It Ain't Just Soap
I’ve had numerous discussions with people about soap. It’s no surprise. I make soap and I talk to people in conversations about commercial soaps, Moxxie soaps, and natural soaps in general (the word natural comes up a lot).
Inevitably, in the middle of it, someone would exclaim something like,
“What’s the big deal? It’s just soap.”
Or, if I ask what kind of soap do you like to use, they say, “It doesn’t matter, I’ll use anything”.
Or, “Isn’t soap bad for your skin?”
Or, “I would never use soap on my face, I only use xxx.”
The bar with 1/4 cleansing cream is winning the popularity contest in many circles. I get it. I used these products for years, happily, I might add.
I started writing this blog thinking I needed to explain the virtues of handcrafted natural soaps and to demonize the untruths of mass produced non-soaps that are really detergents and reveal the deception of products claiming to be “natural”. Instead, I am side-stepping that angle for now to explore a new, more interesting perspective about soap.
When we hear about handcrafted, natural soap, we tune out and stop listening. We generally hear…. blah, blah, blah natural. Blah, blah, blah, handcrafted. Yada, yada, yada….soap.
But here’s a question. ”How many times do you wash your hands each day?
What does the experience feel like – the stream of water, the texture and smell of the soap? How much or how little does this pull you into the present? Do you start to notice your breathing, how your day has been? Do you think of where you will go when you leave this space and what you will do when you get there?
Maybe you start to notice your immediate environment as you lather the bar in your hands, or pump the gel soap from the dispenser. Maybe at the same time the smell of the soap reaches your nose you see water spots all over the counter. Does it look like someone tried to take a shower in the sink? Where are you now?
Maybe you feel more clear-headed than a minute ago. More satisfied, or some kind of refreshed. Maybe your hands feel thirsty for lotion. Maybe you feel nothing at all and so you carry on with your day.
I’ll offer that I wash my hands many times throughout the day and often find myself standing at the sink enjoying creaminess of the lather, the texture of the bar turning in my hand, taking in the aromas.
For a few moments, I feel really good.
And I think that’s the difference with natural ingredient bars. A few moments are conscious-clearing. It’s incredibly simple, but important.
And I’m not the only one. This experience of being drawn into the present through an otherwise mundane task has been described to me by others, who have shared,
“I was using the patchouli soap and found myself just standing there rubbing the bar on my hands and arms - smelling the aromas.”
“I got lost in the feeling. I felt good.” “It was wonderful, if only for a brief moment.”
So what’s the big deal? I propose that sometimes it’s the little stuff that counts for a lot.
Perhaps, it ain’t just soap after all.
Tell me, what are your thoughts. I'd love to hear from you.