Level 2, Day 4: Intrusive Thoughts

So I missed a few days of BrainEv as I just went through a pretty tough time in my life- a breakup 🙁

Although I’m feeling better and back on my feet again, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still think about it plenty every day, and I found that those intrusive thoughts + the increased difficulty of mental relaxation in Level 2 made today’s practice a challenge.

Although I think there may have been brief moments where I was mentally relaxed during the last 10 minutes of the practice, my mind was switched “on” and thoughts were flowing for almost the entire duration.

I’m glad that I didn’t fall into the trap of “efforting” my mind to remain quiet- I did stay as relaxed as possible, and was physically relaxed as well. But between the audio making it more challenging to mentally “go under” (as is the purpose of Level 2), and my thoughts proving more of a roadblock than usual, today’s practice was iffy and tough.

I’m interested to see how long this continues on for, if at all, hopefully not too long! If nothing else, I’m getting a lot out of Level 2’s challenges!

Level 2, Day 2: Sleep practice a bad idea?

I think I’m going to try and avoid sleeptime practice for as much of Level 2 as possible. Of course, sometimes it’ll be impossible to avoid (as it was yesterday). In those cases, it’s better to get my practice in than to not, but because of the unique goals of Level 2 that I wrote about in my last post, sleep practice won’t be nearly as beneficial (unlike Level 1).

That being said, last night I did do sleeptime practice, and it went just fine. I put on the audio and fell asleep after about 5 minutes. I must not have come out of it, because I never remember taking out my headphones before just straight up falling asleep. I also woke up VERY tired this morning, so maybe that’s connected somehow- either I was super tired going into it, or the brainwaves somehow messed up my sleep, who knows.

At any rate, I’ll be sure to do a regular practice for Day 3 and keep it that way moving forward. Onwards with Level 2!

Level 2, Day 1: A Clumsy Jump In!

That’s the support/preparation/explanation for Level 2. If you’re going through this journey with me, I’d recommend you watch that before jumping into Level 2- I wish I did! (and if you aren’t doing this, then what are you waiting for?! You get a free mp3 to start!)

I think the philosophy behind BrainEv is super cool- rather then make a product that you need to rely upon to relax and enter deep states of mind, they’re actually trying to train you to build these skills on your own WITHOUT needing the program! Although Level 2 is still “introductory” and “skill building”, it’s pretty different from Level 1. And it’s even explained that this level may at first seem less pleasant.

That’s because there’s new challenges introduced- ambient sound (louder and sometimes cacophonous church chimes) are added to the audio, and the brainwave entrainment part of the audio is no longer the overbearing all-encompassing focus, it’s now a little less pronounced. This is so that you can better build up your ability to relax in the face of stressful situations.

And this did indeed effect me at first! Because of the chimes, it took me a while to really relax. Maybe 15 minutes, much longer than the 5min Level 1 used to take me. Now, if that had just been the session, I’d consider it a pretty decent day 1. However, I made one major blunder…

I forgot that I had had my iPod on “repeat song” earlier that day, and the audio ended up repeating itself! I guess I fell asleep somewhere late into the audio, and because the sounds just continued and looped, I never noticed and woke back up, I just kept sleeping! So I actually listened to the audio twice through, but really only the first time was beneficial.

Anyways, tomorrow I’ll make sure that feature is off, and I’ll report back and let you know how it goes! Brave new territory here, this is already as exciting as I’d hoped!

Level 1, Day 31: Level 1 Graduation

Today I “graduate” from Level 1. I feel pretty accomplished- it took way longer than a month, and I’m only seeing a sliver of progress on my goals, but I know that things are working for me and I can’t wait to see what Level 2 holds.

I spent my final reflection day to just read every blog post I’ve written during Level 1. I know I didn’t write a post every day, but I want to get better with maintaining this blog during Level 2 and also make some improvements to the design/layout/etc.

I also revisited my listing of goals, and based on some of my other practices/readings right now, as well as my life circumstances (I’ve been struggling with anxiety at my sales job), I’ve made a few changes. I deleted the goal to improve cognitive functioning (just not as important right now), added a new one about unlocking new dimensions of awareness, and otherwise tweaked/reworked the existing ones.

So now, my (semi-prioritized) list of goals is as follows:

  • Open a new channel of awareness and free myself from my mind by “watching the thinker” (see Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”)
  • Decrease stress levels and increase “being in a ‘flow state’” in my everyday life
  • Enable and support positive rewiring and reprogramming of my brain
  • Reach and explore new, deeper states of relaxation and mind
  • Begin and boost a lifelong love and daily practice of meditation

Can’t wait to see what Level 2 will hold for me. I’ll check in tomorrow after my first brainwave practice!

Level 1, Day 30: Last Level I Practice!

I have to say, I’m actually kind of surprised that I made it this far. When I started using BrainEv, I almost persuaded myself AGAINST making this blog, thinking to myself “Ugh, I never finish these things- I’ll just give up after a week or two.” So I’m feeling pretty accomplished right now.

I’ll use my time tomorrow for the final Level I reflection (and then I’m on to Level II holy crap!), so in this post I’m just going to talk about how my final practice went.

I did a late afternoon practice as I usually do (when I’m not doing pre-sleep practice), and it went very well. I went into it feeling a little bit of dread and anxiety about my work life (things are kind of tough right now, but it makes using BrainEv all the more worthwhile), and doing the practice definitely helped erase/alleviate those feelings. Within 5 minutes I was fully relaxed and in a deep state of meditation.

I stayed consistently down, except for a brief moment of consciousness maybe 15-20 minutes in where I just felt gratitude and said “wow, this feels great” and continued along. It took me a few extra minutes to fully “wake up” after the audio ended, maybe 2-3 minutes, but I know I didn’t fall asleep and I woke up feeling nice and refreshed.

Overall, a great note to end Level I on!

Level 1, Day 29: Bad Practice

For the first time ever, I couldn’t finish a practice session. I tried to do sleep training, but ended up laying in bed wide awake with my mind thinking a lot for about 16-20 minutes before I gave up and just ended my session early. It was rough, but at that point I wanted to just actually go to sleep.

NOT an encouraging practice session, so I hope that tomorrow will be better, seeing as it’s my last day of Level I!

Level 1, Day 28: Brain Evolution System De-Stress

After a really rough and depressing day at work, I spent my evening relaxing until about 9:30 when I went ahead and did my BrainEv practice.

At first, I had a lot of thoughts rushing around my mind- no surprise, especially given how my day went. As I started to gain control of my mind and slow down, I actually opened my eyes and checked how far into the practice I was- almost 5 minutes, meaning my “5 minutes to go ‘down'” theory is spot on. I began relaxing quickly after that.

I actually ended up falling asleep in the middle of the practice, which is something I haven’t done in a while, but I guess it’s exactly what my body/mind needed. I only slept for about 2 minutes after the audio ended, so I’m sure that the brainwaves coming back up to an alert state did indeed help draw me out of sleep.

An okay practice, but exactly what I needed after a sucky day. Looking forward to my last two days of Level 1 actual practice!

Level 1, Day 27: more of the same (sleep practice)

Don’t have much to say about last night’s practice- went the same as usual for sleep practice. I had to use my big headphones for the night (my Sennheiser HD-205s), so that was less comfortable than using earbuds because I don’t have as much flexibility with sleeping position, but overall everything worked out okay. Hopefully I’ll have some more interesting things to say tomorrow- only 3 more days of actual practice in Level 1!!! Ah!! so exciting

Level 1, Day 26: Altered Sleep Training

Day 26- another sleep training session (and Day 27 probably will be too :P), but the difference last night was that I was much more awake than usual. I had taken a wakefulness pill that morning, and knew that although I would be able to sleep, I wouldn’t need to as badly as I usually do.

So my Brain Evolution System practice was interesting- I had a lot of strange visualizations and thoughts flying around for about the first half of my practice, and for the second half I was in a more deeply relaxed state. This breaks my usual pattern of 5-10 minutes to relax, 15-20 “under”, and 2-5 minutes coming out. Oh and also, when I unplugged my headphones, I dropped my phone out of the bed (I have a lofted bed) so I had to get out of bed to turn my alarm off this morning 😛

So anyways, it was an interesting practice session, but I can’t stop emphasizing how much I’m loving BrainEv right now- truly enjoyable, and well worth the almost one month it took to get to this point.

Right on!

Level 1, Days 16-25: Moving Forward!

Just wanted to check in and say that I AM alive and yes I AM still moving forward with BrainEv (although I missed a few days).

There’s been once or twice that I’ve practiced early evening when I get home from work, but otherwise it’s been a lot of turning it on as I get in bed for the night. The same pattern always happens- takes me about 5 minutes or so to go “under”, I’m in a deep state of relaxation throughout, but not asleep, and then by the end of the audio I’m awake enough again to realize the audio has ended, take my headphones out, and head back to sleep easily.

That’s so awesome, considering that I used to always fall fully asleep during the audio and sleep past the ending as well. Now even if it’s actually bedtime, my brainwaves are entrained to the BrainEv Level 1 audio!

Anyways, I’ll make sure I’m doing daily blogs here as I approach the end of Level 1 and the start of new things! :O