upstream vs downstream

upstream vs downstream

This essay is an excerpt from my book, The Way of The Karma Yogi .

An invaluable insight that I learned from the teachings of Abraham-Hicks is that there is a perennial flow of energy from the Source part of us towards the physical expression of us. This energy flow is analogous to a stream of well-being. When we let this energy flow to us, we go downstream experiencing positive emotions. We are aligned with our Inner Being. This is the state of ‘allowing’. But when we try to paddle upstream against the natural currents i.e. the natural flow of this energy of well-being, we experience negative emotions. We enter the state of ‘resistance’. 

The way of our life is downstream. Things should be easy, effortless and fun for us. If we are experiencing even an ounce of negative emotion, it’s an indicator that we’re going upstream. We are no longer aligned with our Inner Being. Upstream is always tough and requires force. What if we let go of working so hard, and let the Law of Attraction work for us? I am a big-time proponent of the adage: Work smarter, not harder. The funny thing is that when we enjoy doing actions that we align with, we end up working both smarter and harder and the process is overall fun and fulfilling.

In terms of action taking, downstream is doing those actions that make us feel good. When we feel good, life becomes better and we allow magnificent things to come into our life. As Abraham has said, “If you had one goal, and that was to feel good, you would never again need to hear another word from anyone. You would live successfully and happily and in a way of fulfilling your life’s purpose ever after.” We need to evaluate which actions make us feel good and focus our time and energy on doing those actions. We need to participate in activities that we enjoy doing and not what the society labels as ‘fun’. For example, if you’re looking for a mate and you’re going to bars and clubs like other people only so that you can meet someone new even though you hate that environment and are not a fan of drinking, then you’re going upstream. But if you enjoy tango, and sign up for those classes, you go downstream and there’s a good chance you may meet someone who has the same interests as you. 

Upstream is working hard sans alignment, whereas downstream is getting aligned, committing to inspired actions and going with the flow. We need to ask ourselves: What kind of stuff makes me feel good again and again? And then, once we figure it out, just go do that thing. We may encounter negative circumstances that may influence us to go upstream, but we need to be aware when this shift happens and slowly guide ourselves back to downstream. As we experiment with and explore different activities, some will be easy to do as our natural curiosity and talents would surface, whereas some would be difficult and require a lot from us. We should always choose the path of least resistance and go for the one that makes us feel good. 

We should always seek the feeling of relief when we go downstream, and we will always be pointed in the right direction. Impulsive behaviors may lead us in the upstream direction. For instance, if you want to quit your day job and start a small business, just jumping into it without any prior proper planning will be an upstream decision, and it will give you an immense amount of struggle and pain. While slowly getting your feet wet by doing a side hustle and continuing your day job for financial backing is a downstream decision. 

As we choose downstream and go with the flow, we need to respect timing and cultivate infinite patience. If we rush things and start forcing, we will go upstream and that will negatively affect our lives. All we need to do is take it easy, do what makes us feel good as much as we can and allow great things to come into our lives.