Without giving too much information, I will confess that the word "calm" is in a lot of my passwords, as a reminder for the most part. While sitting watching one of my kids play volleyball, I have been called the "zen mom" more than once, a compliment that I am proud of but don't always feel like I deserve. Knowing my beginnings and tendencies in life, I have to say I have always felt a disconnect by what people observe about me and how I observe and feel about myself...I don't always feel so zen. Trying to bridge the gap between my insides and my outsides has led me to appreciate the concept of mindfulness, solitude and meditation. I have embraced these things through a yoga practice that helped me to come through the hardest 2 years of my life. I have learned a lot about how these same concepts can calm a heightened nervous system like the one I had as a kid and like the one my youngest is trying to tame today. I am grateful for life's circumstances that have brought me to a place where I can contemplate these sensations in everyday life. I breathe deeply, I am aware of my heartbeat and my senses, and I like that I can feel my emotions and state of mind in such a real way these days. Learning to stay present has been the biggest gift received through hardship because in each moment I have learned to feel that I am fine.
Today, my exploration of meditation lead me to Float Clinic, where I submersed myself in a 5Wx8LX7H pool of water that held 1200lbs of epsom salts. As a water baby, the idea of floating was intriguing to me from the start. Personally, I learned the value of Epsom Salt baths years earlier when Matthew's doctor prescribed them to calm him before bed. Not long after I saw the effect they had on him, I began taking salt baths myself and really became a believer. The home version consists of 2 cups of Epsom Salts in a bathtub full of water...just think of what 1200lbs could do!
So today, I played 6 beach volleyball games and made my way over to Float Clinic in Torrance. After showering to make sure there was no sweat or skin oil to contaminate the water and putting in ear plugs to keep water out of my ears, I immersed myself in the float pool in complete silence and darkness, floating on my back. There was a small part of me that was nervous but I've always been so comfortable in the water, I pushed through. The water is not hot and not cold, it's perfectly comfortable on your skin. The salt makes the water so dense, it's like floating in the Dead Sea, there is no way you can sink or even turn over, no matter how much your body relaxes. Easily, within the first five minutes, the world seemed to slip away and wherever my brain went, it was blissful. Time passed unnoticed and I can't tell you one thought that I had for the almost 90 minutes I was floating. My brain was truly at rest. AMAZING! The guy who gave me the tour and instructions told me that at the end of my 90 minutes, soft music would begin to play, indicating that my float was over. At some point as I floated, unaware of time and completely at ease, a tense slightly anxiety ridden state came over me. I tried to figure out where that was coming from all of a sudden and how I was going to use my brain to overcome the slightly panicky feeling that I had. I started to worry that I had been so relaxed and had been floating too long, what if I slept through the music, or I couldn't hear it. I pulled out my earplugs and low and behold, there was music playing! It had disrupted my completely relaxed brain! For the record, in total, that low level anxiety feeling lasted about 30 seconds...no big deal.
Tonight, my skin and my hair feel so soft, my muscle fatigue is nearly all gone and the aches in my neck and traps that are almost always there are nonexistent for now. I will say, as I walked to my car, I noticed how dry my mouth was, and knowing the power of Epsom Salts, figured I needed to get a hold of some water really quick. Within an hour of exiting the pool, I drank 2 liters of water and have continued to drink several glasses the rest of the afternoon...pretty sure this is key for the process to continue to benefit the body. Hydration is huge! I'm excited to see how I will sleep tonight and how my body feels in the morning...but i have already booked again for next Friday. According to the sources, they say the experience only gets better!