Meditation techniques have been booming all over the United States and abroad since before any self-help books were written. Unfortunately in America, the word “meditation” itself either sparks infectious conversation or is met with an eye roll and a confession that meditation is more stressful than anything one has ever done. That may be you reading this now. However, strategic meditation outlets, like sensory deprivation float tanks, could be that full-body experience that gets one to that relaxed state. So as the adventurous woman I aspire to be, I decided to dive into the salty water of the unknown and see how one University of La Verne student could break barriers and try something completely new.
After the experience ended, I felt a deep reinvigorated cleaning throughout my mind and body. Surprisingly, I felt like I could hear more clearly, and I could see more vividly. Since my senses took a break, I felt like they were turned back on tenfold.
For anyone afraid of something new, please hear me out. There was no going under. It took more force for me to push my hand down than it was too keep it afloat. Also, by having flotation options, there was no worry of claustrophobia. I learned that things are not always as scary as they seem.
But why does this matter? What I am taking from this experience is twofold. Meditation can really target many anxieties between people’s emotional state and the natural body. In life, we separate ourselves from the physical and the metaphysical, which is unhealthy to the brain and the bodily functions.
Being still with oneself, especially in western culture, is not normally part of our daily routine. We work, we eat, we come home, we sleep, and then we repeat with no time for reflection. Many people do not take the time to be “one” with themselves and enjoy the company of being in their own quiet space. I never did actually turn into my favorite character, Eleven, on “Stranger Things,” but I did feel a sense of quiet serenity that was not scary at all. In a broader perspective, I realize now how my experience as an editor this year was like diving into the unknown. I am proud of the serenity I found in my work, intrinsically with my writing and extrinsically with working with my team. As a proud millennial, I know that the work that I will do now and in the future will be centered on the things that mean the most: love for oneself and then the world. Take the longer road toward reflection and, no matter what people say, do what is right for you. Everyone is on her own path, and that makes all the difference. ■
Alexandra Felton, Editor in Chief