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Be the River

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 are 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)

We may be holding on to the past or to an old story. We may be of two minds about making needed adjustments, or facing the inevitable changes, in our lives. We may desire something new, or recognize an inescapable circumstance, and yet, at the same time, resist it.

Resistance is exhausting. It is simply not a good way to manage our energy, because the energy tied up in anxious thoughts, denial, judgment, fear or attachment 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, 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 rumination, overthinking, avoidance, struggle, or another form of resistance?

When resistance arises, do not struggle with it. 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.

“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)


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 fire (or, if in an apartment or hotel room, light a candle). Focus your mind on what it is you wish to release, feel it in your body, and see it in your mind. Give thanks for what it has taught you or how it kept you safe. Then use your breath to blow the energy of what you wish to release 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 a lifeless aspect of yourself. When finished with the ceremony, thank spirit and close sacred space. Remember that ritual and ceremony are ways for us to go beyond the ordinary mind, or default mode network of the brain, which tries to keep you safe. Ritual also helps to focus your intention. It is your intent in performing a ceremony that is most important.


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