Bathing as a luxury of living simply
Day 111/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: rested and still
Luxuriating in my beautiful bathroom is a ritual that I indulge often.
There's nothing quite like a deep, long, warm bath, scented with rosemary from the garden, with the addition of soothing bath salts and candles to light the bathroom, to bring me into a blissful rest at the end of the day.
With lovely soft towels to pamper myself, I can lose an hour or more as I drift into my inner world and reflect on what's left at the end of a day with clients and/or my study books.
Bathing is considered a daily necessity these days so why not make it a simple luxury.
Self-mastery is about making time and space in your life to care deeply for yourself as you provide opportunities for inner reflection and releasing of the day's stresses. There's nothing like a long bath to centre yourself.
There are so many lovely lotions, soaps, gels, bath salts, brushes, and other accessories to add to our bathing rituals. Take some time to gather some pampering bath products.
When I reflect on the many homes I've lived in, a parade of bathrooms cross my memory like a slide show. Large baths that were so big I'd slide right under the water as I rested back, baths that were so small that I could barely sit comfortably in to immerse my body, some that had an edge that made it uncomfortable to sit on, and still others.
Recently I rented a home that had an original seventies bathroom. Chocolate brown bath and basins, with those tiny square tiles that were so popular at the time. Seriously, it could have been a museum piece of typically trendy seventies design. It was such a delight to steep my body in warm water and reminisce on those heady days.
A very special memory of bathing returns from my mid-twenties. Having travelled through the Eastern block countries in Europe for some months with access to only cold water showers, I discovered a Turkish bath in Istanbul. So many things about this experience are alive and float to the surface.
Notably men and women were segregated in these public baths, we women were instructed to enter the change room and strip off. Then moved into a large room with a marble floor, water pouring over it, and a large round plinth in the centre. You can imagine it as a turntable although it didn't turn, instead had drainage between the raised plinth and the floor.
Each of us were instructed to sit around the perimeter of the room where water flowed continuously into large marble basins. With plastic containers similar to margarine containers, we poured water over our body to soften the skin and await our turn with the bathing attendants. These gorgeous, large middle-aged women dressed only in french knickers and huge wide smiles were armed with luffas and soaps ready to give us an amazing scrub down and massage as we each took our turn.
So deliciously cleansed and scrubbed, I vowed that I would one day have my very own turkish bathroom.
Clearly this bath house had seen better days. In anticipation of a hot scrub and being really clean for the first time in weeks, I quickly ignored the initial hygiene concerns that came flooding in.
There appeared holes where you could imagine mental accessories and adornments once graced the marble fittings. All the elegance and luxury removed in favour of practicality. My curiosity go the better of me to know what the men's area was like and yes, on enquiry, it was confirmed that all the ornate accessories and crystal bowls honoured that hierarchical distinction of the genders that you find in muslim countries.
Bathing is a simple luxury that you can indulge in daily. With simple accessories and an assortment of bubbles, scents and soaps, brushes and luffas, it can feel delightfully abundant.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.