Headspace is an app that makes meditation simple for this NLP and coaching certification trainer, touting “brilliant things happen to calm minds.” The founder of Headspace (Andy Puddicombe) doesn’t know it yet, but we are married. OK, almost. His wife is probably lovely. Andy, can we at least be friends? Or are you all into this whole Buddhist non-attachment? What about lunch? Lunch you can do, right? I mean, you have to eat anyway. I am good company, and reasonably well trained at table manners.
Andy is MY guy! I wake up and go to bed with him. I take baths with him (showers at home in Amsterdam), we go to the beach in Venice together, we sit at rice paddies in Bali at sunset, hide from the dangerous world of Bogota, and he is my loyal companion during flights between 4 different continents. As an introvert, on my days off from NLP training and teaching coaching, he is the only person I allow to talk to me. Andy is my go-to-guy when I am angry, unfocused, procrastinating, and (most importantly) is the only person who can soothe me when I want to poke my students’ eyeballs out with a pencil.
I admit, there are some times when NLP isn’t enough. I can dim it, put it in the distance in my mind, dissociate, override with music, sometimes nothing helps! The Teflon shield that thankfully resulted from nature and nurturing myself, becoming a teacher who facilitates others in changing their lives and brains all over the world? Well that shield decides to go on vacation the moment I am hormonal, and the anti-NLP trainer rears her ugly head.
There was my life before Andy and after Andy.
As of few weeks ago, I have meditated with Andy daily for one year. For those in the know … that means a run streak of 365 days. And before anyone comments, no, I won’t reveal what the image looks like in the run streak goal section. that’s a secret that stays between me and Andy.
Here are 30 ways Andy changed my life:
Andy first takes you through an introductory course (for free). The magic kingdom of the app then becomes available where you learn how to meditate based on topics such as anger, gratitude, or relationships. He gives you a little mindfulness wisdom with almost every meditation. Some meditations are location or activity-based; for instance, walking in the city, falling asleep, eating, commuting, or developing a skill or an ability such as focus or motivation. There are also emergency one-minute breathers (tip: hide in a restroom at work).
- The brain does change from meditating daily. Science hasn’t been making stuff up.
- Before Andy came into my life, I got angry at mysef for thinking during meditations or falling asleep. I felt like a meditation failure, even though the directions always say “everyone can meditate.” I thought I had to be the only exception. I was the only person to epically fail at meditation. Not according to Andy, bless his heart.
- Lotus, half-lotus, Pranayama Mudra … wait what? Bless you, for sneezing. Andy simply says: “sit comfortably.” Fort-five minutes or you aren’t really meditating? I have a job, thank you very much. Andy says that you can pick your time. Any time. And I love him for it. Andy cuts out the nonsense for us.
Change in Thoughts & Emotions
- After 2-3 months or so, my emotions started to process much more organically. I could hear the turbo toilet flush go on the negative ones. Woosh.
- Some thoughts belong in the toilet. Double woosh.
- I can tell you, the mere realization that ALL emotions are temporary makes all of the difference. Some days you are the pigeon, other days you are simply the statue.
- I reduced the amount of “fanning the flame,” as Andy calls it, where I take an emotion, use some unhealthy thinking, and spin that thought into a place where I create my own soap opera-like story line, turning it into my reality.
- More healthily processing my emotions made the world a better place, I am sure. At least for my NLP training students. More importantly, it improved my relationships.
- I started to savor positive emotions more and for more extended periods of time in my day. They have a more subtle nature than the negative ones, as a warm bath does. I hope Andy enjoyed our showers together as much as I did; I know I could lose a few pounds, but I know he’s not judgmental.
Becoming More of Everything
- I became kinder. Not just to puppies and babies, but also to grown adults.
- I became more compassionate. People are not equal to their behaviors, but let’s face it, some people you wish to buy a one-way ticket away from you ASAP.
- I became more grateful. I once cried after meditation over the sun making the ocean waves glisten. (Unless I was hormonal, thanks Andy!)
- I became more loving, both of others as well as in a holistic sense. Ooooommmmm. Namaste and all that stuff.
- I became more focused! That’s my favorite meditation technique. More of that one, please. I heard from a student in Venice who owns a gym, who heard from someone who works for Andy, that it is considered meditators’ least favorite meditation. But as his almost-wife, I am special right?
- Beautiful cries during meditation on a few occasions. Rather than the “ugly cry” so many other women say they have. No doubt, I am prettier thanks to Andy.
Increase the Quality of Sleep & Reducing Stress
- Andy must be sprinkling stardust on my pillows. I fall asleep nearly instantly now.
- I never thought I’d see the day, but I became an early riser. I now want to get up to enjoy some Andy, pour myself some Headspace first thing, rather than coffee.
- Jet lag, big difference. For this alone, I am willing to worship him. The moment I woke up on my 40th birthday jet lag became a thing, but no longer.
- It reduced stress. I am not a super stressed person, to begin with, but there have been definitely very challenging situations where even the best of us would be having a stress or anxiety meltdown. Pretty sure my blood pressure didn’t even raise.
Meditation During NLP Training
- Mindfully walking to work has me starting my day like a zen master. As Mick Jagger would say: “cool, calm, and collected.”
- My bigger NLP and coaching demonstrations now start with me channeling my inner-Andy, talking my students through the techniques.
- I don’t know how he did it. I always thought I could not achieve any more flow at work. I have. Like the wind, the river – I could be all poetic about it but I’ll spare you.
Awareness, Mindfulness & Being More Present
- For certain situations that I am dealing with in the present moment, very important ones, he has a whole series on them. Bizarrely, two released within this year the day I needed them. Spooky!
- The mindfulness wisdoms make me look smart when I repeat those words to others. I always thought glasses made me look more intelligent, this definitely wins. When I grow up my dream is to write an introduction for one of Andy’s daily meditations.
- I became more aware. This is huge. It is kind of like I went from having a ping pong ball sized awareness, to something the size of a tennis ball at the very least.
- I notice more in the environment. Useful things, like the beauty of nature, the emotions of others, I listen better. As for the foul odor of the guy sitting next to me on the subway during the “commuting” meditation, I don’t engage with him. Or his smell.
- I have better memory by being more present — for the useful memories, like where my keys are, not the ones about the skeletons in my closet.
- All kidding aside, the increase of awareness and being present has likely been the most life-changing.
- All of the above combined made me a happier person.
- His videos make me happy.
And when you’re ready, you can just gently open your eyes.
I’m willing to share Andy. Download Headspace here: