My Birthday in a Black Hole

As many of you know, each year for my birthday I try something I’ve never done before. It’s a way to challenge myself and to continually push my own boundaries (like I really need this…)

Sharing the Surprise

This year, I decided to try out a floatation tank and I decided I would take Mom with me for the experience. Now, I admit, more than half the fun of my birthday surprise is not telling Mom what we’re up to, instead, springing it on her to get the biggest reaction. (I’m obviously still a teenager at heart.)

Here’s her impression of our shared birthday surprise:

Can’t see the video? Click Floatation Tank

Locker 2Why Float?

I first heard of floating during a lecture by the Blue Mind author J. Nichols, which discusses the benefits of being around / in /on the water on our human psyche. I totally bought it and knew instantly that I had to float.

Floating means that you immerse yourself in highly salinated water, so you, ya know, float effortlessly. Here’s the kicker—you float in a tank that is devoid of all light and sound. Basically you’re cut off from your most dependent senses so you can more fully experience the joy of water immersion.

A Depth of Feelings

When I told my friends about my birthday present, they didn’t quite understand the allure of a floatation tank. My buddy Brig thought it was “freaky sensory deprivation.” And my friend Sonal declared she would not give up an hour of her time to lie in a dark hole.

But to me, floating was not about sensory deprivation, but just the opposite – it was sense enhancing. When you’re in the 6 ft by 5.5 ft tank, floating on your back in about 18 inches of warm water, you ascend. The complete absence of light and sound means that you only hear your heart pounding and feel your soft skin and your streaming wet hair.

This quote from Kath Fingarson sums it up for me:

“Lovely darkness will cover your eyes until you sense the true meaning of light.”

I’m not saying I discovered the true meaning of light, but I did experience a tad bit of transcendence. And to me, there could be no better birthday present!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 and is filed under Erin Right Now.

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