Flow like the River

By Jennifer Dodge
August 2022

We are entering August in the Northeast. The weather is hot and humid, and often dry, so many of us are drawn to wade into the cool and relaxing flow of the nearby rivers. The intense rushing waters of spring have calmed into a gentle flow.

As a child I used to spend hours with my siblings, moving stones and trying to make deeper pools by damming up the shallow parts of the river near my grandmother’s house. Eventually, the pressure behind these stone walls of river rocks would build up and knock down the wall that we had spent so much time and energy building. The water would continue on its way, as if we had never been there.

The river teaches us about flow. There are places where the flow is rapid, and others where the flow is slow, or even places where the water gets diverted out of the flow entirely and sits in stagnant pools. Flooding occurs when there is excess rainwater or obstacles preventing the natural flow.


Why is it important to think about flow?

One reason is that in some traditions, the human spiritual energy system is conceptualized as light that flows like water through the body. This energy is referred to as Chi (or prana), which means, “breath” or “life force energy”.

The flow of this energy can be compared to a river. Chi can be likened to the water in a river. The river, or path, the Chi takes through the body is called a meridian. Places where Chi gathers in swirling pools before moving on into another river (Meridian), is called a Chakra.

There are many modalities that focus on moving Chi. Acupuncture, Reiki, Tai chi, and Qi Gong, are just a few examples. Yoga poses, meditations and visualizations are often used to open and clear energetic blocks.

Why is there such a devoted focus on the flow of energy within our bodies?

The importance of flow is based in the belief that if energy becomes blocked it, that triggers physical, mental, or emotional imbalance. That imbalance, over time can manifest physically into disease, similar to water that stagnates and breeds harmful bacteria because the water isn’t moving.

Flow is important in our spiritual, physical, and mental processes- and they are all interconnected. If stuck energy causes imbalance or disease, it follows that release of those blocks leads to healing.


How do we release?

Let the river teach you. Observe. Open yourself to the abundant wisdom nature has to offer. Listen. Here are a couple of the pieces of river wisdom I’ve observed.

Water flows

Ruminating, or having constant and repetitive thoughts, is an example of mental or emotional stuck-ness. The motion of water in a river sweeps things away. Nothing stays stuck for long. Why not use the wisdom of the river to help your thoughts flow?

As each thought flows in, imagine gently releasing it, and setting it afloat in the river. Watch as it drifts away like a leaf with the current. Repeat the same process for the next thought. And the next. You can use this visualization for as long, or as often as needed to help your thoughts flow.


Water Dissolves & Cleanses

Mud can get you really stuck if you sink too deep in the muck. However, if you were to throw a handful of mud into the river it might fog up the water momentarily, but soon it would dissolve and dissipate into many tiny particles that are rapidly carried away by the flow. River wisdom can take care of your energetic muck in the same way.

Imagine you are laying in gentle stream. The stream is made of light flowing down gently from source toward the top of your head. It washes down through your body. With each breath that you take, it relaxes you and releases any tension, pain, or negativity from your mind and body. The light gently releases energy where it is stuck and dissolves blocks. As the blocks dissolve, they dissipate and disappear. Washed out of you and away by the river.


What other wisdom does the river carry for you? Go to the river and ask. Observe. Listen.

Relax & Release at the River Meditation:

Relax, Release, and ground yourself with the help of river energy, and a calming guided meditation that will help your energy to flow freely. Join me on Sunday, August 7th at 9am at the Huntington River. Click here for more information or to register.  Preregistration is required.

Schedule a session with me if I can support you in learning to connect with the wisdom of nature! Or email me with questions.

Photo credit: Joanne Delabruere & Jennifer Dodge