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Like a River I Flow, Making An Obstacle My New Path

Lesson about acceptance, trust and surrender.

On Friday, the 25th of June 2021, when the school bell rang announcing the beginning of winter school holidays, with excitement we hopped into the car to begin our great outback road trip. The road trip had been on the back of our mind for years and eventually the time had come for it to be manifested! What we didn’t know at that time was that it would not all go as we had planned…

On Sunday, the second day into our trip, we got to Birdsville. Birdsville was meant to be our last stop in Queensland before crossing over to South Australia (SA). However, the day we arrived in Birdsville the border to South Australia got closed! Driving beyond mobile coverage for the whole day, we only found out about that latest turn of events late at night. Most of our 16 days holiday was scheduled in SA, including spending time with our friends who lived there… We had been planning the trip for weeks and it looked like it was not going to happen. We were so close, yet so far away. We were sitting on the border, yet unable to cross it. It was devastating and infuriating… South Australia closed the border for all Queenslanders, because of 3 coronavirus cases in Brisbane!!

I felt a cocktail of emotions flooding my being. Anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness, uncertainty, fear, disbelief, helplessness... you name it!

In moments like that, I’m deeply grateful for my practice.

I’m grateful for my practice to help me to be an observer, rather than an unconscious reactor.

I’m grateful for my practice to enable me to sit with the discomfort. Emotion is energy in motions. If I allow it, it will run its course and when it does, I’ll be fine. Feeling the emotion may be scary, but it won’t kill me. I will be fine after it's gone. In fact, I'll also be free from its charge. Suppressed emotion becomes a burden that we carry without even knowing about it.

I’m grateful for my practice to have taught me to let the emotions run through me without consuming me. If I let the emotion run its course without creating a story, I will be free. It’s not the emotion that is dangerous, but the story that we may be attaching to it. It’s important to feel the emotion without getting lost in the story...that’s another gift of my practice that I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful for my practice to keep my nervous system strong, so moments like this don’t deplete me.

I’m grateful for my practice to have taught me how to embrace myself with love in difficult times. To acknowledge my pain and offer myself compassion for having to experience it.

I’m grateful for my practice to help me to trust.

I’m grateful for my practice to give me perspective.

I’m grateful for my practice to trust in the silver lining.

I’m grateful for my practice to have enabled me to be the one who gives meaning to my life experience, so it becomes a source of empowerment and liberation.

I needed to use all those gifts of my practice that night. To accept. To surrender. To not allow the unexpected changes to ruin the long awaited holidays that had only begun.

I let the emotions run through me, but not consume me. I felt it all. It sucked. The reality sucked. But I couldn’t let it keep me sucked for too long. I let myself grieve the holiday that may have been. And let it go. There was no point in fighting reality. I needed to find a way to embrace it. I evoked the gift of water element praying:

Like a river I flow Making an obstacle my new path

I asked for guidance. As difficult as it was, I wanted to believe it was a blessing in disguise and there’s a bigger better plan. So I did.

There was another thing I had to surrender. I was worrying about my husband’s reaction to this situation. It was another unknown. He was under the influence of a similar cocktail of emotions as I was. If he was not able to process the situation, he could fall into the trap of victimhood and being angry or depressed, wanting nothing more than to go back home… that would be painful 3 days in a car… Even the thought of it made me feel nauseous.

Luckily, I learnt I have no control of the reaction / behaviour of others. And that worrying is praying for a future I don’t want. Worrying also depletes me. I didn’t need another source of depletion. In fact, I had to be strong. I needed to look after my energy, so I could attract the new positive solution, but also be able to hold space for the reaction of my children when they find out about the border closure. So I had to let it go. I let go of the worries. Instead I called in trust in my husband. I called in trust in the wisdom of the universe. I called in surrender. I called in trust in our capacity to make the obstacle our new path… I, we, needed to flow like a river, despite being surrounded by desert. Cosmic joke. I had a laugh and went to sleep trusting that morning will grant new perspective and new beginnings♡

Follow me on Instagram @myyogarhythm to check out what happened with the road trip.

Side note: Being able to observe my capacity of dealing with the unexpected and unpleasant situation was a very rewarding experience. It was proof of how far I’d come. How my daily yoga and meditation practice was having a positive ripple effect beyond the yoga mat, into my everyday life. I have not always been able to be so flexible in dealing with change. To let it go and trust in the unknown. I used to be a perfectionist and a control freak. Things had to be perfect and they had to go my way. If they didn’t, I felt like a failure. It’s only now that I can see how sad and disempowering mindset I used to be trapped in… I didn’t want to be a failure, so I fought the reality, wasting my time and energy that I could use for creating it… Or I played a victim, a poor thing, so I could attract support and understanding, and also find something or someone to blame. Little did I know that playing “the poor thing”, projecting my hurt onto an outside other or thing, I was further disempowering myself… I am worthy of love and compassion always and unconditionally. Things don’t always go my way and it’s not a reflection of my worth or a proof that I’m a failure. It’s just life. Shit happens. Being a free, sovereign and conscious creator of my life is the capacity to respond with awareness to the external world. And it comes from within. It comes from my mindset. And it’s up to me what mindset I choose. This is freedom, empowerment and sovereignty that no one can take away from me.

Side note 2: There obviously are more traumatic and life altering events than having one’s holiday affected. What I’m aiming to portray in sharing this particular story is a universal process and mindset that is applicable irrelevant of the type of the experience one is having.

If you want to find our more about living an empowered life, ready my blog How to Reclaim the Power to Write Our Life Story from Love not Fear.

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