A tale of two rivers

Although I’ve never lived on a river, I’m pretty sure I was born pushing them.

When I wasn’t in denial.

There is a middle way. Somewhere between denial and pushing.

Or so I’ve heard. My yoga teacher says it’s right between the last little bit of exhale and the first little bit of inhale.

Sounds awfully small.

Denial is a much larger country.

It’s especially easy to identify in others and there are lots of applications – cosmetic surgery anyone? Italian sports cars? Gambling? Thigh-Masters? Trophy wives? (“I heard he's got a mansion on the banks of a river in Egypt.”)

We’ve seen how denial is part of the cycle of addiction and that we’re vulnerable to substances and experiences that alter our basic biology. And once the chemistry is set in motion, the mind follows with whatever story fits.

Enough human wreckage to keep several related industries in revenue for years.

Denial is big. We’re all attuned to the shape shifting, life rutting, reality TV, phenomenon of denial.

The other river exists between our ears.

Balancing on the pinhead of duality, our little monkey mind is constantly playing the game “this and not that”. Down is not up. White is not black. Good is not evil. You get the idea.

And since denial could be considered “not doing”, then there is an opposite and equal force in place that is deemed “doing”.

Our hero. Pushing the river.

Forcing whatever situation we're in to a chosen resolution –accomplishments, monuments, legacies, getting the job done, crushing the other guy.

Winning! Lots of adrenaline! High fives all around!

If denial is about what we ignore, then pushing the river is absolutely for clinging to outcomes.

We slip on the mental glory robes of identification and write our names proudly on the list of doers.

River pushed. Check. Next river.

Always another river.

Wait a minute.

If we ever pause between victory laps we might notice, isn’t the river already moving?

And consider what happens without pushing?

Are we attached to an outcome and confused our pushing with being right? In charge? All about me?

If denial numbs us to vulnerability, does pushing the river calm us with the illusion of control?

What if our little monkey minds weren’t constantly hopping back and forth between the two?

Did that “pause between the breath” place just get a little bigger?

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