Life is Like a River–Let it Flow

Life is Like a River

Life is a lot like a river.  It flows along the path of least resistance.

It can provide beauty, facilitate commerce as well as recreation, and still be unpredictable at points.

“Little Adventures”

The Media Naranja (better half) and I periodically go on what we call our “little adventures.”

Like many awesome traditions, I’m not quite sure how this one started for us.

The “little adventures” are planned–sometimes in advance, but more often, they are a result of whatever follows, “Hey, let’s go…”

Our Weekend Adventure

Last weekend was our fourth anniversary, and I had been looking forward to it all week. We were going to leave for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Friday after work.  I had the day of, and the M.N. has “half-day Fridays” during the summer.

So, Friday morning, I combed the interwebs searching for “must see” and “must do” lists for the trip

At about 1 p.m., we jumped in the car, drove to Barnes and Noble, picked up a U.P. travel guide, and hit the road.

I had a list of 2-3 things that we were going to try to see, but only one was definitive. We had booked a sightseeing cruise on Lake Superior the following afternoon to see the Pictured Rocks.

The next day and a half was filled with tons of new sites and wonderful memories, but the first site we stopped to see was unplanned.

“XZY Falls”  The sign read (sadly, I didn’t note the name).  We pulled over and walked down a short path that stretched out behind a sign hanging on a chain. It read “No vehicles beyond this point.”

At the bottom of the hill was a small river bed with some charming falls that cascaded over a four or five-foot high rock ledge.

The water gurgled at the base of the falls and the sunlight danced across the water’s surface.

Off to the side, was a small, nondescript, brick building–a power generation station.  I was surprised that such a small river could produce enough power to make it worth erecting a station there.

Life is Like a River.

The power lies in the flow.  It will support you. It will carry  you.

The river’s flow always follows the path of least resistance.  Life is like that too.

The lessons are all there for us in this simple illustration from nature.

So why do we create so much resistance in our lives?  Why do we try to resist the flow?

Life is like a river. Let it flow.

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Note: This post is part of the 31-post Ultimate Blog Challenge. During the month of July, 2012, I will be posting 31 times. Since this is a lot of posts over a short period of time, I prepared a special page where you can catch any you may have missed.

About Steve

Hi, I'm Steve Rice and my goal is to transform simple philosophical truths into practical fuel to revolutionize your life. It's not about self-help, it's about self-reliance. I show you how. Connect with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and let me know how I can help you.

  • Great advice, let it flow. I think I try too hard sometimes… Thanks Steve.

    • Totally get that, Peter. I’m the same way. That’s why, in a sense, I’m “preaching to the choir” on this one. I need to hear this message just as much or more than anyone else.

      Do you have a technique or tip for “letting it flow”? How do you remind yourself of this truth when you’re wrapped up in the middle of life drama?

  • Steve – beautiful thoughts – and sums up my attitude to life entirely. If you allow yourself to be swept along by the current, you usually end up in a good place. Funny how I spend my life helping people to set career goals – but I’ve never really had them myself.

    While I’m here, I have to say how much your top photo reminded me of the front page of my novel – ‘The Lebanese Troubles’. This isn’t an advertisement – but search for the book on the Amazon site and you’ll see a remarkable similarity

    • That is interesting, Alan. I know that a while ago, Leo from Zen Habits wrote a rather controversial post where he argued against setting goals. IT was a fascinating conversation.

      I will definitely check out your novel. That top pic was the river flowing away from some water falls in Northern Wisconsin. It reminded me of Colorado and a mountain stream, although there are no mountains around WI.

      Going forward, I’m going to try to label the pictures more often, especially the ones I take

  • Really enjoyed this post and am grateful for the reminder to just flow.

    • Hi, Linda! Thanks so much. I’m excited to get to know you better through the UBC. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. It means a lot.

  • ThandiweW

    Love it! I’m all about simple pleasures and appreciating the beauty and majesty presented in each moment. Sounds like you and the MN get it. Glad to know.
    Peace and good to you both.

    • Thanks! We do love relishing each moment! I’m going to be writing a post about cherishing the “real life” sacred spaces that I think you’ll enjoy. What is your favorite “sacred space” or simple pleasure? Is there a specific place or experience you love?

  • Man, you are right on time again!! The least resistance…..I’m learning to let go and let things move organically. This is a wonderful word for the second half of 2012!!!

    • That is awesome, Earl. I’ve noticed you have some momentum building in your business and life. Keep going. Don’t stop. The only one who loses is the one who quits. Appreciate your comment, brother.

  • Great article. Love the falls and the metaphor of life and a river. Such a great analogy.

    • Thanks so much, Michele. It is a simple analogy, but so appropriate for the point I wanted to make.

      The falls were beautiful and a great little surprise “find” on the side of the road.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you will do so often. Appreciate your kind comments.

  • I find there is so much peace to be found from contemplating nature. If only we could allow ourselves to let life flow, we will be all the more relaxed and connected for it. Love the pic Steve!

    • I’m with you there, Alison! Thanks for the compliment.The pics are all taken from “adventures” I’ve gone on myself. Where is your favorite place in nature to be at peace?

  • Allison Crow

    PROFOUND and beautiful! “Life is like a river.The power lies in the flow. It will support you. It will carry you.” I use this analogy all the time and your words really ZING with me!

  • William Chaney

    Great thought, there life is, right in front of our eyes, but to often we build so many damns that we miss the flow. A half hour “in” nature can make for a beautiful day

  • Chip San

    The life is very short time to achieve the adventures. The life is going on to the forward.