.  Exhale equally as deeply, pulling your stomach back to your spine to expel the air from your body.

Stop and listen – Close your eyes for a moment and listen to the life around you.  Do you hear man-made sounds (people, car horns, doors closing) or nature sounds (dogs barking, birds chirping, wind in the trees)?  Listen and note how many sounds you can identify.

Stop and see – Spend a few moments examining an object in detail.  Look at something that you see often but don’t really take the time to look at.  Notice how the longer you look at an object, the more details you become aware.

Life has certain natural rhythms and cyclesThe river energy can be both exciting and overwhelming.  Injecting moments of lake time will keep you from getting flooded.

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