when I want a vacation.
when my brain won't shut off.
when I say "I just don't have time to do nothing."
when I really want to look at myself in a mirror.
when silence is better than bull shit.
when I wanna be a starfish.
One of the most important realizations I’ve had in a float tank is, that floating is ALL about the individual! We’ve all heard the phrase,“Only boring people get bored,” this is most definitely true about our time spent in the void. The float tank is an inanimate object; the pitch-black environment doesn’t care how hard my workweek was. The 900 lbs. of Epsom salts is completely indifferent to what my significant other/boss/friend/co-worker said or didn’t say. And when I close the hatch, the tank isn’t smirking about how it’s captured another self-proclaimed claustrophobic person. After facilitating over 26,000 floats, I can safely say most people who thought they would be claustrophobic, actually have no problem being inside a float tank.
Many people will have to manage the time it takes to read this post.
In our fast-paced world of ready meals, quick check-out, express bus, train, lanes, drop-off, pick-up windows, high-speed, 30 minute workouts, news highlights, 140 character attention span - everything is about now. Faster, easier, cram it all into the day.
I've been an advocate for being presently aware and in the moment for many years now. This practice, I am learning, is never ending and should be the only thing to practice for life. There is no limit to being consciously aware or present. It doesn't matter what your background, religion, race or gender is, it is something we humans all share and possess. Once one has an experience whilst being consciously present, it is amazing. Food becomes sensational, nothingness is entertaining and glorious, silence is a deep sense of peace, colours and lights glow and any touch is smooth, soft, warm and magnificent. The present moment. Not yesterday or tomorrow. Being consciously present, when focusing on something simple and letting go of thoughts and attachments, becomes the experience.
The main thing I noticed after floating the first few times was my deeper connection to self and how it related to other people.
I’m Jacqueline and I have four daughters—the oldest one is six, and the youngest is a ten-month-old. Needless to say, I don’t get a lot of time to myself. In addition to being a mother, I’m a writer, but this solitary activity does not get a lot of focus these days. I write while I watch Bubble Guppies and when I should be in bed, and I write when I should be cleaning, or exercising, or pre-cooking meals for the week. It’s one of the toughest things about parenting for me, that everything I want to do for myself takes time away from something more important. I am surrounded by squirming little people all day long.
When the first humans began to explore the dark crevices of the world, they were the first of us to experience a situation where they could deprive their senses from their harsh daily lives and slip into a mystical experience and reflect inward. Deep within those caverns, animal cults and secret societies emerged, as more complex and abstract ideas were experienced through ecstatic visions (Hayden, 2003). However, our ancestors did not then realize that those visions came from deep within themselves and one of the world's most complicated information processing machines, the human nervous system. We now do know these things and because of this we have developed the psychological and cognitive sciences in order to measure and analyze how we interact with the world around, and inside us, as objectively as possible.
Why would anyone want to deprive their senses? Why would anyone not want to feel anything? Well, simply put, just because you are in a sensory deprivation tank does not mean you don’t feel anything. All you are doing is minimizing the amount of EXTERNAL stimuli coming into your nervous system. So what does your nervous system do? It cranks up the volume. It tries to detect any sort of stimuli and yet still minimal is coming… so what happens?