My First Meditation Experience

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I am someone who has trouble sitting still for long periods of time, am easily distracted and amused, and worst of all I come down with a terrible case of the giggles at the most inappropriate times. Seeing as I had been feeling anxious and antsy all week so I figured I had nothing to lose.

This isn’t my first attempt at meditation, but it is my first meditation class/session. This was the first time I managed to sit still and remain in a peaceful and clear state of mind for more than 2 minutes without a guided meditation (either that or I think I fell asleep for a bit).

Before the class

I had some questions had before going into the class and figured I couldn’t be the only one wondering so here they are + the answers!

Do you have to be buddhist/religious?
Nope. There are mentions of teachings based on certain teachers but in the end there is no need or pressure for you to be religious.

What happens in a meditation session?
Not every meditation session is the same but they involve at least some of these parts: guided meditation, walking meditation, silent meditation, a break, stretching/movement based meditation, and readings/discussion.

What to wear to a meditation class?
Anything you would feel comfortable sitting/walking in for 30 – 60 minutes. Most people come in athletic wear (leggings, basketball shorts etc.) and loose casual wear.

What happens if I want to leave?
No one cares as long as you are quiet. I waited for a designated break time to leave, but if you were to leave quietly during the meditation no one would do or say anything. After all, everyone’s focused on themselves.

What if I’m running late?
There were people in my session who came in late, but they were so quiet I barely noticed, but I did see that it interrupted some of the other people’s focus (yes my mind wandered haha). This might not be the norm for all classes so I would give the organizers a quick ring to double-check just in case!

My tummy gets grumbly and my joints crack, how embarrassing! Should I still go?
Yes! Gurgly tummies and joints that crack are actually pretty normal so other people also had grumbly tummies and cracking joints. I was probably one of the very few who noticed. No one else cared.

I don’t really know how to meditate. Does it matter? What should I focus on?
Make sure the meditation class is right for you! I went to one where no experience was necessary!

Focus on:
1. your breathing – count each in-out cycle of your breath as 1, up to 10 or 15 and then repeat. It doesn’t matter if you lose count, just keep doing it.
2. feeling grounded – feel connected to the earth and aware of you.

How did I do?

I made it through a 20 minute guided meditation, 15 minute walking meditation, and a 20 minute silent sitting meditation. 🙌🏼 Woo! Then I got really hungry and wanted to leave.

The guided meditation was simple enough, but the only issue was that I had a tiny case of the nervous giggles. I just focused on my breathing and listened to the guided meditation.

The walking meditation was surprisingly the hardest for me. I took a step for each in-breath and each out-breath. It was excruciatingly slow. There was no cutsies/sneaky overtaking in this walk. We walked in single file around a medium-sized room. I made exactly 1 lap of the room. 1 lap in 15 whole minutes. 

During the silent sitting meditation I found that my mind wandered like crazy. I basically had a good mental chat with myself and thought about all sorts of stuff like my grocery list, to-do list, and what to have for dinner and dessert (it was actually really interesting). Luckily, this is supposed to be normal – it’s all part of the process. Once I got into the groove of counting my breathing everything got really calm, my anxiety and jitters melted away. The 20 minutes went by the fastest surprisingly.

After

I left during the break and before I left I contributed some money for the class. It’s totally optional so no pressure. I found that the session helped a lot and I appreciated the time, effort, and knowledge the organizers and meditation leader gave.

I definitely would say to give meditation a go! Start at home for 5 minutes with no distractions and just focus on breathing.

*** I feel it’s important to note that meditation isn’t a magical quick cure-all. It can play a wonderful part in your search for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clarity/awareness, however meditation alone won’t rid you of suffering (self-inflicted or not). If you feel that you are struggling and need help, please talk to someone who is qualified to give you all the help you need and deserve. This does not mean ‘don’t practice meditation’, but just make sure you don’t dismiss your feelings.

Have you tried meditation? Would you? Let me know!

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Video on Repeat: Lin-Manuel Miranda ‘Love is love’

 

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Hello, this post is going to be a little shorter than usual. I originally planned on doing a tribute post to Christina Grimmie, but after spending hours and hours writing and re-writing, the post still feels so incomplete. I’m unable to clearly express my thoughts and ideas while floundering in my emotions. My brain and heart are so utterly confused and devastated by her passing and the shooting at Orland’s Pulse nightclub that happened soon after.

I’ve watched and cried listening to Lin-Manuel’s Tony acceptance speech. I haven’t been able to stop replaying it along with some of my favorite Grimmie songs. I’ll try get to finishing that post soon, but for the meanwhile here it is.

The transcript of his sonnet:

My wife’s the reason anything gets done.
She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
She is a perfect symphony of one.
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play.
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised. Not one day.
This show is proof that history remembers,
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger.
We rise and fall and light from dying embers.
Remembrances that hope and love lasts longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
Cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with Music, Love and Pride.

– Lin-Manuel Miranda

Please take a few minutes to sign this petition.
I’m not too sure when or if I will have a tribute post up so I’d love to take this opportunity to ask you to help catch Nintendo’s attention and possibly have Christina Grimmie memorialized in the upcoming Legend of Zelda game – her love for Zelda and Nintendo was apparent from the very beginning 😊 (check out her youtube username if you’re confused).

Also, please go check out this video – Hannah Hart: What you can do. 
Every voice makes a difference.
Just because there are alternative ways to commit crimes doesn’t mean we should keep things the way they are, we need preventive measures. We need to be doing our very best.

 

June Goals

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You’re probably thinking that it’s a bit late for me to post my June goals on the 10th of June, but I’m going to do it anyway haha. It’s pretty much been a full year since I last posted here and I feel like so much has happened, and so much as changed! I really can’t wait to update you all. I have a few travel posts planned from places I’ve visited in the past couple of months and some other fun stuff thrown in there, so be excited!

About my goals this month: I’ve been travelling for a while and I feel like now is the perfect time to get my home life sorted. This means getting rid of things I’ve ‘collected’ over the years (I think I would make some hoarders proud), making my place feel like my home, and getting a routine down. Basically, I want a clean house, lots of good sleep, and delicious food – at least until the next time I’m off again.

Before I end up rambling anymore, here are my goals:

  1. Get a proper sleep schedule going
    – I’ve also banned the laptop from my bed, next to go will probably be the phone…
     
  2. Go for a walk/jog/run at least 2 times a week
  3. Get my space life organized
    – Take down blinds
    – Paint walls white
    – Fix my dinosaur magnets
    – Go through clothes to donate
    – Get a cleaning schedule/system down
  4. Shop at a farmers market and Chinatown (Cheaper and fresher produce!)
  5. Try a new recipe (and possibly blog it?)
  6. Buy someone flowers
  7. Learn to capture everyday on film + enjoy being filmed (snapchat I’m looking at you!)

I think I’m going to make these monthly goals a thing. Then I can visit them the next month and see how I’m doing. It’s like a long-ish short term goal list! Plus putting it out into the world publicly will hold me accountable haha!

I’d love to know what your goals are, so let me know! 

5 Netflix Shows to Watch

photo-1422433555807-2559a27433bd Now that I’m in Hong Kong, I’m unable to hop onto Netflix resulting in a very sad Tiff. Here are 5 shows that I have watched and loved!

1. Mixology

On KFC night my cousin and I were flicking through Netflix trying to find something to complement our lovely nutritious meal. This was actually the night I made the DIY Holographic phone case while watching Mixology (multitasking woohoo!). We just randomly picked it and ended up loving it, but I would probably say it took the first few episodes before we were enthusiastic about watching the next episode. The humour is a bit dry and not what most people would consider politically correct(?) but still pretty funny. The part that impressed me the most was that the entire series (which we finished within the night) was based on what happened over the period of just one night. I had never watched a TV series like that so it was a really fresh and fascinating concept.

2. Full House

I really do love Full House, I had never watched the entire show until I came across it on Netflix. I forgot how there would almost always be a moment in each episode that would make me tear (or cry. I cry at almost anything) so in total, I probably spent hours crying thanks to Full House. It was so weird to watch everyone grow/age knowing what they were like now.

I’m hearing things about a reunion: ‘Fuller House’ which will be on Netflix! AHH! (Mary-kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t coming back though)

3. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

I hadn’t watched the show and was always confused when people would break out into the theme song. It seemed to be a thing that everyone knew. They would all be enthusiastically rapping the song and I was the awkwardly bopping kid.

I finally gave in and didn’t really ‘get’ the show until a few episodes in. Like all shows that you become familiar with, it became a bit repetitive. I could guess what would happen next, the reactions, the jokes etc. I was also a bit taken aback by the actress swapping for Vivian Banks. The type of banter between Vivian and the others changed so much, the atmosphere felt pretty different. To be fair, the actress who played Vivian Banks did bring a different side to the character we hadn’t fully seen before.

4. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

This was one show (along with Suits and a few others) that I put off watching because I heard so much about it and there was so much hype. It’s so disappointing when expectations are high and the show/movie/book/event etc. fall short of those expectations. I can vouch that The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was just was fun and entertaining as everyone else said. I found slight amusement that Dong a Vietnamese character was played by a Korean actor (guy from maze runner) with a very generic asian accent.

5. Gilmore Girls

I rewatched Gilmore Girls for the 3rd or 4th time a few months ago. I think I killed my internet because I just ploughed through the series over a short period of time. I get sucked in by the witty and fast-paced banter every single time! It’s a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ kind of dialogue. It’s one of those shows that feels like home.

If you haven’t watched Gilmore Girls yet and don’t want spoilers don’t read the following bit. Come back to read it after you’ve watched it!

I feel like I have to mention this haha: I’m probably ‘Team Logan’ with Jesse being a very close second (if my friend is reading this, I know she’s rolling her eyes/shaking her head at me). I really loved the excitement Logan brought and how the concept of responsibilities was always present and so real. Oh and the Life and Death Brigade! They all seemed so passionate, alive, and in the moment.

Let me know if you have any favourite Netflix shows I should put on my list 🙂

5 Rules I (Try) to Live by.

5 Rules I (Try) to Live ByI’m going to end May with these 5 rules are currently the most important rules in my life. I don’t do all these consistently because I’m human, but I’ve been working on it.

1. Be ‘selfish’.

Sometimes I forget, but it’s so important to put myself first. When I start putting everyone else before myself, I’m often unable to take care of myself and give my best to others and my responsibilities. It’s a vicious cycle of letting myself down and letting others down. This can as simple as to taking 30 minutes for time to do what I want.

2. Appreciate:

– Myself: It’s so easy to think of all the things I don’t have, can’t do etc. but there are so many things that I can do and do have. The negatives only takeover the positives when I allow them to amplify.

– Others: It’s also so easy to list the negative points of other people (especially if I’m feeling angry/jealous etc), but that often doesn’t change anything. By listing all the good things about other people, I’m able to learn from them and hopefully become inspired.

3. Look past the surface.

It’s good to be inspired or love someone, but being blinded by admiration for others can be unhealthy. I try to acknowledge everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. When I block out one and concentrate on the other, my expectations of them and myself are unrealistic and unfair. It’s always good to have big dreams and admire others, but you’ve got to have some sense of reality to stay sane.

4. Be a good person.

This might sound really silly but I want to be a good person. I hope to find happiness and contentedness in that. I don’t want to look back in my life and realize that I’ve hurt and offended everyone. Kindness and manners go a long way. Ask people if they need help if they are struggling, give people your full attention during interactions (this is one of my pet peeves. read about them here!), and say thank you/greet people you interact with. It’s not about making other people see that you’re a good person, but doing things because you want to and because it’s the right thing to do.

5. Celebrate & be proud.

Celebrate the littlest of things. Be happy about things.
I remembered to drink lots of water? Woohoo!
I found my keys after furiously digging through all my pockets and my bag on the floor of my lobby in front of 10 people? Woohoo!
I got that assignment in on-time with time to spare? YES. YES. I. DID.

10 of My Pet Peeves

10 Pet Peeves So just going by the title you might be thinking ‘Jeepers, what an absolute grump!’, but honestly I think that (most of) these pet peeves are worth thinking about. It was interesting for me to go through things that irk me and really think them through.

1. People who stand on the ‘walk’ side of the escalators.
The funny thing is technically I don’t think we’re supposed to be walking on escalators but generally we’ve established a walk and stand side to escalators, so when people block the entire escalator it annoys me (especially if I’m in a rush and also because I can be a pretty antsy person and would rather be anywhere else). I know, I can hear people saying ‘Take the stairs!’ but sometimes stairs aren’t nearby, plus climbing the escalator is a tad faster than climbing the good old stairs. After all, if I could choose between flying or flying while getting a boost from Superman, I’d pick the option with Superman any day.

2. People who cross roads without looking/checking.
This annoys me because it’s downright dangerous and also really inconsiderate for the drivers especially if the pedestrian light is red. It would be stupid to pretend that jaywalking doesn’t happen, but just make sure it’s safe to do so! The consequences doesn’t end with the person who was hit, but also the driver/passengers.

3. People who are on their phones during meal times and conversations.
I find this to be beyond rude. Of course there are exceptions, however generally if someone (no matter how much I like the person) is using their phone while we’re in a conversation, I’ll choose to stop talking until they are done. If I need to be on my phone, I’ll also ask the other person to hold on for a moment. I think it’s so important to give the other person your attention (or at least the illusion that you’re paying attention) and to do so otherwise is hugely disrespectful.

4. Really loud cars/motorbikes
Loud noises startle me pretty badly. You know what, they don’t even have to be loud to startle me so it’s not surprising that I loathe the ‘vroom’ sound of cars and motorbikes. I don’t really understand what it does or where exactly it comes from, but because they startle me and seem disruptive for no good reason, it is a pet peeve.

5. Getting a wobbly table or chair during class (or even worse, an exam)
I think I’m a wobbly table/chair magnet. I got a wobbly table and chair for one of my final exams. It was an essay / short answer exam where I would need to write furiously. The examiner actually laughed at me because I was trying to wedge things under the table legs during my exam but was unsuccessful because all 4 legs were uneven and the only things I had on me I could spare was one plastic bag (that I had to return at the end of my exam) and 3 pens.

6. Leather seats
I’m a really sweaty person and leather somehow always makes me sweaty and therefore I’m self-conscious and incredibly uncomfortable on them.
Sweat + leather = no. Why?
– Sticks to the skin
– Makes that velcro-y sound when you stand up / are wearing shorts or skirts
– Can seem like a slip and slide when sweaty (yuck)

7. People who cut in lines
Rude. So Rude. I don’t understand why people feel entitled to slipping into lines. It riles me up when people pretend they can’t hear you or see the line. It’s so simple, just ask if you can go in front of me and the people behind me because of *reason XYZ*. People are unlikely to refuse you (granted your reason was… reasonable), and that way no one is offended.

8. When food doesn’t live up to your expectations
A dessert store was being hyped up and everyone was raving about it so papa and I decided to go give it a go. That was the first time papa and I didn’t finish a cake. That was a sad day.

9. Blinds
I really really dislike blinds and have a particular grudge against vertical blinds. My reasons for disliking them are pretty weak. Let’s just say that blinds really aren’t that bad, I just don’t like them. I can’t be the only one… right?

10. Wet socks
Give me any item of wet clothing but wet socks. I can sit around in a wet shirt, skirt, shorts and pants for a pretty long time (long enough for it to dry at least), but not socks. Even when my socks are damp, I get sad and grumpy.
I used to put my socks and shoes into my school bag when it poured and walk to school barefoot. I now realize it was a stupid thing to do, but the happy feeling of dry socks and shoes was just too hard to resist.

Do you share any of my pet peeves or have any of your own?
Let me know (and maybe they’ll become mine too haha!)

Love: The Pixar Theory

I know this isn’t new but I’ve fallen in love (all over again) with the Pixar Theory. I’m lover of theories, back-stories, and conspiracies etc. so the Pixar Theory obviously makes me very happy and is one of my favourites.

There’s lots of discussion about the Pixar Theory – the lack of evidence + too many loopholes – but the fact that people able to piece together small bits of information (from different films!) and link together them to create a story is so exciting to me. Even if it all means nothing in the end, the process of how some people’s minds work is so fascinating and impressive.

Basically: The Pixar Theory (thesis written by Jon Negroni, inspired by a video from cracked.com) suggests that all the Pixar characters live within a single universe.

Favourite bit: Everything, but particularly Cars (year 2100) onwards and the excitement amps up again after Monsters Inc. (year 4500) when Boo is brought into play.

Thoughts: There are bits where I can’t help but stop and think “really? hmm” and others where I think “huh, whoa” . But then again, over all when I see how the theory as a whole could work and make sense, I just get so happy all over again.

Go read Jon’s thesis (linked above) and check out this website (it makes me so happy):

http://www.pixartheory.com

If you don’t feel like reading, here’s a video by Bloop Media summarizing the theory! 

Do you have any favourite theories or conspiracies?
Or even debunking of theories and conspiracies?
Let me know, I’d love to look into them!