Are you a Rock Dweller or a River Surfer? – The Parable of the Rock Dweller and River Surfer

Once upon a time there was a city of rock dwellers whose way of life was to cling to the rocks on the bottom of a river. As the current washed over them daily, lacking confidence and self awareness, they held on for dear life making sure to keep clinging so as not to be washed away by the current. So fearful were they of the river that they clung tightly making sure that all their children learnt how to cling on for dear life too.

Until one day, one of the rock dwellers decided that he was tired of this way of life and it was time for him to seek his own enlightenment and he announced he was going to let go of the rock to see which way the current of the river would take him. The Rock-Dwellers beseeched him, “Don’t be so stupid. You’ll be killed” and “The river will wash you away” and “You’ll be dashed on the rocks – you cannot predict where the river will take you” and ” do you think you can be so arrogant as to think it won’t happen to you?”psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, counselling

The barrage of warnings were very persuasive. They were right: he didn’t know where the river would take him. He could be killed. But so tired was he of dwelling on the rocks he had often wondered what would happen if he let go. Yet, in the face of great objection, resolute and determined, he decided to ignore their warnings, and being as assertive as he could with them he announced that he would take his destiny into his own hands intending to let go.

And as he did, he was dashed on the rocks; at times he thought he wouldn’t survive. At times the current took him round rough corners, through shallow waters with sharp rocks and he doubted the wisdom of his actions. However, as the minutes and hours passed, slowly the current raised him up and he started to be able to survey the watery rock dwellers clinging onto their rocks below.

Freedom & Confidence

And the sense of freedom and confidence that he had and the sense of empowerment as he flowed over the city was intense. And as he sensed a new spiritual awakening he realised what was and what wasn’t important. And as he passed they looked up in awe to see someone who was riding the waters seemingly untouched by hardships and life’s lessons. “Oh how we wished we could do that”, they said now.

But he knew just how much self awareness and tenacity he’d had to develop to let go and live the way of the River Surfers and not the Rock Dwellers. He knew it was precisely because of his hardships negotiating the rocks and twists of the river that he could soar so apparently effortlessly now on the river. And he vowed he would show others how they could, in turn, learn to flow with life: stopping only to negotiate his biggest obstacles but allowing all others to flow on by. This life changing decision had shown him how simple it had been, once committed, to tread the path of his own self development.

Which Are You?

So I wonder if you’re a River Surfer or a Rock Dweller? And are you brave enough to come and learn with me the way of the River Surfer?  Subscribe to my newsletter above right and join my movement of enlightened integrative therapists, combining psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and counselling, and watch out for CPD opportunities. Pulling strands of excellence together into one therapeutic approach. (Story originally from Richard Bach’s, ‘Illusions’).