‘No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he is not the same man.’
While there may be debate around what exactly Heraclitus intended by these words, it is probable that most interpret them as a description of how we are constantly in flux, moving and changing in Life – just as a river does.
Rivers flow, expand, contract, flood, dry up, run energetically, are still and quiet, offer up images of reflection and so much more. Similarly, each of our daily lives are filled with constant moments of change; each providing the opportunity to discover and engage with a different part of ourselves.
Although not a believer in ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, I do embrace the brief pause for reflection that is offered up by saying goodbye to the ‘old’ and welcoming in the ‘new’ as a new year dawns. The freshness of the upcoming year allows one time to reflect on the journey completed during that now passed and provides space for insight and learning from the good, the not so good and the indifferent – all of which gives us the necessary to choose the most suitable road for the onward journey over the next 12 months.
It is this reflection and these ‘annual’ conscious choices that make up the flow of the river of our lives. And while we may choose ‘more of the same’ the simple truth is that the coming year cannot be lived in exact replication of the last. We cannot ‘step in the same river twice’, nor should we want to in seeking and engaging with our best life.
Whatever choices you make for 2016 and whatever road is signposted with your name on it, consider the pause this time of year allows in asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I living with purpose?
- Am I living with passion?
- Does the journey along this road align with my purpose and passion?
- What needs to change – and am I committed to making those changes?
- What must be done to allow my river of life to flow in the manner I seek?
New Year’s Resolutions are all too often merely dreams of ‘turning over a new leaf’, with numerous finite outcomes attached to specific goals. Conscious action born out of insight and reflection however is something completely different. It is driven from within and the only ‘outcome’ is that of allowing the river of your life to flow as fully as you make possible.