Self-Care Challenge (Day 221): Floating

red raft on the Deschutes river

On day 221 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I spent the afternoon floating with friends.

I experienced my first-ever “float” while visiting some friends in central Oregon over the weekend. And I must say…what a lovely way to spend an afternoon!

Eight of us set out for a three-hour float down the Deschutes river. With just a few course corrections, we floated effortlessly as we watched nature pass us by.

For a few hours, we were part of the landscape. Ducks swam alongside us. Golden Eagles and Osprey circled above us. And those who lived in riverfront homes waved to us from the shore as we passed.

Several dimensions of self-care were involved in the adventure:

From a relational perspective, it was a fun way to spend time with friends. It gave us a chance to talk and laugh together uninterrupted. And it also provided an opportunity to meet new people, as there were several in our party that I hadn’t met before.

From an environmental perspective, I felt a stronger connection to nature. There were moments where all eight of us sat silently, mesmerized by the scenery, the wind, and the trickling water beneath us.

From an emotive perspective, slowing down for three solid hours, where there was nowhere to escape the moment, was particularly calming for me. My brain was simply unable to focus on my to-do list – a welcome break, to say the least.

I now understand why so many people enjoy going on floats, and why the parking lot was full of people who were eagerly launching kayaks, rafts and other floats into the river.

The water has a way of helping us restore balance and perspective, bringing us closer once again to our true north.

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