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Beauty Tip #9 -“How do you Row Your Boat?”

Posted: November 8, 2009

Woman in Boat-Beautiful mountains

“‘I’m Pulling in My Paddles and Floating Down stream.”

A young, tired woman came to me for and asked for some wisdom. I responded by singing to her this nursery rhyme.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Her mouth fell open and I quickly went on to explain my versionof this simple little song. I gave her the, “no smarter than a third grader” advice and told her it had  to do with one ugly word – should. When women hear the word should , it has almost the same effect as saying “sic’um” to a dog. Immediately we feel the heavy responsibility of what we should do. Then it evokes our subconscious to respond by feeling obligated – not invigorated. It is as though we are struggling, using excess energy  to paddle our boat UP the stream.

Absolutely there are things in our daily routine that we are obligated to do – paying bills, cooking meals, brushing our teeth, taking out the garbage, putting gas in the car, washing our clothes. I am talking about the extra stuff we encounter each day – the endless, overwhelming choices that are part of the over-abundance of our lifestyle in North America.

We glow when we feel invigorated, and it makes us beautiful from the inside out. When we are engaged in activities that are part of the way God designed us, we will feel passion and will use 5 times less energy than when we do things we feel obligated to do.  To feel invigorated, we must choose to row our boat down the stream. That is, learning to work out of our strengths, gifts and abilities that God has given us and learn to move with the flow of life.

Many of us are going into a should season of the year. Christmas evokes one obligation after another; and we wake up most mornings feeling we are paddling upstream. Right now, make an intentional choice to NOT let that happen to you.

To make sure I row my boat down the stream this Christmas I am doing something radical.  I will be throwing away my paddles, sitting back in the boat and floating through the season by not decorating my house at all. I tried it 2 years ago and I was shocked to discover how freeing it was.  Yes, I have a good reason this year – we are going to our daughters for Christmas, but still, it takes the should out of Christmas and I feel invigorated just thinking about going into the season.

I hope that when you run into me this Christmas season, I will be glowing from the inside out. Going with the flow of life is refreshing, stimulating, rejuvenating and feeling fully alive.

Who is you rowing your boat? How are you rowing your boat?

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Obligations and Offenses

0 responses to “Beauty Tip #9 -“How do you Row Your Boat?””

  1. Brian Stiller says:

    My goodness you have a remarkable blog.
    Brian Stiller

  2. Kathryn Lang says:

    I have been on canoe trips where we rowed up stream and where we rowed down stream – same trip two different directions. Down stream is not always easy but it is much easier than upstream.

    I started today with the goal of discovering the question so that I can find the answer. Rowing down steam is one more peace 😀 to the puzzle.

  3. You have a beautiful blog! This is a great post, too! I’m trying to find more time to absorb God’s love and peace and share with others through my poetry. May God always guide our boats in the right direction and be our focus as we row.

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