I soul-dived, took an Oregon solo trip, then came back to Ohio (they're surprisingly similar in greenery), decided to let creativity lead me somewhere. My first post about it was here.
But here, I want to talk about something I did in Oregon. I went floating in a sensory deprivation salt water tank. It was awesome for many reasons. FAQs from my favourite float place here.
I wanted to share my reflections because it was such a unique healing experience, and am open to talking about it more.
The magic of floating happens outside the float tank.
It all builds and comes together in ways I probably can’t even imagine yet.
In the months after floating, there’s been changes that couldn’t have happened without it.
For example, now I know how to just sit and feel.
Before floating, I couldn’t and didn’t even understand what that meant. Whenever someone wise recommended it, I glossed over it like “I feel things.” Oh yes, I have emotions, but just being with the feeling? Staying with discomfort?
Staying with a feeling in a way that asks, “what’s happening in me, through me that I need to acknowledge right now? what needs to be released?”
No numbing, no distractions, just love and forgiveness.
Digesting my experiences. Feeling it all fully.
Even if it isn’t easy, I know I can handle it, and why I need to.
Now, I’m doing this more and more often. Sometimes in the moment of the emotion, sometimes afterward.
Floating influenced how I am with my body.
I’ve realized how I’d been neglecting my body is some ways, in big ways. Her pleasure, for example, is in movement – and I hardly did more than sit and walk around the house most days.
Now, I’m aware of satisfying her. I focus on movement like nourishment – dancing small and big, sprinting, yoga, stretching, even finding movement classes just for fun (like pole dancing). None of my practices are serious, they’re playful and all about what feels good in the moment.
In the float tank, I also reunited with my inner mermaid. The float tank is a fun place to swish.
I remembered how I’d loved the sea from a few summers in childhood and I’d pretend to be a mermaid in almost every pool afterwards. And how I loved feeling the ribbed sand.
I began reconnecting to my love of salty water (taking a pinch of salt with water occasionally), the beauty of water (especially light through it), my body’s need for about 12 cups of water a day (whereas I’d been getting sometimes 2 cups but max 8 beforehand).
It was surprising to also find a desire for tropical beaches, just for the sake of being on a tropical beach – I probably thought this was too touristy and hadn’t admitted it to myself before, but the body wants, so.
Along the same lines, I’ve also been reconnecting with my love of tides (how they follow the moon) and the wisdom the ocean has for us. Like, flow. Trust in how things unfold. How it’s serene sometimes, Kali-like other times. How it just accepts ebbs and flows.
I’d even say floating helped me become more peaceful with challenges, situations that aren’t going my way, spiders, the world in general. More loving towards it, more forgiving of myself and others. More honest with myself and others about my truth (especially my vibes, boundaries, desires).
I’ve been learning to forgive myself instantly. At least, now I’ve accepted it’d be a good idea.
I’ve also started being more creative. My creativity is more important to me than I’ve (still! after all this time and all these lessons!) been pretending. I got myself personal art supplies and opened myself to the arts world (visited galleries as an artist, talked to other artists, went looking for a dayjob in that world).
My creativity has started flowing in all sorts of ways, I’ve found new interests and more things to be excited about. Things to get out of bed for (I sleep in more than I want to, considering mornings are my fave for soulwork).
Creativity flowed from my notebooks into how I’m living my life. I realized how free I truly am, because it doesn’t matter if others “get it.”
These changes have been years in the making, but floating gave me the space to nudge them closer into my reality.
They came to my conscious as little trickles of thought, little innocent, open questions that opened my world.
“What if I took my artwork to a gallery?” (I hadn't considered it before.)
“What if I forgave myself for ___?”
"What if I just made art for myself, for pleasure?"
“What if I created a little, compassionate drawing to remind people they're actually wonderful?” (In that moment, I was all filled up with compassion and wanted to remind everyone who saw my drawing that they're loved.)
All this, the floating and play and space-making, sums up like this:
I've been, incrementally, getting the growing sense that everything in my life is exactly as it’s supposed to be, right now. And it could be magical, if I let it.