This is the story of the journey I have embarked upon from March 1st through 31st, 2017. I have challenged myself to a 31 day float challenge. I have a lot of goings on this month, new family members, multiple visitors, new job. It’s shaping up to be one of the most chaotic months in memory. I figured what better time to make floating a priority in my life.
The stakes? Well it’s hard to make a bet with yourself. For no real reason, I haven’t shaved my armpits in about a month. It’s to the point where I should probably take some form of action. I get a few double takes at yoga or anytime I’m not wearing sleeves. Other than the odd stare, I can’t identify a single negative consequence to having armpit hair. It does not impact my life at all. So here’s the deal, if I achieve my goal I will have my underarms bush whacked just in time for spring, but if I fail, I must keep the hair throughout the entire summer. Needless to say, I have the full support of my significant other!
62 showers, 20 sets of ear plugs,15 towels, and
2 bottles of shampoo later this is my take away.
Make time for yourself. “If only I had the time” – we’ve all heard this before, maybe you've relied on the excuse too? The truth is, we make time for the things we find important in life and I’m here to tell you that YOU are important in YOUR life! Taking care of yourself and getting a restful sleep should be high on your priority list. Yes, things get crazy, yes there are times when there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day. When this happens sit down and evaluate where you are spending your energy. With everything going on in my household lately there were days that I wasn’t sure how I was going to set aside 2 hours to float. But I did. Everyday I made floating a priority and after a week or so it became my norm and my brain objected less. Make time to spend on yourself, I assure you – you are absolutely worth it!
Everyone should have their small slice of nothingness, their own cave to crawl into and view life from a different perspective. For me this is obviously a float tank, and in my very biased opinion, I think it’s the best place to spend quality ‘me’ time, but maybe for you it’s hiking, meditating or driving. Spending time alone is so beautiful. It’s so much fun getting to know ‘you’ and bettering your ability to identify your triggers, weaknesses and emotions. I have a much better understanding of myself and I owe it to the float tank. Your relationship with yourself is the foundation on which all other relationships are built.
Kindness should be the default. A while back I was playing a game with some coworkers and they all had to write a statement about me that was either true or funny. My favorite, so much so that I’ve saved it and keep it on my bulletin board, is “I am much less of an asshole since I started floating”. This couldn’t be more true. I wouldn’t say that I was an intolerable douche before, but I am certainly more caring, patient, and understanding in how I handle situations and treat other beings. I can’t help but think about what a wonderful world this would be if everyone floated.
Everything worth doing takes hard work. Floating everyday has been fantastic, but some days I have trouble mustering up the energy. There are days when I have so much to do, and don’t know how I’ll fit in the time; some days I just feel too lazy to have two showers. Floating everyday has taken some serious dedication. Yet every time I lie down in the silky water I am so grateful to be there and glad I’ve followed through. It is always worth the time invested.
Listen. To yourself, to your body, to your friends and family. Really listen.
Don’t Worry – Be Happy! Worrying about negative things that could potentially happen does nothing but help to manifest those negative things from becoming a reality. Everyday I take stock of the things I am grateful for, and the list just keeps getting longer. I am blessed with fantastic friends and family. I care less about the materialistic things in life, and I don’t care about the weather anymore. Whether it’s sunny and warm, or cold and miserable, a wonderful day is only a mindset away.
Play, experiment, try new things. About half way through my journey I realized I’ve been floating basically the same way as I ever have - so I started experimenting! I floated with music, with lights, without ear plugs, and tried new positions. I was surprised by what I observed, and it confirmed to me that there is no wrong way to float, only personal preferences. Expand this beyond the tank; I encourage you to try a food that you don’t think you like, do something that scares you. Do you truly not like bananas or is that just the narrative you’ve fed yourself for so long? I challenge you to contemplate your personal preferences and try something new – you might be surprised by the results!
GET PUMPED ABOUT LIFE! You don’t have to jump out of airplanes or run with bulls to feel alive. After 31 days in a float tank I am so grateful for my existence, so happy to be alive and to be helping those around me. I’m happy for this body that lets me get around, for the senses that allow me to experience life on so many levels. I’m more motivated, creative, and ready to take on the world than I’ve ever felt before! This reality, the one I’m calling my life, is pretty damn awesome, and even if I could, I wouldn’t do it any other way!
These aren’t ground breaking original ideas. Any mindfulness practice will reinstate your appreciation for the little things and open your mind. Floating for 31 consecutive days hasn’t dramatically changed my life or made me a different person, but it has brought me closer to the person I strive to be. Joe Rogan always says “Be the hero of your own story” and this hero just conquered a tiny floating dragon!
Look out summer this girl has shiny armpits just waiting to be shown off!