I never knew how good I had it until I visited California. I'm used to filling up a glass with cold water straight from my tap. In California, I tried the same thing, only to taste chlorine, metal, and all sorts of other interesting things that danced across my taste buds -- things I would rather not taste.

This small experience made me so grateful for good water. For my water purifiers at home, for the rain waters, and the waters that gush all over this globe.

And it also got me thinking...

What about all those areas that don't even have that California water? What about all those places where people have to walk miles to a muddied water hole, fill up their containers, and cart it all back? And what about the places where people and animals simply have none? What about all those waterways being polluted?

My gratitude quickly turned to concern. Not only are we severely depleting our ability to breathe by cutting down trees and rainforests, but now we're depleting our ability to live and thrive by spoiling our water resources. So what can I do?

Well, I can create rain water barrels out by my garden and use that to water during the summers. I can use water purifiers more in my home for my own drinking water, and reusable stainless steel bottles. I can conserve in a myriad of ways and teach my children how to do the same.

But what about things not so practical or tangible? What would the shaman in me do?

Seeing water as an element with life and purpose just like anything else, I remembered the work of Masaru Emoto. From his first water crystals shown in the film What The Bleep Do We Know, to today's Water and Peace forum at Lake Biwa in Japan, Emoto has been showing us how our own words and thoughts -- even music -- affect water. Seeing crystals from ""I hate you"" water and ""I love you"" water side-by-side, the evidence is apparent. And since we are made of water, I can't even imagine the depth that words and thoughts and energies affect us.

If we turn that to the worlds' waterways, what messages are we sending? If we are dumping our crap into the waters, plumbing their depths for resources and food, if we don't spend any time developing any relationship with water, then why would we expect healthy water to be returned to us?

Emoto calls us to speak to the waters, to offer prayers and gratitude, to say loving words and send kind thoughts. He says this heals the water, and brings it back to a healthy state. Sandra Ingerman, a well-known contemporary shaman, talks about how to transform personal and environmental toxins in her book Medicine for the Earth. She says ""we can reverse environmental pollution through spiritual methods."" I believe Emoto feels the same.

Today happens to be World Water Day, as declared by the United Nations. To honor the element of water in all its forms, to honor the life and spirit and wisdom of that element, to honor our relationship with water and our dependence upon it for our very lives, take some time today to speak to the waters.

When you take a glass of water from the cooler, whisper ""I love you...thank you for nourishing my body and keeping it functioning well.""

If you pass by a body of water during your day, stop and speak to it, honoring it for its beauty and life and for the gift of life that it gives the rest of us.

Bless your tears.

Thank the skies for the rains, or snow, and offer prayers that what falls is clean and pure, delivered by Nature's hand.

Sit with yourself and see yourself as beauty and magnificence. Speak to the waters that run through your veins and tissues and organs, thanking them, loving them. See those waters carrying all the toxins or waste out of your body, leaving it clean and refreshed, and affirm that the waters within you flow well.

Sit next to a body of water, and resonate with it. Meditate. Feel into its vibrations and energies. Then offer gratitude. To Emoto, resonance is the vehicle which life-force energy is transmitted.

Relax and treat yourself to compositions by Tchaikovsky, Wagner, or Strauss. Emoto has found specific music that benefits emotional and physical imbalances. Turn the healing onto yourself and the waters that flow within you.

Play music to the waters. Sing. Listen to their songs. Then, sing them. Sing the waters to life and vibrancy.

And so I send out gratitude and blessings to the world's waters. May they flow eternally, may they be healthy and strong, and may all of us remember our connection to this element and re-establish our relationship with it for the benefit of all.

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