Anyhow. I don’t always get what I want but I often get exactly what I need. So yesterday I found myself driving towards the sea to Braunton. You know how much I love Hands On – it’s a small yet impeccable natural health clinic with a truly lovely float room. Oh, and you know how much I love floating. J
My good friend (also a wonderful therapist) Nicki Hughes had sent me a gift voucher for a float, and then Phil said he’d throw in a massage for good measure (my friends are so generous).
Massage isn’t really the right word for what Phil does though. It’s more of a body/mind/soul fix. I hadn’t realised just how much tension I was holding, and in the weirdest places – my ankles, for pity’s sake? The backs of my knees? My jaw? Okay, so the last one wasn’t so much of a surprise. He’s not just a great technician but a true healer and, as my session drew to a close, I could start to feel my energy reawaken. Just the faintest tingle. And the pain in my chest had lessened. Just a little.
Then I cocooned myself in a bathrobe and walked in a delightful daze to the float room. You have to float, you just have to float. It’s not claustrophobic, I promise. It’s just…heaven.
So I lay back, let the water hold me, and gazed at the starry sky for a few moments before turning out the lights and letting myself drift in the darkness. Now Nicki won’t float (well, not yet) because she says she doesn’t like being alone with her thoughts. To which I’d answer – which thoughts?
Floating is the perfect form of meditation. Your breathing is amplified and so it’s simplicity itself to focus on it – inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. And then, at some point between now and then, here and there, you just – vanish.
And then, I must have fallen asleep (when did I get so tired?). And then, very loudly, right in my right ear, a voice shouts, ‘Boo!’ And I start awake, thinking someone’s come into the room. But then I recognise the voice. It’s my own. I’m playing hide and seek with myself in the vastness of the cosmos. And I start to laugh. All by myself in a float chamber in Braunton, not touching the sides. All by myself floating huge as universes, not touching the stars. Starfishing through space and time. Birthing aeons. Biting my tale. New skin for the old ceremony. This is where I belong, this is where it all makes sense, I think, before laughing at myself again and dropping the stupidity of thought.
And then the music begins. And coming back is so hard.