Well, no, this is not my bathtub. Although I do have a nice clawfoot with a view of the meadow & a chandelier hanging over it. I found this gorgeous photo while I was researching Moorish fountains for a custom job. It would be pretty easy to create a sense of sanctuary in this bathroom, no? Most of us have functional bathrooms that we share with partners, maybe with children and pets. I no longer have to clear out dozens of plastic bath toys before I take a bath, but, trust me, a 16 year old girl can leave her mark in the bathroom too. And every so often the cat drinks out of the toilet. I know you know what I mean. We need to find ways to create real sanctuary in the midst of our real lives. This is especially important when we are going through real life stuff, like financial stress, loss and change of all kinds, burn-out from caring for others, overwork, overwhelm, health challenges, personal conflicts, and all the other things that come along to make the lives we love a little less lovable for a time. Here are some ideas for creating small islands of peace in the midst of daily life. Some of them are really simple - I often think about doing these things, and then resist actually doing them - minor self sabotage - but when I persuade myself to give them a try, the rewards are bigger than I would have thought. So next time you ar having a little stressy patch in the life you love, try doing just one of the things below, or one each day. Also, I'd love to hear how you would add to this list, so leave a comment with your own special way of creating sanctuary. By the way, I've gleaned some of these ideas from a few of my favorite inspirational women on line, like Kimberly Wilson, Jennifer Louden, and SARK. All these ladies are worth a visit.
- Take a bath. even if your bathroom does not resemble the one above, you can light candles, use wonderful scented oils and soaps that you save for special occasions, use a bath cushion, bring a magazine and a glass of wine with you, and lock the door.
- Use aromatherapy. just carry a little vial of essential oil with you, and close your eyes and inhale when needed. You can choose a scent by its traditional associations, or better yet, let your unconscious mind choose - try out many scents at the store and bring home the one that gives you an immediate, positive feeling.
- Make special playlists and use them. Make a "soothing" list, an "uplifting" list, etc... but choose the music for yourself only. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else, and you don't have to play it at your next dinner party. (My "soothing" list runs the gamut from Miles Davis to Tibetan chanting, and my "uplifting" has both Spearhead and Vivaldi.)
- Bring order and beauty to one little corner of your world, some place essential to your daily life, like your underwear drawer, your computer desktop, your medicine cabinet, your purse, your dashboard, etc. I had a friend who made a work of art out of her medicine cabinet. It had all the essentials, clean and orderly, but also little statuettes, postcards of beautiful artwork, love notes, a silk flower - an ever-changing tableau. It was a treat to open. You can do this anywhere.
- Use candles and flowers. Get one bouquet a week - it can just be a simple grocery store bunch of whatever is in season. I keep a bouquet on my entryway table, and a single bloom on my bedside table, in the bathroom, and in my workspace. Every week I get one really wonderful candle, and it follows me around for the week, bringing light and fragrance to the spaces where I work, cook, read in bed, etc.
- Do something physical for 15 minutes. Walk outside. Do one or two restorative yoga poses. Dance freely to a couple of songs on your playlist. 15 minutes can make a huge difference.