Updated: Aug 8, 2019
For the first time in a long time, as long as I can remember, I welcomed a birthday with open arms. I spent this weekend wondering what made this birthday, my 28th birthday, different than all the previous.
The underlying vein running beneath any reason I could come up with was that I set no exceptions for anyone other than myself. I knew I wanted to carve out most of my day to self-reflect, relax and detox. I woke up and immediately put my phone in airplane mode and cracked open Brené Brown’s ‘Daring Greatly’. I then made some tea and left the house to make my appointment for a one-hour session in the Salt Cave, immediately followed by a one-hour massage. Lastly, and by far my favorite part of the day, I spent 90 minutes in a sensory deprivation tank. By this point, it was well into the afternoon, I hadn’t eaten and my body was already in a stage of purging.
“ Not knowing what to expect, I climbed into the tank, stark naked and ready to explore the depths of both my conscious and sub-conscious.”
Once my body accepted being suspended atop the water, my muscles relaxed and my mind ran wild. Surrounded by my mental version of aurora borealis, I was lifted by dancing, fluorescent rays of various hues of blues and purples but as quickly as the images came they went and then nothing. Soon my mind conjured up silhouettes of people, who I can only imagine needed to be there. Though I had no clue who they were, I silently thanked them for the company. There were various points where I could hear music faintly playing in the background and then finally… my mind just let go.
Happy Solar Return to Me.
It almost felt like my entire being took one… long… exhale. I opened my eyes and digested the fact that there was nothing. No distractions. No imagined version of the northern lights. No mental music. I surrendered to the black, to suspended animation, to all of the nothingness I hadn't realized I so desperately needed.
It was at this moment I realized that everything was perfect and always has been. I felt gratitude for having lived for 28 years. I realized any expectation beyond remaining alive, finding and fulfilling my soul’s purpose is likely a falsehood that I’ve allowed to myself to ingest. Nothing else matters, nothing is owed and nothing is deserved.
This realization, of nothing being owed and nothing being deserved, can be misunderstood as cynical or depressive, however, this isn't at all the case. It’s freedom. Knowing that you truly don't know anything beyond your own experience affirms that our only purpose is to heal the soul we’ve been given, as much as we can. Everything that is physical is temporary and the fact that the very complex and specific combination of cells matched in a way to create ‘You’ is fucking amazing! Your soul chose your being and when you pass it will choose another, and then another.
When my time was up, I walked into the light and stepped into the shower to rinse the crystallized salt from my body. I felt new, restored, thankful and chosen.
Like beginning a puzzle, the time spent in the tank allowed me to connect a few missing pieces and though the final picture is still indecipherable, I wouldn't prefer it any other way.