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Me and My Bathtub

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Me and My Bathtub

Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Christiane Northrup More by this author
Aug 24, 2010 at 02:15 AM 0 comments

Whenever I book a hotel room, I find out whether I can get a room with a bathtub. If I can’t, I choose another place. Maybe it’s the moon in Pisces in my astrologic chart, maybe it’s just the soothing power of water. All I know is my day isn’t complete until I immerse myself in water at the end of it, before bedtime.

On those rare occasions where I find that I’ve been booked into a hotel room without a tub (for example the Club Quarters in New York City, which I’ve stayed in when its booked by a TV show), it just doesn’t feel right. A shower isn’t the same thing. It doesn’t offer the cleansing of my aura that water immersion offers. Okay—I can’t see auras. Never have. And wouldn’t know if mine were cleansed or not. All I do know for sure is that I crave a soak in a tub each evening. Because I travel so much, I have found that the stoppers in many tubs don’t work, even in really high-end hotels. (Most people don’t care because they are shower people, so this little maintenance problem escapes notice far too often.) Hence I travel with a flat, rubber, all-purpose stopper from our local hardware store. It works almost every time.

I’m in the midst of planning a master bath renovation in my home. I’m doubling the size of my existing bath and creating a real spa, complete with everything I’ve ever dreamed about in a bathing sanctuary—including a tile medallion with a dolphin pattern that looks like its straight out of an old Roman villa. Making a bathroom sanctuary makes perfect sense given the amount of time I spend in there at the end of each day. My old claw footed cast iron tub serves as the space in which I routinely read, write, stretch, dream, think, study old journals, listen to CD’s, and do Divine Love meditations. I even go to my inner “Magic Garden” to do the healing work recommended by my good friend Doris Cohen, Ph.D., and her incomparable Angels and Guides. (To learn more go to

Today, as part of the planning process, I went to a bathroom showroom and sat in a bunch of tubs. I want one that can accommodate two people (yes—I have a rich fantasy life). I know full well that for the vast majority of the time, I will be the only one in the tub. But I’m in the “If you build it, he will come” mind set.

One of the most delightful things about visiting a bath showroom is the utter clarity with which I approached the task. I’m no stranger to renovations. My former husband and I added on to my house several times. But in the past, I was just too busy to care much about how things looked. Besides, my husband had very firm ideas about what he liked. So firm, in fact, that I didn’t have the energy or desire to add my own two cents. He had it handled. And he had good taste, though it tended toward Spartan with a touch of Shaker thrown in. But I’m a different person now. Somewhere around the age of 50, I discovered that I actually do know what colors and styles I like. So I don’t waste any time looking at things (or doing activities) that don’t appeal to me. This is one of the real gifts of the second half of your life.

I can also get really specific. I want a classic two-person soaking tub, preferably cast iron, with the faucet and drain in the center. It needs to have rounded edges. I’m not sure if I’ll end up with a free standing tub or a set in. A set in would give me lots more space for books, candles, journals, etc., and there wouldn’t be so many books on my bookshelf that have crinkly pages from taking quick dips in the tub.

I also know that I want a lot of mirrors and natural light. I dress in the bathroom and have to see if the outfits work or not. In fact, I tend to sort through where I am in life by trying on “new identities.” I do this by trying on different outfits, an activity that sometimes goes on until 2:00 am or so. This may or may not be therapeutic on some deep psychological levels. At the very least it allows me to see what clothes and accessories I have and recycle those I haven’t worn for several years.

So, as you can tell, the tub decision is major. But here’s the thing. As I was hopping in and out of bathtubs in the showroom today, I was fully aware of how clear I had become and how swiftly I made my decisions. The experience was exhilarating. And in such sharp contrast to the approach I took in the past. My decision making process for these kinds of things were at first: “Wake me up when this is over,” followed by: “I’m sure you know better than I do so you go ahead.” That’s how I ended up with kitchen cupboards that don’t hold a standard size plate when I embarked on my very first solo renovation—much like Meryl Streep in “It’s Complicated.”

As I’ve often said, women dream of houses. And the house is a symbol for the self. As I renovate my physical home yet again, I’m aware that for the very first time, I’m actually enjoying the process of morphing my space to suit my needs and desires. And I have also attracted exactly the right people to assist me in this joyous manifestation. Ahhhhhhh.

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