This story starts in 2010 when I was working as an accountant for an entertainment law firm in Los Angeles. I wasn’t in love with the job, but one perk was listening to podcasts while I worked and one of my favorites was Joe Rogan’s. He’s a standup comedian, the former host of Fear Factor, UFC commentator, and an avid kale-shake enthusiast. Joe in an extremely curious guy, explores fascinating topics, and questions all assumptions with a sense humor, so it’s usually both funny and enlightening. One day, Joe mentioned he had this thing called a float tank in his basement and I took notice because he spoke passionately about how much he loves it and how it’s the most important tool for developing his mind. It sounded pretty cool, but what really got me to try it was the conviction Joe had about it. I could tell that Joe truly loved floating, so I had to take a trip down to Float Lab in Venice to try this out for myself.
I didn’t quite know what to expect, but my plan was to practice mindful breathing, a meditation technique I’d read about. I showered, got in the tank, bounced around for a while, and was fascinated by how much I floated. After a while, I settled down, tried focusing on my breath, and started to notice that without gravity’s force on my body or having to deal with sensory input, my focus became much sharper and my inner-awareness seemed heightened. After what felt like 30 minutes, my thoughts started to slow down, my body had completely melted away, and I was achieving the meditative states I always hoped to reach, but never could. I felt euphoric, explored my mind and thought about my life in a noticeably more optimistic way. When my float ended, I got out and felt totally refreshed. When I left Float Lab and walked around, colors seemed more vivid, my body felt aligned, everything felt lighter, and it was like the volume on my mind was turned down. After that first float, I knew floating was for me and that it would always be a part of my life.
Let’s fast forward to the summer of 2011. Joe’s friend Chris Marcus came on the podcast and describes his experience taking a shamanic brew called ayuasca in Peru. Chris spoke passionately about how transformative and positive the experience was and it struck a cord with me. When I shared the video with my sister, she was captivated and was immediately game to take the trip down to Peru. There, I learned more about myself than I could ever imagine and was instilled with an incredibly powerful sense of self-belief.