This is the final post in a four-part series by contributor Carole Braden about her experiences with meditation CDs from Centerpointe Research Institute. Click to read parts one, two, and three of her series.
How many Awakening Prologue listens does it take before you lasso your ultimate life? I couldn’t say. I’ve mainlined my Centerpointe sound files for an hour nearly every morning for exactly ten months. And while the effort has not brought me an all-new existence – or a gurgling set of twins in pink and blue Pampers – I do feel it’s helped push me through some productive, if not always enjoyable, phases.
There was what I’ll call my “WTF?” period, during which I experienced vivid and often unsettling dreams about fictional cat fights among girlfriends and my all-too-real leveling by the chicken pox at age 30. (Quite a head scratcher for a girl who’s almost never remembered where her sleepytime brain took her, but it did help me identify some issues I’d been subconsciously stressing about.) Another was my “Bee-yatch” phase, when stuff came out – not some phlegmatic ooze, but rather angst, irritations, paranoia, and expectations, every kind of stored-away emotion that could possibly bubble to the surface, and wow, did letting that crap go ever feel good.
And then came satisfaction. I call it my “These are some good-ass drugs!” stretch, which interrupted the previous weirdness without warning, and has lasted long enough to turn what was once discipline into a certifiable addiction. I can tell you with complete honesty that, while I’ve never kept running through cramps or stuck to a diet for more than a day, I can’t stop listening to this mysterious quasi-music.
I don’t mean listening in the way that I’ve been known to repeatedly blast (and bellow along to) Patty Griffin’s “Long Ride Home.” I mean it in the way that, when I start off my morning by telling my iPod to start my “Meditate” playlist, and letting the freaky bings, bongs, and patters fill my head, I have an infinitely better day than I do when I don’t. I noticed this myself one day a few months ago, but my inner skeptic dismissed it. Then, one cranky evening, my husband said, “You didn’t listen to your tapes today, did you?” I hadn’t. He’s confirmed multiple times since that I am calmer, cheerier, and all-around more positive when I’ve had my early-morning listen. I also find that I eat better and feel more flexible in my yoga classes in my relaxed post-meditation state.
I won’t lie – I’m not fixed (or at least not in the way I want to be). I still don’t have a kid, but instead of wallowing in my sinking baby boat, I’ve recently watched a big, bright beacon switch on atop some as-yet-unidentified lighthouse on my horizon. Maybe I won’t enter momhood in the way I thought I would, but hey: This world offers many ways to satisfy nurturing and diapering and swaddling and tickling desires. Some days when I roll out of bed, I believe I’m close to uttering, “I’m over it.” Or something like that.
I don’t want to give Awakening Prologue – or the utterly questionable “Holosync Solution” it’s said to offer its listeners – too much credit. I still don’t get how it works. And, fact is, I’ve put a whole lot of bloody, sweaty, teary effort into arriving where I am now. But I do think that, teamed with much soul-searching, a dose of self acceptance, and a heap of support from the people who love me, this mind-erasing soundtrack has helped me to stop fighting and do what I need to do: Chill. For at least, anyway, one blissful hour every day.