It was my birthday recently. And as I get better at making time to prioritise self care for myself, just as I teach others to do, I took time on my birthday to celebrate another year passing and me being on this earth.
And this year I did that by making time for my body and my mind. To have a little rest.
You see this practice of self-care that I began deliberately cultivating this year includes making time for me to be more still and at rest. So this year I decided to go and have a float session.
If you’ve never had a float session before; you’re enclosed in a very large bath, but it has a lid over the top, you can comfortably sit up without hitting the head but the water is just a mild temperature, it’s not hold, not cold, but it’s heavily salted so that the body floats and is incredibly buoyant. A bit like floating in the Dead Sea I imagine!
So I had booked myself in for one hour, which means spending nearly 60 minutes inside one of these semi-enclosed water tanks.
Once I stripped off and got into the tank, the process starts with around 15 minutes of music to lull the mind into a quieter place. After a while the music switches off and there’s 30 minutes of silence, with a short stint of music right near the end to help awaken again.
This being my second float session I think enjoyed it even more than the first time, mostly because I was more comfortable with the process (and by that I mean I was less concerned about being inside the dark, semi-enclosed tank!). The fact that my body was fully supported by the water was pleasant and essentially I would describe this experience as a form of hypnosis / meditation / mindfulness (whatever word you use they’re really almost interchangeable terms).
So there I am in the tank and as soon as I’d laid back, I just allowed the water to support me and I couldn’t believe how quickly I felt my body start to relax. But what was interesting was the mind took a little longer.
I estimate that it was at least 20 minutes for my mind to really let go and eventually to go to a place of inner peace. But once I got to that nice place, it was amazing! Still, floating and suspended in the water. Totally supported, totally at ease and nothing to do. Wow.
And after I got out of the tank, I showered sat in a bathrobe and sipped on herbal tea for easily 15 minutes, slowly allowing the mind to come back to reality. But I gotta tell you … it really didn’t want to. As I sat there, I really just wanted to go and lay down for a nap, I was that chilled out – but sadly I had school pickup and needed to eat before that, so unfortunately this was not the time for sleeping.
Now this year on my birthday, I had also planned for a wonderful weekend of yoga with some of my girlfriends. You can read my other post here for more about that. But for now I want you to think about the things that you can do for you to utilise simple, practical enjoyable ways to feel better about you.
Im wondering, what do you do to celebrate your birthday? Some people go out for dinner. Some people go and get a massage. Some people do nothing and just go to work.
To be honest, this is probably the first year in a while that I have actually set aside several hours in the day to not work, to not have clients and to look after me a bit. And while I still had my mothering duties (which did distract me a little bit from fully enjoying the 3 hours as much as I might have liked) the benefits of doing this for me, far outweighed the cost, and the time.
Because I felt so much more centred. I felt so much more grateful that I’d made this time for myself and even though other things in the day still happened, I enjoyed allowing myself to feel supported by the water, supported by the Earth and supported by everything around me and that only happened because I made the time.
I suspect that if I hadn’t, I could have found other ways to pass the day and it would have been just another day. And in one sense it was just another day, but it another sense it wasn’t because I decided that it was ok for me to do what I needed to do for myself.
So how can you take that message to you?
What is relevant for you at the moment? Where are you not looking after yourself?
Where are you not doing some stretches or listening to some music or eating well or just taking a moment to sit and breathe, read a book, do some mindfulness, drawings.
Whatever you need to do instead of watching television, instead of busying yourself with cleaning the house, or working. Those things that are for you.
You might like to read more about self care here for some other insights, but otherwise I will leave you to ponder all that for today.
About the author
Bree Taylor Molyneaux is a Brisbane based happiness coach, clinical hypnotherapist, HypnoBirthing® practitioner, self-care and personal renewal facilitator, mother and wife. She founded Aspire Hypnotherapy, coaches women in a wide range of areas, runs restorative + self-care retreats, and has a range of and hypnosis downloads available. Read more about Bree here.