Human beings are aqueous creatures. When we emerge from the inner ocean of our mother’s womb our body is 78% water. As we grow this diminishes, however we are never less than 50% water, which points to the importance of this element in our lives.
We all experience moments of feeling “drained”, “sapped” or “wrung dry”, and it is so important in those times to stop and reconnect with our own fluid nature. Check out this 5 minute movement practice that you can dive into right now! Just 5 minutes of fluid movement can make a huge difference to your sense of vitality; give it a try and see how you feel.
We can learn so much simply by opening our awareness to all the forms of water in our lives. Certainly spending time with natural bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and oceans is a blessing and can bring incredible soul-soothing connection. However, we can access this daily by increasing mindfulness in mundane activities to grow a more respectful, nourishing and intentional relationship with water. Here are a few ideas to practice in an ongoing way:
- Next time you take a sip of water slow down and let it roll around your mouth for a moment before swallowing. Take that instant to appreciate its wetness and thirst-quenching nature. Sometimes the emptiness we might feel can be filled by simply noticing how much fullness there is to the most mundane and essential aspects of life.
- Next time you take a shower, pause to feel the sensation of water on your skin. Recognize this precious resource is cleansing the temple of your body in this moment and offer your gratitude. How does it feel to be caressed by droplets that once traveled through the sky as clouds and through the sea as waves? Where did this gift coming through your showerhead come from, and where is it going?
- Next time you make a cup of tea hold it between your two hands, place it close to your nose and slowly inhale the water vapor rising from the steaming tea. Marvel at the ability of water to be in multiple forms (solid, liquid, gas) and that life on earth would not exist if it weren’t for this property.
- Next time you immerse yourself in water (a bath, hot tub, lake etc), notice if you feel a sensation of being completely held. If possible allow your ears to be covered by the water and listen to the silence and the rhythmic flow of your heart beating.
Water is an incredible teacher. Because we are aqueous we hold its wisdom within us as well as being able to absorb it from the water features we encounter. I live near the Merced River and have spent innumerable moments sitting on the banks and just listening. There is inevitably a message for me that is almost always beyond description, yet it somehow helps facilitate my fluid movement through life. As I encounter obstacles I learn to flow past them, following the path of least resistance, or flow over them again and again eroding the blockage over time. As Lao Tzu wrote: Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.
One of my mentors, Marcia Hodges, writes beautifully about how her relationship with water helps in self-care and discernment: Water analogies speak to my soul and I heard this one somewhere along my path. I know I am paying attention to my inner guidance system when any thought or action feels like I am floating downstream. When I am not struggling against the current, I have my feet up and am relaxed letting life unfold effortlessly. When I feel like I am swimming upstream, against the current, I am working hard and wearing myself out. Then I am usually not listening to my inner guidance system and instead trying to control an outcome or situation.
I hope you are finding the path of least resistance and that this post supports your fluid journey. In the comments below please share how you engage with water and/or fluidity in your life.
More resources on water:
Read Marcia’s full blog post here.