The Lake, the River or Up Beyond the Waterfall

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(A picture of Ross and me at the beautiful Iguazu Falls on the borders of Argentina and Brazil)

Recently, I asked my He’Art of Thriving Facebook Group what they would like me to write about in this regular blog.  It wasn’t that I was uninspired – I was genuinely curious about what would be most helpful for them.

Here’s the list of suggestions:

  • Death
  • Insecure Thinking and Confidence
  • Making Sense of Grenfell Tower
  • How to coach people who are blaming their circumstances, or other people
  • Why events themselves are neutral
  • Obsessions, Habits and Addictions
  • Anxiety
  • How to tell the difference between our wisdom and our ego

Great – I thought.  I can get stuck into those.

But then, I found myself procrastinating.

After a few days, I wrote about three paragraphs on each of the above topics, and then paused again.

About a week later, I was on a call with Michael Neill, one of my mentors, and a metaphor he shared landed with me.

He’d shared it before actually – but for some reason this time I found myself smacked around the face with a huge insight that has already transformed my coaching, and what I share on my workshops.

I saw that the reason I was procrastinating was that I wasn’t clear where people were, (in terms of their attention), as they were asking the question.

Were they bobbing about on the lake?  Or swimming in the river?  Or were they up above the waterfall?

Let me explain!

In any moment, there are three places we can put our attention.

The Lake

This is about what we do.  Our behaviour, our actions, the results we get in the world.  Many people spend their whole lives bobbing about in the lake, which is fine – but it’s not a place that has much leverage for change or transformation.  Whether we realise it or not, what we DO is driven by our thinking.  By the river that is feeding the lake.

The River

Metaphorically, this is our thinking.  What seems true to us in the moment.  How it looks to us.  Because thought is transient, the river is always changing.  Something in your life can look one way on a Monday, and completely different on a Tuesday – without anything actually having changed in the external world.  If you have fresh, new thinking about something it is BOUND to flow into the lake.  Different things make sense to you to DO based on your thinking.

Up Beyond the Waterfall

This is about truth.  The unchanging nature of something, including how our minds work.  This is inherently stable.  It’s a principle – in the way that gravity is a principle.  It’s just always the case, whether we know it or not, or believe it or not.

The Earth really does always orbit around the sun.  The sky really is always blue, regardless of the weather. Human beings are born and then they die (at least in physical form).  Our minds only work one way:  inside-out.

When we see something new about the nature of things, it MUST cascade down into the river, which then flows into the lake.  This is why insights are so powerful and pervasive.  One fresh new insight can be the tide-raising factor that lifts ALL the boats on the lake.

Thinking is transient.  Behaviour is transient.  Results are transient.  The nature of something is just always true.

This is why I choose to point people back up above, behind and before the waterfall in my coaching and workshops.  It’s where the biggest leverage is.

When people’s attention is on the lake – their circumstances, the behaviours they wish they did more (or less), the results they’re getting in the world, (or not getting), it really seems like what would be most helpful is a strategy or a how-to.

We innocently look for ‘hacks’.

“Give me the seven steps to more Confidence!” people demand.

Trouble is, the seven steps don’t work very well, or for long, or they’re just too much like hard work.  They’re also predicated, usually, on the notion that there’s something wrong with you, or something missing.

There isn’t.

When people’s attention is on the river, they think they have to change, manage or control their thinking in some way.  Replace ‘negative’ thinking with ‘positive’ thinking.  Become their own thought police.

You don’t have to do that either.

All that’s needed is more understanding about the nature of the human mind.

One of the ways you can get this for yourself is to come along to my 3-day Heart of Thriving workshop – running 27 – 29 September, and immerse yourself in your TRUE self.  Contact me for more details, or find out more on my website at

I’m so pleased my latest book is helping many people already… here’s another shameless plug if you haven’t bought a copy yet!

Here are some of the 5-star reviews people have written on Amazon:

“I could not recommend this book more highly- I’ve already been recommending it to all those close and dear to me!  It has a truly transformational message, and is wonderfully written- Kim’s wisdom just shines through, and leads you to so many deep insights.  Whilst nowadays it is so easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed, this book enables you to be present to the moment- to really enjoy it and be grateful for it, to thrive rather than just get by. Whilst deeply profound, you also end up seeing how this message is clearly true, and from that moment everything changes- it’s wonderful.  READ THIS BOOK- it will honestly be one of the most amazing things to happen to you, like it has been for me.”

“I LOVE THIS BOOK!  I got this as soon as it was released, and am thrilled with it! Kim Hare clearly has a remarkable gift evident in this well written book I have so many books on “self help”, NLP, positive thinking etc., but this is something DIFFERENT! It is not about a prescription or to do list of tools and techniques. It is an EASY to read collection of musings which made me smile. Lots of “ah ha” moments and “oh that’s good”  It has been written in a beautiful way, so appealing and almost magically connecting. Once I started reading, I could not stop! Have already recommended it to so many.”

“This book is a breath of fresh air. It explores the truth of how our minds work, the nature of thought and how we are designed to thrive. It does all this in the most easy to read, compassionate, warm, natural manner with great examples, references and anecdotes. It is the sort of book that if you are feeling down or confused or anxious you could open it at any page and read a truth about what those feelings mean that will point you in exactly the right direction. I highly recommend it. I am a coach and will certainly be buying copies for my clients.”

“I have so enjoyed reading these musings – and am now finding myself picking up the book and dipping into a chapter to remind myself of the innate wisdom that we all have. The Author’s writing is authentic, I love the mix of metaphors and enriching stories…. and most of all the truth of what is being written. This understanding changes lives….we all are “crazy diamonds” Love it!”

“Effortlessly beautiful.  Each page is like a little hug! Easily digestible little reminders that point back to the magic within. I couldn’t put it down!”

“A really beautiful book filled with reflections on how life really works. Kim is a wise soul and has a gift for storytelling. Highly recommended if you’re curious about how to live a more peaceful, inspired and joy-filled life…it’s way easier than you think!”

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