One of the reasons I love yoga is that it’s a practice of clearing your mind so you get super laser focused and present. I also discovered that I could access my mind the same way through meditation practices, mainly vipasana and mindfulness. I had always been told about vipasana and curious to attend a 10 day silent meditation course but was turned off from the rigid rules that came with some of the places I read about.
I believe that while we can root ourselves in tradition, there needs to be room for evolution and flexibility. That’s when I was recommended by Nadine (who went first) to Doi Suthep in Chaing Mai. Up in the hills at the top of the mountain sits one of the oldest thai buddhist temples and just behind it lays a quiet space for vipasana practice.
As my birthday was coming up this year, I wanted to take the time to be even more still and listen, to nourish in all areas that were neglected since having a child and juggling the rest of life’s responsibilities. So I decided that for 10 days I would float each day and listen to a podcast or meditation through Mindful In May.
Let’s just start with the definitions:
: to engage in contemplation or reflection He meditated long and hard before announcing his decision.
: to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) or the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness
: the quality or state of being mindful
: the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also : such a state of awareness
A way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind.
So what came up over the 10 days?
Pre float I would check in with my Mind, Body and Emotion (it’s the quickest access to getting present and what is called mindfulness) and then I would listen to a meditation or podcast off the website and journal an intention for my float. There were days where my floats were so visual and my thoughts were clear and then there were the two floats where I just passed out! Every float was different even though it was everyday for 10 days. It just proves that like any practice, no two days are the say me. What I did notice physically though, the feeling of “floating” and that post float chilled-alertness lasted longer than ever before and I was able to feel my body so open and fluid!
As the full moon in scorpio or also know as the flower moon was falling on my birthday (May 10th), I focused on what I needed to let go of and offer back, like where a lotus flower roots into the dirt and darkness of the earth, to allow for a beautiful lotus flower to bloom.
I recognized that I am NOT able to juggle all hats of where I spend my time and that I needed to give up something. I needed to let go of my role in Float On and to hire someone (which we did!) who can take over the behind the scenes stuff I was doing. What it means is that I can focus on and fully give myself to teaching and how to fuse it with floating. This is where I am nourished and nourishing others the most and “working within my genius”, as my coach Willo calls it.
I also recognized that I didn’t see myself as worthy of going to the spa, of just taking a day off to be pampered in a fluffy robe. So again, I took action. I booked for myself on the 10th day a few hours at the four seasons spa and had the help of their spa director, choose a treatment that would nourish me even more. Well, I had the Shirodhara treatment– 90 minutes of hot oil aryuvedic massage followed by the same medicinal hot oil being poured on my pineal gland area (third eye). It was MIND OPENING and I saw so clearly how much my spirit needed this time and my body also thanked me.
To close out my birthday this year, I had the honour of co-leading the full moon meditation gathering at the Four Seasons Spa followed by a quiet dinner date with my man. I’m going to add in here that the night before, he had gathered my closest for a surprise birthday at an intimate live gig where I was told by the artist Samuel J to “Just stand up here and receive love!” and boy, did I ever with tears just streaming down my face with my mom there with me.
It was the ultimate self love day and I recommend we ALL take time regularly to nourish ourselves and to open up ourselves to receiving love from others.