Compassion Connection middle ground Mindfulness New Perspectives

Living the Way a River Flows – or Not

river flows

“I’d love to live the way a river flows carried by the surprise of its own unfolding”

~ John O’Donohue

Me too John. Me too.

When we are healthy and whole, our mind and body is able to adapt and adjust to what daily life brings.

However, sometimes things happen in our past that really shake us up and we feel we have little or no control. For people who have experienced trauma, the body and mind are forever alert, and often keep re-living the experience.

Trauma stays with us. Our bodies becomes sensitive to potential dangers and can be triggered into a fight, flight or freeze response. Our bodies are the holder of the memories that our minds cannot face.

For trauma survivors, the river is a downright scary and dangerous place and they need to find a way to have some control again. They are being blown off course and need help to stay feeling safe.

I am not a therapist, but as a life coach and yoga teacher, I work with some wonderful people who have experienced trauma in their lives. The key is to find their middle ground and center of being. For them, life really is like a pendulum moving from one extreme to an other. Learning to slow down and breathe, pause and reflect, is a powerful and empowering practice.

Thank you to my dear clients for inspiring me to create this blog and to help others find their own middle ground. 💛


40 comments on “Living the Way a River Flows – or Not

  1. And I am so grateful you are inspired to find and share balance in the middle ground here Val!e

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your insightful post Val. I really got the statement ‘Our bodies are the holder of the memories that our minds cannot face.’ Powerful message.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Trauma affects people in so many different ways. The brains of kids who grow up in constant trauma develop differently, and it is a lifelong process to relearn about love and safety. I really believe meditation and modalities like yoga are so helpful, because as you say, the body is the keeper of the memories (often pre-verbal) that the psyche can’t address yet. Thank you for doing the work you do!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Yes. I agree that Mindful awareness, meditation and yoga can be so supportive at a subconscious level … as well as conscious. Thank you Mary from the bottom of my heart 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Being able to relax into the flow of life . . . without getting carried away by the current OR trying to push the stream . . . is BLISS!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very powerful message Val. We can think and believe, that now we have overcome our traumas and then one moment, something will trigger our body and it starts all over again. I believe, it is a life long project to keep our mind and body busy with other things. Here both yoga and meditation can help a lot, also help to release those traumas.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wonderful offering
    of caring, Val 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A flowing river is a good analogy for the stream of events in our life. I often envision floating easily, moving around obstacles, embracing and releasing.
    Thanks for another inspiring post, Val. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Of course. Lots of focus on the natural flow of a river, Val. Wonderful post to relate to overcoming of trauma. So well expressed here. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Val, you always offer your reader a calm place from which we float down stream my friend.. Your gentle reminders, are ripples that go out in all directions.. They catch the sunlight, and reflect back beautiful rainbows of pure wisdom and love.
    Thank you for Being that river..
    Love and Blessings
    Sue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve noticed that even minor trauma can have a lingering effect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does. It’s like it takes seed in a hidden part of ourselves … until we uncover it an realize how it has been impacting our lives. Thank you for sharing in this realization Dan. When we remember this, we can help ourselves and others 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful post, Val. So much truth in it. Many of us find our healing in helping others. The traumas of the past can hold some wisdom for us when we find a safe way (or person) to help us navigate the white water…so that we arrive at the part of the river that is softly flowing. Thank you for this inspirational reminder of who we are and what is possible. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this thought Carrie – Thank you 💛 We are all navigating through our lives. Helping others not only nourishes but can also show us the way through the turbulent times. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s one of my favorite quotes. Unfolding into the unknown, trusting I will arrive where I need to arrive. Your blog is a beautiful flow of wisdom Val ☘✨☘

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your blog and the way you help so many others find their middle ground. And I think the analogy of the river is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rivers and the banks that contain them are wonderful metaphors, Val. So much of nature serves as a teacher for us if we are mindful. I love John O’Donohue – my favorite writer. Thanks for the beautiful quote. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. private i

    This is just so so lovely and I just want to share it broadly. Therefore, I can do be an instrument in delivering the message. The metaphors from nature hold incredible power.

    Liked by 1 person

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