The Moth & Flotation Tanks

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” 

― Jane Austen

It was a busy week for the Launchpad. If you didn't make it out to The Moth on Monday, or the Floatation Tanks on Tuesday, you missed out. But, don't fret - there is always next month. Here is a snippet for those who missed it...

What is the one word you would tell yourself, if you could only tell yourself one word?

"Here?" My mind and body didn't feel connected, yet over-and-over this question rattled in my scull. Staring into the pitch-darkness of the chamber, my ears plugged, I floated atop the heavily salted water, feeling a million miles away.

Floating in space, there were moments I would even lose track of where I was in the tank. But one thing was absolutely clear, even if my body drifted away, my mind refused to budge. It was here to stay.

Come'on, just pick one!

"Impossible..." Even Monday night held more opportunities to elaborate. On stage at The Moth Story Slam, I was at least given 5 minutes worth of words to play with. Some words made the crowd laugh, others made them uncomfortable, but I could always follow-up the awkward ones with a string of distractors to mute their meaning.

You only get to choose one bitty word...what will it be?

"Stuck" Even the question gets more words to describe its meaning. I'm at odds with my verbose nature. Restricted. It dosn't seem fair.

This has been an intense week already and it is only Tuesday! I've organized two outing, been called first to step on stage, quit social media for a month, and now I'm forced to sit silently for an hour, in a flotation tank in Lincoln Park, left with nothing but my thoughts for company.

Really? You can't even think of one?

"Pick" So, I started reaching. Grasping at words. Each spitting into a phrase before I could stop the syllables from pouring out. Yes, No, Maybe, So, Words, Words, Words!!! I had to stop and pick one. Something good enough, nothing perfect, just pick and move on to the next thoughts. I can always think of something better later. I'm sure of it...

What will it be?


You may think Isolation Tanks are weird - and they are. But, Tuesday reminded me to be mindful of the times when I'm overwhelmed and the steps needed to take back control in those moments.

  • Asking, "How did I get here?" will bring up so many rationals and justifications that you will start to feel that getting back on track is impossible... 
  • At this point, you'll be stuck, but unfortunately the world has not stopped around you.
  • Paralysis of choice is a real thing, but eventually your thoughts and responsibilities will continue to build up until you have to pick something!
  • Leading to the final step of taking action: GO! At which point the whole cyclical process will start again.

There may not be "one perfect word" of all the words in the English language, but it has been 3 days since the float and this one is still rattling around in my head. From choosing to go on stage, to jumping into that flotation tank, I can sit around thinking about the thousands of options of what to do next, or I could just GO!

My question to you:

  • What is one thing you've been putting off that you will GO and do this week?

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you at the next one.

Float On,
Martin McGOvern