As I was about to begin the outline for chapter five of my book, the stream became cloudy while I was standing in its flow. I lost my presence.
Allowing some fear to enter my consciousness, I focused on the uncertainty of my future. My fifty-fifth birthday had passed by just five days earlier. This must have been a trigger in this unproductive glance ahead. It seems I have always struggled with the in-between birthdays; thirty-five, forty-five and now the double nickel.
This momentary lapse into the uncertainty of the future totally halted my progress and experience as a wader. This is dangerous. To remove myself from the cloudy flow, I had to refocus in the present. We get out of these frightening predicaments one step at a time. If we attempt to wade out with fearful attention on the distant bank, we may be found downstream by some other unfortunate wader after the cloudiness has faded.
If we remain fixed on the fear, it will drain us of hope. The cloudiness not only hindered my purpose, it attacked my confidence. To shield my hope I must know when to step out and when to simply not step in. The stream clears because it stays focused on its purpose. And so it is with me.
Purpose is a commitment to self. This is not a one-time act. It is a perpetual process. Commitment also dictates my continual care to wade responsibly. Being caught in the fear of a cloudy flow distracts me from my purpose. If distracted from my purpose I block the flow and restrict the selfless manifestation of my leadership, influence and service.
Whether or not I can see the bottom, there is joy in the stream. Finding that joy, I am brought yet again back to my purpose; and back into the present.