Day 62: The Art of Floating

Sometimes it feels good to just stop for a minute.

Stop trying, stop pushing for growth, stop pining over each word and sentence, correcting it to something more useful.

Sometimes one just has to stop and breathe and stand still for a second.

I did this literally and figuratively today. I tried a float tank.

Walking into the room where I was going to float was a little unnerving. Here I was, headed for what looked exactly like a meat locker, only a little smaller. The place reeked of chlorine which actually made me feel good, cause…. cooties. The doors to the tank room didn’t actually lock. I found out this is because if you fall asleep in the tank they sometimes have to come in and wake you. This is the stuff of nightmares for the people who work there, imagine having to open the meat locker, reach your hand into the complete dark to grab some part of a nude body that may or may not be asleep and/or in a deeply meditative state. It’s amazing no one gets kicked in the face.

If you haven’t floated before it is basically a high salt content water that renders you weightless. It is a sensory deprivation room so you wear earplugs and there is no light.

For those of us with anxiety (raises hand high!!) I had so many concerns.

How would I know when my time was up? They play music.

What would happen if I didn’t hear the music? They play it louder.

What happens if I still don’t hear it? They bang on the door and/or grab your damn foot… or head depending on what way you are floating.

Will I be able to hear if someone comes in and tries to steal my wallet? No.

Will the magnesium from the epsom salts cause me to have stomach cramps (taking Mg orally does this)? No, but having anxiety about stupid shit will….

Will I be able to last the entire 60 minutes? Yes, you freak, calm the fuck down.

So I go to this room. There is a shower and a meat locker. You shower off all the grime before entering said meat locker. There is a light and vacuum sealed door. Once you are “comfortable” you turn off the light and enter complete darkness. Then you start to frantically search your mind for the last movie you watched in which a person was buried alive and then you empathize with them and only start to mildly panic at the thought of what if someone came in and bolted your door shut.

Then you relax… okay that’s a lie… there’s about another 45 min of anxiety over various things ranging from “I wonder how I will be able to get my car out of the impossibly small parking garage I barely managed to get in to (you will because the person next to you will have left)” to ‘If I am tired enough from my morning workout and am a side sleeper and roll over will I actually just drown (no, no you won’t).

They tell you to lay on your back (obvi…. salt water on the eyes sounds like a terrible idea… oh yeah, and… breathing) with your arms above your head palms up. This, supposedly, reduces contraction of the back. I couldn’t get comfortable. To be fair, I boxed for… three hours this morning… yes… you read that right. I don’t know what my problem was but I was really getting off on hitting shit and sweating a bunch. As you can imagine, my arms were pretty tired, my back was seized up and my neck (which I slept funny on) was starting to cause a massive headache.

It was going really well.

I kept telling myself to relax, which never really works. I stretched, I cracked my neck, I shifted around… I had to pee. What if I had to pee before the 60 minutes, I would have to get out and shower and run to the bathroom (which was outside the room in reception). Would I do this with a towel as the man running the joint was clearly gay and wouldn’t care (probably), or would I get fully dressed and once I left would I forfeit the rest of my time?

Yup, this is how my brain always works.

So I am laying there, uncomfortable, body aching, muscles actually spasming a little in my shoulders, thinking “how in the fuck am I going to last an hour?”

I brought my arms up to an X across my chest and held on to my shoulders. Something about that calmed me. This is something I have noticed and is likely a protective gesture, I just can’t be freely exposed in my front. Maybe I need some chakra clearing or trauma work. Who the hell knows. Once I was firmly hugging myself my mind began to chill and I could feel myself falling deeper into a meditative state. It wasn’t a normal one where I am firmly on another brainwave, as there was still a bunch of mental chatter, but below that was a calming and a quiet. I actually didn’t realize how relaxed I was until I got out and had to rejoin the real world.

For a few blissful moments I was able to stop. I disconnected from physical sensation. I listened to my heart beating (it didn’t sound 100% solid and clean) and I quieted my subconscious. My mind still ran around like a little cretin, but below that there was stillness and I just allowed myself to stop and regroup.

Did I fall in love with floating? No. Will I do it again? Absolutely. It is almost a forced relaxation that I am sure we glean far more benefits from than what we can ever comprehend. I will say all that magnesium really worked wonders on my muscle aches and my headache. I definitely felt better coming out than I did going in.

Next time I will focus on my heart and getting it to be calm and regular. I know what to expect and will have less anxiety than before. I will still worry about the parking situation and whether or not I am going to pee myself in a salt pool. Baby steps…

The moral of today? It’s okay to stop for a bit. It’s okay to stop striving for growth, to stop working on you, to stop worrying, to stop engaging with other people. It’s okay to do whatever the hell you need to do for you. And sometimes that means sitting down for a metaphorical rest. All of the work, the self growth, the healing, it will all still be there, waiting.

Do some weird shit. It might just take you to the exact place you needed to be. ❤ ❤

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Day 53: The Strength and Brutality of Anger

I woke up today in a blind rage. Actually, whatever emotion is stronger than blind rage, that is what I felt. I feel like Kali, best known as the goddess of destruction.

It isn’t just anger actually, that is just the one that I am letting to the surface, and I will explain why. If I dig past the anger there is so much confusion about me and Mr. X. There is an incredible amount of fear that I will never find as deep a connection, there is a pain in my chest that dropped me to my knees when I realized I would probably never again have his lips against mine. There is a deep pain of rejection of who I am and what I have to offer, and SO much confusion. It all stems, once again, from attachment to an outcome and super high expectations of someone that, while he did better than a lot of people, still did many of the things that everyone has when my heart has dared to eek open. I should probably stop expecting something different and change how I am showing up.

The really hard part of personal growth is that when you know that thought patterns are fucked up you become less able to trust yourself. So, for me, I find people that I think I can trust and I see how they see the world. Inevitably in relationships you run into friction and this is when things get tricky. If I say I am feeling angry and here’s why, past history with Mr. X specifically and indeed all of the men that I am drawn to, is that they come back and say, “well why, that isn’t my perspective.” Then suddenly I think okay, well maybe I am wrong and maybe this is me having a bad thought pattern. And I see so clearly their perspective, and also mine… and then I get super confused about what is real or right. When in reality what is real and right is our own perspective which doesn’t always jive with our partner’s. We have to be picky about what we choose to take on as our own and do so only if it aligns with our growth goals.

I am really confused about the last few weeks with Mr. X in my life and I am trying so hard to process and make sense of it. If I talk to other people I am met with very loud and firm opinions and it is almost overloads my system. If I talk to him I end up feeling incredibly lost and like my thinking is so fucked up that there’s no way it can be right, and I end up having no clue where to turn. I swirl around in this place of confusion and angst so thick that I can’t move and I can’t breathe.

This is where the anger comes in. I am angry at him, at myself, at this entire situation.

Anger can be all consuming and it can make a person dumb. It can also create movement and drive, and sometimes that is what is needed. Harness the anger and take a step. The anger may not be totally appropriate. It may not be at all accurate from someone else’s point of view, but it is mine. It is what I feel and it is making me drag myself along. Truthfully, it doesn’t even matter what the direction is as long as there is motion. Those other emotions, the confusion and the pain, if I choose those they will keep me locked in a prison of misery with the feeling of acid burning a hole in my heart.

Anger is not always the best to latch on to. It can make us do stupid things and it can wreck shop. It can destroy relationships with the touch of a word. It is a really fine line to travel between empowerment and destruction. Sometimes though it gives enough energy back into the system to help propel it forward… or sideways or backwards but it gets the energy moving. The trick here is to not get lost in it, to not bring it into the heart where it can sit and fester. The anger is there to move through, to propel motion and then exit. It isn’t meant to be recycled again and again and again.

That is the part I am currently struggling with. The letting go. I have been sitting in this anger all day even though I made decisions and took firm action this morning, and to be honest, it is making me completely exhausted. That’s the problem with anger. It requires a lot of fuel to keep up, and that fuel can only come from inside and once that energy starts burning it is very hot and very quick. Anger has a very real place in the world. There are no “bad” emotions except the ones you get lost in and consumed by. In the interest of not falling victim to consumption it’s time to let this subside and turn attention to what I want next. And once that is decided, I will push forward, brutally and with abandon until I have every last particle of the life I want to lead. That means leaving behind everyone else’s wants, opinions, advice…. and instead choosing how I want my life to be, because nothing is set in stone, we decide the meaning and ultimately we decide how we create our existence. Even when we have created the biggest stinking pile of shit ever seen, it is never too late to start building something different. ❤ ❤

Image by SAFA TUNCEL from Pixabay