Baths vs. Showers
We all grew up from childhood taking nightly baths after a hard day at play. Our parents told us to get into the tub and wash all the dirt off and of course, get ready for bed. But before that, there was a bit of time to be by ourselves to just play in the water and maybe be sort of quiet. This was our time to just be with ourselves.
As we grew older, showers became the norm. Getting ready for school meant a quick shower and rushing to catch a bus with no time for a bath. Baths seemed to be more a bother than they were worth even at night when homework and chores and the latest TV show called our attention more. So, showers seemed a logical and quicker choice as the way to get clean.
This was my pattern for many years. Later when I was divorced and a single working mom raising two kids it was the bath that started calling me. It was inviting me in to slow down. I was needing to pause and try taking time for myself and a bath offered me that opportunity to just. Shut. The. Door. I needed to leave all the stress and overwhelm outside so I could just be with myself inside. I even toyed with the idea of putting a do not disturb sign on that door.
At this time, I was also learning about the tarot. I had started playing with a round tarot deck that was called Motherpeace. There was one card that made me stop and really look at it- the four of discs. This image showed a woman shutting the door of her space. The image deeply resonated with me. The drawing just spoke to me and impressed upon me the need to shut the door on all the things screaming for attention at the time. I was a typical workaholic and managing being a single Mom with two kids, managing a household, and dealing with elderly parents plus starting a new relationship. Life was overfull and me along with it. I felt I did not know who I was anymore and what I wanted from my life. The to-do list was a mile long and I did not even know where I was on that long list. I needed to pause in the whirlwind that was my life and settle.
The bath was the place where I could shut the door on all the out there and be with myself. I could make that bath special by lighting a candle and bringing sweetly scented soap and bath salts with me to establish this as a special place and time. I created a Ritual for myself in that space. This was my sanctuary and I claimed it for myself. I needed this time to give me back to myself. I was placing a boundary between me and the world. I started to feel like maybe I was winning back who I was from all that pulling me away from myself.
I also discovered soapmaking and taught myself how to make soaps from scratch. Scents like Lavender helped one calm down and Patchouli and Vetiver helped one to ground and feel centered. I researched how to make bath salts and milk bath salts that would make a bath truly luxurious and special. I learned about how bathing was part of history from Roman times and how spiritual bathing was part of many cultures. The part of all this that drew me was that bathing was more than just a bath. It was more like a celebration of the self, whether a spiritual cleansing or community gathering, or sanctuary space. Water was the tool that was used for ritual purposes and more than just for getting clean.
This idea of bathing as a form of ritual become part of my dailyish practice. Bathing was my passion and practice and is a tool I wanted to share. Creating sanctuary and sacred space for oneself is so important to our well- being. I wanted to create soaps and bath products with scents that would encourage others to slow down and just pause. I hoped to encourage others to know that the bath could become a way back to the self. And through that pause, as a ritual for oneself and so I named my fledgling business Ritual Waters.
The bath where All Things Wild and Waterfilled are Good for the Soul!