Upstream thinking, Downstream thinking and the Law Of Attraction
What Exactly Does Upstream / Downstream Thinking Mean?
During your day to day activities, dealing with the myriad of issues modern life seems to bring, do you ever have the feeling that you are paddling against the current in a stream? You are trying so hard, giving it your best effort, exhausting yourself physically and mentally, but going nowhere. Sometimes it can even feel that, the more effort you make, the further you drift from where you want to be. There is nothing more frustrating! The harder you try, the further away you get.
Now picture in your mind that you just let go, drop the paddles and just go with the current, downstream. Can you feel the relief of just not doing? Not thinking constantly, going in circles. It’s so effortless, relaxing and carefree. Just let go of the struggle and trust that the stream will bring you to where you need to be.
That’s the difference between upstream thinking and downstream thinking. Trying to do upstream, against the current, fighting for every metre you gain but losing ground as soon as you pause to rest. This is the way so many of us face/deal with life. We feel that if we don’t ‘fight’ to get what we want, that we won’t get what we want.
Downstream thinking is letting go of the struggle, letting the stream of life take you to where you need to be. Sometimes life delivers to us what we need, not what we think we want. And it’s so much easier to simply live life heading downstream, allowing the current to move us along, no effort, no struggle, just being.
How To Turn Your Thoughts Downstream
Whenever you find yourself find yourself having to fight to make something happen, feeling the anger, agitation, frustration at being in the position of having to fight, to force, to put excess effort in. That’s upstream thinking and those horrible feelings that you are experiencing, they are your subconscious telling you that this is not where you need to go. If it feels soooo hard and soooo awful, do you really want to go there?
Whenever you find yourself in this situation, just stop, take a few breaths. Ask yourself “why am I doing this?, “is this really what I want to do?”, “am I doing this because I feel compelled to or am I doing it of my own unencumbered free will?”.
You may be thinking “Why is this happening to me?”, “I don’t deserve this?”, ” Why should I be the one to have to deal with this?”. These thoughts may be fully valid but they don’t make you feel any better. In fact, they make you feel worse by reinforcing the negative awful feelings.
Try to turn your thoughts away from the negative feeling and think of something that will make you feel a little less negative. Maybe something like “I’ve successfully dealt with problems before and I can do so again”, or “I know I’ll find a solution, I always do” or “I don’t have to deal with this right now, I can do it later”. These thought are slightly more positive than the ones before, they won’t change the situation but they will make you feel better. And that’s what downstream thinking is all about – making you feel better. When you feel better, you feel more positive, thinking more clearly and the solution is more likely to come to you, without effort.
It’s not expected that you will immediately jump from being totally stressed out to being zen and calm, but you have made the first step. One by one, think better thoughts and each time you will feel a little bit of relief. It’s as easy as that, turn your thoughts downstream and ‘go with the flow’. Each slightly better thought will give your stream more momentum.
As human beings, we seem to be almost hard wired for negative thinking, for seeing problems that don’t (or don’t yet) exist and we immediately start to mentally struggle against them, before they have even occurred. Maybe it’s a leftover from our past evolution when not thinking ahead literally meant life or death. But does it do us any good in the here and now, or does it just allow us to spiral into negative thinking about something that doesn’t exist? How many times have we had an argument with someone in our heads, worked ourselves into a temper, brought ourselves to tears? All in our heads! It didn’t happen and is never likely to happen. Upstream thoughts, struggling, frustration, anger.
A good way to release resistance and generate wellbeing is to ask yourself “Is this an upstream or downstream thought”?. Upstream thoughts will create a feeling of resistance or reluctance within you. Downstream thoughts are effortless, creating no feeling of resistance, they always feel good and create a feeling of peace within you. If it’s upstream then it’s not to your benefit and you can choose not to do it. Practice asking yourself this question often, it will soon become so second nature that you will no longer be aware of it. Trust your gut instincts/feelings in these things. Downstream is where happiness lies, all we have to do is to relax and allow and trust in the the stream to carry us.
It’s all about trust. Trust in the stream to carry you where you need to go. Trust in the stream is the key to healthy self worth and wellbeing. It’s your stream of your life and you have full control over it. You set your stream in motion with your desires, that’s how it works and it will carry you to where you desire if you will let it. Downstream is where abundance lies, where your joy is and you don’t need to MAKE it happen, you just be open to allowing it to happen.
The Law Of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is very simple – like attracts like. In other words, whatever you give consistent thought to will become your reality. Have you ever thought that you were having a run of bad luck and then noticed that unlucky things really were happening to you, a lot. That’s law of attraction. As Shakespeare said “nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so”.
One of the 12 universal laws, the law of attraction gets a lot of attention these days. In the simplest terms, it is a spiritual concept that positive thinking and good feeling thoughts can attract good things into your life. It also works in the opposite, negative thinking can attract negative results.
Lao Tzu (Laozi), an ancient times Chinese philosopher said, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny”.
When looked at it in this way, it is easy to see how your belief in the words that you speak can control your frame of reference and this can determine your actions. And actions have consequences, act from a negative state of mind and the chances are that you will receive negativity in return.
Of course, positive thoughts alone won’t give you the life of your dreams, you will also have to help make it happen. But if it is something that you really and truly desire then what you do to make it happen will be effortless rather than feel like you have to work/struggle to get it.
Some worry that the law of attraction might ‘punish’ them for negative thoughts. When first encountering this law, many get worried that if they have ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ thoughts then this means that they will send out ‘low vibrations’ and they will mess up their life. Thankfully this isn’t so. With practice, you can use the law of attraction as a mirror for your mindset, frequently checking in on yourself to see how a situation, thought or a particular person is making you feel. If you are feeling negative about something then it’s a good bet that this is something/someone that is not to your benefit and you might consider avoiding it/them.
Law Of Attraction & Self Worth
When our self worth is low we feel bad or negative towards ourselves, believe we are ‘not good enough’, that we don’t deserve good things in life. Essentially, we are sending out the vibration of worthlessness into the universe and are not really surprised when we are rewarded with bad relationships, a crappy job or constantly being used by other people. Our own subconscious ensures that we attract the same vibration that we are putting out. Our vibration is the energy that attracts people and things into our life based on how little or how much we value ourselves. We are literally telling the universe to give us what we deserve through our conscious and subconscious actions.
Using The Law Of Attraction To Your Benefit
So how can you start using the law of attraction to your benefit? Here are a few simple ways that I have personally used, not so long ago, when I first started consciously using the law of attraction to my advantage;
- Visualisation is a powerful tool to help bring your thoughts and desires into reality. Mentally picture the future you want, put yourself right in there, feel it, smell it, touch it. The universe doesn’t differentiate between what you see as real or fantasy, it simply reacts to the feelings/vibrations that you are putting out. If you feel good then you will emit happy positive vibrations and the universe will start to respond. It may take a while, it’s not a quick ‘click of the fingers’ response, but as you start to generally feel good about yourself, the world, your life, you will find that things slowly start to improve.
- Practice gratitude by deliberately focusing on the good things in your life and being thankful that they are there for you to enjoy. It may be the people in your life, a pleasant day or something as small as enjoying the feel of the sheets when you get into bed at night. Anything will work and your will find that as you practice gratitude, you will actually become happier about your life.
- Speak your desires, voice them out loud. This is better done when you are alone and can really focus on the words, how they feel and sound, the air passing over your lips as you speak them. If another person is present then the chances are they they will immediately try to apply logic to them, “where will you find the money for that”, he’s way out of your league” and the like. This is a practice that I find more effective when done alone.
- Synchronicities are coincidences that occur so frequently that they are more than coincidences. When you notice these synchronicities, that is the universe saying to you “pay attention”. It sounds fantastical, but it happens, especially with numbers. Take it as a sign that you are heading in the right direction.
- Scarcity is a mindset where we believe that something is limited and therefore we won’t have enough of it. We are taught to believe that if someone has plenty of money, a big house, a gorgeous car, then the fact that they have so much means that someone else must go without. This is nonsense, there is enough for everyone. If you believe that you don’t have enough then the universe will deliver to you exactly that.
- Practice abundance, the opposite of scarcity. There is enough of everything for everyone, if they really want it. To BE abundant you have to feel abundant. Don’t concentrate on the lack, remind yourself that you have enough of what you need. Part of feeling abundant is to live within your means, don’t get into debt, that is a sure fire way to ensure that you will feel scarcity. If you are already in debt, manage your income to pay it off as soon as possible and work from there. Abundance isn’t just about income, it’s about everything, all that the universe can offer you. Believing in abundance can help you become rich in joy, love, satisfaction with yourself and your world.
Although downstream thinking and law of attraction appear to be two separate things, they are very deeply entwined. The law of attraction, the law of allowing, the law of abundance IS downstream thinking. Abundance and joy is your natural state of being, if you will allow it!
I hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I know that practicing these ideas will change your life for the better, as they did mine.
If you have any queries or stories of your own experiences you would like to share, please leave a comment below or contact me.
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