Quieting Your Mind

“In solitude there is healing. Speak to your soul. Listen to your heart. The answers are often found in the absence of noise.” - Dodinsky

There is no denying we live in a society of continuous communication and busyness, with very few moments of deliberate silence.  Since our lives are surrounded by noise, the thought of silence can be frightening to some.

However, the more we deprive ourselves of deliberate moments of silence, the more we benefit from it. Typically, there are two mindsets seeking to nurture quietness into their daily routine; those who want quiet but are too busy and those who want quiet but are too intimidated. In this blog we will address how to find intentional moments of silence for both mindsets.

First, we will address the busy bee. For most, designated moments of silence only come when we hit the hay. Times of solitude can be hard to find while juggling work, school, children and the never ending to-do list. But like anything, noise, communication, schedules and general stimulus should have a balance. But how do we find moments of silence when the schedule is stretching you thin or others depend on you?

Then there is the other end of the spectrum.

Since our general surroundings are filled with noise pollution, we lack an understanding of how to enter into times of silence. It’s not surprising  that our go-to distraction is our smartphones. Typically they are the last thing we look at before we fall asleep and the first thing we look at when we wake up. Our phones often serve as an alarm clock and we spend many moments throughout the day absentmindedly through social media when we don’t know what else to do. What if we have become so used to the busyness around us, the thought of being alone (and that includes without the phone), makes us anxious? What if we are afraid of what we will discover about ourselves when there is nothing but silence?

“Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company.” - Paulo Coelho

Both of these viewpoints bring wonderful questions that are beneficial to explore. Most of us are busy and distracted, but we fail to see how much more at ease we would be from daily stress when we practice frequent moments of quietness and solitude.

“Let silence be the art you practice.” - Rumi

Quietness can be a virtue, and the more we practice we will find more grow opportunities of self discovery, healing, rest and enlightenment. But like all new things, we flourish in practice. It is difficult to get into a space where you are truly alone. Floating however,  provides 90 minutes of intentional silence and solitude. Here are some tips to help you calm your fears of silence and get you in a regular practice of quietness.

  1. You have time - 90 minutes every other week is more than possible. Like anything, making time to float and escape the noise is best done when scheduled. Take time to book your floats each month in advance and make it a priority to keep them. When we take time for ourselves, we are more equipped to serve others.

  2. Don’t worry about “doing it right” - the first step of silencing yourself comes with choosing to do so. Take one thing at a time and the rest will follow.

  3. Broaden your horizon - set goals for yourself as you practice quietness. “Today I will find something positive about my day regardless of the to - do list.”

  4. Practice Small Moments - take time to be quiet in your everyday. Wake up 15 minutes earlier or stay up 15 minutes later to allow yourself to be free from all distractions.

Practicing helps us relinquish our control whether it be from the schedule or the cell phone. You will find yourself being more mindful of what you wouldn’t notice prior and your general anxiety about the day will lessen as this becomes more of a habit.

Creative Floating

“We will never create anything more powerful or significant than our lives.” - Erwin Raphael McManus

More often than not, we see creativity in very black and white terms. There are the creatives and the not creatives. Typically after a failed elementary school art project, we are convinced that creativity is not a gift we personally possess and spend the rest of life simply admiring the works of those who do.

The problem is that we see creativity in too narrow a framework and sell ourselves short on what makes us truly creative. The act of creating is not limited to what you can put on a canvas or the melodies you bring in song. True creativity is bringing something to life out of a passion and inspiration within you.

If we all agree creativity is born out of passion and inspiration, then we would find that all beings possess creative abilities. The element that separates creatives and the not creatives is not creative ability but rather the “discipline.” Creativity, like every noble pursuit, must be worked for and refined through failure and change. Whether you create business plans or a sculpture, you are a creator and it is your task to make whatever passion is within you a discipline so you may contribute great things to the world.

“Inspiration exists but it better find you working.” - Pablo Picasso

When we are inspired by a work of art or social change, we wonder how one person could make something so soul evoking. What we don’t see is the years of work, sacrifice and discipline it took to create this final product. The struggle is, how do we continue a creative discipline when inspiration is lacking?

It is important to allow time for free creative expression to renew your passion and make room for new ideas. Floating provides a space stripped of senses and distractions to let inspiration flow freely. Many have heard songs and melodies or seen images and colors while floating and use the therapy as a disciplined place of creative relaxation and exploration.

Floating provides you with 90 minutes of uninterrupted creative time. When did you last find yourself completely free of any distractions?

Tips for Creative Floating:

  1. Go in with the intention of finding inspiration - make this a time to find rest and rejuvenation but still be disciplined to seek your creativity.

  2. Start with meditation - focus on your breath and calm your mind. The objective is not to clear your mind entirely but to relax and give into the float experience so your mind will be open

  3. to new ideas.

  4. Introduce the concept you wish to explore -  let your mind drift and wander wherever it wants to go. This time should not be too heavily controlled but if you find yourself far off topic, simply go back to your breath and try again.

  5. Journal any creative breakthroughs - we have a post-float room at Lucidity which you are welcome to use to process your experience and record any ideas which may have surfaced during your session.

  6. Float Regularly - make floating a part of your creative routine. Keep in mind that you are essentially training your brain to enter a state of “flow” and it gets easier the more you float!

Pursuing Peace

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” — Socrates

Socrates would agree, contentment is the primary aspect of inner peace. But, it doesn’t take a philosopher to say that contentment should be something we strive towards. Not only does contentment provide the opportunity for inner peace, it also reduces stress, relaxes the body, and makes life enjoyable. Being "at peace" is the opposite of being stressed or anxious, and is a healthy habit to exercise in your daily life. Inner peace is thus generally associated with happiness and contentment.

However, discontentment will always, at some point, rear its ugly head and become a great obstacle to keep us from fully thriving in what ought to be a simple life. Many of us seem to struggle with staying content with our lives and it can be easy to fall into a mindset of desperately wanting something different from what we currently have. There will always be someone with something we want or someone that we see as “better” based on their possessions, but fixating on this can actually cause stress, anxiety, and even depression, all of which can have a negative influence on our contentment with life.

The struggle is, we fail to step back and recognize just how wildly unfair and unrealistic these comparisons are. Comparing ourselves to others with respect to our financial, emotional, or social condition keeps us unhappy about our own lives, and leads to low self-esteem. We tend to rarely focus on our own unique talents and abilities, or what we already have. Next time you make an unfair comparison, instead of allowing it to make you feel poorly, view it as an opportunity for a little self-evaluating.

Perhaps, when you need a moment to retreat and do a little self-evaluation, float therapy can prove to be the perfect environment for thought. Float therapy provides an emotional relief through meditation and relaxation while bringing ease to the body. Because absolute peace comes from within, being entirely alone in a float room will help you reconnect to yourself. Our body’s stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline,are lowered while our body produces more epinephrine as if pressing a reset button for our mind and body.

For anyone who feels the need to realign their innermost self to find peace and contentment, here are a few tips to keep in mind for everyday life or while floating:

1. Stop comparing yourself to others - Comparisons always lead to discontentment. There will always be people who “appear” to be better off than you and live a seemingly perfect life. But be advised, we always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best assumptions that we make about others. When you go for a float, leave those thoughts at the door. It is you alone with your emotions, which you alone should have control over.

2. Take hold of your attitude. A person who lacks contentment will often engage in “when and then thinking” – “when i get _______, then i will be happy.” Instead take control of your own life. Remember, your happiness is not reliant on the acquisition of any possession. Your happiness is based solely on your decision to be happy.

3. Finally, RELAX – Duh! Right? Of course, if you're going for a float, you want to relax. This is crucial not only for floating, but for everyday life. Just take a moment - close your eyes and do some deep breathing, put away your phone and read a book, or simply repeat a mantra to yourself while preparing for a float. "No one is an overnight success story. Put in the work."

Mindful Meditation

“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” - Jon Kabat - Zinn

Welcome to our first Lucidity blog! If you have been following us on social media, you will find that we have made some resolutions and want you to be a part of them. Each month we are focusing on a theme of wellness we would like to further explore and implement into our lives. For January, our theme is mindfulness, the state of being aware and present in our current situation.

If we could somehow see all the patterns and paths our mind takes in a single day, we would be completely astounded. We would also begin to understand why our stress level may be high, why we continue in bad habits and why our self confidence could use a pep talk. We would see how often we absentmindedly compare ourselves to others when we scroll through Instagram, how much our to-do list keeps our peace of mind captive and how little our thoughts include positivity and grace. But how do we stop the cycle of mindlessness and move into mindfulness?

“Altogether, the idea of meditation is not to create states of ecstasy or absorption, but to experience being.” – Chögyam Trungpa

Many times we seek meditative and peaceful practices such as yoga or even floating when the stress of life takes over and we try to silence our swirling thoughts by simply being quiet. But you will quickly find that the thoughts find their way back in and your calming pursuits are everything but refreshing.

Taking moments to unplug from the busyness of life is essential. But if your mind takes control of your time of meditation, it will only add to your stress. We are here to provide guidance and encouragement as you journey towards mindfulness.

Tips in Mindful Meditation:

  • Concentration is a cornerstone in mindfulness: Whether you are floating at Lucidity or simply taking a moment to breathe at lunch, you must remain in the driver's seat of your thoughts. Instead of trying to simply clear your mind, focus on one thing to help center you.

  • Start with gratitude: The next time you try to slow your mind down, list the things you are thankful for like the umbrella you remembered to bring before the rain, the good night’s sleep you had, the smile of your child before they went to school. Thankfulness often has a way of putting things in the right perspective and showing us our true priorities.

  • Watch your “self talk:” When our thoughts are overtaken in mindless chaos, we often don’t realize what we are unknowingly making ourselves believe to be true. When you are frantic trying to meet a deadline or defeat the to-do list, you start to believe the worst case scenario. You start to believe that you are a slacker, that your abilities are less than others, or that you are not capable of handling a situation with poise or excellence. We often lose sight of our gifts and and talents, and all the times we have succeeded and excelled. When those frantic doubts come in, fight back with the things you know to be true. That you are a hard worker, that you are a beloved friend, that you deserve to give yourself the grace you so easily give to others.

The next time your moments of meditation are interrupted with mindlessness, let them sink to the bottom of the float tank, the bottom of the candle, or the bottom of the downward dog. Mindfulness is available to you and you are strong enough to find it.

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner