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Are You Looking Downstream?

Are You Looking Downstream?

A river in Kuznetsk Alatau mountains, Western Siberia, Russia.

When I was a child growing up in California, our family vacation every summer consisted of camping for two weeks.  These times are truly some of my most favorite of my childhood.  Time to just play with no schedule and a time when a saw my dad relax more deeply then he ever could at home.  Simple yet so meaningful.

One of things I loved to do was fish.  Almost every morning I’d be up early to head down with my fishing pole and worms and see what I could catch that day.  Nine out of ten times it was a catfish. (And my mom would take the time to clean those damn things and fry them up for dinner – bless her heart – nasty thorny fish!)  One morning I was down there and finally caught a fairly large trout.  I was so excited.  Just as I had him in my hand to remove the hook he escaped!  I must have been 10 or 11 years old and I immediately went after that fish straight in the water clothes and all!  Of course I wasn’t able to get it but I tried!  (It seems we all may have a “fish that got away” tale!)

Carmil and I had an opportunity to hear Don Miguel Ruiz speak with his sons last night and what a great night it was.  One of them shared an analogy about being in a river with something precious in our hands when we slip and drop that special item then spend the rest of our lives looking downstream to see if we can find it again.  What a fantastic analogy isn’t it? How many of us live much of our time looking downstream (in the past) for what we lost and are still trying to get it back, consequently missing what is in front of us.  I know that I’m certainly not the first to remind us all to live in this moment but I don’t think any of us can be reminded enough.  We hear it but are we truly applying that teaching?

How much time do you waste missing what happened long ago, wanting to change something from the past or living in past memories rather than embracing this moment with your heart wide open?  Looking downstream instead of what’s here now?  Of course, anything about water peaks my interest!
It’s given me an opportunity to pay more close attention to my own thoughts and where they go during may daily meditation, (as it’s bound to go somewhere), and notice is it planning ahead or looking behind?  Can I bring it into this moment?

Begin to notice how often you may be looking downstream and missing the beauty in front of you.  The opportunity you have right now to live fully.  Can you accept the reality of your life as it is in this moment and practice opening your heart to the perfection of it even if it is not what you expected.  Everyday is an opportunity to embrace what’s in front of us and all the complicated, mixed up beauty of all that is.






This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Sara thank you for this post it is timely and confirming what I’ve learned with you. I will share it with my sister as we are dealing with A parental issue as my sister comes out to California. Whatever you do, don’t look down stream, stay in the here and now look up stream and try to get mother to also!😁😃

  2. Sara,
    Yet another great thought promoting blog. Yes, the inevitable “MOMENT” that can set you free from all that trys to contain you. Would of loved to have shared the evening…but it’s gone. Glad you and Carmil enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. Karen

  3. Love this metaphor….thank you,for sharing.. Am reminded of one of my books from the 60’s/70’s

    Don’t Push the River
    It Flows by Itself
    Barry Stevens

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