The Orange Dot. Not the Headspace version.

[Review] Headspace Free Trial


The Orange Dot. Not the Headspace version.

Decluttering the mind is one of my objectives this year, so what better way to do that than with mindfulness and meditation. Headspace came highly recommended by a few blogs and the Coach.Me community, so I decided to give it a try (also so you won’t have to).

Caveat: I am somewhat familiar with meditation, it’s just getting into the practice of it that’s difficult for me. Headspace is targeted towards complete beginners.

Day 1:

Signup process was relatively quick. Took me only a few minutes to sign up and get started. Headspace has a very intuitive interface and is great for beginners. When you log in, it’ll present you immediately with the 10-day program. Click on Session 1 to get started if you can.

Initial impression: OMG this guy is noisy. I’ve heard of guided meditation but one of the appeals of an app like Buddhify is that they have these long spaces of silence for you to actually relax and slip into nothingness. Headspace, it seems, intends to replace the noise in your head with the noise of their own voice. It was quite annoying.

Let’s give this a try at least until Friday. I can do Friday now, can’t I?

Day 2:

This went relatively easier than yesterday. Despite having slightly less time to meditate, I found it more relaxing compared to the day before. I still find it odd that the session begins with your eyes open and there’s an assumption that you’re sitting with your feet on the floor, but I’m being nitpicky.

That said, there’s still a bit too much talking for my taste, but it’s pared down compared to yesterday’s constant stream.

Note: You must complete the 10 days programme to access all other parts of the site, so you can’t jump ahead unless you finish. Or you could just click on the “Next Session” button once you’re done to skip ahead, I assume.

Day 3: Friday at last.

Now we’re getting into more familiar territory. The session starts off with a two minute video likening meditation to watching the flow of traffic. It’s a really good analogy, but not something I need to see when I’m rushing for time (I woke up late this morning).

Andy now has you trained to his specific routine, so after his usual ramble, he gets you started on counting your breaths up to ten before restarting while you meditate. You do this for as many times as he remains silent before he interrupts again.

I can understand the purpose of this exercise but it feels a little redundant and repetitive, especially since in the earlier part of his sessions he talks about focusing on your body. This particular exercise seems to have you focus on counting your breaths.

Final thoughts: I’ll probably continue to finish day 4 at least since Andy mentioned he’d be talking about pulling yourself back.

Day 4:

Erm… nope. Headspace is just not for me. After 3 attempts, I’m giving up on it. However, I feel a need to say that by this time, I realise that the problem is half Headspace, half me.

Conclusion:

The good: it’s a really great way to try guided meditation, and especially if you are the kind that prefers having your focus being directed by others. The 10-day programme is a really excellent way to get people started making it a habit.

The bad: I can’t stand Headspace’s Andy Puddicombe’s voice. There’s something about it that really gets on my nerve, in comparison to other apps like Buddhify and One Minute Meditation.

Should You: Get it? Only if you are a complete beginner with no idea how to start meditation. Otherwise, there are other apps that may appeal to you more. As for me, I’ll be going back to Buddhify.

2017 New Year Reflections

I originally wanted to write something uplifting or even talk about my resolutions today, but after the events of the past 48 hours, I’m beginning to believe Rin’s statement that the New Year doesn’t really reset anything for Asians until the Lunar New Year aka CNY.

So, what happened since the calendars were switched to 2017?

The Good
  • I had a great countdown with the Creed in HCM, even if fireworks didn’t happen
  • I had a good porky Burger King at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport before my flight
  • Finally managed to try out the famous Taman Desa Japanese BBQ – portions were bigger than expected and I was stuffed by the end of the meal
  • Dim sum breakfast with mom!
The Bad
  • Got into a minor accident on the way home from lunch – I took my foot off the brake and hit the car at my side. It just had to be a Hilux. Guy seems determined to get money from me, so we shall see when I will get the bill.
  • Flight home was delayed by 100 minutes aka almost 2 hours. I ended up writing on the way back, so it’s a positive actually
The Accomplishments

The rest of 2017? Still working on it. :D

2016: A Review and Goodbye

A photo posted by @geminianeyes on

I am glad that 2016 will be over soon.

I wouldn’t even call it a balanced year. While there were some spots of light, there were many more dark moments. 2016 is like that sarcastic uncle you always wanted to punch – a man who makes a spectacle simply because he can. Sometimes he does good deeds, but for most part you just want to rip him a new one. Continue reading

Goodbye, Carrie Fisher

Woke up this morning in preparation for my flight to hear that Carrie Fisher had left at the ripe “old” age of 60.

Carrie Fisher. GODDAMNIT 2016 STAHP.

I’m angry and I’m sad. I don’t usually comment on celebrity deaths (I prefer to keep my grief private) but holy crap, really, 2016? Carrie Fisher?

When I was a kid, Carrie Fisher was Princess Leia. She was one of the strongest women I knew, a princess who went out and DID things. A deft politician, a commanding general. She was capable of holding a blaster as much as the other guy. In a way, she made it okay for girls to be bloodthirsty too. And to get their hands dirty doing so.

As an adult, Carrie Fisher was an inspiration to me trying to be a writer. She was unapologetic, open, forthright and perhaps most importantly, herself as she wrote. I didn’t realise that there was such a thing as a script doctor, and knowing that such a role existed gave me a sense of relief – on the surface, the idea of a fixer-writer (as opposed to simply an editor) seems to be anathema to the idea of writing.

Goodbye, Carrie Fisher. Thank you for the stars. Watch out for that moonlight though.