Do Ducks Have the Secret To Prosperity?


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At first, this daybreak walk appeared as peaceful and serene as they had for two years. The order apparent in the natural elements was obvious. I watched as the stillness of dawn gave way to the flow of the canal beside me. The Arizona sun rose over the mountains and cast dancing rays on the water that moved from the great reservoirs in the highlands down into the city. All was as I expected it to be. . . until I witnessed some surprising master teachers.

Fifteen brown ducks peacefully tread water, in a line across the gentle flow of the canal. The amazing thing was their placement. Evenly spaced, side-by-side from one bank to the other, with the precision of a dance line, the ducks paddled unaware of my awe. It looked so odd and staged, I stopped to take it all in. They all faced upstream and slowly swam in place, keeping entirely in synch, while the river brought a banquet to them. They expended little effort as they dipped their beaks into the water and enjoyed a feast.

The beauty of it amazed me. Their serenity revealed no frantic energy, no concern for enough, and no competition. They simply positioned themselves in the bountiful flow, expecting to be fed and enjoyed the prosperity of the river. It was perfect.

As I stood in awe of the beauty and order, it struck me, “It's that simple for all of us, although many don't understand. The flow is present, we only need to relax, believe and support its arrival. " It seems so simple. . . yet in many ways, as with other natural laws, its simplicity is complex.

What keeps us from accepting the simplicity of this natural law of abundance? The obstacle is actually one of our greatest assets: our intellect or our conscious mind.

It's our conscious mind that separates us from the animals of the world. Conscious thought allows us to dream beyond the present and create masterpieces that influence humanity. It is also this same dynamic center that can choose to limit its vision, seeing only what is physically present in this moment, staunchly calling it “reality".

From this perspective, concrete results are believed and what cannot be seen is questioned. When life is seen as strictly physical, the process of creating change can only be action-driven. A stranglehold is placed on dreams as the goal-setter lives from a competitive orientation and desires to muscle results into submission, thinking, “If it is to be. . . it's up to ME!"

Taking action is necessary but it's only one piece of the equation.

We must take action just as the ducks must land on the water, paddle slowly and dip their beaks. Taking action is only half of the formula though, for the greater principle is something called “interdependence".

When we understand interdependence, we see ourselves as a part of a greater whole. We recognize that we are part of other people's joys, successes and suffering, just as they are a part of ours. We know that to receive, we must give, not take. We stand strongly in full understanding of our gifts and talents and willingly serve others, knowing that prosperity is a natural outgrowth of this service.

When we see ourselves as individualized sparks of an infinite flame, our whole world shifts. We surrender our ego and find our greatness.

To completely integrate this shift and come into alignment with a creative genius that is far beyond our comprehension, we must not only cooperate on the physical level but also on the spiritual level.

We are distinct personalities in a creative whole. This creative whole's nature is divine love. It is friendly to our plan, desires to support our growth and share the abundance of the Universe.

It is this same flow that brings the silver minnows to the quacking ducks. It need not be coaxed, manipulated or pushed. It cannot be.

It only needs to be trusted and gratefully accepted for it to deliver its bounty.

This spiritual understanding transforms the goal setting process. We visualize and expect abundance, holding the intention of what it is that we desire to create. Our words and actions calmly support the physical manifestation of our dreams.

In this spirit of cooperation, we connect deeply and creatively to those around us, encouraging and believing in them at every opportunity. We also gratefully accept the divine support we are given.

As the natural world is a master teacher, the peaceful image of these ducks will always be a poignant reminder for me of this powerful principle in action.

Margaret Merrill is the author of “Live the Life You Love: Discover Your Purpose and Live It With Intention”. She coaches individuals worldwide on purpose discovery and the creation of successful purpose driven projects. To find out more about her inspirational work go to


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