• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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Mindful escapism?

There is a sense of escapism when we’re having a bath—it’s a sanctuary of sorts where nothing and no one are allowed to penetrate, and what matters is only what we choose to bring in with us—a book, lit candles, music, or sometimes, nothing... Letting our minds wander as we soak in the heat feels like such a luxury. Sweat mixing with bubbled bath providing a release, a detox from the world.

And yet, I do my best thinking during a bath. Don’t you?

It doesn’t matter if my mind brings me to faraway, fantastic places—I revel in them! What’s wonderful is that I’m always able to sort out issues that have been bugging me, niggling away in my mind, just from a good soak.

I learnt to love the ritual of a bath even more during my time in Japan, where onsen visits marked every occasion there, from wonderful holidays to fun-filled theme park visits, to a relaxing moment after an exciting and tiring day taking part in a mikoshi matsuri. The moment I was at an onsen, the ritual would take over as if on autopilot, followed by an hour or so of reflection and bliss.

In the speedy world that we live in today, our bathroom seems to have become the only space where we would permit ourselves time—to clean, groom, refresh, think—to escape mindfully! So, why not make the most of it? Let mermaids and seals join us in our views of white cliffs while slippery kelp tickles our legs, inviting the list of chores and emails to slowly disappear…