Canoes and Mindset

in the lake looking out the bow of a canoe towards the sunset

When I lived in California in the late 1990s, I attended business networking events to promote my career counseling practice. I sat in at many networking luncheons and had many lovely conversations with new people. We all nearly always left inspired, and I enjoyed it very much.

One time as conversations simmered down and we prepared to part ways, someone said to me, “Have you heard of Esther Hicks?” I said that I hadn’t met her yet, and I asked more about her and why they brought her up. The person responded with what Esther and Jerry Hicks were all about and stated that I sounded like Esther when I talked about positive mental attitudes, inspiration, and hope. That seemed like a nice thing to say, but when the person explained what Esther did in her public speaking appearances, I freaked out and didn’t give it another thought.

But then Esther Hicks was brought up to me again and again over six months. That was my cue to pay more attention. Once something comes into my life more than a couple of times, I take that as a cue to check into it further. I consider that a type of intuitive guidance.

So I looked Esther Hicks up and gave her a fair shot. Once I got beyond the strangeness of what Esther did on stage, I took to listening in periodically over the years. In retrospect, I probably got all I needed to hear the first time I heard her speak.

The first idea that I heard from Esther is about being in your canoe, letting go of the paddles, and just laying back and resting in your canoe as you float downstream. The underlying idea is to trust the river to take you to experiences you will enjoy. That image resonated with me. I was tired of striving, and I knew floating happily down the river thanks to tubing the Illinois during my childhood.

I instantly felt substantial relief in my body, my intuition pinged, and I knew this idea was what I needed. To this day, I still do a mini-meditation where I picture and feel myself floating downstream whenever I’m grounded and aware enough to realize that I’ve been trying too hard.

For me, trying too hard is a surefire way to self-sabotage. My dad and coaches used to tell me that as a teen. They encouraged me to feel the play unfolding because, I know now, they appreciated the brilliance they saw from me when I just flowed with it and didn’t overthink or try too hard. When I was at my best, I was an intuitive athlete. Little did I know that my angels were trying to teach me something fundamental even way back then.

When I heard about letting your canoe go downstream rather than fighting the current to head upstream all those years later, it clicked into place.

As Esther said, “There’s nothing that you want upstream.” To me, that means that upstream there is only more paddling, struggle. I don’t want to struggle. I want to flow.

I have been welcoming much more joy in my life as I’ve remembered to let go of the oars, and this I appreciate.

Let Go and Be Well

pair of hands releasing group of butterflies towards the sky

Letting go of painful, sad, hateful, or otherwise harmful thoughts that make you feel bad is a skill that is developed with practice and intention.

Drop the negativity by talking yourself out of it and moving your focus to people, ideas, and topics you enjoy.

Use your “inside your head” voice to soothe yourself away from painful thoughts by zooming out to a bigger picture, giving the benefit of the doubt, or distracting your focus onto something else entirely.

Carefully choosing what inputs from the environment you allow into your day is the next step. The better you want to feel, the less you allow toxic news and propaganda streams to enter your focus. Doing this will clear the way for more positivity in your life.

Sensitive people (and we are all more sensitive than we think) can easily get caught up in feeling bad for others. Sensitive people may not even realize that they have put the poor, sick, or weak in their focus in a way that makes them feel bad too. Remember: you can’t help others by feeling weak yourself.

Making your mental health a priority is done with these types of mindset strategies. When you understand that what you think about affects the way you feel, it becomes clear the benefit of exercising mental discipline to lay the groundwork for feeling well most of the time.

When you embrace your wellness, you truly become a powerful force for good in the world. First, you learn to uplift yourself, and then you will uplift others simply by continuing to prioritize your own self-development and wellbeing. At that point, you are an example of someone who bravely shines their light.

Shine Brighter with Intuition

a field of sunflowers

We all need beautiful dreams, have outstanding potential, and want lovely experiences to enjoy while alive.

Everyone is sparking with potential! Some people allow themselves to sparkle more than others do. Each of us can bravely shine brilliantly in our unique way. Are you shining brightly? Just being someone who confidently creates their life story is the most powerful thing we all can do to help others do the same.

How can you be more courageous and shine brighter? By staying connected to your intuition. Take a new perspective that enhances life on a daily basis starting now. This perspective will assist you with clarity and great timing and will enhance your life. Life is simply a more fulfilling adventure when connected to intuition.

It’s like intuition is the gateway between body and soul. There is so much more to you than what is only in your body! The rest of you is waiting to assist you through your intuition. Get calm and focus inward. Keep a piece of yourself focused inward as you go through your days. Listen closely and fearlessly. You’ll notice so many more precious moments in life and funny moments too. See yourself in those around you and be open to the messages. You can be a powerfully positive force for good in helping many, including yourself, enjoy life more. That’s intuition at work and play!

With practice, you will learn to tell the difference between mental chatter and intuition. You will understand the power of a calm mind and you will know perfect timing. This new way of staying connected to your intuition will work to your advantage time and time again.