Our bodies are 60% water. Around 540 million years ago in the Cambrian period (when more ocean covered the planet than now) a microscopic species existing in the sea was our earliest ancestor, before we evolved from the water to land. As we evolved over millions of years, to its current incarnation as a screen-based and tech-reliant world beings - our cerebral machine we carry on top of our shoulders each day has never relinquished the vitality of water: it makes up 80% of our brains - regardless of race, religion, culture, skin colour or language. And even the slightest bit of dehydration to the brain can cause headaches (it's why we feel hangovers), fatigue, lack of concentration, poor memory recall, stress and poor sleep...and sleep in itself is needed for good memory formation. It is ironic that in an age of distraction with our tech-based, endless notification catchup lives, water is needed to develop the mobile chips from raw materials for your smartphones - not the mention being needed to develop production of the plastics, glass and metal that make up the rest of them. Oh - and when you next sit eating a meal whilst scrolling the Bear Instagram (sorry) in your favourite attire, take a moment to remember that water helped grow the clothes you wear, whether developed from plastics or plants. And it grew the ingredients in your meal. If you have more than that fleeting moment, fuel your already water-fuelled brain, by learning more about all this. The more we become students of water, the more we become educators of its importance to not only sustaining but growing all life and things.
I believe there is a reason we feel safe in water. It's why we find solace in winter baths with the lights down and candles on. It's why we revere the simple yet immensely powerful phrase 'be water, my friend" immortalised by Bruce Lee. And it's why having a 'fluidity of thought' (and movement in sport) is seen to be a compliment and a mark of true skill...
In an age of Nature Deficit Disorder, we should all aim to live a more water-present and water-appreciative lifestyle. Drink tap water and never buy it in plastic bottles. It's not only essential for reducing plastic pollution, but there's zero reason to buy bottled water in a country with good drinking water. As it flows from your tap into your glass or reusable bottle, be present and really see the water flow, and remind yourself that water does not come off a shelf, but from a sophisticated circular system between earth, sea and air, with every drop on earth eventually finding its way around in some form. Try and 'see' water when you are outside. Starting by looking up, to the cloud, to the sky, then down to the hills or mountains, and then down to your feet, trying to imagine the water flowing into streams, rivers and lakes, or even through the sewer systems that flow all beneath us in our urban jungles.
And when your day finally winds downs, try escaping into a sea-themed podcast, starting with the musically-immersive (and educational) Seagazing, from my creative colleague Nicolette Macleod: an astounding musician in her own right, with songs inspired by her love of the sea. And when you wake to do it all again, try revisiting blog 2 of mine on the power of cold water showers, taking deep breaths, slightly longer out, as the cold water washes over you and you learn to control your breathing. Start with 20 seconds, at the end of a hot shower, then creep up by 10 seconds every few days. You may even love the enlightening effect cold water has on every part of your skin so much that you turn the hot off altogether. I've never looked back.