As I turned on the water to draw my bath, I glanced at the shelf by the tub lined with bottles of bath oils and lotions, reflecting various colors of the sky, the earth and flowering desert plants. Many of those bottles were given to me by friends at a birthday party who said, "Be kind to yourself, take a warm, long bath, relax, luxuriate and treat yourself like a baby." Hmmm...
I began by dipping my elbow into the bath water to check the temperature. As I slowly stepped into the water, the warmth of it engulfed my leg, and my foot felt the security of the smooth mat on the bottom. I lowered myself into the tub and cradled my neck in a soft pillow and breathed in the rising steam scented by a mild eucalyptus oil. Closing my eyes, covered by a cool eye mask, I consciously relaxed every muscle in my body. I listened to my deliberate, steady breathing, felt my heart beat ever so slowly and I fell peacefully asleep.
Upon awakening I ran a hot shower and washed my hair, massaging my scalp with the hardness of my fingernails and the softness of my fingertips, making thick lather. Using one of my scented soaps and loufa, I washed my body, the roughness of the loufa scrubbing away dead skin, the faint lavender scent of the soap making me feel lusciously clean.
Stepping out of the bath, I wrapped myself in a large, soft towel, heated by the towel warmer. As I poured the cool moisturizing lotion into my hands to warm it and smoothed it over my body, I luxuriated in the silky feel it was giving my skin, and it reminded me of the obvious joy a baby feels when rubbed with baby lotion after a warm bath.
Babies are touched, caressed, massaged, nurtured for a reason. It gives them a feeling of security, love and acceptance. The human touch is so immensely important, not only to babies, but to all of us.
Even if we don't have the time or resources to indulge in professional massages, manicures, shampoos, or aromatherapy treatments, there's nothing to keep us from pampering ourselves and recalling those same feelings a baby feels.
As I dry my hair and dress, I think how I feel nurtured, loved, safe and relaxed, and it makes me recall those same feelings as when I was growing up. And I'm the one who made me feel this way. Pamper yourself -- treat yourself like a baby!