After doing the neurofeedback intensive – doing sessions twice a day for 30 days – I was curious to see how the transformations I experienced would hold up. Helpfully, two of my clients wanted to try it too, and they went through their own transformative process. So now we have an N = 3.
The most powerful change for all of us seemed to be the dramatic decrease in “mind noise.” The relentless mental chatter quiets way down. One of them said, “The most awesome effect has been the breaking of the mind-body chemistry spiral! I have not had any of the crippling – or remotely crippling – mind hissy fits that I used to get regularly…I feel a calmness in my life that I have not felt in a long, long time. And I feel successful. It’s weird. I feel like everything I do will either teach me a lesson and lead to what I need to know or will work out exactly as I intend.”
The other person agreed – “My mind is “quiet,” I don’t know how else to put it…”
Another thing that changed for everyone was sleep quality: “…my mind is calmer and my sleep is definitely better. Before NeurOptimal I never slept through the night. Now sleeping through every night! That alone is priceless!!” The other said, “…I definitely sleep deeper and more “pleasantly.”
I’ve noticed for myself that while I still wake up a few times during the night, it’s easy for me to get back to sleep, and my dreams are much more vivid and easy to remember. It feels like the quality of my sleep is much better.
For one person, her ability to focus and make decisions shifted dramatically: “The effects I was hoping for — more clarity in my decision making and stopping the mind-body chemistry spiral – have been dramatic. Making decisions now is almost effortless. I just know what to do. When I am thinking and trying to figure something out…it comes easily or I just think I’ll get it later. I don’t ponder and obsess when it’s not correct for me to do so…”
Post Intensive Semi-Intensive
After I did the twice a day sessions, I throttled back to once a day, every day for a month, just to see. What I noticed is that my brain was getting a little…tired. I reluctantly realized that “rest” is also useful. Hunh – who would have thought? “Doing” without the “not-doing” isn’t always productive, a concept I find hard to remember.
So I throttled back even more to a few sessions a week. I liked the feeling of “transformation,” of letting go of deep stuff that had seriously gotten in my way all my life. What else can I let go of? What levels of awesomeness can I experience? I want to find out! But I also grudgingly recognize the whole “rest is important too,” so my brain/mind/system can integrate the changes it has gone through at warp speed over the last two months. So I’m embracing the slower pace, and checking to see how it continues to manifest in my life.
Fear Without the Story
Another way I noticed it manifesting was through an experience I had last week. I was about to facilitate a group to do some energy psych work for letting go of stress and trauma. Most of the people attending I hadn’t met yet. I love doing groups, I’m pretty good at doing them, they usually turn out well. And, like everything else that involves me being “out in public,” there is a part of me that enjoys it, even needs to do it, and another part of me that would rather stay home and be left alone.
As the time grew closer for the group event to happen, I was aware of a growing feeling of fear – I guess it was fear – in my chest. It was a tightness, a sort of visceral dread, about the group. But as I investigated it, there was no usual story attached to it. I wasn’t afraid of failing, I wasn’t even really “scared.” I realized that it was just the energy of that side of me that would rather be left alone, that’s all. I don’t think I had ever experienced just the “frequency” of myself that directly before – it has always been tied up in a story involving past experiences.
Without my usual story to latch onto and terrorize myself with, I wasn’t sure what to do. So I experimented with doing tapping while letting that energy speak (or actually, yell and scream – I did it in the car on my way to the office). It was helpful just to search for words to match the feeling and let them fly. It lasted about 2 minutes, and then I felt the positive part of doing groups emerge from the swamp. Oh yeah – I love this! At some point that tight feeling went away…I’m not even sure when.
Less Brain Junk to Dump
Another practice I have recently taken up for the hundredth time is “morning pages” – a practice Julia Cameron recommends in her classic book “The Artist’s Way.” You just sit down and dump your brain onto three notebook pages. Nothing profound, just letting go of the trash that you clutter your mind with, a practice she refers to as using “spiritual windshield wipers.”
It had been helpful for me in the past to let all the mindless “blah, blah blah’s” go before meditating, another practice I’m taking up for the hundredth time. (This time for 10 minutes, so I can win.) As I was writing/dumping this morning, I realized I was running out of steam pretty early into it. I just didn’t have a lot to dump. There wasn’t much clutter. I tried to gin some up, but that seemed kind of counter-productive. So I figure I can either change it to “morning paragraphs” or even “morning sentences,” or I can focus on installing or anchoring positive things I want.
Bottom line – the changes are holding, other people have experienced similar transformations, and I continue to find it an incredibly powerful, life-changing experience. If you want to try it too – email me!