As a member of She Speaks, I get opportunities to try and review new products. A few weeks ago, I signed up for the Cerra program. Cerra.com is a website that aims to help people be more aware of their own thoughts and feelings, act thoughtfully and with intention, and reflect on one’s experiences, with the ultimate goal of a happier and more balanced life. As a concept, I can get behind this. So often, I think we all go through days on sort of autopilot without really stopping to be in the moment. In addition to selling products that are supposed to help people in their journey toward happiness and balance, the website has articles, discussion forums, and a series of “moments,” which are guided exercises (breathing, chanting, journaling, etc) to take time out from the day and recenter yourself.
As part of the Cerra program, I received a kit with samples of a number of products sold on the website. The kit included teas, hand and body lotion, scented oil, keepsake note cards, and dissolving notes with a marker. My kit was based around the “creative energy” notion and scent, which is fresh and citrusy. I have not yet tried any of the teas, but here are my thoughts on all the other items included in the kit.
Hand and body lotion: Poor. It’s an OK lotion, nothing too special. I will say that it does not leave my hands feeling greasy or slimy. However, the scent of it is very strong. Even a nice scent can be obnoxious when it is too strong. I got a mild headache after putting this just on my hands, so I can hardly imagine slathering my body with it. You’d be able to smell my “creative energy” coming a block away!
Scented oil: Good. In contrast to the lotion, the scent on this is nice and not overwhelming. The citrus scent is slightly invigorating, but I can’t say I felt a surge of creative energy after I used this. However, purely from a scent perspective, it smells nice and gradually fades.
Keepsake note cards: Fair. I’m a big proponent of using writing to explore your feelings, work through your emotions, and reflect on your experiences, but I don’t think these note cards help me do so more than anything else I could use for the same purpose. In fact, the fact that these are single note cards make me less likely to use and keep them. I suppose one advantage might be that you could keep a few of these at home, at work, or wherever else you frequent so you could always have some ready to record your thoughts when you are moved to do so, but honestly, I think a small journal would be better for this. A journal would keep everything together and allow you to view the changes in your thoughts and your ups and downs throughout a certain time period.
Dissolving notes and marker: Poor. The supposed purpose of these is to help you release your negative thoughts by watching them dissolve. I can appreciate the idea of writing down negative thoughts to kind of just get them out there and then getting rid of them. However, I really don’t need overwhelmingly scented dissolving notes and a special marker to help me do this. If you order the dissolving notes kit from the website ($29.99), there’s even a special bowl that’s included. Really? A sink, glass, or regular bowl won’t do? This part of the kit, in particular, made me feel like Cerra is more about selling junk than about truly helping people lead balanced and happy lives. Then again, to each her own. Some people may dig these, but they seemed incredibly hokey to me.
So, all in all, there are some good points about the Cerra program. Most notably, I liked the “moments” on the website. As for the products, I can’t say I would rush to buy anything that came in my kit, as I think they are generally overpriced and gimmicky. However, in closing, I will note that, Cerra.com donates 5% of its profits to charity, which is nice. Charities are listed on the website.