I had a dream that I was standing at the center of my own huge ship sailing upstream when it came to a complete stop. Looking over the side of the boat, I discovered the river had nearly dried up. Only a muddy bed remained.
Suddenly, the boat bucked forward and began moving sluggishly ahead. One of the male crew members had jumped out, forcing the boat into motion.
I yelled for him to stop pushing and confidently declared, “We will wait for the river to fill up again!” The crew and I then proceeded deep into the belly of the ship, where we gathered around banquet tables to spend the time nourishing ourselves with wine, bread and intimate conversation.
If we fine tune our awareness, life will guide our movement like the river. There will be seasons when things have clearly moved on inside us yet nothing rushes in to fill the space. We may have no clear picture of where or how to move next. Life invites a deep bellied pause, a contemplative in-breath and a movement back to the center where we can revise or recommit to our chosen path.
Handling the gap between what has been and what is coming can be unsettling. It requires faith. I have witnessed myself many times and in many arenas of my life forcibly pushing the boat up an empty river bed, in fear that something was amiss in the stillness.
I have learned to heed the river’s cues and in such times commit to nourishing myself on the deepest levels, while holding council with ‘the crew’ inside me.
My willingness to contend with emptiness, to question everything I know and change course if necessary, strengthens me. So much can be moved and clarified in the empty space.