The Paradox of Water

Ask Dr. Annie K: Why is water so important in life?

Water is full of contradictions. It’s soft, yet strong. It appears still, yet it is constantly in motion. It can be silent or loud. It can be solid, liquid, or vapor. It can be salty or sweet. It can be scary and dangerous but also comforting and purifying. It allows us to both observe its beauty and use it to cleanse.

By being exposed to water, we are witnessing the movement and flow of life. It takes away our delusions of control. For people who see things black and white, water can be confronting. They may prefer to admire it from a distance rather than get close. Water reminds us that we don’t need to label ourselves.  We are capable of adjusting to the opposite forces of nature. Fighting the current can sink you, floating can save your life.

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I am constantly balancing that paradox of water. I too want to slip through fingers to maintain my softness, yet I want to be powerful in body and mind. I want to need others yet maintain my independence. I want to talk football and fashion with the same degree of expertise. I want to value my blog as much as I value my scientific research. I strive to be active and want to strive just as hard to be still.

Epsom salt, lavender oil, and baking soda bathtub soaks at night in winter ease me out of my outward day self to the internal self of the night. I did tweak the routine for summer nights when I drank a bottle of cold hard cider in the shower before getting into bed. Breaking all the rules for bedtime rituals ;-)! I also follow Joan Kantor’s brilliant advice (a future guest blogger for loveandmedicine) and drink a bottle of water in the shower in the morning.

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My three kids were all subject to hydrotherapy- whenever they were “out of sorts” they were placed in a warm bath and it worked miraculously to calm, comfort and contain. Honestly, it never failed. Beats a “time-out” any day.

Water represents that part of us that is fun, creative, mysterious, sensual and filled with awe and wonder.  It takes us out of our little heads into a larger space. Waves one after another lull us out of the clutter. The colors- the cool, blue spectrum- can spark feelings of calmness as well as sadness or nostalgia. Blue, the color of the sky and sea, is both grounding and enlightening.

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Water reaffirms life and love. That, in answer to your question my reader, is why water is so important. How telling is it that it shows our reflection on its surface?