Om Float in Ashburn is the scene of my float. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with friendly introductions and welcomes from the owners, Amy and Brooks. They immediately put me at ease. I was excited to try this and really nervous too. Ninety minutes in a dark, silent pod...I didn't know if I could do it.
I had some time to chat and confess all of my fears about the float. Great advice was offered, "No expectations." Amy told me that every float is different and that's ok. (I repeated those words to myself during the float.) When it was time to float, the Brooks led me back to the room that held the shower and the pod where I'd be floating. More words of wisdom...about breathing and listening for my heartbeat...and I was off.
I stepped into the pod and closed the door. It was dark...completely dark. There was music playing for the first few minutes, so I was ok. I followed instructions and laid down. I was floating...almost. At first, I didn't allow myself to float. I was touching the bottom of the pod or the walls. Relaxing into the float was something I had to practice and remind myself of during the whole time. It's amazing once I was able to let go. I felt like a little kid floating. It felt like joy.
For the first few minutes, I was getting used to this new experience. It was interesting and unlike anything I'd ever done before. The next few minutes, I started to worry about everything. I worried that the silence would be scary. I worried that the time would be too long. I worried. I worried. I worried. I opened the door and stood up. Breathing. In. Out. In. Out. I practiced the meditation technique of noticing thoughts and allowing them to go. I started to relax. I thought about getting out, but I felt if I'd left, I would be missing something. FEAR wasn't going to force me out of this experience that I wanted.
I got back in and this time, I felt more relaxed. I spent the time breathing and noticing how often worrisome thoughts popped up. I thanked those thoughts and allowed them to go. Every time I did that, it felt better and better. My mind wandered the whole float. There were moments when I felt like I'd completely let go. There were moments when I laughed too. I found words kept returning to my thoughts...Love. Open. Hearing my heartbeat was something that soothed me and brought me joy. "I'm alive", I thought! For me, this first float was about experiencing it.
At the end, the lights come on and chimes ring. I think I may have cheered for myself. I did it. After I showered and paid, I left. The experience doesn't stop there. The owners talked about paying attention to how I feel for the next few days, even the next week, and see if I notice any changes. I'm scheduling my next float soon.
Thank you to Ruth Ayres for providing this space to share our celebrations. Please join us and share your own!