Do Like the Nile – Protect Your Sources

“Do like the Nile – protect your sources.” North African proverb

Recently this proverb appeared on the AFRICAN WISDOM FOR LIFE page-a-day calendar I consult.

I imagine the winding Nile, strong and persistent, wide and narrow, slow and rapid. It travels from mountains – south to north – creating and moving through valleys, into deserts, to deltas. It comes from Lake Tana, from the White Nile, from the Atbara River. And it is generally considered the longest river in the world.

Without the White Nile’s contributions, the river might go dry in May. Without the Nile’s constant flow, what might be unending desert would never see green.

For individuals and organizations, what and who our short-long lives impact is often difficult to measure. At moments we may feel like George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) in It’s a Wonderful Life, unsure if where we’ve been or where we’re going makes much difference. It seems we wind hither and yon, over and over similar terrain. We may need Clarence’s view to see more clearly and focus our strengths on what is most important.

Some parts of our winding water-path go quickly and others slowly. Quicker pacing may be a plus with adrenaline/passion energy, or a breathless no-time-for-consideration rush. Slower flows may be full of peace, or a drag on the heart and soul.

Wherever the river of our individual or common lives takes us, and whatever the depth, the speed, and the contours of the journey — to know and grow stronger in our identity and ability to contribute we need to remember and protect our sources. Consider these questions for yourself or your organization:

•What quickens you to life?
•What are your sources of joy and hope?
•What passion presses you forward?
•How do you make space to honor and protect these sources, so that they continue to feed and nurture your ongoing life?
•What do you do that exercises and stretches and strengthens your original passion, so that movement can continue to take you forward?
•Where are you on your river-journey at present? What challenges and gifts are present at this point?
•What invitations for change and readjustment are you experiencing?
•What is your experience of the journey’s speed, and its health?
•Who are the “Clarence” people/experiences/practices which help you gain perspective?
•What do you not focus on now, that you believe you should, that you consider very important?
•What has your energy and time that you believe drains you?
•What would it mean to you to “do like the Nile – protect your sources”?

Coaching can provide valuable companionship, from the river bank, with you. Value, protect, strategize, re-calibrate, and protect the sources of life for even fuller life and giving!  Check out for info and options!

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