March 14

There must be quite a
few things a hot bath
won't cure, but I don't
know many of them.

Sylvia Plath


Today's Meditation:

If there were one thing that I could make time for every day to help keep me centered and to help lower my stress, a hot bubble bath just might be it.  During the most stressful times of my life, I've often turned to a hot bath for relief from the turmoil that surrounded me and filled me, and rarely did the bath ever let me down.

Quite paradoxically, it's easy to search for complicated fixes. Somehow, we're also taught to trust the expensive remedies and cures more--after all, we get what we pay for, no?  And of course, we wouldn't want to try to cure clinical depression or cancer with a hot bath--in those cases, the expensive cure is most probably the necessary path to take.  But when we don't allow ourselves the opportunity to slow down, relax, and enjoy the soothing effects of hot water on our skin, then we may never know just what a hot bath can do.

I'm astonished sometimes at the suspicion that some people have of hot bubble baths.  I've heard people say that they're for lazy people and slackers, that they're a waste of time, that they're for self-indulgent hedonists.  I even had someone ask me once, in all seriousness, if a man taking a bubble bath meant that he was gay.  Have we as adults reached the point at which we can't simply accept something for what it is and enjoy it for what it is?  A nice hot bath is something that many people don't give themselves nearly often enough, for they've somehow decided that they don't have the time, or it isn't "serious" enough, or that a shower is a more functional tool for cleaning themselves.

When I was in the Army, we had no baths.  When we live in our RV, as we're doing now, we have no baths.  Those times make me appreciate baths even more.  On cold days, I'll even go outside for a while to get cold, just so that hot bath will feel even better.  Do yourself a favor, and give yourself the luxury--or fulfill the necessity--of a nice, hot, relaxing bath with no interruptions and perhaps some soft music playing.  Baths are not just for women, and they're not just for special occasions.  They're about taking care of yourself and giving yourself the chance to soothe your body and your mind.

Questions to consider:

Why do so few people allow themselves the time to take a long, hot bath? 

If taking a hot bath can help to relieve stress and calm the mind, then why aren't they used more often by the people who can use them?

How can we make sure that things like baths are part of our regular schedules in our lives?  How can we prioritize them?

For further thought:

We start to realize that there are anodynes in life that help us through the day. I don't care if it's a walk in the park, a look out the window, a good bubble bath-- whatever. Even a meal you like, or a friend you want to call. That helps us solve all this stuff in our head.

Al Pacino


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