All “My” Ducks in a Row

Most of us have heard, or perhaps even used, the following expression: “All of my ducks are in a row.” It implies that everything is just fine; circumstances are under control; and that life is oh, so good. Although this may seem fine as an expression, it’s actually a horrendously unsatisfactory way to live. The problem with this life strategy is that it requires tremendous, unending effort. “Here, little Duckie, walk this way, now that,” while I juggle ten tasks that must be done–at the same time.”

The inspiration for this article comes, yet again, from the book entitled Awareness, by Anthony De Mello. It was recommended to me by fellow blogger “AP2, Clear Air Turbulence,” right here on WordPress (I hope you’ll check out his fine posts). Here’s the line, which relates to what I’ve expressed in the paragraph above:

You keep on insisting, ‘I feel good because the world is right.’


The world is right because I’m happy.”

The point at which the expression about ducks and the lines above intersect is called “me.” When we rise in awareness, we can understand that it is only “me” who is having a problem with life as it is here and now. Once the “me” is revealed for what it is (a conceptual self), we can experience more of the present-moment joy that life is freely offering. Nothing and no one can rob us of that joy if we don’t allow the little “i” to steal us blind. Ducks don’t need to be in a row; tasks don’t have to be juggled; and we don’t have to be tempted by a fictional point of perfection in a fictional future. Then, mysteriously, we discover the incredible paradox: By not trying to have our ducks in a row, we realize that life is just fine, regardless of the state of the ducks!

This is not to say that we should drop our goals, or set our heart upon accomplishing tasks. Doing still occurs; work gets done. The main difference is in our approach. With detached awareness, we may witness that when the fictional person is operating, having “my” ducks in a row is always more important than the condition of someone else’s ducks. It’s in our best interest, to discover the nature of the little ‘i.” When we do, through self-inquiry, we’re well on our way to freedom–from grief, strife, and suffering. In this way, we can still interact with others and perform our work; but we’ll do so without the interference of the separate little “me” that is never satisfied. Ironically, everything will seem “just duckie.”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With warm regards,


Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

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