Explorations and Reflections

on awakening the true self  in education

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  • Mick Scott

Looking Upstream

We usually allow our kids to swim in streams and creeks. There’s the one on the grandparents’ land, the one in Baltimore, and the few we’ve come across in state parks.


The streams seem clean enough, yet we tell the kids not to drink the water and we make sure they bathe afterward. We have these stream rules because we’re thinking about what’s upstream. Upstream is where the toxins and bacteria enter.


Upstream is where the effects originate, and upstream affects it down here where we are.


Sometimes, we want more peace of mind.

…more courage and confidence.

…more enjoyment and adventure.

…more comfort and security.


We look for those things in this part of the stream of life that we’re in. What can I manipulate about this part of the stream to get me more confidence? What can I do differently in this part of the stream to feel more ease, peace of mind, comfort, and security?


Sometimes we’re frustrated.

…we’re afraid.

…we’re desperate, anxious, or addicted.

…we’re cynical or resigned.


Again, we look around at this part of the stream we’re in and wonder how we got here and how we can get out. Or perhaps we just sit on a rock, think “poor me,” and wish someone would come take us to a different stream with less problems.


We look at the people we’re with, the circumstances of our lives, the situations we’re in, the parenting we received, and we think the problems are here in this part of the stream. Seldom do we look upstream at the nature of these feelings or the nature of the blocks.


Try looking upstream. Not upstream to a prior time and a prior place where we were better. Not upstream to a prior self who was free, confident, and happy. Not upstream to a moment of perfection unspoiled by the overwhelm of today’s life in today’s world.


No, upstream is where we still are free, courageous, confident, and at ease, and we’d be able to experience them more of the time if not for the toxic habits of mind and action that pollute this spot downstream and keeps us stagnating.


Before we believed we were shy, we were self-expressed and confident.

Before we believed we weren’t enough, we were living full-out and excited.

Before we jumped at the scary “what ifs,” we were fearless, curious, and experimenting.


The biggest deception that we’ve bought into is that there’s anything wrong with us at all. You see, we are already perfect - we’ve always been and we always will be. We just haven’t learned to look upstream and gain some control over how we pollute our own experience right here right now.


You, like me, are perfect. The sooner we wake up to it and connect with who we really are upstream of all the challenges of life, the sooner we can get on with living life in all the ways we wish were possible for us.


Thank you so much for reading. ❤️


P.S. Life coaching is one way to get us looking upstream. If you're feeling stuck, trapped, or otherwise caught in a bit of a toxic whirlpool, schedule a free coaching call with me to look upstream together and get free. We'll work some magic.



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