I went to my first float nervous. It was strange. I was about to get in a dark tank full of water in a place I had never been before! Who does that? But I l like to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone so I read up as much as I could, made my appointment and went. While the float host was nice, I was still a little nervous when it came down to me and my tank, but I showered and got in anyway and I even closed the door as soon as I got in. When I laid back, body extended on top of the water, my back felt stiff and arched, my shoulder ached a little bit as I reached my arms up above my head and I was worried about how I was going to make it through 90 minutes. But I started pushing myself back and forth, from side to side and top to bottom. The water swished through my hair and over my toes. Thoughts started going through my head and I remembered pretending I was a mermaid in my aunt’s pool when I was younger, pushing myself around while my hair splayed out around my head. I thought about a summer trip to the beach almost 35 years ago with my mom and dad and grandparents, now gone. I had a vivid recollection of a summer walk through a field on the farm I grew up on. The next time I thought about how stiff I felt in the water I realized my back was relaxed into the water, no longer sore or arching away from my hips. My shoulder felt good and mobile.
And then suddenly the music played.
I had to lay there and listen closely to make sure I heard music. It didn’t seem possible 90 minutes had just passed! I swear I just got in the tank. I don’t remember dreaming, really.
I don’t remember falling asleep. I just was. I was there, in the tank, in the moment. And I think it was the first time I had an understanding of what being present was. I didn’t come with any expectations of big epiphanies or hallucinations. And at the time I got out of the tank, it didn’t seem like a big deal that I had experienced what being present truly is. In fact, at the time I was a lot more amazed at how calm I felt. I didn’t realize how stressed I had been when I came in or how much my body had been aching. But what I really go back for is to experience that feeling of being present and the peace that comes with me. Everything else I get from floating are just really great bonuses.