Your life is like a natural river


Your life is like a natural river. Did you know that rivers as you know them, are not actually there natural state? That first image of a water stream with a clear bank that comes to mind is the result of man-made adjustments over time. We have greatly impacted various river systems around globe. In their natural state rivers tend to have more marshes as banks and the river system is more a web than one stream. Life is viewed by many as 1 path with clear borders while in actuality it is closer to a web of paths interconnecting with each other. 

This web is apparent in many aspects of life. Let’s start with life in a general sense. Looking on a grand scale, life might look like a straight line from birth to death but zooming in you see more and more marshes. The different activities we try out during the years, the different relationships we build over time, and various events that occur. All these different aspects make our life more of a web than a straight line. When we add the life paths of the various people we come in contact with during our lifetime the web becomes even bigger, making the collective look more and more like a river system.

Sometimes we loose sight of this, resulting in various ‘floods’ in our lives. When a river floods it is because the excess water has nowhere to go and thus flows over the banks. In areas where the river is still surrounded by marshes this occurs less. This same principle can be applied to our emotions. Let’s take stress as an example. Stress can occur when we are heavily focussed on one path. And in some cases lead to a burn-out. This can be prevented by having ‘marshes’ along your path. Activities such as going to the gym, scheduling time for activities that fill with you with energy and getting the needed rest. Even rivers rest, sometimes the current is strong and other moments it’s still.

Other aspects of live where the web system shines is our social connections. Sometimes we tend to isolate ourselves and cope with painful issues on our own, and when a ‘flood’ occurs in this state the results can be mentally devastating, this where a social support system can act as a marsh. Friends and family help ease the burden and can take on some the excess emotional ‘water’ and also fill when there is a deficit.

These same principles can apply to specific aspects of your life whether it be business, career or hobbies. The knowledge you gained on various topics feed into that which you are under taking. For example you could have be in the IT sector and knowledge you gained while being an artist somehow seems to help out on a certain project. Or it could be that someone you met at a networking event years ago, just happened to once again cross your path and helps take your business to a new level. 

So remember just as a natural river system is made up of many different streams and marshes, your lives is composed of various influences and experiences that have come together to make you who you are.