I just returned from a trip to the American River, I realized that white water rafting is quite like life. Below are the lessons that I feel best apply to enjoying the journey of life.
1. Have a guide – either someone who’s run the rapids before, or is excellent at reading the river to help you avoid rocks and strong currents that could flip your raft or pull you under.
2. The calm spots are far more enjoyable with community.
3. When the wind picks up, if you have many people paddling in unison, you will still move forward. If you are alone, it will take a lot of work and you may not get anywhere or even drift backwards.
4. If you paddle strongly when approaching the rapids you can better position yourself for the optimal ride.
5. Sometimes the best thing to do is lean in and hold on!
6. When the big scary rapid has been passed thorough, when you are exhausted and drenched by waves that seemed determined to swallow your raft – you will feel elated and energized for the experience and look forward to the next one.
7. It is important to celebrate your successes with your raftmates.
8. The rivers are unpredictable; no two are alike and no single is the same each day.
9. In the midst of great mountains, the persistence of water has created amazing rivers with abundance and beauty.
10. Staying in your raft is a challenge sometimes.
11. Bringing a cellphone is a BAD idea!
12. The ride is far more fun if you are fully participating and present.
We are just rafts in the rivers of life – Are you enjoying the ride?