We are taught as humans to value the rational, logical, left brain. We pay homage to it, we encourage children to amass knowledge in order to pass their exams, feeding their brains with all kinds of data. Whilst this is a necessary part of being human it leads us to believe that knowledge is power and that through it we can control our world and what happens in it. It therefore comes as a great shock when we first encounter an unplanned catastrophe. We feel out of control of what is happening to us, nor can we control our emotions.

Imagine you are in a canoe in the river of life. The river has many moods, many twists and turns, from a small stream to the wide river at the mouth of a sea. It has many courses too, it can take you over the rapids, into quiet backwaters where you can lie back and enjoy the dappled sun through the trees. It can be raging, in flood or hardly moving it all. Close your eyes and identify where you are today in the river. Acknowledge your place and don’t try to change it. Enjoy where you are, even if you are negotiating rapids or are frustrated because there is no movement.

Now in the canoe there is a paddle. You can use the paddle to change your place in the river. You can paddle faster, remain more stable over the rapids. You can paddle upstream against the current, you can even upturn the canoe and capsize.

In the place of surrender, the worst thing you can do is to pick up the paddle! I know! It’s a shock to receive that idea isn’t it. But it’s true! If you pick up the paddle it’s an indication that you’re not satisfied with where you are in your life at present. You are wanting to interfere with the river of life. In the act of surrender you begin to trust your path, you learn to ‘go with the flow’ and allow the natural movement to take place. You then can ensure that you are indeed in the right place at the right time.

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