Stepping Stones

by Carol Hansen

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat"


One of the stepping stones that has changed the way I "do" my life came to me by way of a series of tapes by Wayne Dyer entitled "Real Magic." He recalls a time when he was in the swimming pool with his 4-year-old daugher singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." He suddenly realized that this was a very metaphysical nursery rhyme. Paraphrasing Wayne, he says, "Row, row, row YOUR boat, (notice it doesn't say your spouse's boat, or your children's boat, or your neighbor's boat... it says, YOUR boat), GENTLY (do the work of rowing but do it easily, don't struggle), DOWN the stream (notice it doesn't say to go UP stream or against the current, it stresses that the direction is DOWN the stream, staying in the flow). Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a dream (isn't it?)."

That little parable made me look at how I "do" my life. In the past, when things got tough and became a real struggle, I would dig in my heels and push harder (or row harder!). Life, after all, was a struggle. That is what I had always been told. ("The harder you work, the more rewards you reap.") Wayne Dyer made me rethink my position. He is saying that life is supposed to be easy. Could that possibly be true? Well, I decided to give it a try. After all, what did I have to lose... the joy of rowing up stream? Now whenever anything in my life becomes a struggle, I take it as a sign that perhaps it's time to change direction... and I do!

What a change that little shift has made in my life! It's actually fun "not to struggle." My rewards have been great and life has truly become a dream.