Archives for posts with tag: southern california

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Every year, and every so often, I like to treat myself to some type of spa experience on the day of my birthday. This year I wanted to finally get around to visiting this place called Cocoon Float. It basically is what it sounds like. You float in a white bubble tank for 60 minutes. It’s technically called a “Sensory Deprivation Tank”. A tank filled with Epsom Salt, a mineral made of magnesium and sulfate. Have you ever heard how good it is for you to take a salt bath to relax muscles? Because Epsom Salt creates the absence of gravity for a human body when combined with water, the stress and tensions that are released when enjoyed for 60 minutes is incredible; incredible in nutrients for the body to absorb, and incredible in experience. Sensory Deprivation is knocking out one Western ailment after another. Interesting.

Allow me to explain my experience.

The business is located in Hillcrest of San Diego, California. It’s three stories up on a corner building. No signage that I could visibly see unfortunately. I found my way and walked into this serene and quaint white lobby environment where I am politely greeted. Within checking in you are handed an iPad and headphones to watch a 5 minute video on how you will navigate your experience and what to expect. It was a cute cartoon, informative and flew by. Basically, the goal is to try and 100% relax…and see how that feels. Queue spooky transcendental vibe music. Not going to lie, I may or may not have felt a bit of a sexual vibe in how free this felt at one point.

I was walked to one of the back rooms (there are only 2 cocoons), and was explained the more hands on procedures of how to operate the tank and how the lights will be turned down. I was told to put my earplugs in before I touch anything wet. This is pretty much where the experience began. My plugs were in, all went quiet. I turned on the shower to warm it up. I slid out of my clothes. Stepped in to the shower, and used the body wash in my palm to clean and then rinse. Turned the shower off. Stepped down, and walked thethree steps to the cocoon, put one leg in (water went up to right under my knee), grabbed the hood of the cocoon, stepped my other leg in, and kneeled as I pulled down the hood over me, enveloping me into this surreal experience.

So I plant my butt down, or tried. But since there is an absence of gravity I gently leaned back and allowed my body to be lifted to the surface of the water. The tank was filled with a glowing blue light that bounced off the white lacquered bulbous tank walls and water. There were two buttons I had control over. The light and the music. I wanted both on. And I wanted to close my eyes.

The whole reason this is worth writing about is: if you can possibly get to the zone where you are 100% relaxed, it’s otherworldly. You’re awake but your somewhere else – thinking. About entirely subconscious things. I felt very happy and lifted after my time spent in the tank. (And slept great the next few days) I was amazed that I was able to get to that place – because trust me, it took focus. And within that focus I relaxed a bit more every other minute. Once my mind finally let go, as in I was in another realm not thinking about how I’m thinking, it was probably a good 20 minutes I was there. However, it was one of those moments where you feel like you literally just went to sleep two minutes ago – but I was really just relaxed because I was floating. It was a really cool feeling. A lot happened in my mind in this 20 minutes while at the same time nothing happened. It was the sensation of floating that brought this all home. A sensation more people should try… and I hope more find worthy of experiencing for oneself.
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While we’re on water and relaxation, my boss told me about this form of water therapy called ‘Watsu‘. That’s the definition link and here’s an actual experience. Check those links out! That’s what I’m on the hunt to experience now.

Sidenote: About blue light: …Findings confirm that blue light at night stimulates alertness and diminishes the feeling of being drowsy (i.e. awake), interfering with sleep. Exposure to blue light during the day, however, results in a similar, more welcome boost to alertness and reduction to fatigue, which stand to benefit both daytime function and nighttime rest¹. So this paradox to how I felt in the tank is beyond me. Like I said, I was awake, but so relaxed some may call it sleep because we don’t know anything else other than sleep. Or do I now? Re-queue spooky vibes.

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paris-cafe-society-david-lloyd-gloverGrowing up as more of a “Northern California Girl” I always felt like I needed to experience Southern California for all it obviously had to offer. When the right time was though, was the question. At a certain point when I wasn’t able to make the move to Santa Barbara City College after high school to play soccer while attending classes, and needing time to work, I knew the move would have to come later after I had time to learn how to be an actual self-supporting and world-maneuvering adult. Flash forward to wrapping up community college in Northern California (at age 24) when I had the choice to apply to Sacramento State University or the quixotic destination school: San Diego State University. I only had a few schools in the state I could apply to with my major. The other two being Long Beach and Chico State. Never had a thing for Long Beach and I definitely didn’t want to stay in Northern California at Chico. So I applied to SDSU. I did not get accepted my first time… waited a year and finally got accepted. I knew my life was about to change when I first read that letter. I screamed with joy. But boy did I have some rude awakenings coming my way. That’s a story for another time. But needless to say, all the tribulations have been more than worth it. I absolutely love the ocean and weather here, and more than that my love for California, no matter where, persists. I love being able to go back to Northern California where my family is and still enjoy that climate and scenery. The question that remains for me, now that I will be graduating in 4 months is: Where to next? Or do I want to move? This is also a topic for another time, but I have so many darn hobbies, interests, talents, and skills, now that I have done my time in the state school system, that I almost feel hesitant to lock myself into one thing! I truly would love to create my own business. And of course, the spa will always be on my brain until I have the means to bring it to fruition. But until then, and while in Europe (for 2 months!) after I graduate, I will be continuing to look at jobs along the southern west coast of California, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, and heck maybe even Italy. Why not? I’ve got nothing tying me to one place. So, by perusing business’ websites and looking at their job opportunity sections and eventually applying to a few, we will have to just wait and see where I land! …Or that’s the plan for now.

Check out this interesting article about what it means for a city’s future when it comes to where college graduates decide to make their home base after they graduate: Where Young College Graduates Are Choosing to Live – NYTimes.com. My favorite line in the article was by an Economist professor at Harvard, “The most successful economic development policy is to attract and retain smart people and then get out of their way.” Hah! Awesome. I agree. Have we let that happen yet? Or is smart relative?