Drench Your Soul
for Optimal Health
Water is the soul of the Earth. ~ W.H. Auden
Many people—including myself—talk about feeding their soul. Although this can apply to eating an amazing meal, it usually means nourishing one’s very being, which goes far beyond what food can do.
Our body is made up of approximately 60% water-- with our blood consisting of 92%, our brain and muscles 75%, and our bones 22%. With this in mind, it makes sense that we spend some time exploring our relationship with water and the many ways we can use it to achieve optimal health.
For starters, many know that we can go about a month without food, but only about a week without water. Although there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that we actually need to drink eight glasses of water a day, it is strongly advised that we stay hydrated not only for our physical, but also for our emotional health. Did you know that dehydration can cause both physical and emotional fatigue as well as symptoms similar to depression? Research also shows that most Americans are chronically dehydrated which might contribute to the relatively high rates of depression in the United States.
While hydration is certainly one way that we can drench our soul, there are many other ways that water can enhance our lives. Many use it for relaxation—whether taking a long, hot bath, a casual walk by the beach, or go for a nice, cool swim. We often enjoy water elements as part of our environment—through placement of fountains in our homes or workplaces or by choosing to live by lakes, streams, and oceans. Socially, we may opt for boat rides with friends and family, tubing or rafting trips down a river, or water-skiing, surfing, or parasailing for the more adventurous. Intellectually, many are fascinated by
water and the creatures that live within it and choose to visit aquariums and wildlife preserves to learn about our amazing friends in the sea. Spiritually-speaking, many use water as part of ritual and celebration, whether through baptism, blessings, or other ceremonies held on or around water.
From the soul’s perspective, water is an essential element. It quenches our body’s thirst, but also washes away the energetic residue we carry as a result of the human condition. I have a fountain flowing nonstop in the waiting room of my psychotherapy office to help clients relax before appointments. As part of my own self-care ritual, I look forward to my long salt bath at the end of each
week, aiding in my own release of stress and tension picked up since the weekend. At times I crave time at the ocean or make a trip to a mountain lake for a weekend hike. I chose a house in a neighborhood with four small lakes, all offering daily sightings of water fowl, turtles, and frogs. I also take the occasional trip to the spa where I can soak in a salt pool, complete with massaging waterfalls. And yes, my drink of choice is water, getting in between 6-10 glasses of water a day. There’s no doubt about it—water is soothing, body, mind, and soul.
With so many ways that H2O helps our lives to flow better, why is it that we take it so much for granted? Over 70% of the earth’s surface consists of bodies of water, yet, we overlook the vital nature of this important element, both as a part of our planet, but as an essential part of our lives. Consider how the “flow” of water in your life can also enhance the flow of your soul.