One of my biggest weaknesses has been getting overwhelmed by the enormity and depth of our intersecting global crises. This weakness is the flip side of one of my super powers: the ability to see, synthesize, and transmit the big picture.
As part of the effort to feel strong rather than overwhelmed, a few years ago I made the practical choice to focus on water. Water after all is the source of life. Through water I have a way to care for all of life because every being, and every issue I care about is connected to water.
Every day I understand something more about the water. It has become much more important to me than simply an efficient form of activism. In honor of World Water Day on March 22, I thought I’d share how water has become the vehicle for my spiritual journey.
I care for the water because I am the water.
Our bodies are at least 60% water. My lips, skin, lungs, blood pressure and voice very quickly tell me if I am getting dehydrated.
I still find it surprisingly easy to forget that the water in my body is connected to the water in my watershed. I’m grateful for indoor plumbing and it is easy to forget that water came from the same river that runs through our city. It’s a wonderful convenience to have a water drain and also very easy to forget this water will be returned to the river.
I am part of the Mississippi River (Haha Wakpa), briefly walking around in human form, before returning to the flow. My body is an extension of the river’s body. Caring for the river is to care for myself. Perhaps my form is merely a means through which the river is protecting and caring for itself.
Water runs through a culture of relationship and reciprocity.
Objectification and extraction lies a the heart of our current crisis. We are burning up our resources and exploiting people to the extent that we are threatening the lives of future generations. The alternative is an economy, governance, and culture build on honoring the sacred interrelationship between all beings. Movement Generation has created a beautiful map for a Just Transition to this regenerative model.
To make this shift, all of us are going to have to re-learn to see ourselves as related to each other. Water already connects all of us. The water invites me to more deeply experience my connection to everything else.
Water teaches me about the flow of the Spirit
I am very interested in how water moves. Water must move in order to be healthy. It moves in many ways. It’s movement is more extreme the more out of balance it is. When I walk for the water, the protocol is to try to move at the same rate as the water. There are moments when I walk this way, that I feel that I am being carried by the water.
Water is the best way for me to tangibly experience and understand the outpouring of Divine love. Just like little creeks join into bigger tributaries, so I understand the sacred universe to be evolving towards greater confluence. Drops of water eventually gather into the ocean. Single cell organisms evolve into complex life forms.
The Power of Praying for the Water Everyday
Water is still a practical way for me to be focused and effective in our overwhelming world. Helping bring the water into balance through prayer can help reduce the potential harm caused by severe storms.
While being practical got me going, I keep working with the water because it is bringing me into deeper relationship and more love. When I thank the water before my first drink in the morning I briefly feel myself dissolve into a much bigger flow. I am grateful that the water is always drawing me into deeper relationship.
How about you?
I am always discovering more of the answer to why I work with the water. I’m curious what draws you to the water?
World Water Day celebration with Healing Waters Qigong
Every week this Spring Forest Qigong Practice group practices healing movements and meditations by the water, through the water, and for the water. Learn about some “special sauce” we are adding for World Water Day (eve), Wednesday, March 21 at 3:30. Event details.
Cultivating the collective joy that is the foundation for wellness.
Join me this Sunday, March 25 for the Come Alive! Dance retreat for personal and collective renewal. Dance, reflection, time in nature, ritual, and live music. More details.