As soon as Jim got in we started jabbering about this and that and eventually? Conversation turned to these float tank things where you seal yourself off from the world in body temperature water loaded up with 850 pounds of Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts).
I was intrigued, mostly because it sounded panic inducing. Could getting in one of these things shake some claustrophobic fears up? (If not, should I try EMDR?)
Some basics: Everyone gets their own room and “pod”. You have a personal shower to cleanse before and after your soak. There are earplugs, vaseline (to cover cuts), a spray bottle (in case the salt water gets in your eyes), towels and whatnot.
The pod has soft music and lighting to mark the beginning and ending of your session. You may elect to keep the light on or turn it off (there’s a button inside the tank.) You may also choose to keep the lid full open, cracked a little bit or totally closed.
When it’s closed? Your breathing is the universe—the sound swirling and echoing. It’s also stuffy. I cracked the lid.
You can’t NOT float in one of these things. It’s a pretty neato feeling. And even being 6’5″ I was eventually able to lay in an X formation (hands over shoulders) and not touch the sides after a bit of bouncing around.
The real crux of it all is what you do with this silence. Some experience with meditation would be handy at this point. I’ve done a bit with the Tap In app, but not too much more than the random yoga relax/breath wind down.
So there I am in the blue light (oh yeah, I didn’t like it turned off), hearing my breath from above and below the water, and all of the things started demanding attention. Did I followup on that email? Was my phrasing too vague? When will that deliverable get out the door? Work front. Home front. Family front. All the fronts. And I know that what I’m supposed to do is honor each of those feelings. Acknowledge them and let them go for the moment. And just be.
And that’s what I think I did.
I was floating in space… weightless… breathing… seeing the world from above (it was round, not flat)… and it was peaceful.
Once I become aware of where I was, I groped for the light switch to try this peaceful feeling in the dark. I was okay in the dark.
How about with the lid all the way closed? It was a bit stuffy, but possible.
Then the music indicating the session was over began to play.