I’ve been listening to April Steele’s Imaginal Nurturing CDs. I wrote briefly about the first one, after hearing one track only once. I believe my evaluation of her CD may have come off as luke-warm at that time.
Since then, I’ve listened to the her CDs at least once a day for over two weeks. About the fourth time I listened to the first track, I began to feel something really new and unexpected.
All four tracks on both CDs are guided meditations.
Right there, that's a concept I'd never imagined before.
April continues to guide the listener through a nurturing session with this newborn. As I fell deeper into the meditation, I began to feel a connection to this newborn. I began to feel what it was like to love this tiny one, and all the time I knew that she was me. In addition, I felt what it was like to be that loved and wanted little one. I could imagine that I actually was being held and nurtured. Each time I listened to the meditation, these feelings grew stronger within me.
The second track of “I’m So Glad You’re Here” is another guided journey with this little one. Once again, I'm guided through a nurturing session with this baby that I once was.
The second CD is called, “Adventuring Spirit”. This one, in my opinion, is better than the first. For one thing, I found the music in the first CD somewhat distracting. It was soft and melodic and falls along the same lines as the Shaina Noll “Songs for the Inner Child” tracks. It was sweet baby music and there was nothing wrong with it, but I felt as if it pulled me somewhat out of my reverie as I listened to the meditation.
In Adventuring Spirit, the music is more subtly included. In addition, there are strategically placed times where the music is used as bilateral stimulation.
If you’re not familiar with this term – bilateral stimulation is what is used in EMDR and DNMS. Quite simply, it means that something is done to alternately stimulate one side of the brain and then the other. This kind of back and forth stimulation is thought to help people hang on to important messages while they’re working through issues. (Please, keep in mind, that is a simplified explanation given by someone who has experienced this in therapy but has never studied it.) As someone whose done this quite a bit, I belive that it's helpful in processing and then maintaining a sense of that processing over time.
During a few key points of the Adventuring Spirit meditations, the music plays first in the left speaker and then in the right in order to create the bilateral stimulation.
After listening to the first track on the second CD, all I could think was, “Wow.” In this one, I was guided to invent a play room of sorts. Within this playroom were a rocking chair, toys on toy shelves, and windows with light streaming in. I could see this so vividly in my mind. Now, the little one is a little older – a toddler, about a year or so old. I don’t want to give away all of April’s secrets, but during this track I really felt that connection to the little child I was. At a year old, I was old enough to have a personality, to decide what I wanted and liked and what I didn’t. I really developed a strong bond with the child – who represents my core self – and I felt myself as the child, growing in loving trust of the adult, who is also me.
In the DNMS process, I’ve learned to connect with parts of myself which we call the Resources. These Resources are made up of three parts – the Nurturer, the Protector and The Spiritual Core Self.
Back when I first started working with my therapist, it was quite easy for me to imagine the nurturing side of me. I’m a mother. I've done some nurturing. It was equally easy to get a clear picture of the protective qualities inside me. I've had my share of maternal experiences in which I felt protective.
However, the “Spiritual Core Self” has been harder. I had no idea what my therapst meant by “core self." Even after I grew in understanding of what a core self we meant to be, I had a hard time believing I had a one. So, over time I developed a strong connection to Spirit, but it never felt like there was anything for that Spirit energy to connect TO.
Despite this issue with not being able to identify my core, the Resources have done a remarkable job of helping me re-raise the inner children C and I have been working with. I've felt as if I wasn't alone because I had the Resources to call on whenever I needed them. I never really expected the Resources to be any more than they've been for the last three years.
But... now it's changed.
Listening to these CDs, I know that core exists. I feel it - this person inside me who is ME. I feel her and know her and I’m coming to love her.
What a remarkable thing! Suddenly, I felt Spirit come into me and I was there to greet this presence.
My therapist wrote had this to say:
Your experience has been to see the self as separate from the Resources, but it is meant to bring all together as one self that includes Resources and child parts. The CD's seem to be helping you finish the integration we have been constantly moving toward more and more. Some people do not have the "self as separate from the Resources" experience that you have had. Possibly your DID way of surviving has enforced that separateness. The important thing is that, through DNMS and then the finishing touch of the CDs, you are getting the integration we all want for you.So - I've been doing this "differently" all along. (I’m working very hard at not saying “wrong.") I’m glad I didn't know this before.
The reality - It’s all me.
I keep saying it and each time I’m amazed at how much I feel it. It’s all me – and – I love me. What a concept.
There is a fourth track - the second one on the Adventuring Spirit CD - which I have not yet heard.