letters // for when you're tired of pushing
There is a story that a dear woman shared with me that was passed down to her by a friend and mentor of her own -- a life and business coach by the name of Kris Ward.
The story is called "Letting Go of the Oars" and it goes a bit like this.
A woman in a canoe is paddling to reach the top of a stream. The current flows downstream, representative of her life, her path, her wisdom. Personified as prana, life force, the stream asks her why she's paddling upstream. What is her benefit of going upstream when all of her desires are downstream? She responds that it's a way for her to prove how strong she is, how resilient, how dedicated. While she knows she has an uphill battle, she'll have tangible proof of how hard she has worked -- sweat pouring from her brow, muscle tone from all of her efforts. When you go upstream, you show the world you're not afraid, she says.
It's true, the stream agrees, that paddling upstream does show you're proving something. However, nothing you want is upstream. Everything that you've created, the essence awaits for you downstream.
It's great to prove yourself to the world. But are the reasons behind your efforts out of love for yourself? Is exhaustion worth your efforts to prove what you're out to do?
Ask yourself: What would happen if you let go of the oars? What would happen if you viewed this experience as a grand adventure where you head where the current takes you?
What would happen if you gave yourself the space and simply allowed?
Busyness doesn't need to be our default. The following practice will help open the possibilities around that.
the practice // cleanse + boundary-building
When I began to set my boundaries, guilt was a go-to emotion for me. I felt guilty that I backed off of my work. I felt guilty that I was feeling less busy while those around me were not. I felt guilty that, even though my work didn't suffer, I wasn't doing more.
I still feel that way sometimes.
Salt is our cord-cutter and our seal of protection. It serves to reinvigorate us and hand us a clean slate energetically.
A note about cleansing and purifying in general: You by nature are not dirty; there is nothing you lack that this cleansing ritual is somehow adding. What we're aiming for is an action that aids you in bidding adieu to others' energy that you have potentially held onto and protecting yourself so you feel more comfortable and at ease in ALLOWING. That's the feeling we're looking for.
cleanse: salt soak // salt scrub
- Epsom, Himalayan, black, or other salt (at least a half cup)
- Essential oil (cinnamon, bergamot, lemongrass, and/or frankincense for prosperity, happiness, and ease)
- Juice of 1 lemon (optional)
- Coconut oil (for salt scrub)
For the bath: Combine your salt and essential oil(s) in a bowl. Add lemon juice and pour all into the warm stream of running water. Soak and breathe deeply.
For the shower: Mix up your salt with a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Combine the two until the consistency feels right to you; there's no exact measurement needed. Lather, especially over heart, belly, and hands. Breathe deeply and rinse.
boundary-building: a writing exercise
If we look at everyone around us as mirrors of ourselves, building healthy boundaries is internal work. When we recognize and respect our own boundaries with ourselves, we are recognizing and respecting the direction of our own canoe. We're setting the precedent that we will be flowing downstream, which then gives us the foundation to reinforce our boundaries with others. Contemplate the following:
- What are my core values?
- How do I want to feel each day? List 5-7 emotions that come to mind.
- What am I willing to do to feel that way?