Sound Baths & Rats

I went to my first sound bath last night. It didn’t involve nudity as I had hoped, but rather a room full of strangers laying side-by-side on blankets, wearing eye-masks, listing to a large gong, rain-sticks, various other instrumentals, and a strange man singing for 60 minutes. It was pure heaven.

Yes, it is ironic that I paid to go do this with strangers, when I have my own eye mask (that I sleep in), my own pillow, my own yoga mat, my own blanket, and my own fully functional speaker that makes sounds. But, what you will notice missing from that list is a GONG, and a ROOM FULL OF STRANGERS. I dunno, it’s just the vibes of lots of people bathing in sound in one room that makes it special, and worth paying for. Plus, it forces you to make time to chillax, and you have a teacher guiding you along the way.

 Illustration by  Danielle Rose Fisher

Illustration by Danielle Rose Fisher

Well anyway, during my sound bath (which is basically a group meditation session at a yoga studio, where you lay in silence and listen to noises), I had many a thought. The whole point of meditation is to calm your thinking-mind, focus on your breath, and connect with your inner stillness. What I found happened for me was that my work-focused-thinking-mind shut off (yay! success!), and my creative-mind got real fuckin’ chatty and busy. She planned my 30th birthday party (not sure if you’ll be invited yet), made jokes, wrote blog posts, thought about an app to bring live fitness to 50-60-something year old women (a clearly underserved fitness market) (think Peloton mixed with “Sit and Be Fit”), and had various other brilliant ideas. My creative-mind got busy with it, and I didn’t try to stop her. She really peaked when the sound transitioned from gong to rain-stick.

I found out that my mind has been so taxed by my day job, my worries about life, my incessant planning and “trying to figure out what I want to do with my life” that I just wanted some time to be thinkin’ bout the stuff that gets me going -- the stuff that drives me… the fun, creative stuff in life. It left me with one thing I had to do. I had to write.

I’ve been thinking and talking about writing for a while now...then not doing it. I find one reason or another to hold myself back. Here are a few examples:

  1. “Well, you really want to write about how much you want to escape desk jobs, and how you want to figure out how to work for yourself, but it might jeopardize your desk job, and you don’t have enough money yet to just quit. So just keep saving and then you can write, Miz.”

  2. “Well, Facebook is already stealing your data, so why would you want to give them more info about you. Plus, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so you also can’t share anything you write there. They own you, Miz. And how will you even reach an audience if you can’t share on Facebook or Instagram? And wait, why do you even need an audience?”

Those are just two of many potential reasons I’ve found not to share my writing publicly. Really, I’ve robbed myself of the activity of writing. It’s not about the sharing. When I write I just relax and get in the zone, and that’s what I miss. I make myself giggle. There’s almost nothing that I find more fun than giggling at my own thoughts. I feel that when I’m most connected to the present is when I find small things in the world that are funny, and when I write I am super connected to those moments and can reflect and relish in them.

Like the moment I had earlier this week where I was passing by my favorite pilates studio, and was about to point out the neighborhood cat to my friend. I could see a small furry creature by the cat food bowl, but was confused and noticed that instead of Mr. Furry Kitty, there was a freakin' huge rat just casually munching away on the cat food. He looked so chill, out in plain daylight, like it was his bowl of food...just nibblin’. The craziest part was that my friend and I looked at each other in surprise, and reacted with, “Omg, cute!” I am serious. This was a cute New York City rat. I never ever thought I would say it, but yeah, it was cute. It basically looked like one of those Youtube celebrity hamsters who eat burritos, propped up on his back feet with both hands holding one little piece of cat food up to his little ratty mouth. And I hate rats so so much (I thought this was universal, but my friend actually hates pigeons more than rats, which means she generally likes rats, because you can only pick one of those animals to hate), and I really thought this one was cute.

 Illustration by  Danielle Rose Fisher

Illustration by Danielle Rose Fisher

So here we are, one sound bath later and I’m writing about rats. But what if I never put finger to keyboard and reflected back on it? How many other opportunities like this have I missed by being so caught up in my over-thinking mind? Either I’ll report back after my next sound bath, or possibly I’ll just do better to shut my cray-cray mind up, and let the silly, creative mind out more often-- sound bath or not. Why do I need to go lay next to strangers in a dark room full of gongs and rain-sticks to finally give myself permission to write? I fuckin’ don’t.

Oh, but I’ll def go back because it was really quite cool. <gong emoji>