On the 1st of January 2001 I wrote a note to God. ‘Dear God, I am ready to unravel the mysteries of life. Teach me and I will teach others.’
This note wasn’t planned or even thought out. I was busying myself around the house when it simply arrived in my consciousness. I just said yes to the impulse, grabbed pen and paper and wrote it down. I still have that scribbled note in my papers, and looking back I see that this was a holy moment. We all have them. They take place when we align ourselves to our Soul. Sometimes that alignment happens by grace and other times by personal choice, however if we say a full yes to a holy moment it takes our lives to a new level in remarkable way, and that’s exactly what happened to me.
At the time I was living in Cape Town running a business in motivational training. By April of that year, the note long forgotten, I was getting ready to attend a friend’s wedding up country. Just before I left I ran a disciplinary process at the office. I found this extremely difficult and the incident left me upset, confused and drained. I left town with a clear awareness that some things needed to change and now was the time.
Fortuitously my short vacation gave me space to take stock of my life, in particular the amount of mental, emotional and physical energy I was putting in to keep my business going. I started asking myself, and God, why it was that I was always pushing myself way beyond what was healthy – working too hard, too long with not nearly enough rewards. I remember a moment of absolute clarity in my hotel room when I wrote on a piece of yellow post-it note “no more push-push, I want to be in the flow.”
No more push push! Gosh, how those words changed things. They became my mantra and without realising it they were God’s first answer to my New Year note. I had started to ‘unravel the mysteries of life’ – but the mysteries weren’t the only thing starting to unravel.
In the uptake of business and life skills over the years, I had taken on the notion that if things were going to happen, I was going to have to make them happen. It’s true we do need to be active, but the way I was active was bankrupting me.
I had reached the end of the road, and I became stubbornly determined to turn my back on the push-push model of the past. More than that, I started to formulate the concept of going beyond no more push-push – I wanted life to work for me, not me for it. I wanted to achieve more success with less work. I irrationally, completely and utterly believed such a model was possible, and still do.
I remember years ago marvelling at a friend whose life just flowed along with ease. Good things just came his way not once, but repeatedly. Over dinner one day he described how his most recent and highly lucrative deal had come about. He had been on holiday in the USA, and in the middle of a party no less, had received a call from a client giving him an order – at which point he decided that party time should go on hold for a while. Imagine that! No hectic sales cycle beforehand, no wheeling and dealing on price – a simple one way flow of money towards him. It was this type of flow I was aiming to bring alive in my life. No more push-push for me. Riding the river was the only way I was going to live.
Over the next few days as I seeped myself in these ideas and possibilities, and the concept of living in the flow magically transformed into compelling images. In my mind’s eye I saw myself opening my wings and taking flight. I felt myself lift off the earth, rising slowly. I saw the landscape below. The spot where I had been standing for so long was next to a river. I realised that I had had to push because I was on the wrong river.
The image took me higher and higher as the experience deepened. From this higher vantage point I could see so far that there were many rivers down below me, covering many miles. I had a profound realisation of the many options that lay before me, and that now was the time to choose. But this time there was no way I was choosing from my own limited mind space. I reached up, to a wiser source, within-without, asking “show me the right river, one where life can flow to me”. Every day this imagery would play out, every day I would take a verbal stand ‘no more push-push, show me the right river’.
I decided to put a stop to any aspects of my life where I had to push too hard – and my office was culprit number one. At the time I employed two lovely ladies, one of whom supported her family through her job. I had also signed a lease for my office space.
This brought up a significant moral dilemma. How could I cut loose and still act in an honourable way? Moreover how could it be that I could continue supporting myself and my children by doing less work? The answer was only 24 hours away.
When I walked back into the office next day the first thing I was told was that the landlord had given all the small tenants immediate notice to vacate. Wow! First problem solved before I had put my briefcase down! The next development came hot on the heels of that news. The staff member who was supporting her family came to me very upset and worried, explaining that she was exhausted with the amount of travelling involved in getting to work each day and that she had just found a job round the corner from her home. She wanted to leave immediately! Wow, yet another major obstacle merely swept away without me doing a thing. I was learning about the power of riding the river and it was amazing, exhilarating and, to be honest, left me a little breathless.
I often think how the two bits of news could have had quite the opposite effect on me if I not gone through the process of repositioning my thinking. Imagine if I had stuck rigidly to my business plan in spite of all the things that were happening in and around me? When I arrived in the office it would have felt like everything was collapsing around me. What an exhausting experience that would have been. And that’s what happens to many people. The holy moments come but they let them go by without grabbing them, saying a full YES. That’s how we lose our way and start wandering up a dry river bed of lifeless living, completely off our true life path and pushing like crazy.
But this was just the beginning. What followed in the days, weeks and months was miraculous. In fact my entire life path changed completely as a consequence. A whole stream of ideas which previously I would have dismissed out of hand, became concrete possibilities, which I now entertained with seriousness. For the first time in my life business started to come to me. I received surprise calls and requests for my services that ended in no hassle commissions.
By June of that year my office was closed and I was a one woman business again working from home. I decided to take the month off to write about this notion of riding the river. On the first day I sat down at my desk with not the foggiest idea of what I was going to write about. But as I started to type it felt like a funnel opened above my head and ideas flowed into my fingers. Soon I was typing about things I had never thought of before, never knew of. Most surprising of all was that I was writing about the Soul and Spirit. To be honest I can’t say that many of the words this book are fully mine, they just came through me. They have a life of their own and when times are tough for me I take time out to read this book again. It never ceases to inspire me. I often think I wrote it for myself – and probably did!
At the end of the month of writing I had yet another chance to experience the miraculous power of living the riding the river way. As month end approached I looked at my bank balance and realised I was seriously short. I needed another R18,000 to pay my bills. With this realisation the river bubble burst and I felt a jolt of fear. My first reaction was to reach for my sales file and the phone, thinking I should start doing some calling around to find business. But has my hand hovered over the phone the idea came to me ‘what about trying out these concepts that you have just written about?’
And so I sat down and did the Spirit circle meditation that I had been shown by my Soul, and which I write about later in the book. I spent half an hour doing this and then went back to writing with a deep sense of peace. A few days later I received a call from an agent who I had met four years prior when I first opened my business. We had swapped details and agreed he would market my courses and talks. However nothing had ever transpired and we hadn’t even spoken for two years. So out of the blue here he was calling me. He asked me if I was still in the training business and if I was available to do some work for one of his clients immediately. Was I available? Oh joy! Yes! Within days I had seen his client and agreed to run a three day programme for their sales team. Guess how much I ended up invoicing? You got it – R18,000!
Now that’s the perfect example of the manifesting power of Ride the River, and the less work and more rewards it can bring. Riding the River is about right action. It’s not about doing nothing. I worked for my R18,000, but I worked with the moment in a way that let the magic of life help me. And that’s what riding the river is all about. We can all get there. And this little book offers the exact formula for doing it. It also tells you about the pit falls and things to avoid.