Without really thinking much about it, I’ve been “doing water” a lot lately.
Shared photos, old and new, have been of water … near water … in water. In grief and in stress, I’ve turned to water and returned refreshed.
It’s a magnet … I can’t help myself … and I know I’m not alone.
When I saw a friend of mine post a photo of herself in a boat on a lake with the comment, “Happiest and most peaceful I’ve felt in ages,” it inspired me to publish something a little different today.
You know all those posts with lists of what to do to find your happy? I’m not doing that. Instead, I hope I’m about to give it to you, just a little — with pictures and thoughts of water. (It seems science backs me up on this one.)
“Blue Mind, a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. It is inspired by water and elements associated with water …” ~ Wallace J. Nichols
Our home is water:
✔ 70% of the Earth’s surface is water.
✔ There is approx. 332.5 cubic miles of water on Earth (a cubic mile contains over 1.1 trillion gallons).
✔ From a million miles away, our planet looks like a small blue marble; from 100 million miles away it’s a tiny, pale blue dot.
✔ 80% of the world’s population lives within sixty miles of the coastline of an ocean, lake, or river.
Human beings are …
“a way that water has of going about, beyond the reach of rivers.” ~ Science writer Loren Eiseley
And it seems we are made for water …
✔ Fetuses still have “gill-slit” structures in the early stage of development.
✔ When we’re born, our bodies are approximately 78% water. As we get older, that number drops to 60%.
✔ Our brains are 80% water.
✔ Our bodies are almost the same density as water (which helps us float).
✔ The water in our cells is comparable to that found in the sea.
Like a child depends upon its mother, humans have always depended upon nature for our survival. And just as we intuitively love our mothers, we are linked to nature physically, cognitively, and emotionally. ~ Wallace J. Nichols
“In the water I am beautiful” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
“I need the sea because it teaches me.” ~ Pablo Neruda
“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
The words of poets and sages are awash with it and reflect on the moments when they see it, touch it, taste it or even smell it. Water connects all things and is connected to all things.
Now scientists are actually studying the connections and discovering what we’ve instinctively known using measurable results. (Don’t you love when that happens?) It seems our responses are triggered by the oldest parts of our brain — it’s primal.
As scientist Wallace J. Nichols observed when people were encouraged to share their stories about water:
“Their eyes sparkled when they described the first time they visited a lake, or ran through a sprinkler in the front yard, caught a turtle or a frog in the creek, held a fishing rod, or walked along a shore with a parent or boyfriend or girlfriend.”
The thing is, if you’re reading this, you’re looking at a screen. The pictures might look good to you — you might even be feeling a little more inspired or relaxed — but it’s not the same as being there.
My wish for you today: where ever you are and how ever you can do it, find water. Dip your toe in, dangle your fingers along its surface, play in it, stare at it … what ever floats your boat. ツ
Here’s to a blue kind of day.
Source notes: Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do by Wallace J. Nichols. (2014)
(The photos are all my own.)