Saturday, September 10, 2016

Peaceful Floating

Today I'm celebrating floating! I floated yesterday. It was my first float. Ninety minutes of darkness. Ninety minutes of silence. Ninety minutes of peace. I loved it and I'm going back soon, but it wasn't easy. I'll get back to that.

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!

11 comments:

  1. I have never heard of this! It sounds like an amazing experience. I'm with you though...I would be worried about being in an enclosed space for so long. I actually kept saying "I could never do that" as I was reading your words. But your inspirational ending had me cheering. Good for you, friend! You stretched beyond your comfort zone and it paid off. YAY!!!

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  2. I have never heard of this either. And you are so much braver than I! I don't think I could do this. I would love the relaxation part, but I would not do well floating in a tight, dark space. Can't wait to hear how your next few days/ week goes. Have a great weekend!

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  3. I CAN'T WAIT TO GO!! Thank you for writing about your experience! Now I want to do it EVEN MORE!!!

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  4. I don't know if I would find myself there, but time to relax and reflect sounds good!

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  5. I love the way you stepped out of your comfort zone to discover more about yourself. I'd never heard of this either. Good for you.

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  6. This is new to me, too, Michelle, and I love that you pushed out of your comfort zone & did it. It sounds so interesting, a beautiful zen time.

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  7. What a wonderful (and scary) thing. I just googled it. Looks like there are quite a few locations for this in Los Angeles. Keep sharing. Maybe I'll muster up the courage!

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  8. I loved the way you shared this journey, Michelle - it sounds like quite an experience, one which calls upon youu to reach deep into yourself. As Julieanne said, keep sharing...I may try this, too!

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  9. This is quite interesting, Michelle. I'm not familiar with floating at all. Being present, relaxing, and breathing is a challenge for me. I force myself to do yoga to work on these aspects but floating would help me too. I'll have to look into this. Glad you had a good experience.

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  10. I think this experience took bravery and your sequence of thoughts showed the reader bravery was included. Way to go, I couldn't do it.

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  11. Michelle, your float has elements of risk-taking, breathing with depth, introspection all weaved into moving from skepticism to fear to surprise and pride. While I applaud you for this fearless act, I am not even sure I would be able to keep calm within the darkened space. I have trouble going into a MRI can. Good for you.

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