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Sensory Deprived...On Purpose

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

What's wonderful: having friends who will try *anything*.  Leslie and I went to a business that has sensory-deprivation tanks / pods, figuring an hour of nothing would be relaxing and wonderful.

I'm going in thinking it's probably great brain-maintenance too: zero light, zero sound, zero...well, anything. The water has such a concentration of epsom salt that it's like floating in the Dead Sea -- you pop to the surface on your back without having to think of pushing your tummy or legs up enough to float -- it just happens automatically. Once the lid is closed, there's no light or sound. You're floating, it's warm, there's nothing going on to distract.

So what's going on once you close the lid of your pod?

Sensory Deprivation Tank / Pod

Well, the first five minutes (I guess?) were crazy boring. There it is. Just crazy, mind-numbingly boring. What time is it? How many minutes have gone by? Counting to 100. Then I thought: okay, let's just use this time to go through really basic stuff until I get in whatever groove there is to be in. I started with things like: what do I need from the grocery store? What events are coming up? Books to read. Light-weight kinds of things.

The reason I did this is because I figured it would be like a vacation for my mind. Without having to think about *anything* (I know my children are in great hands with my husband and the world can go on for an hour without text/email/tweet), I figured my brain would sort-of de-cobweb. Push out the junky minutia (those shopping and to-do lists) and open the floodgates to creative thought: great ideas for and about family, friends, professional, volunteer, just all aspects of my life.

Sensory Deprivation Tank / Pod

Maybe it's like when I'm on a long car ride and have super-fantastic ideas!?  That's what I wanted.

I think I almost got there, but...didn't. Is sensory-deprivation one of those things where the 'newness' of the concept is stuck on you (oh! I can do starfish position with my arms and legs all around! oh! I can pretzel my arms behind my head and gently ping-pong myself from side to side! how long have I even been in here?) and you need a couple or three sessions to get in that groove? At least for me. I'm going to try it again, definitely. But next time, I think I'm going to help myself get in the right place by not going completely sensory-deprivation like this time. One of the owners said that some people have their phones play music, etc. during their session. I see why. I have a subscription to Headspace (mindfulness = wonderfulness) and think it would be the *perfect* opportunity to do an hour guided meditation. Yessss.

Let me know if you're interested in floating and I'll give you all the (other, easy-easy) details. xoxo!



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