H20: The Molecule of Life ----- Back

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H20: The Molecule of Life

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Words by Antoinette Barnardo

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You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.

- Bruce Lee

As vital as air and even more omnipresent. It lives within us and we live within it. In its abundance we thrive, in its scarcity we wither. The ancient philosopher Thales of Miletus believed that “water is the principle, or element, of things. All things are water.”

Our most valuable resourse, our most essential element, water carries the signature of existence, the resonance of being. Water forgets nothing; it is a record of our history and a foreteller of our future. In water lies the essence of who we are, and through it we experience…


Ensconced in a protective liquid sanctuary, we were once blissfully suspended on the brink of life. There we gestated, we grew, our tiny cells plumped with the nourishment of water, preparing our form to be birthed into the world. Still, on land, without hydration we wilt, we dry up, and the life within us diminishes. Water grows the seeds of the harvest that feeds us, supporting and sustaining all life. Water is our wellspring of energy, our source of beauty and vitality.


The atoms within the molecules of water can exist in all three states of matter – solid, liquid, vapour – transforming on a whim with a change in the environment. It takes the shape of its container, and yet remains exactly what it is. As human beings, the majority of our bodies are made up of water. It follows then that as human beings we have the capacity to behave like water – to transform ourselves with ease from one state to another in an endless cycle of metamorphosis. For us, as for water, no two days are the same and neither are our bodies the same from day to day. We are not static in nature and like water, we should always regard ourselves as mutable, fluid and living within a dynamic and ever-changing physical form.


Water is both reflective and distorting. In it, we see ourselves not as we are but as we perceivably are. The aquamarine blue of the ocean on a clear day is merely an illusion of light and no more than hints at the vast, teeming ecosystems of life below. Through the metaphor of water we are called to reflect upon our own image, explore what might be brimming below the surface, and question how we shape our self- perception within the context of our environment.


A powerful, omnipotent force, water can be tender or fierce. A deluge, a raging rapid, a churning ocean – as it gives life it also takes away. The power of water commands respect, reverence, and is never to be underestimated. As part of the cycle of creation and renewal, destruction is integral. Water breaks down hardened structures and purges the decay of old ways so that the energy of creation might ascend through the debris, once more resetting the system.


Water flows in a continuous cycle, allowing life to seed, grow, thrive and eventually ebb making way for the emergence of new forms. Like the tides receding and replenishing with each passing day, our lives emulate the constancy that exists within flux and the perpetual renewal of being. The paradoxically ever-changing invariable, water reminds us to anchor within a state of flow.


Historically water has played a crucial role in religious ceremonies and medical therapies administered to soothe the soul and heal the body. The cleansing properties of water are both literal and metaphysical. In it we immerse ourselves daily to wash the residue of our external environment from our bodies but also to reinvigorate the mind and spirit. Diving into a body of water and letting it rinse our physical form brings a sense of rejuvenation and wellbeing. It enlivens the senses and calms the nervous system. Cleansed by water, we begin anew.

For YORA’s inaugural campaign, Reflections On Water, we draw inspiration from the fundamental, unifying element of our natural world. We look to the power, depth, fluidity, interconnectedness and reflectivity of water as a representation of the birth of a new paradigm in beauty and skin health.

Words by Antoinette Barnardo

Mentioned in the article

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