The most pleasurable thing about float tanks, to me, is letting my mind explore where it needs to go. I had a two-hour session today. Though it was mainly a “physical” float, in that I used the time to diagnose problems with my physicality, that’s fine because I made significant progress there, and also, thought through some things that were incomplete thoughts. Taking the time to float is something I want to do more often.
By a “physical,” I refer to the physiological aspect of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
I like charts like this because they help systematize certain processes. I use them for troubleshooting problems, and I consider psychology, like technical support, to be a matter of figuring out the root cause of an issue and resolving it. If my physicality is degraded, as it has been over the past four months, then I won’t be able to do much self-actualization, but I’ve floated for years. The place I’ve been going to for years survived the COVID pandemic, whereas a competitor had to close up some of their locations, so I’m happy to have this resource still available. I, of course, will have to be careful when it comes to post-surgery floating, but I imagine after talking with my doctors, I can come up with a good gameplan for that.
Floating is where I can come up with a problem like this and brainstorm solutions.
I’ve found that when my mind is too cluttered with incomplete thoughts, maybe because I haven’t spent the uncomfortable time to think through things or I’ve let distractions distract from previous distractions [and I just let a distraction seep in at this point in the sentence], I can’t focus on the present. It’s useful to consider the past, present, and future, but when one or two distracts from the other, it gets tricky. Say I’m trying to recall a certain memory and I’m letting my present or future thoughts influence that memory. That’s no good. Or, if I forget to plan for the future, then I can go months without floating. They were closed during the pandemic, but I could have gone sooner, or more often. I have a calendar entry going off every two weeks now.
Post-floating “float book” entries are useful.
When the body allows itself more room for self-actualization, then I can come up with some crazy ideas in the tank that I can apply to various areas in my life. Capturing all those ideas is one thing, but acting on them is quite another, so a few years ago, I came up with the idea of a “float book” notebook, then a physical object lost in some box during the move, but now it can be a page of notes on my smartphone. Although we’re still early into reopening businesses, I could find a place to sit outside if it’s a nice day to quietly recall my thoughts on future thoughts, or if not, I can sit in my car and take my mental souvenirs from future float tank meandries.
I’m no longer groggy post-float, but I used to be for the first year or two.
Part of that post-float grogginess might have been that my body wasn’t used to relaxing in the state it can get into in the tank, so when the weight of gravity pulls me back down to reality, it can be difficult. Especially when we go at the pace we can get into, as I once did, filling my mind with as many distractions as possible. That might be the most painful thing and was a big hurdle for me to learn in my floating journey. It’s easy to get distracted by the noise of reality because one shiny object can replace the woes of a slightly faded object, but if we ask ourselves, how many objects do we need?, the answer is fewer than we think. When I buy objects now, or when I act in general, I try to keep this intentionality in place:
Let me think this idea through thoroughly so I can remember it later.
It’s the same as “let me experience this media through thoroughly so I can remember it later,” except how we meander might depend on how the media resonates with us. For some books or videogames, they might not be worth the time to finish, but if we started them then completing them will only help build our discipline toward future decisions. I am halfway through 100 Years of Solitude, stopped reading, switched over to listening to an audiobook, and would have stopped, were it not for the book club I’m in, but more so, in reading the Action Button Entertainment Discord #book-house discussions of random books, I realized that this book comes up sometimes as an example of a weird book.
If the effort is not overwhelming, why not finish what you start?
Sometimes, it’s not so fun sitting through the remainder of an audiobook, but then I think, well, I am able to do other things while listening to the audiobook. If I know my intentions for reading – gaining understandings in literature and culture, possibly entering more conversations, and participating in a book club – then I can meander through the rest of my obligation. If I thought through my intentions and realized that they were not rooted in anything substantial for me, then I could decide if it was worth continuing, and if not, move on from there. I think that we latch onto so many cool ideas is why we leave so many things unfinished, which might clutter our minds. That’s where taking time to meditate, soak in your bathtub at home, or finding a float tank place can help, because they can let you explore those areas of your mind that might otherwise be distracted by the many cool things in life. Sure, life sucks sometimes, but when we focus on the positives, there are many.
The second most pleasurable thing: my post-float relaxation.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I thought of the dual titles – “Floating In Pleasure” and tonight’s “Floating Out Pain” – as I do when I do things in life. While I don’t go floating to generate writing content, as I don’t write about everything I do in life, invariably, I do some interesting things and find interesting-enough things to write about. In my opinion, though. If you were bored, you didn’t read it, so hah! Thanks for reading.|
|Related: Other Float Tank essays, and Media Meandry was just a side thought.|
|Photo: Taken before floating.|
|Written On: 2020 August 26 [3:05pm to “The most pleasurable thing about float tanks, to me,” at 3:07pm, then from 4:19pm to 4:53pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 26 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|