As a 20-something Seattleite I can tell you two things about myself with certainty: my blood is essentially just black coffee, and anxiety is like my annoying best friend that just won’t get the hint to go home and let me go to bed. Sounds chill, right?
A few years ago when I was working at a tech company and *literally* crying in a conference room, I had the realization that maybe, just maybe I should make some changes. I started getting really into yoga. I realized that having an hour where I couldn’t be on my phone was really nice? And then, naturally, yoga led me into mindfulness, meditation, and all that other woo-woo stuff. I used to be the kind of person that would roll my eyes at meditation apps. Now I have like 5 on my phone. Meditation obviously doesn’t solve everything, but I also haven’t cried in a conference room in a long time.
So, when I was invited to meditate in a room covered in mirrors, I jumped at the opportunity. Obviously. Seattle Blu Room describes their meditative experience as:
“Highly-polished mirrored stainless steel panels line the interior walls, floor, and ceiling, bathing the client in soft blue LED light, providing a healing atmosphere enhanced by narrowband UVB light at the start of each session. Since the brain isn’t busy responding to the stimulus of the everyday environment, the mind is free to float down to a state of deep relaxation known as the theta state.”
Seattle Blu Room itself is a lovely oasis tucked away on Mercer Island, just off I-90. In the best possible way (that made me feel like the mystical princess of my childhood dreams) there were crystals EVERYWHERE. The owner of Seattle Blu Room, Susan, welcomed me with open arms and made me feel comfortable immediately. Susan gave me a tour of the space and showed me the Blu Room, which truly is covered floor to ceiling with mirrored panels. Being inside the room feels similarly to what I imagine being stuck inside the Blue Diamond of the Titanic movie might be like.
I situated myself on a raised platform in the exact middle of the room and rested my head on a pillow. Susan tucked me under a few blankets to keep me warm (Side note - Susan I’m available for adoption if you’re looking for an adult child). I put tanning room style goggles on. Soft music started playing and the door gently shut, encasing me in the room. Was I about to be murdered while writing an article for Refined? I really should stop listening to so many true crime podcasts. I figured that, at the very least, I would end up taking a slightly odd nap in a foreign place. I live for naps, so this wasn’t exactly a bad option.
It’s difficult to articulate exactly what happened in that glass case of emotion. As I hunkered down under my blanket, I slowly began to panic. This happens to me a lot when I do mindfulness-style activities, specifically because mindfulness can be overwhelming. The point of meditation and mindfulness is to tap back into yourself, and doing that solo can be a little intimidating. Forever an overachiever, I always find myself asking – am I doing this right? How do I know if it’s working? Am I trying hard enough? Of course, the whole point of mindfulness is to not try. Le sigh.
I could tell that my brain was racing a mile a minute, so I forced myself to start paying attention to my breath. I counted my inhales and exhales. I made my breathing slow down a bit. I tried to listen to the sound of my heartbeat. I realize this might sound bonkers, but it’s a tool that I use in meditation when I can’t get my brain to focus. It usually works. I slowly started to drift into a calmer, meditative state. To put it simply: I felt zen AF.
I didn’t have any specific revelations or visions, but instead was overtaken by some really powerful emotions. I felt the underlying buzz of my constant anxiety (hi, I’m a millennial) begin to go away. Something inside my head (or my heart?) started to assure me that everything would be OK. I felt the things that I worry about- work, being a good partner, supporting people that I love, making something of my goddamn life, etc. - begin to melt away. A voice in myself told me to chill out. Everything was going to be fine. And you know what? It was really powerful.
I don’t think it’s much of a reach to say that life in 2019 (especially in a bustling city like Seattle) can be intensely stressful. It can be really difficult to find time for yourself that doesn’t entail getting something done. It’s also hard to find time where you aren’t connected to some kind of electronic device that’s slowly sucking out your soul, you know? As I woke from my slumber inside the glistening diamond that is Seattle Blu Room I felt refreshed. My session only took up a tiny blip in my day, but it left me feeling like a whole new woman for the rest of the week. It also inspired me (gasp!) to put my damn phone down every now and then. Is this what it feels like to be a human? Whoa, man.
Blu Room offers a first session price of $38. After that packages are available at varying prices for purchase in-store or on their website.