Let's touch base on what living life in the flow means.
Why does Downstream exist?
This is a question that has been taking up a lot of brain-space lately. It's a question that I have to answer to the general public most days. It's a notion that I must uphold on a daily and sometimes hourly bases within myself. In a creative endeavor, whether you're creating paintings, music, or a clothing/lifestyle line, that simple question of "why" might be the most prominent, most pesky, most important questions you can ask yourself. To be quite honest, I feel the question transcends the creative space and into the very realm of the meaning of life. I'll try, however, not to rabbit-hole here and keep to the point.
To get started, lets begin with the very name itself and what it stands for. Downstream. What visions or feelings are conjured when you hear this word? What associations do you have? Well, for us, the meaning is multifaceted. Actually, our notion of Downstream came from different areas/pursuits yet with similar overtones to converge perfectly with our mission.
1. The first and most obvious reason we chose the term Downstream to represent our ideal is it's literal connection to nature. Some of this information may seem repetitive for a few people and for some it is brand new so I apologize if this seems redundant, but we have been fly fishing for most of our lives. I, myself, have been angling for nearly 35 years... the vast majority of my life. I have been fly fishing for just a couple of years shy of that. I have been a professional fly fishing guide for over a decade most of my team has as well. This isn't to be boastful or prideful, simply to illustrate a point.
Most of my life has been lived around the actual and physical notion of "Downstream." Rivers flow Downstream. Your cast starts upstream but flows, obviously, Downstream. You put the boat in the river and float Downstream. When I am guiding I literally do this whole Downstream thing all day, every day. Yes, I understand there are exceptions to this but stay with me here... Most of us in the world of fly fishing go motor-less. We use rafts and driftboats. It's part of that whole being in nature and in rhythm with nature vs raging against it. I do fish salt flats and sometimes on river jets or lake-outfitted motor boats, but even then I can find you connections to being in the natural flow.
2. The second reason is the feeling and emotion of life flowing Downstream. I've come across this notion many times and in many places as a canon by which to measure life, action, and choices. Let's examine a bit of phrasing from the website: "...the notion for Downstream came to fruition when it was realized that life should feel like a flowing river....with relative ease, purpose of course, and building momentum...not a fight against a raging current."
The emotion of feeling "Downstream" is applicable to pretty much all facets of life. We're faced with a barrage of questions, tasks, and choices on a daily basis. Tuning in to the emotion of things feeling Downstream gives a lot of insight on how you're showing up in life. This doesn't mean that you won't ever have another challenge as long as you live. This doesn't even mean that you should cut and run when the going gets tough. It simply means that if you're actually paying attention to your intuition and moving in the direction you know you should, life feels a lot lighter. It flows. Intentional living is purposeful living is flowing Downstream. Reactionary living is unplanned living is struggling living is trying to force yourself to move upstream. It's as simple as that. From an aligned place, meaning when you're carrying on intentionally and intuitively, even hard tasks seem to flow Downstream. Life gains momentum and purpose. Easy living.
A perfect marriage of the two ideas can be realized and that is our mission. We love to fish. We love to seek nature to realign our spirit. We choose to see these ideas, feel these feelings, and carry their sweet overtones with us every day we live. Fishing or not. Working or not. Hard times, good times and in between. Picture float fishing down a gorgeous mountain river, sun shining, fish biting, wild flowers blooming. Life, here, is flowing Downstream in so many ways. Physically. Emotionally. Heck, just thinking about it brings me into a feeling of perfect alignment. I can feel the warmth of the sun, smell the flowers and spruce, hear the trickle of the water and whisper of pine in the breeze. That my friends, to me, is true Downstream Living.
So, why do we exist? We're a concept. A notion. A lifestyle. We've built a brand around these ideals. We are intentional living. We are nature centered. We are fly fishing. We are yoga and meditation. We employ the absolute beauty and true power in nature to connect with ourselves, to energize our bodies and minds, and to carry on in this manner every day (yes, we have a ton of fun too, and that is a big part of the equation). And even if you don't subscribe to all the over-the-top, "hokey pokey" ideas of self-awareness, mindfulness, and centeredness that we do, I'd be hard pressed to find someone who didn't at least feel a lighter, better and even a little more excited while reading the paragraph before this one. That's all I'm sayin' :)