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Waltzing With Lake Michigan and Other Water-Based Practices

Calm anxiety; meditation; therapy for trauma
Coast of Portland, Maine

Recently I drove up the East Coast to Portland, Maine (pictured above).


It's beautiful.


Have you ever been?


It reminded me a bit of the Pacific Northwest and the other Portland (in Oregon).


Anyway, while I was there, I decided to dip my toes into the ocean. Because, hello!? It's the ocean! Water lover = yours truly.


Since it's June and the natural bodies of water are quite chilly in the North right now, I only ventured in up to my ankle. And it was just enough to soothe my racing mind and ease my stress from the week.


Simply stepping into water helps me to exhale.

Meditation Boston, water meditation, stepping into water
Stepping into the Atlantic ocean, just off of the Eastern Promenade in Portland


Summer trips can be super fun but, like moving, they can also be challenging sometimes because:


  • You're often with family

  • You're not in your normal routine.

  • The weather can be unpredictable.

Rain happens. And did happen, when I visited Maine.


Wherever you go, the elements are always there.


In keeping with my last email (missed it? check it out here), I have decided to share another variation of the contemplative, nature-based practices that can be done while on vacation or while milling about at home.*


This week's practice is about embracing our connection to what is both around and within.

The water element within can be found in our blood, saliva, and bodily fluids.


Water keeps our eyes hydrated when staring at screens all day.

Water quenches our thirst on a hot, summer day.

Water gets pushed out of our sweat glands to help the body cool off when the summer weather heats up to ninety degrees.


Water is magical.


Here is another simple way to reconnect with calm throughout the day, this time using the water element as the grounding force.


How long does it take?


It only takes a few minutes -- but you're welcome to extend this into a longer practice if you so choose, like if you find yourself suddenly waltzing with the waves of the water in Lake Michigan, submerged waist-deep, surrounded by sand dunes whilst on a yoga retreat in Honor, Michigan (true story).


Where to do it:


Anywhere! You can try it sitting in a chair with hands in your lap, or while holding a glass of water, or while in the shower/bath, or in the car stopped at a traffic light in the rain, or while washing your hands.


You can do this sitting still, without any external water in sight.


Your body is made up of over 60% water, so some form of this element will always be with you.


I especially love this meditation practice while I am in water, around water, or sipping water.


But I first learned and fell in love with this practice whilst seated on a cushion in a dimly lit classroom, many winters ago.


Give it a try:


Greet the water.


Greet the water just like you would greet a friend.


[Take a breath]


Feel the water.


Feel the water within and around your body.


[Take a breath]


Thank the water.


In your own way, express gratitude to the water.


[Take a breath]


Try to repeat this cycle of greeting, feeling, and expressing gratitude for the Water for five minutes (or longer, if you're up for it).


It's a simple practice.


It's also a powerful practice when done consistently.


Next time you fill your literal cup of ice-water or lemonade, greet, feel, and express gratitude to the water.


See what happens.

Boats in Portland, Maine


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