The post float environment is as important as the environment in the float room because people are still in slower brain wave states after a float, and they generally seek time to sit down, relax, and process what happened during their float. Probably the best way to describe our “post float environment” is to give the reader an example of people who recently floated. Below is a description of a typical post float session at iFloat.
Within the past three weeks there was a day when three men came out of their float sessions at the same time. I turned their music on at the same time to inform them the session was over. Two of the men were floating for the first time (let’s call them Ron and Michael) and the other man (let’s call him Will) had floated a few times before.
Ron, a local businessman and father in his 50s, came out very quickly after I turned on his music (within five minutes or so). It was unusual. It usually takes people twelve minutes or more to come out (shower, etc.). When he walked out into the lounge area, I immediately noticed Ron seemed agitated. He hadn’t dried his hair much. He quickly wanted to leave the float suite. I asked him how his float went. “It was good,” he said. I could tell he was saying that to be polite, and that he was frustrated. It wasn’t my job to disagree with him, though. I showed him our tea station where he could make his own tea or have a glass of alkaline, ionized water. I also showed him our lounge where he could sit, have his tea, read, and wait for his friend, Michael. I then went in to start cleaning the float room where Ron just exited. While I was cleaning the room, I heard the other two men come out of their respective float suites. I showed them our tea station and they went into the lounge.
I then proceeded to clean the float rooms. The pumps were running at that point and I was scrubbing the tile, putting new earplugs in the containers, emptying the trashcans, etc.
I came out about ten minutes later to check on everyone. I asked how they were doing. Even though Will had never met Ron and Michael before, they were comfortably sitting around our beautiful, long wooden table, reading, drinking tea, and chatting quietly.
Each one had a very different experience. Michael, a man in his 50s, was noticeably relaxed. He came into iFloat an hour and a half earlier with a tense smile. It is normal for people to arrive at iFloat with an air of tension. Life is challenging. That is why people come to float. When I saw Michael sitting and drinking tea, it was as though all worry had dissolved and he was completely and totally relaxed. He had slowed down so much that it was unlikely he was thinking about the past or the future. When he had first arrived, Michael and I chatted about how he thought floating might be good for his son, who has ADHD. I agreed with him it would probably help his son. However, Michael wasn’t thinking about his son’s ADHD after his float, which was great. “Wow,” I thought to myself. He didn’t have to tell me how he was doing but he said, “It was amazing.” He said it slowly.
His friend, Ron, did not relax as much. He talked about his experience superficially. He resisted talking about much, but I could sense he was frustrated. I talked to them about how floating is rarely the same. In fact, the other guy, Will, a young man in his mid 20s, talked about how his float was different from previous floats. “I wasn’t thinking about anything,” he said, “which was strange. My last three floats were very creative, but this float was quiet and the time went by so fast.” He then went back to browsing through a magazine.
I wanted to help Ron a bit because I could tell he was frustrated, almost judging himself. I smiled to all three of them and talked about how I didn’t like floating when I first started floating because I saw places where I was frustrated. I said, “Floating is like taking an elevator 80 stories down into the slower regions of the mind. If one is frustrated about something in their life, they will ‘bump up’ against that when floating.” I explained how sometimes the uncomfortable floats are often the most productive floats because it helps people become aware of and possibly resolve the source of the frustration.
“Whatever a person ‘experiences’ when floating was actually in them before they ever stepped into the float room,” I continued. They had to think about that for a moment. I then added, “What one experiences when floating is inside themselves. There’s nothing in the float room except them.” I then continued, “We all have places where we get frustrated and floating helps us look at it so we can free up our energy and have more energy.” At that moment I could sense them all understanding what I was saying and it was as though energy was released in the room. In that moment, I could sense Ron wasn’t judging himself anymore. What I said helped opened his mind to looking at his float experience differently.
That kind of conversation is pretty typical at iFloat. Floating is weird. That’s the point. It’s weird because we are accustomed to being inundated with stimuli. In today’s world, silence and darkness are weird, so people often ask for help navigating their way after a float session. They don’t do it directly. They do it by asking questions, making comments, etc. We maintain a relaxed environment at iFloat but all of our clients know we pay attention to make sure the space is clear of fantasy, frustration, and blame. I often tell people that floating is meant to help people reorient themselves to be in sync with reality so they are enhancing their relationships. For example, Ron’s wife probably noticed the difference in him when he arrived home because if he came into the float with “self judgement,” he probably judged other people, such as his wife. For example, when Ron exited the float room he was blaming the float tank for his experience. He didn’t realize he was blaming it but that is what he was doing. His experience was not what he expected and so his only course at that point was to be frustrated with the tank, with iFloat, or with me. After I finished the conversation, I redirected his attention back at himself, helped him remove the blame (towards anyone and himself), and helped him see that his frustration could be understood and adjusted. I did all that without ever directly telling him he was frustrated. I did it by talking about myself in a calm, light manner – even laughing at times.
I have a lot of training in metaprogramming, as elucidated by John Lilly. He defined a program as a “set of internally consistent instructions in the mind.” We have thousands upon thousands of programs written into our minds in order to navigate reality. I have been training for years in paying attention to what people transmit. I do not pay attention much to what people say, but to what people do with what they say, and to the unconscious metaprograms people transmit (feelings, emotions, and beliefs). I do so in order to ensure I don’t allow myself to be influenced by other people’s programming, such as blame. If I hadn’t removed the blame from the conversation with Ron, I could have walked away from it thinking unconsciously that maybe there was something wrong with iFloat, with the float room, with floating, or with me. Even a slight thought can be detrimental to me and to other people. I could have programmed myself unconsciously. As Lilly said, “A program is the rule of a person’s life until recognized and changed.” Everyone in a float center is operating at slower brain wave states.As a float facilitator, I must be mindful in that brainwave state. I am always vigilant about what a client is transmitting in order to help them and also to not program a disadvantageous idea in my mind.
Increasingly, the word is out that our float center is not just a float center. It’s a place where people can explore and get to the root of things they are looking to adjust. That’s because we not only serve tea after the float. We serve fun, enjoyable, and meaningful conversations that lay strong foundations for people to enhance their lives.
David Conneely, Co-Owner, iFloat, Westport, CT