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Have you ever had a time in life when you literally did not know where you would find the strength to get through it?
I am a living example of how Water Wellness can improve strength through life’s biggest obstacles. In 2021, I was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer. I was prepared to write myself off. My number was up. But later that afternoon, something made me head to the nearest beach, immersing myself in the water. All I could think of was that I wanted the ocean around me, around this diseased part of my body. I was hoping, in fact, begging for the salt water to heal me. As my tears rolled into the waves, I knew that being around water would be a significant reason behind my survival.
It became a daily habit – helping clear my mind of negative and overwhelming thoughts, whilst strengthening me physically as I swam and walked for miles along the shoreline. I should have been angry. Instead, I was calm. Focused. I knew I had to keep doing this, but at the time, I didn’t know why.
But the worse was yet to come. 2 months later, as I started my treatment, my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I was in my darkest place possible. I had to find it within me to continue to fight for my life as she lost the battle with hers. I have no doubt that if I hadn’t already started the practice of Water Wellness, I would not be here today. I would have lost my way. I would not have had the strength to fight.
On days I wasn’t physically well enough to leave the house, I would watch waves virtually on YouTube, listen to the sound of the ocean through my phone or look through happy memories of being on or by the water. These all helped towards cognitive elements of intellectual Water Wellness – a relatively new concept to Wellness that encourages a healthy brain and the capacity to keep the mind active.
As I lost more and more weight, I would use the water to strengthen myself physically. I would swim to build damaged muscles from major surgery – starting as just being able to walk along shallow water. I now seek out different bodies of water to run along as part of my physical health, creating my own outdoor Blue Gym. One of the happiest moments in my life was to be able to finally get into a kayak without it sinking! The tranquillity of kayaking is addictive. I am now healthier than ever before. I listen to my body and adjust as needed. A true dimension of Physical Water Wellness.
I took up Blue Health Journalling and meditation, using this opportunity to process my thoughts around the water, whether on an ocean bench, at a riverside cafe or even in the bath! It helped clear my mind and allowed me to focus. I needed to find myself again and work through this spiritual dimension.
My partner encouraged us to spend more time in Blue Space, sharing a love for the water and talking openly about feelings and fears. We would meet friends close to the beach so we could go for a walk, seeking support, as well as offering it when needed. This emotional and social dimension of Water Wellness is key to encouraging awareness and acceptance of feelings. Blue Mind takes it one step further to create positivity and enthusiasm through that journey.
I wanted to understand how this concept had affected my life so positively. I began to read about Blue Mind and learn about Wellness concepts through the mind, body and soul. From the beginning, I knew in my heart that water would be significant to me, but I wanted to know why. This intellectual dimension of Water Wellness supported challenging mental activities through expanding knowledge and skills, especially where there is a personal passion.
When I was back on my feet, I found a job in the outdoors industry to be around others who really appreciate being around water. I wanted to make this an even more significant part of my life. I have also begun work from Co-Working spaces close to bodies of water, so I can take a walk in Blue Space when needing a break.
Occupational Water Wellness is so significant given how much time we dedicate to our work and professional lives. Ensuring enrichment through meaningful and rewarding work helps to have a positive attitude. My values had changed entirely, and I needed to realign my occupational dimension. The reward is being fulfilled and looking forward to each and every day.
As I continued to learn and understand more and more of the power of being on, in or near the water, I felt more inspired to share. Share to help others who are going through their own challenges in life. Share how even just one dimension of Water Wellness can help give strength. Share how positive the power of Water Wellness really can be. This social dimension is one so very close to my heart. Supporting others. Encouraging others. Embracing Water Wellness.
From there, the concept of Water Wellness and its six dimensions were created.
I did not realise at the beginning of the journey that I was on the path to finding my inner strength. I’m a big fan of Tony Robbins and became captivated by how his explanation of finding inner strength aligns with Water Wellness. Despite the negative situation, using the little energy I did have to focus on being around the water, allowed me to let go of the past. I didn’t want to live in the past – this would only dictate my future. It was so much easier for me to feel more positive, calmer and more present in the moment next to the water, than it was from a bed or sofa where I had spent day after day feeling unwell. Water Wellness helps change your mindset. It’s an art of positive thinking. It helps you find your purpose through reflection – one of the most important reasons for life.
This whole journey changed me physically and mentally beyond recognition. And yet somehow, I found the strength to come out stronger and healthier than ever – through the power of Water Wellness.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not an easy process. There are still hard days. Lost days. Overwhelmed days. But, they get less and less, and easier to cope with. It is worth your commitment to go through the journey to find your inner strength.
If I can do it, you can too. I believe in your inner strength.
Start practising Water Wellness today.
Water + Wellness = Strength
Gill is a full-time water lover, writer and creator of Water Wellness. Whilst spending several years in Australia, she found a passion for being by or on the water whilst camping in the great outdoors.
After a recent battle of kicking cancer’s butt, she found herself realigning her important values and purpose in life. Now back living on the stunning South Coast of the UK, she is inspiring and educating others on the power of Water Wellness – a holistic lifestyle concept including emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual, social and occupational dimensions, where the impact of being in, on, under or by the water during times of struggle is legendary.
When she can’t be found in a daydream near the water or bobbing on a kayak, you’ll catch her planning her next travel adventure or journaling to appreciate how great life really can be.