Season: Fall

Permission to Put Down the Oars

By Glenna Wiseman

Imagine you are in the boat of life. Rowing upstream. Revisit the times, probably many times, you have felt you are rowing upstream with only the power of your arms moving the oars through the water. The strain of constant rowing, upstream against the current, against the odds, seemingly without help, wears you down. Frustration builds. Fear and weariness obscure your vision. Nothing enters your awareness but the constant strain of trying, really trying to get to where you want to go, to accomplish what your heart desires.

Now imagine releasing your grip, opening your hands, and gently putting the oars down. Not in frustration. Not in fear, but in trust. There is a moment of stark awareness. Now what will happen? If I’m not rowing so hard to get to where I want to go, what will happen?  The ego heightens.  It calls out to you to act. Stop. Pick up the oars. Row faster, harder, longer. You will not get to your destination without effort, constant and relentless action, says the ego.

If you can still the mind for a moment a sense of calm curiosity might enter. What now? I’ve put the oars down, what will happen next? Sitting in this moment you take a deep breath. You awaken to the moment as it is. I’m in my boat, you might say. I’m on the water. It is now gently taking me downstream. How can what I want be downstream, you might ask? I was going upstream.      

In the act of putting down your oars, you have the opportunity to open to new possibilities, to allowing grace to act in, through and as you. What if the current could take me to the peace, joy, abundance and kind of life I want to live? What if all the energy of striving for, trying to make things happen, and believing we must “do it all” were released? Released to a higher vibration of joy and goodness. What if that vibration matched the vibration of what we want to experience? 

There is a place for activity. On the periphery of our lives, the edges of our consciousness, Ernest Holmes the founder of Science of Mind, said is the fulfilling activity of our rich consciousness.  I’m not suggesting we give up all activity, sit on a log in the woods and chant all day. Although there are days that might seem like heaven on earth.

What I am suggesting is we take a moment and feel into those areas of our lives where we are falsely depending on our own effort. The moments where we are working against the flow, not trusting Life and thinking we are singular agents of change. We are connected and part of the vast knowingness and wonder of Life Energy. We are agents of change, working with Life, not against It. Thus, we become our own best advocates.

Putting down the oars, as a wondrous friend of mine with whom I connected during my InnerMBA studies suggested, gives us an opportunity to bask in grace. To let the current of the water, a metaphor for Source, take us in ease and grace to the place along the shore where bliss awaits. 

One of the opportunities in this letting go moment is to know we are blessed, to feel and sense joy, to feel the sunshine, the breeze, to revel in the beauty and wonder of life. Release the fear, shame, expectation, even desire driving our actions and know what we seek, seeks us. Life is on our side. Breath. Deeply. Sense and feel grace. Enjoy the buoyancy of the water gently supporting us. Always.  


With thanksgiving I gently release the oars on my boat. Wisdom and discernment allow me to know this is the moment to float. I have called forth and affirmed my good. My word is magnetizing the good I wish to experience. In this moment, I know all is well. I give thanks for the blissful moment of floating and join with Life to see and celebrate the beauty and wonder around me. 
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