This is the second extract from one of my favourite books of last year, The Inner Beauty Bible, by the founder of The Colourful Dot, Laurey Simmons. It’s a celebration of bathing, water and ritual – homage to the healing power of just letting things go and letting yourself be. I hope you enjoy it,
with love, Eminé x
The supreme goodness is like water, which nourishes all things without trying. Tao Te Ching
Bathtime is sacred to me. It’s often the best or only chance I have in a busy day to properly unwind. Even when I’ve lived in places where there was no bathtub, or the bathroom was in need of some serious TLC, I’ve always tried to turn this room into a sacred sanctuary, surrounding the bath with crystals, flowers, incense and candles. Many ancient cultures treated bathing as a sacred healing art. These ancient bathing rituals grew from the recognition that water is an elemental force that has great power to heal. In India, there are many sacred places to which people travel for thousands of miles to go and bathe in the water’s sacred energy. In Pushkar, the lake is considered to be one of the holiest bodies of water, said to be made from the tears of Shiva. Each morning there is a beautiful scene that would captivate me during my time there: against a backdrop of mountains, the sun gently rises over the lake and its light begins to dance and sparkle on the surface of the water, as women in brightly coloured saris quietly enter into the vibrant blue waters to seek healing.
In this bathtime ritual, I hope you will find inspiration to add a sacred, healing dimension to your bathing routine. If you don’t have the time, even just choosing one or two extra elements from this ritual will be enough to feel like you are giving some love back to yourself.
Cleanse the bathroom
Start this ritual by cleansing the space and all your sacred ingredients in it with sage or Palo Santo wood. Even though the water itself is cleansing, the air in your bathroom can really benefit from an energetic cleanse. And, if you want some extra motivation for smudging here, then it’s good to know that smudging smoke has been proven to reduce bacteria in the air by up to 94 per cent. This is a quote from the study in a scientific journal in 2007: ‘the ability of the smoke to purify and disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24 hours in the closed room.’
Add sacred beauty to the space
After cleansing, light a candle to create a soothing ambience, and add some flowers or a plant at the end of the bath in your line of vision. This provides a beautiful focal point, allowing you to drop into a meditative state. I’ll often just gaze at the flowers whilst in the bath, absorbed intimately with Mother Earth and all her natural beauty. I have this beautiful quote from Georgia O’Keeffe about flowers in my bathroom as a reminder: ‘When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.’ Maybe you have a quote that reminds you of the importance of nurturing yourself? Why not put this somewhere in your bathroom as a reminder?
For a deeper beauty bath, add some flower petals to your water. You can even dry your own flowers (rose and lavender are really good for this), then put the dried petals into a muslin bag and add this to the warm water for a deep floral infusion.
Connect to scent
To elevate your sense of smell, have a relaxing oil burning. I like to use rose and geranium oil with this specific ritual (lavender oil is also great to use here). As the aroma fills the air, I enter deeper into a relaxed state, visualizing the molecules of scent travelling up through my nose, down my chest and into my heart centre. Here, I imagine that the scent is absorbed by a delicate pink rose in the centre of my chest, slowly opening its petals to reveal a baby pink healing light. An extra touch here is to add a couple of drops of the oil into the bath and some pink Himalayan rock or Epsom salts. These salts are naturally healing and a fantastic way to help draw toxins out of the skin.
Mindfully place Rose Quartz
With this image of the pink rose firmly rooted in your heart, mindfully place some pieces of Rose Quartz around the bath. If you don’t have a bath, you can simply lay the crystals around the edge of your shower tray. As I place the crystals, I imagine they are surrounding me with loving energy. I’ll also add some Rose Quartz tumble stones (small polished stones) to the water, so that when bathing I’m fully immersed in a nurturing, calming, loving energy. This is the perfect energy to prepare you for a rejuvenating night of beauty sleep.
Let the deep relaxation begin
Once in the bath, I close my eyes and mindfully connect with the sense of being enveloped in water, taking a moment to express gratitude for this moment. I then imagine that the crystals surrounding me are holding me in a loving, active embrace. Feeling this embrace brings me a deep sense of calm, like I can just let go and allow myself to be supported.
End with gratitude
When you’ve stepped out of the bath or shower, it’s important to bring this ritual to a close by expressing gratitude: for the water, the flowers, the crystals, for this time to restore yourself. I like to listen to the first sounds of the water draining, carrying away all the troubles of the day.
When you want to add some extra Inner Beauty magic to your bathing routine, but you don’t have time to do the whole ritual, you can mindfully add some small Rose Quartz chips into the bottle of bath oil or bubble bath you already use (remember to always cleanse and fill the stones with your loving intention first). This will infuse them with the calming, nurturing energy of the stone. Some of my favourite bubble baths/bath oils to use are by Neal’s Yard Remedies and I sometimes like to make my own.
Extracted from The Inner Beauty Bible by Laurey Simmons, £14.99 (Harper Thorsons)