• Amy Fokkens

Drop the Oars!

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

How would it feel to let go?



For some reason metaphors always seem to find their way into counselling sessions when I’m with a client.


Usually they come from a place of wanting to define the feeling that my client is experiencing.

One metaphor that seems to come up often is the feeling of paddling in a boat, upstream, against the flow of the water.


I don’t know about you but I’ve felt like that on many occasions, like you’re paddling harder and harder, fighting and working and not getting anywhere. Before you know it a nice paddle on a sunny day in a rowing boat has gone from being enjoyable and exciting to miserable and exhausting.

This of course can feel very unfair, you’re working hard, putting in the effort and there’s nothing happening. Your leisurely boat trip is not living up to your expectations, in fact it’s worse than you could have imagined.


This metaphor so often sums up how my clients are feeling about their life (and chances are you can relate, I’ve definitely been there) your expectations are not being met, everything feels like hard work, you’re not progressing or getting anywhere.


In this particular session I asked my client one question...

"How would it feel to drop the oars?"

To let go, to allow that ‘current’ to take you and to be at peace with wherever it might lead, to let go of the fight for control and the need for constant progress all the time.


This question was pretty eye opening for her, and I hope it is for you too.

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