Be the River

Written by admin on . Posted in Essential Balance

It’s been said that life is a river. Like the continual flowing of the water, the only constant in our lives is change. The changes come, whether we’re choosing them, rolling with them, or resisting them. There are endings and beginnings, death and rebirth, release and renewal, creation and destruction.

Nothing is real, and nothing endures but change. (Kabbalah)

Sometimes, we’re of two minds about making needed adjustments, or facing the inevitable changes, in our lives. We may desire something new, or recognize an inevitability, and yet, at the same time, resist it. But, resistance is exhausting. It’s simply not a good way to manage our energy, because the energy tied up in anxious thoughts, denial, judgment, fear or attachment—all forms of resistance—is not available to create with. Like wanting to sail your boat while dropping anchor, or driving with the parking break on, it requires more energy than we have to move ahead.

If you find that you are frequently exhausted by life, check in with yourself to see how you are using your energy. What are you focusing your attention upon? Are you putting your energy into resistance?

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we feel toward pursuing it. (Steven Pressfield)

When any form of resistance arises, you may wish to use the Death Arrow Ceremony, described below, to assist you in releasing it. I hope this ceremony helps you to be the river, flow with the changes, and move in greater harmony with the energy of life.


The death arrow ceremony is a shamanic ritual to release and transform negative energy. Begin by using your intention to open a sacred space. Next light a sacred fire (or, if in an apartment or hotel room, light a candle). Focus your mind on what it is you wish to let go of, feel it in your body, and see it in your mind. Then use your breath to blow the energy of what needs to be released into a stick (or a match) and offer it to the fire, which will transform it. The stick (or match) is called a “death arrow” because it represents the death of an old part of your self. When finished with the ceremony, remember to thank spirit and close sacred space. Also remember that ritual and ceremony are ways for us to access the non-linear part of our selves and to focus our intention. It is your intent that is most important.

Tags: ceremony, change, release, resistance, ritual

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