I found myself thinking: “I can’t believe I did it again. I can’t believe that same exact thing I always do happened again.”
Over and over again in my head.
So familiar and so nagging.
I was on day 3 of this internal mind torture.
Even though it was familiar, to be fair to myself, it has been a while since I found myself stuck in this kind of torturous thought and emotional loop.
Actually, this kind of thing used to happen to me all the time.
In my younger years, when I worked for various tech and marketing firms, I would beat myself up for “making mistakes”.
Or I would be convinced that what I said to someone was “stupid” and “awkward” and replay it over and over again in my mind...
Even though no one else seemed to care all that much.
I’d even have people tell me, “Relax, it’s not that big of a deal” or “Seriously, that’s what you’re worried about?”
The self beating would usually continue until some other “mistake” came along that I could renew my self punishment over.
But somewhere along the way, I started to think that this was a hard way to go through life.
Exhausting, in fact.
I mean, things looked pretty good from the outside:
In the mid 90’s I had seen a 60 Minutes piece on the exciting new world of working in Silicon Valley and decided to dedicate my mind to getting a job at a tech startup here in Toronto.
After a few years of boom, there inevitably came the “tech bubble burst” and I made the switch to more traditional marketing.
And there I prospered. I was having experiences. Eating good food. Living the life. Downtown Toronto. Yay! … Check... Right?
But this nagging self punishment and doubt thing followed me like a dark cloud wherever I’d go and whatever I’d do.
So I started reading.
And working on myself.
Pretty soon I realized that I had slowly, but surely developed mental and emotional habits of thinking and feeling in specific ways.
Some of those mental and emotional habits were really helpful.
And others… well others, not so much.
Slowly and surely over years of trial and error, lots of personal development work in psychotherapy, I learned to think and feel more efficiently, with more purpose and clarity.
Or with more presence, compassion and mindfulness, if you prefer. ;)
Developed better and more resilient mental and emotional habits.
This self improvement work was so profound for me that it led me to go back to school and pursue a second career in psychotherapy.
But even with me being so different from that (much!) younger woman in the mid 90’s, there were so still some annoying mental and emotional hanger-ons that seemed to like to keep my company.
Then a few years ago, a dear mentor of mine mentioned neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback? I’ve been fortunate that one of the things I’ve possessed is an insatiable curiosity...
So I went to work on learning more.
Taking a deep dive into researching and reading and searching and more researching and more reading.
I finally found a brain trainer who was located an hour away, but I was determined to give neurofeedback a shot for at least the ten recommended sessions to start.
The first session was subtle, but I noticed a sense of calm. My mind seemed more… still.
“Well,” I thought, “It was a relaxing experience. It would make sense that I would feel more calm after being relaxed for a while.”
… But I did carry that feeling into the next day…
The second time, I felt that sense of calm again…
Except, it lasted longer into the next couple of days.
After the third time, I felt a more lasting sense of calm…
But I’ll raise you less reactive! And feeling more light-hearted, too!
Over the next six weeks, I trained frequently.
By the end of the initial 13 sessions, I was convinced of its impact on me.
(I could go on and on, but won’t bore you with all that.)
And I also started to think: If it can help me, I started to consider the possibility of neurofeedback helping others, too.
Which leads me back to my return into the familiar territory of being stuck in a negative mental and emotional thought loop.
It’s been a while now since acquiring the neurofeedback system and providing this process for others to experience.
The conundrum has been: I know and full-heartedly believe that neurofeedback as a tool for wellness is valuable, and has the potential to help people.
Those who are looking to feel, think and perform better. To enjoy life, work and relationships. And to feel an ease within themselves.
But how to get the message out there?
Just looked up and realized I’ve been writing non-stop for the past 40 minutes. And yeah, there’s already quite a bit here.
I can be long-winded and wordy wordy… one of the things I’m looking to improve!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for hanging in with me. I’m very grateful for your interest! But I won’t keep you for much longer now.
I’ll continue the rest of my thoughts in the next post. I hope to see you then!