First confession of the day: I've also named my dishwasher. His name is Kevin. He's amazing. He almost never lets me down. We cheer for each other. He cheers for me to get the dishes all in, and I cheer for him to chug on through the night washing, rinsing, sanitizing and drying. We have a good thing, Kevin and I.
I think there's power in naming things. I believe it draws gentle, honoring attention to how grateful we are. In my case, for the modern day miracle called a dishwasher. The naming of things validates their existence. I mean, we can't show anything or anyone proper respect until it has a name.
I was staring at my bathtub a few days ago, thinking about how amazing she was (yes, she's a she). How every night, I can count on her to fill up with lovely warm water and abundant bubbles on demand. How she's pretty much indestructible - she's been through it all. My cat tromps around in her (my cat loves water). My son eats snacks and has grand imaginary adventures in her lap. I sit nearby and read him stories. She's made it through negative temperatures and stressful school nights. I decided to name her Grace. It's totally emblematic of the way I feel about her. She is Grace.
Grace is a mechanism for transmitting the most visceral kind of love. She warms to your touch, she holds space for you. She envelops you in just the right kind of heat - heat that you're in charge of. She follows your lead. She can be sacred or ordinary, functional or decadent. She is a contradiction. She is delightful. She is solid and dependable.
It's gotten me to thinking about baths. I don't hardly take them anymore. Transporting myself back to the first house I owned in my early 20's, and the bathtub in that sweet little "jack and jill" bathroom.... I would soak in that tub for hours! My now deceased Golden Retriever, Django, would check in with me by sticking his nose under the water line and blowing bubbles. He'd run out of the room with a massive smile. What did I do then that I'm not doing now to fully enjoy this magical creation of mine - my bathtub?
I came up with the following solution: 10 steps to having a magical bath
1. Remove everything from the tub / shower area - everything.
Move it either out of the room or to a sweet little corner ('cause you know you're going to put it all back) - but clear the space. The edges of the tub and all around it should be free of clutter to begin with. Wipe that jazz with a warm washcloth and make it all sparkly so that you feel really invited to be there. Rinse the whole tub out with warm water too.
2. Get cozy with your space heater.
Now that spring is officially here you might opt out of the space heater but they're nice to have around. You want the room buzzing with warmth - you don't want to feel chilled at all.
3. Re-fill the empty space around the tub with intentional items that you want with you during your re-lax.
There's nothing worse than staring at a shampoo bottle for an hour, so find either special objects that are water-safe, candles, fresh flowers, maybe a piece of jewelry that has been passed down to you and you like to think about what that means... Whatever, just make it beautiful. My favorite thing to do is get a ton of the religious themed candles and fill the space with them - I mean fill it. (see photo).
4. Bless your water. Help it to serve you. Ask it for what you want.
I like to run my hand under the water with a generous scoop of epsom salts. Feeling the water rush, feeling the salts flow away from me, I ask for what I want. "Please surround me with your healing, soothing power." Or something like that. Sometimes I'll put a few drops of essential oils in - for whatever I'm trying to manifest. Sometimes I get nuts with the bubbles. Whatever your intention is, just take a moment to draw awareness to it, and then ask for it.
5. Gather the items of distraction, should you need them.
I enjoy having a big stack of books to choose from and also some yummy music to listen to while I'm in the tub. There are times when I opt for zero distraction and I just soak in the quiet with my eyes closed. But, forever a Girl Scout, I like to be prepared, so I get my stack of books and my laptop with a good playlist queued up.
6. Beverage of choice.
I've taken plenty of tubs with a glass of chilled white wine, which can be lovely. Lately I'm into hot herbal tea and chilled sparkling water. No matter, gather a beverage choice that feels good to you and get it ready.
7. Facial Masques.
These are really lovely to have on hand as well, should you decide to make it a productive bath. I find that during my bath, I figuratively wander around in between blissed out silence and stillness and "doing stuff" like putting a facial masque on. My favorite choices of late are pictured below. I enjoy these products because you get your scrub on and then there's a super decadent moisturizing masque that goes with it. For more information about these products, click here (dead sea facial scrub & coconut honey mask). Make sure you gather a few washcloths of your choice if you intend to do any facial masques. It's just easier. :)
8. Dry brushing.
This is a technique I found out about from Kris Carr's book, Crazy Sexy Diet, but it's ages old. You get a special kind of a brush that won't tear at your skin (here are some choices), and THIS is the kind I have. Your body is dry. You start at your feet and brush your way, gently, up towards the heart. You brush everything. You're increasing circulation, aiding in detoxification, and sloughing off dead skin. It's an amazing technique that once you start, you won't want to stop.
9. Lights out!
You should have enough candles lit (and this means a truckload) that you can see to read if you'd like, but the overhead bathroom lights should be switched OFF. This is relaxation time. Hard to do it with lights humming at you.
10. Towels not dangerously near the space heater.
There's nothing quite as comforting as wrapping yourself in a warm towel. My strategy is to place the towels I intent to use nearby, but not on top of, my space heater. They're never 100% warm all over, but it's still nice.
GET IN :)
What home appliance are you most grateful for as you read this? How about honoring it with a name? Share below!! xoxo