The diary of a floating beginner: Part Two
Following the popularity of part one…
Hello again. You might remember me. Back in November last year, I wrote about my first six months floating for the Floatworks blog, and it seemed to resonate with a lot of you, which I didn’t expect, but will happily say I’m pleasantly humbled by.
Well, it’s now April of the following year, I’m still floating, and it’s time I gave you an update.
First thing’s first: It only gets better.
When I first started spending an hour a week inside an i-sopod tank, the immediate physical and mental effects were certainly striking – but there was a part of me that expected a little more, something a little deeper. I am an impatient person by nature and genetics (thanks Dad); I don’t want to train for six weeks to run five miles, I just want to be able to run five miles; I’d learn to play piano if it wasn’t for all the learning. So of course, this was to be expected.
But like pounding the pavement and starting with ‘Chopsticks’, the more you float, the better you get at it. Or rather, the better it gets. My ‘less effective’ floats are few and far between these days, and I find myself relaxing and shutting off in fewer minutes each time. I also find a float goes by like a lightning flash – and that’s only a positive sign. My meditation inside the tank is deeper, and my relaxed state lasts well into the weekend after a Wednesday evening visit.
Taking a few weeks off? Expect withdrawal.
As time has passed, I’ve spoken with more and more floaters in Vauxhall and beyond; once we get past the initial ecstatic screams of “Oh God, isn’t it just brilliant?!”, most agree that floating is “just like a drug”. And in some ways, it is.
It’s addictive. It really is. I was fortunate enough to take a three-week holiday in February so missed nearly a month of my regular time in the tank. And I really did miss it. I craved it. I daydreamed about my first float when I got back. But, unlike drugs, or alcohol, or what we might consider negative addictive behaviour, I’m yet to find a downside. And when you finally do get back on schedule, you’re likely to find your first float back is a much deeper, more profound and energising experience.
I’m learning more about myself…
…which is why I started in the first place. I find floating is a fantastic tool in helping to resolve personal or professional conflict: it helps you step outside of your own perspective and view a situation neutrally and from all sides. I find myself more aware of and willing to accept my flaws as a result of this, and better understand points of view that differ from my own. I am more sympathetic, empathetic, and much more able to admit when I’m wrong. As a stubborn 29-year-old manchild with emotional outbursts to rival a toddler, that’s a huge, huge step in self-improvement.
The physical stuff.
When I first decided to try floating, I did it for mainly mental and emotional reasons. I wanted to be calmer, to be better at managing emotions and better at understanding them. In honesty, I wasn’t that fussed about the physical effects and benefits of regular floats. But that’s not to say I haven’t experienced them profoundly. It sometimes feels like having had a massage when you step out of the i-sopod, as your muscles have unwound and relaxed in the saltwater. My skin glows. My nails are healthier. As a somewhat clumsy person, I often have scrapes and cuts on my body, and I swear to any God of your pleasing they heal quicker than they used to because of the Epsom salts in the tank.
And I sleep better. Oh wow I sleep better. I’ve pretty much trained myself to go to sleep at night. When I’m feeling restless, I lie flat on the bed, visualise myself floating, focus on my breathing, and I let the sleep wash over me. This works probably 80 percent of the time!
Final thoughts. For now.
There have been direct benefits to my life, too. I’ve made new friends. I’ve found something new to be passionate about. I’m reading more, and learning more about other people. I’m so much more productive. I’m on time for things now. I’m better with money. I could go into detail about all of these things and more, but I’d much rather you tried for yourself. And if you’ve just started, keep at it. The benefits are exponential.
So come on! Float down this rabbit hole with me.
If Andy’s advice resonates with you, we’d love to hear about it! Perhaps we should get a few more of our regular floaters on the blog…? Tweet us if you’re interesting in telling your floating story!