I was introduced to floating in 2007. I had no expectations about floating but I was a little worried about feeling claustrophobic once inside the tank. I am not normally claustrophobic. I think it’s the word ‘tank’ so I am now going to refer to the tank as the ‘pod’.
I get in to the pod and sit down. I begin to lay down and all of a sudden the water propels me up! Astonishing. I feel like a helium balloon. The water holds 350kgs of epsom salts. It feels soft and silky on my skin and amazing to touch. My muscles instantly begin to relax and I have no thoughts about being claustrophobic. I feel heroic for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something I would never normally do. Although, that seems to happen often being married to a sound scientist who has a penchant for 3 day treks with not much more than a space blanket to keep warm and garbage bags to stay dry. (Always room for 5 star food however. He’s so French when it comes to food!)
Here I am floating in a dark silky cocoon that is nurturing my body, mind and soul. So simple. The temperature of the water is at skin temperature. It’s not hot and it’s not cold, it’s just right. After a while I can’t feel where the water ends and where my body begins. This phenomenon of weightlessness is like nothing I have ever experienced before and I imagine this is how astronauts must feel.
I am listening to ambient music via under water speakers. My mind starts to drift and I see pictures like a flickering movie, however, I am the Hitchcock of this production. I hear sounds. I let everything come and go and focus on my body. I feel balanced and calm. So powerful. How has this not been made illegal!? A loop hole, brilliant.
Then surprisingly one hour is up. The music becomes louder to signal it’s time for me to ease my way out of the womb. I feel a little disappointed that the experience is over. But then it hits me. I open the pod door and the subdued light falls on my face. I step out. I don’t feel how I did when I was in the pod. I now feel like one of Dali’s melting pocket watches. I slump on the lounge in the waiting area. My body feels refreshed. My mind feels quiet. Everything looks so colourful and clear. Sounds are crisp. The experience is far from over.
A few legendary warehouse parties later I decided it was time to replace the boozy Friday night end-of-week-release with floating. I was working a M-F office job at the time and I really looked forward to transforming what felt like a semi-beige existence. I could release so much in the pod while keeping a clear relaxed mind.
No float is ever the same. Floating evokes a natural physical reaction in the body known as parasympathetic response. Every time you float, this response is reinforced. For me, the whole experience is beyond colourful observations I made while living as a teen in Tarrawanna in the 90s…
My story is not the only one of it’s kind. Many people share the same experiences and the same language to describe their floats. Becoming a float devotee sneaks up on you like a person washing windscreens at the lights. It jumps on your vehicle & cleans your screen while you are distracted trying to adjust the bass on your stereo…Before you know it you are researching the ‘global float directory’ to see where the nearest centre will be while you are on holidays. You happily travel an hour or two for a float. You find yourself reading books by authors such as Aldous Huxley, Robert Anton Wilson & John Lilly. You become interested in observing your mind and your beliefs. You see the tank as a tool and you start looking at the world and more importantly yourself in a whole new way. It seems a natural progression. Your perception is changing. Your mind is expanding. Life is Cosmic!