A roller coaster of a week has now come to an end as we sweep the floor and take down the banners at The Beach EEG Project.
You came in droves, curious, unsure with nervous smiles on your faces, but all with an unabashed inquisitiveness. The thought of engaging and understanding something so inner and private as our own minds… seemed irresistible.
Tentatively walking down the steps, having filled in wrist aching paperwork, nervous giggles erupted and there was a palpable apprehension in the air, heightened all the more when our staff gently fitted the EEG caps. But, once alone in the dark you opened up your minds and welcomed Patient H69’s story with empathy, compassion and kindness. But, then something else happened, and in the middle of the experience it stopped being Patient h69’s story; and all of a sudden…it became your story.
We loved pulling back the curtain to see bemused smiles, yawns and a collective calm and quietness that floated like a mist through the room; contrasting starkly with the buzzing energy that had entered our black box twenty minutes earlier.
There was often a mystified silence as your MindART played out on the screen, accompanied by a desire to connect and understand our most hidden and interior thought-center. Your minds were beautiful, mysterious, unpredictable and amazing.
You all saw different things on our screens, for some of you it was what you did see, for others it was what you didn’t see. You wanted to watch it over and over again, in quest of your own personal meaning. Some sought a minutiae diagnostic, an inner analysis of the flowing river of your thoughts…but the MindSong Project is not about the content of your thoughts; it is about tilting a mirror and offering you a hidden, tiny glimpse of how you can influence your own physiological state. It is a chance to show you the constant fluctuating and undulating activity of your brain, and for you to see how you alone can change that. It lets you meet and embrace your body’s enigmatic and esoteric control centre, in a palpable, yet somehow magical way.
I met many faraway faces that emerged back through the curtain, needing time to process what they had just seen, and more importantly what they had just experienced. You told me you felt like you had connected to your inner self, had a new understanding of what mindfulness is and perhaps could be for you in the future. For some it was a sense of coming home, of remembering lost meditation skills, a reassurance that these mind tools lie dormant within us until they are gently nudged awake again. You smiled when you told me you were surprised at the calm you felt just sitting still for five minutes in the middle of the day…
At the door one or two of you lingered, hesitant to leave, musing out loud as to why you had just been so judgmental and hard on yourself. I saw your head tilt as you toyed with the notion of congratulating yourself for meditating, rather than berating yourself for thinking…
I watched these new thoughts trail behind you as you walked away…
Seeing, hearing, and starting to understand how the nuances of your brain activity can influence your physiological state offers an inner reflection we sometimes miss out on in our busy lives. We loved that you felt that The Beach Project offers you a hint, a single note of what your brain can do. Even during that tiny fraction of time when you sat still in a black box your magical brain danced and twirled to the tune of your mood.
I’m left with many lingering words in my own buzzing mind… insightful, mind-blowing, confusing, inspiring, encouraging, cold! But for most of you, it was thought provoking; a journey.
For the many who asked about me, I was there with you; not just a floating voice in the black box, but there the whole time in person. I heard your stories, your emotions and I saw what you can do; and I think your minds are amazing.
Thank you for being part of this important first step.
All comments welcome.