I heard a guy give a testimony once about how he was very vanilla – meaning he didn’t have a major life event he overcame or an inspiring testimony of total transformation. He was just a guy who went through life paying attention.

I connected with his message.

I’ve spent a lot of life just paying attention.

Because of that attention, I found myself naturally leading people to the quiet place beside still waters because I was not in perpetual motion.

As a leadership coach, my biggest asset is the ability to listen, acknowledge and understand what’s being (and not being) said, and reflect back how that impacts a leader and those he or she leads.

The less distraction I experience from my own thoughts, the more effective I become. Thus, the impact my clients experience is greater – 9 times out of 10 calling our work together “life-changing”.

One might not think that floating naked in approximately 12 inches of water warmed to body temperature saturated with 1,000 pound of Epson salt would be that helpful, but I can pinpoint the day that plain vanilla became vanilla sorbet and provided a unique taste for which people are hungry.

Having an anti-gravity, letting-go, sensory deprivation experience made me better at my job.

Sixty minutes of floating is supposed to have the same benefits as four hours of deep meditation, so I prepared myself to let go, let go some more…and then even more…because I knew the benefits and I wanted them. My goal, as I entered the tank and buoyed upward with no effort, was to just exist. To be. To observe what exactly goes on in my mind and pay attention without any attachment to what surfaced.

So what did floating for 90 minutes in a spaceship-looking tank of salt water improve exactly?

  1. It improved focus and clarity.

Being able to listen carefully and clarify how the dots connect is essential to my job.

I found the space of stillness about 45 minutes into the float, beyond fear of uncertainty (and claustrophobia), and settled into it the new awareness. Because of that breakthrough, I gained the ability to re-enter this space apart from the tank. Creativity, insight, and intuition became more easily accessible.

  1. It expanded my capacity to suspend judgment.

Suspending judgment creates trust and safety in a relationship, which is essential for what I do.

Floating was an opportunity to find out that when it comes down to it – I’m alright. Vanilla (and every other flavor) is alright. The simple presence of awareness created a knowing that all is well.

There’s no urgent need to judge good or bad or right or wrong when you know that everything is just fine.

  1. It proved that external circumstances aren’t the directors of happiness.

We can change all the external conditions we want, but there is always one common denominator: ourselves. Knowing this for myself helps me to know it for my clients.

Stephen Covey says, “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it.” This means that becoming aware of conditioned thinking alters emotion, which alters action. The float tank provides an opportunity to discover this.

Since stepping out of the sensory deprivation tank (and every time thereafter), I’ve been able to return to that place where I pressed past fear and past the constant inner chatter. This enabled me to get into that space again when I’ve needed it, particularly at my job – in the presence of those in perpetual motion who are seeking peace, relief, and clarity.

Interested in a float experience? Search for one in your location at www.floatationlocations.com

Interested in coaching? Let’s see if we’re a good fit.

INspired Leadership Team

Websitewww.inspiredleadershipwithin.com

Email: inspiredleadership@essdack.org

Facebook Communitywww.facebook.com/leadershipbeginswithin

Twitter: @TamaraKonrade @MikeSanders19 @RachelThalmann @tjfellers

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