All Posts By:

Mindy Trujillo


A Day in Cincinnati: My Obsession

Cincinnati.  New experiences.  Making memories.  Firsts.  These are some of my positive obsessions.  But I am also a bit obsessive about control.  I like to make the plans.  I like to construct the program.  I like to make the reservations.  I’m sure some of you identify with my struggle.  Well, Saturday, I got to explore the city I love while giving up that control!

Right now I’m participating in an all-church journey called Obsessed. It’s essentially evaluating our obsessions- good and bad. One of my challenges last week was to relinqush control of my time for at least four hours.  I turned over eight hours of my Saturday to two people: my husband and my husband’s best friend, Kenny Frost.

Mind you, on this particular Saturday, I had so many things that needed to be done. Grocery shopping. House cleaning. Blog writing. Appointment making. Grading.  But, in the spirit of the challenge, I let those things go! I got out of bed, shut down the “but you have so much stuff to do” voices, and started my journey.  Not only did I have fun exploring the city, but I also experienced freedom and joy.

I’d love to share with you what my “no-control” Saturday in Cincinnati looked like.  Check out the captions for each pic below.

I started my day at Krohn Conservatory taking in A Garden of True Imagination.

Spring Garden: the color, designs, and perfect imperfections of each flower made me hyper aware of just have special we each are as well.

Next stop, lunch at a VEGAN restaurant: The Loving Hut. I had specific instructions to order something new.

Japanese-style Udon noodles with veggies. Delicious. Trust me, I had never heard of this restaurant before.

I had specific instructions: go to the Main Library downtown and check out 4 things (two of which had to be nonfiction). Even though I LOVE books, I don’t hang out in libraries. My younger self was too loud.

This view of Devou Park never gets old.

Dropping off some sugary sweetness to good friends.

Walking the Purple People Bridge.

Eden Park- I love this pic!

My husband, knowing I like to know everything, sent me instructions in increments.  His notes included things like putting my phone on airplane mode, journaling (he even put my journal in the car), reflecting, and, most importantly, being present.  He definitely challenged my comfort zone in all the right ways.

Now Kenny, a lover of the outdoors, planned my afternoon.  He challenged me to look at the city with fresh eyes. Probably my favorite moment was walking the Purple People Bridge and praying for the city.  I would never have thought of that on my own.

Saturday reinforced my belief in minimalism for sure.  There is so much beauty all around me.  Parks.  Views.  Colors.  People.  Restaurants.  I’d rather spend my time and money enjoying life than gathering things.  But even more than that, I learned that trusting other people to arrange, to fix, and to plan, is actually exciting and freeing.  This has to be one of my favorite days hands down!

GO THERE (Exploring this city)!  TRY THAT (giving up control of your time)! 
Loving Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Tao Float Loft | Go Out Vol. 1

Welcome to the #GoOut challenge!  My friend and colleague, local blogger Katie Holocher (a.k.a Out + Outfit), came up with this genius plan.  The idea is that once a month we each take the other someplace interesting. We’re calling it Go Out.  Get it? Go as in Go There! Try That! and Out as in OUT + OUTFIT.

Our first challenge had me laughing from the get go. Katie decided that we would try an experience new to both of us: floating.  Have I floated before?  Of course.  Have I floated in a space egg before?  Heck no!  Thus the awkward and spontaneous giggling every single time we talked about it.  But I love water and I’m always up for a challenge so I was determined to embrace my time at Tao Float Loft.

Relaxing before my session with a cuppa tea!

What I learned from my pre-visit googling is that floating is a proven way to relax, decrease stress, and alleviate muscle pain.    As I say to my students, Guys, it’s science!”   Tao Float Loft is one of many places nationwide where people can go get their float on!  Each tub, or space egg as I affectionally call it, is filled with 1200 pounds of Epsom salt in just 11 inches of water.  This not only ensures that the body floats, but the salt eliminates toxins from the body.

1200 pounds of salt!

The process goes like this:

  1.  relax with a cup of tea as the water heats
  2.  enter room, strip down, rinse off
  3.  insert ear plugs, step into tub, pull down lid
  4.  listen to 10 minutes of calming music and get settled
  5.  float for 50 minutes after music fades away
  6.  exit tub, shower completely to remove all salt

Are we really doing this?

Katie and I truly were laughing all the way to the tubs.  I think part of my laughter stemmed from fear.  I am super duper claustrophobic and I was really worried I would not be able to get in and close the lid so I was comforted when I found out that closing it all the way is optional!  I was certain I couldn’t do it.  But I did.  I still can’t believe I did, but I did.  I’m not sure if it was the water or what, but I closed that lid, and kept the optional light off!  If the idea of floating in darkness is too much, there is a chakra light that can be left on.

Once I got in and started floating, it took me a few minutes to shut down the “what in the heck are you doing right now” and “is this real life” and “what if you’re on candid camera” voices.  So I did that thing where you mentally focus on each part of your body, in isolation, almost willing it to relax.  That did the trick.  My breathing slowed down, my mind cleared, and my body relaxed.  I spent equal time floating on my back and my stomach.  While I didn’t fall asleep (which is possible) I did kind of drift away.  The sensory reduction, which I know sounds crazy town, did provide a forced feeling of calm by eliminating most outside stimuli.  There’s something to be said about not fighting gravity . . . of completing letting go.   I honestly wasn’t ready to get out when the music gently reminded me that my time was up.

The pod.

When Katie and I were reflecting on our individual floating experiences, we both noted how great our skin felt.  My hair and skin were so soft.  The other benefit for me was relief in muscle pain.  I’ve been dealing with an inflamed IT band and I do think this helped.  Would I go back to  Tao Float Loft again?  Yes.  But not just for muscle pain.  As someone with anxiety and OCD issues, I think this could be great for stress management!  It’s not often I’m able to relax and still my mind.

If it’s true that 60 minutes of floating in a space egg full of salt is equivalent to four hours REM sleep, I will take it!  Be sure to check out all the services Tao has to offer and be sure to head on over to OUT + OUTFIT and see what Katie thought!

Stay tuned for our next joint blog venture . . . and in the meantime, Go Out!

GO THERE (Tao Float Loft)!  TRY THAT (Floating)!