Thoughts Akimbo

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Pssst: Your motivational whisper is calling

I’m not just surfing the internet — I’m influencing my mind!

As I delete emails promising to increase the size of my organ and refinance my mortgage, I’m also listening to the reassuring background sounds of rain, distant thunder, and … someone saying something. These are my new subliminal downloads. They have a seemingly innocent nature soundtrack that covers up a much, much softer soundtrack of a human voice saying positive things.

The idea is that, if I tell you to lose weight, you might tell me to go to hell. But if someone whispers to you to lose weight, you aren’t even aware that you’ve heard them, and you might just choose a vigorous walk instead of a leisurely waffle cone. Maybe.

My downloads were of the “buy two, get one free” variety. So I chose Lose Weight Fast! and Boost Your Self-Confidence!-and, for my freebie, Attract Wealth and Success! All the titles come pre-exclaimed.

The first night I played the weight loss download, my husband said, “Wait a minute … I think I just heard someone whisper the word ‘carrot.’ ”

And in fact, if you turn these things up really loud, you CAN hear someone mumbling. It’s eerie, like those ominous incantations that went on in the apartment next door to Rosemary’s Baby. Is it Latin? Is it about vegetables? The problem is, I don’t really know. There’s no list anywhere to tell me exactly what I’m listening to back there behind the pitter patter and the distant thunder. They might be telling me to avoid gravy or to blow up my neighbor’s garage.

You have already heard subliminals, if you’ve ever shopped in a major grocery story chain. That canned music that’s always playing – drowsy instrumental renditions of old Rolling Stones songs performed by a studio orchestra – also includes subliminal messages urging you to buy more and shoplift less.  My daughter used to sing along with the loudspeaker in our local grocery store when it played Bonnie Raitt, Muzak style: “I can’t make you love me … don’t steal gra-a-apes.”

Because I chose such vague goals, I don’t know if my downloads are even working. Some days I’m all celery sticks and rice cakes; other days, I still want to deep fry a couple of Snickers bars and then fall asleep gnawing on a block of cheese. Are the subliminal messages failing me? It’s hard to tell. I’m not reflecting a lot of weight loss, confidence or success yet, it’s true, but these things take time. They’re subliminal recordings, not miracles.

If I’d ordered downloads that were easy to test, like “Remember Your Multiplication Tables!” or “Speak Fluent Swahili!” I wouldn’t have to keep checking the scale and the bank account for results.

However, I’m confident they will work. I can make them work. I can do anything. No task is too great for me … pitter patter … rumble … carrot …

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