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In 2011 I was struck by lightning. The good kind, though. The kind where the life you know up to that moment wobbles off its axis and takes you down a path you had always hoped was waiting.

I floated ONCE and the trajectory was set. The actual float was fairly mundane. Having read my fill from the psychonautic works of John C. Lilly (the inventor of the tanks), coupled with half-remembered scenes from “Altered States,” I was surprised by the simplicity and nothingness of that first float. It was dark, warm and for the most part, uneventful. No primordial shape shifting or hallucinations, but it was relaxing. When it was over I got out and the stillness set in.

Two days later I walked past my acoustic guitar that had sat dormant for several years and something made me pick it up. I wrote and performed many songs in college and my 20s, but with kids and a career, the songwriting waned. But here the guitar was in my hand again, and I sat down next to my son’s crib, and wrote him a song. It poured out like a good song does, effortless and with little need for revision. I was inspired and I challenged myself to write five songs in 30 days. And I did.

John Balquist, Owner of Oakland Floats

John Balquist, owner of Oakland Floats

And while I did I was researching floating and wondering why this creative unlocking was happening. There are many benefits to floating (see here) but the one that resonated with me was that potential for creativity that you get when you consciously enter that theta state and connect with the right side of your brain. With more floats under my belt, I noticed that floating can be likened to clearing out the cobwebs of your mind, or like windshield wipers clearing the mist from your window. But that’s me. I’ve seen others float because it dampens the pain of their sciatica, or it helps them recover more quickly from a workout. For most though, they feel that instant drop in stress and are able to take on the day in a measured and calm manner.

In 2011 I was struck by lightning and a single float led me towards the path of Oakland Floats. One float. I can’t guarantee it will happen to you, but I can’t say it won’t. Try it for yourself and let the water do the work.

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