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Open waters banner logoIn his campaign to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of an aquatic lifestyle, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols has declared 2021 “A Year of Blue Mind.” Each day he publishes a different Blue Mind-related item on his Patreon page. This wonderful essay was published on day 23.

wu logoAs wildfires rage through the western U.S., countless lives are impacted, upended and lost. It is an annual wave of devastation that has become far too familiar.

This past month, our colleague, friend and Wolfpack team member, Wallace “J” Nichols lost his family’s home as the Lightning Complex fire raged through the bucolic coastal hamlet of Davenport, Calif., just north of Santa Cruz. His is one of hundreds

LBF Logo 5 1447x616 1By Eric Herman

Moving from Washington State to sunny Palm Springs Calif., was a dramatic transition to say the least. Back in March, my wife and I went from one of the lushest and wettest places in the U.S. to one of the most barren and dry – and one of the hottest. 

LBF Logo 5 1447x616 1By Wallace J. Nichols

Not everyone achieves Blue Mind in the same way. It’s a concept that is extremely personal – and that’s why it’s so effective to boosting your mental, emotional, and even physical health. By contrast, Red Mind is your body’s stress response gone haywire. It can be activated when you’re worried about your

LBF Logo 5 1447x616 1By Wallace J. Nichols

The ability to achieve "Blue Mind" is not dependent on a location – such as an ocean, lake, or river. It is also not dependent on being fully submerged in water.

While being able to jump into a cool lake on a hot summer day or stand in the waves at a favorite beach spot helps you

LBF Logo 5 1447x616 1By Eric Herman

In our last edition, Lauren Stack invoked the concepts of “Blue Mind” and “Red Mind,” both terms popularized by author Wallace “J” Nichols. While those references may seem somewhat esoteric, a recent personal experience suggests that Nichols is

LBF Logo 5 1447x616 1By Lauren Stack

One of water’s super powers is the ability to alter our state of mind. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, our world -- with its over-stimulation and over-connectedness – was causing stress and anxiety for countless people, all of which results in what author Wallace “J” Nichols calls

Our human attraction to water is well documented, observes Lauren Stack, but none of us are automatically comfortable around it, nor do we often learn to swim without access to lessons. That's a pair of issues this article addresses while pointing toward a compelling aquatic future.



0To gain a larger perspective on what tomorrow holds for our planet and our watershapes, writes James Robyn, start by looking beyond our day-to-day lives to see what history, science and astronomy can tell us -- then consider what it'll take to ensure a long, safe, prosperous future.




15yearsagoBy Brian Van Bower

‘Is it honest to say that too few of the swimming pools you find in America’s backyards are what one could call well built – and that even fewer of them are well designed?  I think so,’ wrote Brian Van Bower in opening his Aqua Culture column for April 2002, ‘because so many of the pools I see run like junk and look like junk.’

‘The environment out there is so unfortunate that

15yearsagoBy David Tisherman

‘I can be quite outspoken,’ declared David Tisherman in opening his Details column in the November/December 2001 issue of WaterShapes.  ‘Here’s the unvarnished truth:  No more than a hundred pool builders out there can legitimately call themselves designers, . . . while only a handful design at the very highest level.’

‘Almost always, the difference between these top-level designers and

15yearsagoBy Brian Van Bower

‘If you work hard,’ wrote Brian Van Bower to open his Aqua Culture column for September 2001, ‘you should get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.’

‘For all of the obvious truth of that idea, I wonder how many of us hard-working folks in the watershaping trades take the time for those things that bring us enjoyment and a sense of

5-yrsBy Brian Van Bower

‘As obvious as [it] may seem, it’s phenomenally easy to lose sight of the immediate importance of healthful habits,’ wrote Brian Van Bower in opening his Aqua Culture column in the July/August 2011 edition of WaterShapes.  ‘I know deep in my heart that being healthy is a long-term commitment, but I also know how easy it is to set that discipline aside.’

‘As we make our way through [the busy] summer season, . . . it’s easier than usual to set aside concerns about healthy living in favor of