Lay Your Troubles Down By the River

Whether you’re going through a challenging time in life, or have a propensity for feeling down or depressed, nature can be your best medicine.

Last year I went through an abrupt breakup with a man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Things had gotten really dysfunctional between us, so the early days of the transition had felt liberating. It was like I was in the “honeymoon” stage of the breakup.

However, as life unfolded and the pressures of starting life over again without him grew, I found myself feeling overcome with pain. My mind would spin with thoughts of what went wrong, how it could have been different, fears and doubts about myself and my future.

While it’s normal to go through a process of grieving that can include all kinds of emotions from anger, to denial, to fear, to sadness, the way that the mind clings to painful thoughts and interpretations is not helpful.

One evening when I was feeling practically frozen with pain, I was guided to one of my favorite spots in town — a path next to a rushing creek.

I didn’t have an agenda when I arrived, I was just following my intuition which was guiding me to connect with nature — particularly the element of water that is a symbol of purification, healing, and when rushing like a river, is a powerful reminder of letting go.

I would sit at a particular spot for however long, 5–20 minutes and just allow myself to feel whatever was coming up. (In warm times, I might stand with bare feet in the water and visualize the painful thoughts and emotions channeling out of me into the water to be carried away.)

In less than an hour, the healing power of the water works its magic. In place of the negative thoughts and painful emotions, there is a heart opening experience where prayers and intentions can take root.

After I had this profound healing experience by the creek, I made my way back to my car just in time to get invited to a dance event (another favorite healing practice) happening right then a few minutes away. It felt like a blessing confirming the receptivity that I had just achieved through my practice by the water.

As I arrived into the dance, I noticed an unusually slow song was playing. It was “Hallelujah” by MaMuse (listen at https://vimeo.com/67463458) which describes the experience I had just had perfectly:

Hallelujah Lyrics (MaMuse)
Every time I feel this way
This, old familiar sinking
I will lay my troubles
Down by the water
Where the river
Will never run dry
Hallelujah Hallelujah (I’m gonna let myself be lifted, I’m gonna let myself be lifted)
Hallelujah (I’m gonna let myself be lifted)
Bye and bye
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry
It’s been said and I do believe
As you ask so shall you receive
So take from me these troubles
Bring me sweet release
Where the river will never run dry
Hallelujah Hallelujah (I’m gonna let myself be lifted, I’m gonna let myself be lifted)
Hallelujah (I’m gonna let myself be lifted)
Bye and bye
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry
There is a river
In this heart of hearts
With a knowingness
Of my highest good
I am willing
I will do my part
Where the river
Will never run dry
Hallelujah Hallelujah (I’m gonna let myself be lifted, I’m gonna let myself be lifted)
Hallelujah (I’m gonna let myself be lifted)
Bye and bye
I will lay my troubles down by the water
Where the river will never run dry
Where the river
Will never run dry
This river
Will never run dry

Coincidence? Unlikely… I had been guided throughout this experience by an intuitive knowing beyond my thinking mind. The song was confirmation of the universal healing power I had just tapped into.

Since that experience, I’ve starting facilitating EcoSpiritual Coaching sessions supporting people to tap into the healing power of nature and their own greater knowing through walks, sits, reflection and dialog. I’m available 1-on-1 and for groups in Boulder, CO and retreats/intensives around the world.

I chose to become a coach rather than a therapist because I am disillusioned with the mental health paradigm that I see perpetuating pain by labeling people and focusing “treatment” on problem-focused thinking.

It’s healthy to feel pain, “you have to feel it to heal it”, and the best healing goes beyond the mind — engaging body, heart, and spirit to create space for you to set conscious intentions for learning, growth and receptivity.

While nature and spirit are ALWAYS available to support your healing process, I’m here to offer extra support for those who desire it.

Blessings on your healing process!

May you lay your troubles down and let yourself be lifted!