Sensory deprivation may sound terrible at first, but for me, the experience of floating in a soundproof water tank roughly 10 inches deep, at body temperature, in utter darkness, filled with 800 lbs of Epsom salt, has become a safe haven of transformation. In the early days of floating, I came face to face with my deepest, secret (even to me) fears via various images that appeared in the darkness weaving together the story of my past and present. While floating with them alone, I drew on current realities and inner light to chase them away. Over time it became apparent that some weren’t real anymore so I had no reason to fear. Others revealed that I could sit with my worst nightmares and still be okay.
After working through my fears, I gained new self-awareness and insights into my body. I began to focus on my strength and my power to heal. I took charge of every inch of myself while experimenting with the super buoyancy of the salt-filled water. Sometimes I danced, moving legs and arms, stretching in ways that just felt right. As the salt water pushed up against me, I found that floating could do amazing things for muscles and tendons. I felt the unevenness of my hips and I embraced it. I stretched to one side and then the other. I worked out some kinks in my neck, shoulder, and back. I sat with the pain of tight, sore muscles while the Epsom salt water worked its healing magic. I began to trust myself, to believe in the power within, and to intentionally practice loving me.
After each float, I experienced deeply rejuvenating relaxation. For several days, I slept better than I’d ever slept in my life, and my whole demeanor changed from semi-okay to joyful and alive.
When I consider all my experiences in the tank, one stands out. It was my first float after a miscarriage. I got into the tank and let the darkness envelop me. Floodgates burst as I sat against the edge of the tank, hugging my knees to myself; I sobbed alone in the dark. When ready, I extended myself across the water, stretching out into the float. With my hands on my belly, I spoke to my little lost child, expressing my deep love and sadness, and beginning my long journey of letting go.
After I had cried all the tears I had to cry, said all the things I needed to say, and breathed an ounce of healing into my sad little womb, I huddled my entire body up into a ball and relaxed into the water. I let myself be. I began to spin, and then I became the little lost child in my own mother’s womb. In those moments I began to rewrite my own history. I patted my belly gently while speaking love and hope into my own pre-born soul. Instead of an isolated and lonely child born into a family where I would grow up in the shadows of everyone else’s existence, I became a person of value from the moment I was conceived. In those moments, I gave myself the mother’s love that I had never fully felt or received. And in those moments, I was reborn