Monday, July 23, 2012

The Power of Water

Water, in all its forms, seems to have a special power about it. If you have ever stood and watched waves crash on the cliffs of England Beaches or seen the little ribbon of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon you know how physically powerful water can be. Water feeds all kinds of life. Borders of rivers are rich with wildlife, and port cities are usually rich with culture. And water is an important part of many spiritual traditions from Wiccan rituals, to Astrology, to Christian Baptisms.

Walden Pond in Concord, MA - one of my "Happy Places"
This week I needed a recharge. Even though the summer sun has been blazing, most of us have to continue to do the ol' Real Life Grind. I was needed get out of the routine of air conditioned office, to air conditioned car, to sweltering kitchen, to air conditioned bedroom, just to do it all over again the next day. On my way home from work, I stopped at Walden Pond in Concord, MA for a lovely solitary swim. I rediscovered Walden last spring when I was training for a sprint triathlon. Spending time in the water has become familiar and refreshing "me" time. And now, since I am not training for any race-date, my swims are more about being present in this deep and nurturing element.

The water will be there all year round, but has a special significance in this hot season.  People flock to lakes and beaches to be rejuvenated. It has the power to cool and center us. If we allow it.

I recommend that we each take some time this month to be with the healing power of water. Swim in it. Watch it lap against a shore line. You might even take a few extra centering moments in your routine shower.

Shower Meditation
If you are landlocked, try this meditative shower practice

  • Choose a time of day outside of your usual hygiene routine to break the predictability and promote mindfulness. I prefer the evening to help "wash the day off" (makes getting into clean sheets especially lovely).
  • Light candles or use dim lights in the bathroom as you prepare for your healing shower. 
  • Try using cool water. This can be pleasant and energizing. Trust me!
  • As you step in the shower set the intention to be present with the physical sensations you are about to experience.
  • Remember to take cleansing belly breaths.
  • Rinse from head to toe stopping at points that feel like they need extra attention.
  • Step out of the shower, pat dry, and try to stay with the renewed feeling.
  • You might choose a mantra or statement to close your practice. It can be deeply spiritual, or totally silly. True story: I often sigh deeply and say out loud: "I feel like a new woman"