I had a powerful experience yesterday. I floated...in space...freefall...for 90 blissful minutes.
Picture this: a serene room painted with walls of mauve and blues; aromatherapy misting in the background with clean, fresh scents, a private shower on white tiled floors, orchids, a wooden table with clean, pressed towels and a pod. The pod is roughly 12 feet long and 8 feet wide on the outside, rectangular with softly rounded corners and a molded ergonomic handle. You pull it open and the inside this blissful womb is six inches of water and 850 pounds of therapeutic Epsom salts. The water and salt is a perfect 93 degrees. You climb in the pod, shut the door...and you are transported, through space and time, dimension and planes into a completely relaxed, stress free journey. For the next 90 minutes, all you can hear is your heartbeat and your breath. You can see nothing but a wall of black and you are perfectly comfortable.
This is HUGE. I am claustrophobic, have ADD+, or as I call it, ADD High Octane, and I am a writer. Between being a writer and ADD, my mind never shuts up. We have conversations, arguments, debates. Sometimes we throw parties, invite the neighbourhood, the townsfolk, and the next three cities over. And we all talk at once. We talk about the weather, murder, shopping, poisons, kidnapping, The Big Bang Theory, the next best movie, the next best book, dinner, decomposition, body farms...you get the idea. Did I mention I write horror.? Yeah, I guess that is obvious. Usually, the conversations all happen at the same time AND just as we lie our head on the pillow.
I climbed into this pod and my mind shut down. Completely. There was no chatter. I breathed in and out, listened to my heart beat and my breath, and floated. There was nothing else. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. My body was completely relaxed, my mind was awake and focused and I was without pain. I drifted in and out of consciousness for a while and suddenly I had an amazing idea for the book I was working on: a complete new prologue explaining the history of creation and time. But with vampires...not Stephen Hawkins material. Don't get too excited. Horror. Remember the horror part. It was genius. I took notes afterwards and the idea gelled and formed into a realistic plot form. It even made sense the very next day!
Writers have been there. Trust me. We get brilliant ideas at 3am and we excitedly write down our thoughts in a journal and when we wake up the next morning and look at the scribblings, we wonder if a mad, half drunk lunatic escaped and took notes for us. We convince ourselves it was not us that wrote "Cats that turn into leopards at midnight and steal cars", but someone else. Because, at 3am, that was genius. In the cold morning light, however, it is crap.
But this is different. Floating and shutting out the world frees our minds to do what they do best; solve problems, create, journey, whatever your art form may be.
As a writer, as an anxiety-ridden, over worked, over stressed brain splatter recovery human, this was heaven. I will definitely do it again. And again. And again.
The effects lasted into today. I feel rested. I feel more in control of my work. And I accomplished twice as much as I usually would in the hectic work environment then I usually would have on a Monday.
Break free from your life for 90 minutes. You will thank me later. Float.Calm.