I have rafted and kayaked thousands of miles. As a kid, we rafted the American River in Sacramento, CA each summer. In college, I took canoeing as part of my PE credit courses. And in 1998, my brother and sister-in-law bought me my first kayak (Best. Present. Ever.). I was hooked and kayaked obsessively from then on.
It was taking a few extended whitewater rafting trips with my husband, though, that taught me some real lessons about being like water and learning to go with the flow.
In my book “Make Some Room: Powerful Life Lessons Inspired an Epic 16-day Colorado River Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon” I learned how to be bold and brave 14-second at a time as we ran the river. The rafting trip through Grand Canyon was HARD. It was work. And the rapids – they were bigger than anything I had ever imagined. Those rapids helped me learn to conquer my fear of whitewater. I still have enormous respect for it, but I am not mind-numbingly terrified any longer.
Last year, my husband and I did a solo trip of the entire French Broad River that begins in Rosman, North Carolina and ends at Lake Douglas in Tennessee. It took us 13 days and we covered 149 self-supported miles. On that trip, my husband taught me a lot about reading the water. More often than not, he’d say, “Just watch where most of the water goes. Let the river carry the raft and don’t fight it. Just go with the flow.”
You don’t need to do an epic whitewater trip to see the flow. Next time it rains, go outside and watch the water flow down your driveway. See where it goes and why. Connect with the fluidity and simplicity. It’s the same in your body. It can be the same in your life.
When you don’t fight what wants to happen, life can carry you sweetly along.