Author Elizabeth Gilbert on what inspired this image:
Years ago, when I was going through a really hard time, a friend of mine who was a naturalist gave me some beautiful advice about how to best take care of myself.
He told me, “When an animal in the wild has been injured, it has only two strategies for how to heal itself: It can rest, or it can go to the water. Right now, try to do as much of both as possible.”
And then go to the water.
Drink the water. Submerge yourself in the water. Touch the water. Look at the water.
Then go back to sleep.
Repeat as necessary, until healing occurs.
Sometimes I forget these two magical principals — how to rest, and how to go to the water. Then I get overwhelmed by life’s challenges, and I trick myself into believing that I need a much more complicated cure than your average wounded animal. And sometimes I do need a more complicated cure, I guess.
But not usually.
Usually sleep and water will do the trick.
It always reminds me of that Isak Dinesen quote: “The cure for everything is salt water: tears, sweat, or the sea.”
This morning — after a good night’s sleep — I went to the water. Here’s a photo I took this morning of my feet dipping into my old friend the Atlantic Ocean. She has never let me down yet, and she didn’t let me down this morning, either.
(That said, when the ocean isn’t available, a long hot bath will work. Or a cold shower. Or standing naked under the garden sprinkler, which has been known to change the energy of a day, as well! As a final resort: Just drink 8 ounces of the stuff…whatever it takes! Get thee to water, people.)
Just rest, and go to the water.
It’s all gonna be alright.
That’s what the water always tells me, anyhow. And I believe in the water.