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Let Go, Get Unstuck, and Use the Power of the River

Let Go, Get Unstuck, and Use the Power of the River
This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Meditate

The river is shallow at this point. Shimmy off the rock and float.

It’s OK, it’s all adventure down there. It’s the unknown, yes, but it’s the “good unknown” if that’s a thing.

Oh wait, it is a thing.

It’s waiting for you.

You just have to get unstuck and get down there.

No rush, but you need to let the river take you.

It’s early Sunday morning. I’ve already had a terrific start to the day. In fact, just the idea that I used the word “terrific” (which directly comes from Holden Caulfield) is already a token of what’s to come.

If you’re wondering (because I would be…) how I got to this clear and powerful mental state, there’s a recipe that’s simple to follow. Not always easy if you’re not used to it, but simple.

  1. Skip dinner.
  2. Go to bed as early as possible. For me, it was 8:30 PM. (Thanks to action #1, you’ll sleep more deeply, need less of it, often have more vivid and memorable dreams, and you’ll wake up early, more refreshed, and ready to tackle the day.)
  3. Wake up early.
  4. Pee. (Hey, we’re keeping it real.)
  5. Drink a full glass of water.
  6. Do your favorite meditation. (If you’re up earlier than normal, I’d recommend doing one of your favorite longer meditations. One of my favorites is 1 hour and 13 minutes. Yep, super long. This morning I did a “Morning Meditation” and then the “Evening Meditation” both from Joe Dispenza.
  7. Create. Whether it’s writing, taking notes, scribbling something down, sketching, drawing, singing, writing music, recording your voice (story, notes, anything), or painting a picture, you need to let out, get out what came to you during the meditation.
  8. Move. Walk, run, cycle, get out of the house.
  9. Thank yourself, thank the morning, bless your day. Don’t skip this part.

That’s it. There’s my big secret.

Now, where were we? Oh yes, on the river.

There’s much talk about “crossing the river of change.” I’ve crossed that river (he says with bravado yet also with a modest wink of “no, really, it’s not such a big deal–there are bigger deals ahead”).

The goal is not to cross the river but to get into the inner tube and let the current take you downstream.

— Bradley Charbonneau

Yes, I’m saying stuff and then quoting myself. Try it, it’s fun.

Speaking of fun, I just got up to make a chai and realized I was dancing in the kitchen.

I don’t think I’ve danced in the kitchen for a few months. I’m fully rocking out to Deva Primal (“Tumare Darshan“) and tears form in my eyes. They are both tears of joy for the future and tears of sadness because:

I miss my mom.

I realized only when I sat down to write this that it’s been exactly two months since I last posted here. The last thing I posted was “Goddamn Attitude.”

I have barely written since then.

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that’s very unlike me. Yet, there are changes ahead. Big changes. I don’t know exactly what they are, but it’s time to let go and flow down the river and experience them.

Which leads me to my dream/meditation this morning.

It’s only 7:30 AM now but I woke up at 5:00 and did two back-to-back 20-minute meditations. During one of them, I had a clear vision of me in an inner tube on a river.

The water was very shallow and my inner tube was stuck on something on the bottom of the river bed. If you’ve ever been on an inner tube in a river or white water rafting in a boat, you know you’re supposed to jump up and down to shake yourself free.

You can shimmy side to side (I also just like the visual of “shimmying”) and bounce and eventually if the water isn’t too shallow and you aren’t too stuck, you’ll break free.

I’m here to tell you:

  1. The water isn’t too shallow.
  2. You aren’t too stuck.
  3. You’ll break free.

Now remember, this is during my meditation and lots of stuff can happen during a meditation–which is why I love doing it every single morning.

My mom is next to me although I can’t see her. Her voice is crisp and clear. She’s younger. She says, “Let go.”

If you’re new here, my mom passed away recently. Although if I were to count, it’s almost two months. Wow. I miss her and often don’t quite understand or realize or grasp that she’s no longer here.

If she’s not “here” then where is she?

She’s apparently hanging out in inner tubes on rivers!

I take her “Let go.” to mean let go of her.

You see, after she passed away, my sister Leah and I spent the next 6 weeks constantly busy with admin, paperwork, licenses, forms, signatures, and if you never have to learn what a Medallion Signature Guarantee is, lucky you.

But it’s been almost two months now.

My dear friend said I should take one year to process the passing of my mom. I like that.

Back on the river, I felt I didn’t want to get unstuck. I wanted to stay stuck there in the tube and not go anywhere.

I think I just didn’t want to let go of my mom. (I’m now crying as I write this.)

She asked me to trust her and she put her hand on my inner tube. It seemed at this point that she was in her own inner tube next to me. I couldn’t see her clearly although I could see the hand on my inner tube. If you’ve ever been inner tubing on a river, this is one way to go downstream together: just hold onto each other’s inner tubes.

There’s adventure ahead. The unknown is just up around the next bend. Mom knows I’m safe, she knows I’ll not only “be OK with it” but will relish in it, enjoy it, share it, bring others along for the ride, and be glad we just got started.

Which is what she’s asking me to do: get started again. Let go.

We’re at a different part of the river. I’ve never been here before. Both of my parents are now gone. Yet they’re here. In some ways, they’re closer than they’ve ever been.

They’re right here next to me in inner tubes floating down the leisurely river. There might be some rapids ahead (I hope so!), there will be some quiet parts, but most of it will be unknown and gloriously joyful.

Damn. “Gloriously joyful.”

Yep, that’s where we’re heading. That’s where mom is guiding us.

It’s time to let go.

It’s just that part of the river. We’re still on the river, it’s the same river. It’s really long (thank God).

She’s guiding me. She’s got me. I’ve both let go and held on tight at the same time.

We’re heading downstream. We don’t even have to paddle–yet we can if want to go faster. It doesn’t cost us energy, it provides it.

Let go, hold on, get unstuck.

Here we go.

Above is the voice mail I just left my sister. I probably shouldn’t share such personal things but we could also add this step to the list above: share something you’ve learned or discovered or stumbled upon this morning.

You don’t need to go this alone. Yes, you’re meditating alone but then it’s OK–it’s encouraged–to share your experiences with someone who “vibrates on the same energy level” as you do.

If you think you don’t have people on your same level, find some. Here are some.

Use the power of the current.
Use the power of the current. [ Photo by Klara Kulikova on Unsplash ]
Series Navigation<< 1 hour and 13 minutes of delirious decision makingRepossible | Meditations | The Attic | and Two Methods to Monetize Audio >>


  1. Leah Dines

    Thank you Brad! I could picture it all so clearly. If you could only make the print larger as the story goes on so I could read through my tears, that would be great 😘


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