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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

5 Ways a Sacred Bath can Float You Past Writers Block: Guest Post by Paulette Kouffman Sherman


Paulette Kauffman Sherman

Guest blogger: Paulette Sherman

One of my favorite routes through Incubation is a long soak in a hot bath. It just feels so good. Dr. Paulette Sherman explains how to make a simple bath more effective in her upcoming book, The Book of Sacred Baths: 52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit (Llewellyn, August 2016) and she shares the essence of the concept here.

Paulette used sacred baths to overcome writer’s block, conceive creative ideas and birth 21 books. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, Paulette was inspired to leave a legacy of books. She is doing great now and her writing dreams continue to become reality. You can learn more about and from Paulette at parachutejumppublishing.com.

As Rosanne wrote in a previous post: “The only way to get the glory of Illumination is to move through Incubation. And the only way through Incubation is the path of surrender.”  

Among the many benefits of sacred baths, they create great incubation space where you can let go of all negativity, relax and let guidance stream through. When I started taking sacred baths two years ago, I connected more easily to my unconscious, my muse and Higher Self. I found some of my most creative ideas in the tub.

What Is a Sacred Bath?

Book of Sacred Baths book coverA sacred bath is a simple ritual where you light a candle, add essential oils and Epsom salts to the bath, and call in your Higher Self or a Divine Guide. Clarify your intention before you settle in to the tub. You can enter the bath with a specific question or a request for creative insight.

Practice deep breathing while you meditate on your question or intention. If your mind wanders to everyday worries or topics, just bring your attention back to your focus. Remain receptive to new ideas as you focus on a feeling of wellness. This often “resets” your awareness so you emerge with clarity of mind, an elevated mood and new ideas.

When 25 minutes are up, you can imagine blocks,and limiting beliefs going right down the drain. Blow out the candle to close the ritual space. I often use a journal record ideas immediately after a bath so I don’t lose them when I shift into my every day consciousness and routine.

bath creativity sylvia plathHow Sacred Baths Benefit Writers

1. Water often inspires creative ideas. Woody Allen showers for inspiration. Designer and film director Tom Ford reported taking three baths a day to find inspiration and solutions to challenges. Research shows that warm showers and baths increase dopamine, which in turn increases creativity.                                                                   

2. Ritual is an invitation to your muse and a source of higher guidance. The simple ritual of lighting a candle and using scented oil in hot water helps you get out of your own way. When you call in a Higher Power, you feel less stuck and alone. The ritual shifts you to the heart of what you are trying to say and helps you focus on your mission the writing project. For example, because my latest book is coming out soon, I’ve been mentally churning a To Do list of author marketing tasks to the point where I’d almost forgotten why I wrote it.  When I took a sacred bath, I remembered I want to be of service to my readers. This re-energized me and boosted my morale.

bath relax canstockphoto87329013. When you get in hot water, you get you out of your monkey-mind and away from the Saboteur. As your body relaxes, your ability to dismiss negativity increases. Be clear that your Higher Self and muse are invited to your sacred bath and the Saboteur is definitely not allowed. You can entertain ideas while you relax knowing that you don’t have to make final decisions or do anything with them.

4. A sacred bath raises you from fear to love and freedom. When we are afraid (when our limbic system is engaged as Rosanne would put it), we contract and feel stuck. Tunnel vision sets in and we can’t see options. It is much easier to create when we’re in a loving and positive state and we’re open to surprise. As your body is surrounded and supported by hot water, the sacred bath surrounds you in love, light and relaxation. This centers your body, emotions and mind and heightens your intuition.

5. Relaxing reduces distraction. Things to do, people to please or influence, problems to solve, responsibilities to meet, social media and electronic devises to attend to – all these and more distract us from creating. Rosanne points out that the Incubation stage can be unsettling, and when we distract ourselves from the discomfort, we don’t allow ourselves to move through Incubation to the Illumination stage. A sacred bath is an enjoyable way to ease anxiety without losing yourself in distractions.

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of Dating from the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart and 19 other books. Her latest, The Book of Sacred Baths:  52 Bathing Rituals to Revitalize Your Spirit, will be released on August 8, 2016. You can pre-order it on Amazon now so you have one less distraction on your To Do list in August. Paulette’s websites are: www.sacredbathing.com and www.DrPauletteSherman.com.

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