I have never personally experienced a drought I but live in a country that has gone through many. Still, I understand the terrifying repercussions of life without water. I am lucky enough to have access to plenty of clean water and have not gone through one whole day without this precious resource in my entire life. Have you?
I once watched a documentary about two orphaned young sisters somewhere in Africa. Every day they took turns leaving their hut with an old bucket to get water. They walked a hot gruelling walk for more than half a day to get to the water. Every day. The daily walk back was wrought with many potentially dangerous encounters by those that wanted the water in their bucket. Some days they returned with none.
Watching this had a huge impact on me and I vowed to never take water for granted. Not just because of the precious resource it is, but if there are young children anywhere who must go to that length to get it, I will do my best not to waste it. In solidarity.
In Ayurveda, Water is considered the 4th element and follows Ether, Air and Fire in that order. It is known as ‘that which flows and lubricates’.
Apart from the obvious ways that I use water; like drinking, cooking, cleaning, and washing, how is Water showing up in my personal life as a symbolic resource or quality?
Once, I was in a love drought that lasted for two years and I remember how my life changed when love arrived, like rain after a long absence. I came to life like a flower that needed water to bloom.
Last year I went through a very difficult situation with some family members. The unexpected shock of the event hit me like a flash flooding, and I cried many rivers of tears. Luckily the rivers eventually stopped flowing with the same intensity and my tears became more like sudden heavy rain falls that move away as quickly as they arrive.
When I contemplate the element of Water in my own life, I ask myself questions like; are the waters in my domain fresh and flowing or do they run murky and slow? Am I in a draught in some areas? Do I need to take on the quality of Water to move around obstacles with more ease or do I need to remove something to clear the flow?
I can activate the qualities of Water by making sure my environment is nurturing and loving. Giving and receiving lots of affection is one of my favourite ways to water the land in my little ecosystem that is my life.
Being surrounded by people who are gentle, kind, and empathetic, all water qualities, is as wonderful to me as sitting by a peaceful river.
I notice waves on the various shores of my life. Waves of emotions that I can either allow to flow or restrict, sometimes waves of socializing, sadness, fun or aloneness. When I see my life through the lens of waves or ebb and flow, it is easier to trust that everything is fine as it is.
An overflow of social media or news create a feeling of drowning in too much information. In one area of my microbubble, I could see myself swimming against a strong current. I realised I was not allowing the natural flow to happen.
When I scan the features of my life, I find a trickle of money from an income source and a trickle in the form of diminished contact with a friend. What is needed? Am I not putting enough energy into increasing the flow or is there something blocking the flow? Is the source depleted or running on empty?
In my little mini bubble that is my life, I look out for dry landscapes and see what needs watering or rain. I find areas that seem sluggish and in need of a flush, be it through tears, exercise, or a cleanse. Sometimes I just need to let go of some steam. The same goes for the tiresome feeling of not being motivated or of feeling lazy. I need to get the rivers flowing again or the snow to melt in order to make sure that the health of my domain is rich, lush and full of life.
The biggest lesson of Water for me is to learn to let go and surrender. I have found that flow comes easier and the best directions are revealed that way.
We can survive for maximum one week without this life-giving liquid. Without water, the cells in our bodies would shrink, our kidneys would cease to function, and other organs would not be able to continue their important jobs. Being hydrated improves our concentration and cognition. Drinking water increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Water is also a transporting medium and transports blood and waste in the body.
Hydrating Sole Water Recipe (Himalayan Salt Water)
Sole water (pronounced Soley) is water that has been fully saturated with salt. Sole water is a brine that is dense in electrolytes, keeping the body well hydrated. It has many other health benefits like healthy skin and nails, weight loss, reduction in blood pressure, bone health and healthy veins. Sole has been used for centuries to hydrate, detoxify and boost energy. Sole is only to be made with Himalayan salt as it is said to be the purest form of salt to be found. Himalayan salt contains 84 trace minerals.
How to make Sole
You will need a mason jar with a plastic lid to avoid corrosion by the salt.
Fill the jar with ¼ Himalayan salt crystals and top up with pure water. Put the lid on and shake the jar and let it rest for 24 hours. Take 1 tsp every morning mixed in a glass of purified water and drink on an empty stomach. Never drink diluted. Sole can be kept on your benchtop for easy use. When salt is no longer visible in the jar, add a bit of salt and fill up with water and let sit for 24 hrs to saturate.
Infused water is water with natural ingredients that themselves are water rich and add minerals and vitamins to the water. This surely beats expensive commercial vitamin waters! Infused water adds sweetness and flavour and make it easy to stay hydrated. I keep a few variants in jugs on my kitchen bench and help myself throughout the day.
Fill a large jug with filtered water.
Add any of the combinations below or be creative with your own.
2 thinly sliced lemons – ½ peeled and thinly sliced cucumber- 12 mint leaves
2 cups coconut water – 1 peeled and thinly sliced cucumber – ½ cup lemon juice – 1 cup chopped parsley – 1 tsp grated ginger
2 slices cubed watermelon – ½ punnet of strawberries – 1 sliced lime
½ punnet strawberries – 2 cut peaches
1 cut orange – 1 star anise
1 large sliced Kiwi – 2 cinnamon sticks
1 sliced orange – 6 sprigs fresh lavender – 1 chamomile tea bag (steep teabag in hot water for 5 minutes and pour the tea in the jug. Discard teabag. Top with water)
Let the ingredients steep in the water for a few hours or overnight. You can add water to the jug as you drink. Discard ingredients daily.
The element of Water was respected and revered by ancient cultures. People relied on lakes, rivers, streams, and wells as their source of this life essential element. Water was central to life.
Rivers were sacred and life sustaining, like the river Ganges in India and the Goddess Ganga who represented the holy waters of the river. In India, the element of Water was the preserver of life as it circulated through all of nature in the form of rain.
The Nile in Egypt was associated with the God Hapi who provided water and nutrients to feed the Egyptian people. As water was such a necessity, ingenious ways to collect, transport and store it was developed over time. The Romans developed underground water supplies that brought fresh, clean water from the hills that surrounded the city.
Native American tribes held the Beaver sacred for its water management ability and for the thriving conditions that it provided. For Aboriginal people, water was sacred and necessary. Aboriginal Lore protected water and provided guidelines to ensure survival.
I would love to hear from you – what are the ways you can you honour Water and express gratitude for it being in your life with such ease? How does Water show up in your life, not just as running water from the tap or a hot shower, but where does it express itself symbolically?