I’ll admit – I have an ambivalent relationship with my birthday.

Need I say more? Well, probably. So here goes:

In the weeks before my birthday, I become very existential and broody, deep in the grips of some inner initiation.  Tough questions hurtle towards me, and I feel myself being pulled into my own spotlight.

The questions themselves are like seeds, and therefore do not require answers They simply serve to help me grow out of the layers of my assumptions, and leave me naked before the first rays of realization.

The question that has me on a slow burn this time is:  am I living what I know?

My life and consciousness form the crucible into which this question has been thrown.

I know that in my life, “I strive, I stress, I struggle, I show, I perform, I compare,”  are transforming into  “I slow down, I seed, I nourish, I synergize, I synchronize, I relate. I be.” But am I truly there yet?

It’s hot in this crucible, and I’m discovering parts of me are stubborn.

Dare I slow down? Dare I include my heart first and foremost?

The response coming to me from many angles is a simple “Yes”. And here is the truth: I want to slow down. I want to include so much more of me in my life, my work, and my relationships. But do I permit myself to go at my own pace? To revel in the dilly dallies and daydreams of life?

I continued to ponder this until I spent a day river rafting with my family.

We were on the Rio Grande, and our handsome guide (with Matthew McConaughey’s voice and timber) spoke at length about the joy being on the river 6 months out of the year brings him. His bliss was palpable, his passion for the river profound, but more than anything else, I could see that the river ran through him.

It felt golden, glorious, and fluid, and we were mesmerized by his message that paralleled the gentle water’s: ease, flow, trust – and the ability to let the incongruities of daily life dissolve.

It has been a week since that trip, and the river keeps calling us. It’s as if a melody is being hummed on the periphery of my mind. My body leans towards it listening, and I crave the sweeping currents and sighs of the river.

As I reflect on my query above, and the experience of meeting a guide so in love with his dream, I know there’s no need to go on a dozen river trips to transform my daily life. I can live what I know, with the ease, flow and trust that are within me.

I can release decades old programming of what success, contribution, and happiness have to mean and cost. I can allow the body languaging of these ideals, the crystallization of these conclusions and associations to dissolve.

This knowing creates incremental shifts and moment-to-moment choices. It is in my power to choose to slow my speedy mind as it jumps from one project to the next. I have the strength to turn around and ask the pushy energy that tells me “Get more done” to step back as I take a deep breath, and dive into my flowing consciousness.

Because I know a river runs through each of us – creating rapids or calm currents. How we choose to move with it is a beautiful choice.

Now, it’s your turn: what questions have been prickling at you lately? Do you feel as if you’re always caught between taking action, and the nourishment of your spirit? Or does the “go, go, go” mentality nurture you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Pssst… if you’d like to learn more about stepping into your own flow, and exploring the way your river runs, I’ve created a FREE eCourse for that precise purpose. I call it Start your Day – Launch your Life. Sign up now!

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