Earlier this week one of my friends texted and said there was leftover swell in the gulf. Translated, he was asking if I wanted to paddle surf with him. Implied in those words and what he specifically stated later was, “I need to clear my head and get in the gulf water.” I knew exactly what he meant. 

There is something about the water that pulls us there. It clears the mind, relaxes and calms  the body and provides that sense of awe.  Most of our major cities and favorite vacation spots are on or around water. One study found that 90% of the world’s population lives within 6 miles of water (oceans, rivers, lakes, etc..), while another reports that 80% of the population lives within 60 miles of the coastline (ocean or sea). With modern conveniences of water pipelines, which can provide fresh drinking water to most places, why do we still choose to live so close to bodies of water? 

Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, has studied the impact of water and believes that “… our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.” Those are big claims, but I find truth in his thoughts. 

I have been on nature hikes, when I heard the sound of water, my body relaxed. It seemed to be an intuitive stimuli allowing my body and mind to take a break. In that particular case, we had been hiking for most of the day with the water supplies running low, so it made sense that my body would react that way. However, I have also found that even when I am hiking a short trail with plentiful water supplies, the same body and mind reaction occurs after hearing running water.

This feeling is one of the reasons I have posted videos of various forms of water on the Venture Terra You Tube channel. They are entitled “Moments” and a description of the location. These videos show different water sources, such as: beach, mangroves, waterfalls, snowfall, and rivers. They are about a minute long with the natural sounds of those various forms of water. 

These started as a way to remember places where there was connectivity to the water and the feeling of that location. But they have become much more. They have become a quick escape and refuge when a moment of clarity, meditation, or grounding is needed. 

Below are links to videos which captures water in several forms. Even if you are physically near water, hearing the sounds can produce a calming effect. Click on the below to see how this can work for you.

Florida Lake – Morning

New York Waterfall

Downtown River

Beach at Sunset

Snow Scene

I’m still not sure why water provides this effect, but I know I have found clarity and worked out many of my thoughts, challenges, and problems while sitting on the beach, riverbank, or on a paddle board. In addition to the calming influence, I have felt energized and full of life while sitting in those same places.

Do yourself a favor and find your local water and be energized and calmed. 

Until next time…..Find your venture.

Gary Gresham

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