My First Floating Experience | Float On Portland

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This past Saturday Neil and I headed to Float On, a sensory deprivation float tank center here in SE Portland, for our very first floating experience. I’ll admit I was pretty excited but I also was feeling pretty anxious as well. The thought of closing myself in a tank, in the dark and just floating there really freaked me out however the benefits which include deep relaxation, stress & pain relief where pretty enticing. 

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Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.32.28 PMOnce we arrived I tried to calm my nerves by reading the Beginners Guide to Floating over and over but after the fifth time I was just making myself more anxious. So I put it down, grabbed a cup of herbal tea (caffeine is not recommended 4-6 hours before floating) and just tried to relax until it was time to float.   
FloatOn-5Once it was time to float Neil and I were given a little tour of the float rooms. We had rooms 1 and 2– the ocean float rooms which are taller and have a light as well. Neil was lucky and got room #2 the room with the star lights on the ceiling of the tank (see photo below). 
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Once we were walked through the steps of floating and I realized just how in control of the situation I was I began to feel less anxious. It also helped when I found out the float tank only contained around a foot of water. 
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Now it’s time to actually float. I put in my ear plugs which transported me back to my childhood when I had tubes and had to wear ear plugs to swim. Anyways moving on. 
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I showered (check out the lighted shower) and then it was time to hop into the tank. I chose to bring in the neck noodle just in case I wanted to use it to support my neck (and I did).

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photo credit http://floathq.com/

I climbed into the tank, closed the door, took a deep breath and turned out the light. I instantly felt super relaxed just floating there. Neil and I both agreed that while floating we felt both heavy and weightless at the same time. Being in the dark wasn’t strange at all, I actually found it completely relaxing and it wasn’t until I started feeling a little stuffy that I really noticed that I was closed in; you really just lose all sense of space. When I started to feel a little stuffy I felt around, grabbed the handle and popped open the door just a crack to let in a whoosh of cool air.

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photo credit https://www.facebook.com/floatHQ

So what did I do while I floated? Nothing really. I just floated and I spent some time focusing on my breath. I actually thought that I would spend a lot of time thinking and brainstorming but instead my mind just calmed down and I really didn’t think about much at all. I just completely relaxed. I thought I might fall asleep as well but I didn’t, I just floated there with my eyes wide open until it was time to get out.

As I said above you lose all sense of space (unless you drift towards a wall and touch it) and you also lose all sense of time. I will admit I started to feel a little bit anxious towards the end because my life seems to revolve around the clock. I start my morning trying to help Neil get out of the house in time for work and then the day revolves around nap times and meal times so not knowing how much longer I had made me want to jump out and check my phone -and I almost did. It wasn’t because I wanted to be done but rather because I had no idea how much time had passed. In the end I didn’t jump out to check my phone because seconds later the music came on signaling that my float was over and it was time to get out, shower and be on my way. 

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The above photo is a perfect image of blissed out Neil. Seriously we both left in a positive state of mind. We were relaxed and just felt absolutely amazing. 

Would I float again? YES! I would definitely float again and I think that the next time I will most likely be even more relaxed because all of those (silly) little anxieties I had won’t be there. I think knowing that I could get out of the tank whenever I felt the need (ie. just feeling uneasy, needing to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, ect.) really made me feel in control and okay to do the float. Once I actually started the float I was kicking myself for not trying it sooner, especially when I was pregnant. I mean seriously what could be better than essentially feeling weightless while pregnant. Plus I truly believe water is a magical thing that just makes life better.

After floating I was thinking about how often I turn to water for therapeutic reasons for myself. I take a shower when I am feeling anxious or frustrated or a bath when I am feeling sore or just need to relax. I give the kids a bath or we do some sort of water play when they are cranky. So really floating is just another level of these things and when I think about it that way it makes so much sense to me why people love to do it. 

Have you ever tried floating? Would you like to? 

*Disclaimer: Float On provided Neil and I with free floats. I was not required to write a positive review and I received no compensation for this post. 

Recipe | (Kid-Approved) Nut-Free Pesto Pasta

Raise your hand if you are a pasta-o-holic like me. I would say in an average week we have pasta at least twice and that’s only because I purposely don’t buy enough to have it everyday of the week – or we would. Edith requests pasta most days of the week and today I said YES and pasta is what we had. 

Nut Free Pesto

Most of the time I make some sort of vegan mac and cheese or a pesto pasta for lunches. Since Alder is now eating err…playing with solids I wanted to make something that he could taste too so I decided to go with a nut-free pesto. It was also the perfect way to get Edith to eat some greens because lately she has been a little more picky with her food. 

Anyways I made this pasta dish and it turned out fantastic. Even Edith who told me while I was making it that she wasn’t going to eat it declared that it was her “favorite best pasta”. So basically this pasta dish is a winner. Enjoy!

(Kid Approved) Nut-Free Pesto Pasta
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 servings pasta of your choice
  2. 1 cup broccoli (fresh or defrosted frozen)
  3. 1 cup peas (fresh or defrosted frozen)
  4. 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  5. 2-3 garlic cloves
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1 teaspoon white miso
  8. 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 Italian Field Roast Sausage (optional), diced and lightly bowned
  11. Reserve a bit of cooking water
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package.
  2. To a food processor all the ingredients except sausage and cooking water; process until smooth. (If making for baby as well see note below).
  3. Toss pasta with pesto and sausage adding as bit of cooking water as necessary to reach desired sauce consistency.
Notes
  1. For Alder I added just the olive oil, peas, broccoli and nutritional yeast to the food processor and blended until smooth; I removed a few tablespoons to toss with a bit of pasta and then added remaining ingredients.
http://runningwithtongs.com/
Nut Free Pesto Fork

What is your go-to pasta dish or lunch dish?

Balanced Life | The Clean Sweep | Pt. 1: Environment

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I have recently dived back into health coaching head first and am participating in the IIN immersion program for the 3rd time. While today marks the official start of the program we were provided with a few tasks last week to help us in preparing for immersion. One of the tasks is called The Clean Sweep which was developed by Thomas Leonard. 

So what is the clean sweep? 

Basically the thought is that when you feel balanced/perfect alignment in the four major parts of our lives, environment, well-being, money, and relationships, that we can be more natural energy.  “The Clean Sweep Program, created by Thomas Leonard, consists of 100 items which, when completed, give you the vitality and strength that you want.” You are to answer each of the 100 questions, 25 per category, as truthfully as possible and only answer YES if the statement is virtually always true. The end goal being that you will confidently answer YES to each answer. 

I started this Clean Sweep process years ago but sort of forgot all about it until recently. As I went through the questions this past weekend I thought it would be interesting to actually share my answers with you and to follow up every three-to-six months on how things are going. I guess you could say that these are a bunch of mini goals I have for myself for the next few years. 

So we’ll start of with Environment and i’ll preface this with saying I am not surprised by how many NO’s are in this category. 

  1. My personal files, papers and receipts are neatly filled away. NO. This seems to be a constant struggle at our house and I really want to figure out away to get it under control. 
  2. My car is in excellent condition. NO. I had to laugh when I read this one. Seriously? Who with a toddler and a baby has a perfectly clean car? 
  3. My home is neat and clean. NO. Hangs head in shame. 
  4. My appliances, machinery and equipment work well. YES.
  5. My clothes are all pressed, clean and make me look great. NO. This is another struggle I have had for years, or rather since getting pregnant with Edith. I am working on restocking my wardrobe with clothes that fit and make me feel great. As for laundry – 2 adults + 2 kids + cloth diapering = non-stop laundry. So maybe I’ll be able to answer YES to this when the kids move out? 
  6. My plants and animals are healthy. N/A. One must have plants and animals to properly answer this question. 
  7. My bed/bedroom lets me have the best sleep possible. NO.This is one of those grey area statements so I decided to go with NO. Our sleeping is less than ideal but we have two young children. 
  8. I live in a home that I love. (Big Fat) NO.
  9. I surround myself with beautiful things. NO. I am so sad to say no to this answer and I really wish we had more beautiful things or at least things that I think are beautiful. 
  10. I live in the geographic area of my choice. NO. Yes and no. I love living in the PNW and Portland area but the keyword right now is area. We need to move (back) to the neighborhood we love or somewhere near it #2016. 
  11. There is ample and healthy lighting around me. NO.
  12. I consistently have adequate time, space and freedom in my life. HAHAHAHAHA. NO.
  13. I am not damaged by my environment. NO. So I said no to this one because not loving our home, neighborhood and just feeling blah makes me feel a bit damaged. 
  14. I am not tolerating anything about my home or work environment. NO. ALL I AM DOING IS TOLERATING.  
  15. My work environment is productive and inspiring. NO. We have failed at really putting our office area together #GOALS and right now it’s hard to be productive with babies hanging on you but instead of getting frustrated 90% of the time I embrace the time with them and try not to stress. 
  16. I recycle. YES.
  17. I use non-ozone depleting products. YES.
  18. My hair is the way I want it. YES. This took me years to actually say YES to but I finally am getting my hair done every six weeks! 
  19. I surround myself with music which makes my life more enjoyable. YES.This was one of my mini goals for March and whoot whoot I am succeeding. P.S. you can follow my March playlist over on Spotify
  20. My bed is made daily. NO. Umm….
  21. I don’t injure myself, fall or bump into things. NO. I found this statement strange but I guess I have to go with NO. 
  22. People feel comfortable in my home. NO. Ummm? I guess I would say NO just because I don’t always feel comfortable here? Would someone actually tell you? 
  23. I drink purified water. YES.
  24. I have nothing around the house or in storage that I do not need. NO. This is a huge goal of ours for 2015 – declutter and not just declutter but minimize our things. 
  25. I am consistently early or easily on time.  NO. I miss being able to answer YES to this statement. 

Total: 18 NO.YES. 1 N/A.

This section of The Clean Sweep is pretty soul crushing actually. After completing it I was like so much to do to turn these NO’s into YES’ and I really would like to have 80% of them be YES’ by the end of the year. I would say there will be a few big and little goals for April that stem out of these results. 

Have you/are you participating in The Clean Sweep? What are your results to this first category? Any surprises?