Re-hydrate Your Spirit

Shirin K. A. Winiger / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Something counter-intuitive that I learned recently is that when we get really dehydrated, we stop feeling thirsty. This is a problem for me because I get so consumed in what I am doing that I often disregard feelings of thirst. After a while these feelings of thirst subside even though I haven’t drunk anything. Since a majority of our body consists of water, major dehydration leads to huge crashes.

The same can be said for spiritual dehydration. I believe that like water in the body, the spirit is a major part of who we are. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing that we ignore signals of “thirst” sent by our spirit. Soon these signals stop coming, and this is when we are headed for a huge crash or crisis.

Have you ever gotten into a funk where you complain about everything? Like an addict, pretty soon we need to complain half the day away until we feel “normal.” We ignore signals to replenish our spiritual needs and keep spiraling down the path of negativity until we crash–crash a relationship, crash physically, crash emotionally.


Since it’s almost December we can start talking about Scrooge again. Scrooge is a character whose “spiritual thirst” stopped firing. He had gone so long without re-hydrating his spirit that even Christmas did not make his soul yearn for love and goodwill. The visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future can be seen as a spiritual “intervention” that replenished his spirit just enough so that he was able to recognize his need for lovingkindness and good deeds.

Since all of us don’t have the luxury of phantom interventions, or even have the time or resources to do a Vipassana meditation retreat or take a trip to Mecca, we often have to settle for “sips” of spirituality to keep us on track.

Here are some of my favorite spiritual Gatorades:

Touch nature–Notice I’m not saying you need to take a solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Just a sip of nature will do sometimes. Hug a tree or at least put your hands on the bark. I learned once that trees are connected to the earth and heaven, so hugging a tree grounds you and sets your soul free. Sometimes even a nice piece of wood can re-hydrate your soul.

Fox in Crib

Animal hiding in the wood of our son’s crib. Our son’s name is Fox.

Shut up–My father-in-law is a Qigong master, and he is always telling me to conserve my qi (life force). When we talk too much, we often burn a lot of qi or energy. Arguments are like qi bonfires, both parties involved lose a tremendous amount of power. If we can just stop talking and listen sometimes, we actually increase our qi. You don’t have to drop into full lotus in Starbucks, but sometimes we just need to hear the wind in the trees or your son asking you to play with him.

Best-ever something–Make something in your day the “best ever.” Next time you kiss your spouse goodbye, make it the best ever goodbye kiss you have ever had. Make your next meal the best ever fruit dish you have ever eaten. How about the best ever walk to school or coffee break? Like my friend Garth says, “Why isn’t it? Everything else is gone. It’s all a dream now. You’ve only got this. Just love it. Just love it.”

Quick, Hug someone–Of course, I’m going to mention hugging, since I’m a fan of the Hugging Saint, Amma. But you don’t have to get a hug from the hugging guru; you can just hug someone standing next to you. Obviously, don’t get yourself arrested, but try hugging people you see everyday. I have a strategy for getting hugs from my friends–I reach my hand out for a bro-shake (thumbs together facing up, fingers wrapped around the back of the hand), and as soon as I get a hold of their hand, I pull them in for a bro-hug (one arm hug with bro-shake hands trapped between the chests). Dogs love hugs. If all else fails, just hug a tree.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

What do you do when you need a quick sip of spiritual Gatorade? Please share.


24 comments on “Re-hydrate Your Spirit

  1. oliviaobryon says:

    So grateful the blog universe brought me to your words! 😀

  2. Dieu says:

    Your “best-ever something” advice is the best advice I’ve heard in a long time! I think I will try to use it as soon as I can. 🙂

    • Kozo says:

      You just used it, Dieu, by saying that the advice was the best you’ve heard in a long time. See how easy it is? Your poems are the best ever until you post the next one.

  3. lmcdaniel says:

    Hm I would say when I’m not in church or reading my bible I like coming to wordpress and reading all my blog friends thoughts and stories of life and everyday stuff to get out of my funk. good job hugger lol

    • Kozo says:

      Great point. I really believe that WordPress can be a spiritual experience. Sometimes when I have a tough day, I read something from one of the blogs I follow that seems like it was written for me. It helps me realize the lessons I need to learn and the beauty that surrounds me.
      Thanks for the visit and comment.

  4. NIKOtheOrb says:

    I take a sip from nature, this is my meditation. I go outside into my backyard and immerse myself in the woods for a little while. I sit on the ground or on a rock, I touch he trees, I touch the rock. I shut up, too. I listen whenever I’m in the woods. Yesterday, it was the first snow where I live and I went out early in the morning and just stood in the woods as it snowed…I also listened and I could hear the snow as it touched down. I could hear the slight wind and when a branch became too heavy with snow and would bend enough that the snow fell. I noticed what I didn’t hear as well. Like the day before yesterday, when I went outside I heard many, many squirrels digging through the leaves and ground for acorns and a lot of chewing. 😀 But in the snow, I heard no squirrels digging and no birds’ song either. I think that is important, also; noticing what isn’t. That’s what you’re saying, too; to be just as mindful of the Is Not, so we can know when we have to take a sip from the Is again. 🙂

    • Kozo says:

      Thank you so much for this dialogue. You delved so much deeper than I did into the “just listen” suggestion. I love that you could hear snow touching down–just that image/feeling/sensation calms me. Thank you.
      I also love the idea of hearing what isn’t. It is being open to what is. Not trying to force a preconceived connection with nature, but simply letting nature touch you. Beautiful. Also, a great metaphor for life.

  5. diannegray says:

    i love the analogy between dehydration of the body and the spirit! Brilliant 😉

    I’m not sure why – but I get my spiritual strength from the moon. I sit quietly and look at it for a long time and it seems to fill me with energy and pure thoughts 😀

  6. Literally: Awesome! [Noble Silence]] _/|\_

  7. […] Re-hydrate Your Spirit ( […]

  8. This is an inspiring post and I like the part of that we gifts in our life that are already unwrapped. During the holiday season some cannot celebrate as picturesque as those portrayed in Martha Stewart which can be a reminder to be thankful for what is in our lives right now.

  9. […] Re-hydrate Your Spirit ( […]

  10. Professions for PEACE says:

    What an amazing article! I choose to list this post as a source of spiritual Gatorade!
    Your image of Jim Carrey’s Scrooge and the description of he character’s spiritual thirst are wonderful. As a great fan of that Dicken’s tale, I watch all the different versions and was delighted when this one came out as it really touches on the fear-factor of his horrifying warning. Mind you my kids are fully grown now, as I’m not sure it’s appropriate for the wee ones – better to stick with Michael Cain and the Muppets.
    Your suggestions to touch nature, make today a ‘best’ something, and to hug someone, quick! are wonderfully wise yet incredibly simple to do, right now, today. I love it! Thank you for this delightfully inspirational article. Cheers to you! ~Gina

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Gina. Here is a hug for you–{{{Hug}}}
      This was the “best ever” comment I have ever received on my blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m so grateful we found each others’ blogs. I love how you “profess for peace,” and I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my blog.
      Here’s to more best ever exchanges between us.

  11. eof737 says:

    My doctor did say that by the time I feel thirsty, my body is already dehydrated… Hydration is so important and I’m working at being better with it…

  12. […] We strive for happiness regardless of material conditions, relationship status, or past history. Click to Re-hydrate Your Spirit. […]

  13. Above my monitor now reads “Make it the Best Ever”. My visitors will just think it refers to whatever it is I do on my computer. Really, it’s a reminder that when they’re present, my listening will be the best ever. Any help I offer will be the best ever. Anything they might need from me will be the best ever. Any phone calls or conversations I have will be the best ever…. My compassion and the love I show others will be the best ever.

    • Kozo says:

      Your friends and visitors are blessed. I have to remember to do the same on my blog. Thanks for reminding me. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  14. […] We strive for happiness regardless of material conditions, relationship status, or past history. Click to Re-hydrate Your Spirit. […]

  15. […] We strive for happiness regardless of material conditions, relationship status, or past history. Click to Re-hydrate Your Spirit. […]

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