Beer me! …that water

Lord, beer me strength. What a week of water! Before I dive in to my more literary exploration, here’s what I’ve learned this week, a hydration summation:

  1. When you’re properly hydrated, you pee a lot! Advice: stop drinking anything about an hour before bed, to hopefully stop yourself from having to get up and go (sometimes more than once) in the middle of the night.
  2. Water can get boring. To “fun it up” and still maintain hydration: seltzer. Not to be basic, but I’m a La Croix lady myself — partial to the lime flavor.
  3. Doesn’t it feel great? I noticed clearer, softer, skin and more relaxed muscles. Looking forward to more positive changes! And now, on to the thick of it…

The Jewish literary canon is filled with words about water and metaphors relating water to life and its various elements. One of my favorite quotes comes from the Shabbat (Sabbath) morning service, in a section of transition from the meditative, preparatory songs of praise to the real substance of the service:

אילו פינו מלא שירה כים ולשוננו רינה כהמון גליו

If our mouths could fill with song as [water fills] the sea and our tongues would rejoice like its many waves.

It’s beautiful in its simultaneous simplicity and complexity. I like to translate with the “if” at the beginning, because the sentiment suggests to me endless possibility. Water is such a significant metaphor in Judaism because of the endless possibilities it holds for comparison to truth and life. This song, to me, is about rejoicing in our vast possibility for immersing ourselves in gratitude and spiritual awakening. This past week’s challenge was not, of course, about being immersed in a body of water, but about immersing my inner body with water.

me, immersed in water

All that water drinking has had me thinking about water’s impact on my life. I don’t want to, nor do I feel I need to, list all of the benefits that drinking the proper amount of water can have for a person. Staying hydrated is key to living fully, healthily, well. The thing is, it’s only one part of the whole. I started this blog speaking about how I try to live life in all of its parts, all at once. This is challenging, and can, at times, become (or at least feel) impossible. No matter what is happening in one’s life, it can get overwhelming, filled with obstacles, even just with the weight of every-day routines and responsibilities. We are (or at least I am) surprisingly easily-influenced by the comfort of routine, even when that routine isn’t working for the whole self.

I started with a relatively easy challenge for me. I already carry a water bottle and focus on staying hydrated throughout the day. But, I had fallen a bit out of that routine and into worse habitual practices. Living at home, with your parents, without job, can really do that to a person…you know, create bad habits. I’m not sure why.

But seriously folks. I have been given a lot of advice recently about taking care of myself, which I have taken to heart but not taken to action. These challenges are meant to kickstart that action, and this first week has reminded me of an important life lesson that I’ve already had to learn a few times over in my tenure thus far as a person on earth. We cannot focus on only one part of our life at a time, we cannot live completely compartmentalized. It ultimately, or even quite quickly, dissolves into destruction. I enjoyed the challenge of truly concentrating on drinking the proper amount of water every day. I’ve felt physically much better every day, and I feel like I’ve been slowly re-hydrating my mind and soul as well. I’ve fulfilled the underlying goal of the first week’s challenge: restarting my climb to being fully wholly healthy, well.

But it also opened my mind’s eye to the fact that I’ve really fallen down a well here. A dry one. Halfway through the week, I fully realized the first (assumedly) pitfall of this year. I can’t just pick one challenge and wait to fix other parts of myself on a different week. Just as I’ve filled — and emptied — my water bottle all week long, I need to fill my well, and climb out. Water is only the beginning; hydrating is my momentum toward wellness in other areas.

If I can fill my mouth with song, feel it ripple like waves on my tongue, I will be filled with gratitude, spirit, and love. If I can fill my body with water, feel it flow through my veins, I will be filled with health, energy, and vitality. If I can fill my soul, immerse it in the waters of life, I will ride the waves and experience it all sparkling, dripping, rushing, spilling, cascading, surrounding me. I love water, in all of its forms, and I’m excited to see where it continues to lead me.

Rosie, the most contemplative goldendoodle ever

Next week’s challenge: 5–9 servings of fruits and veggies daily! That’s the recommended amount, for a well-balanced diet. A few notes here: 1. Serving size varies for different foods; most sources will say about half a cup of most fruits and veggies, one cup if it’s leafy greens. 2. Generally, a smoothie always only equals two servings, because of the liquidation, even if it has many ingredients. 3. I know, you’re all thinking, two healthy eating challenges in a row?! Don’t worry, I’ll be switching it up in week three. 4. This week my challenge has a high likelihood of being featured on my instagram, if you’re curious for details, and any and all are welcome to join me!

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