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Personal Change

Im a hoarder. After being inspired by Netflix series: Marie Kondo, The Minimalists and Home edit, I decided to clear my closets.

Today I chanced upon a glass teapot I bought 4 mths ago and made myself a pot of lemongrass/screwpine tea.

And realised that in my cupboard, I had 24 different types of tea. The canisters of most were already rusty, so I cant give them away. But it was shocking that I could make myself a different cup each day. Yet, I drink Arabica coffee every morning, when I had so many choices in my home pantry.

Why am I not taking the pause to edit and enjoy the resources I have ?

Are there resources in your closet which you are not aware?

Yesterday, I saw a newsclip about an ebtreprenurial Singaporean male who sold off his SHN items. SHN stands for “stay home notice”, a word which many shudder during covid. It means you stay at home and cannot have contact with the outside world.

This guy had two SHNs, in total stayed home for 28 days.

What if this happened to me? How could I make the stay more comfortable? Or if I had to be isolated for 14 days in a small hotel room?

During covid, I discovered my greatest fear, introvert that I am, was “social rejection, loneliness and boredom”.

I used to play a game of “What if… I got stranded on an island, what 5 items will I bring with me”. I actually said my identity card. Less than three months later, I really lost my ID card with $400. Why I carry so much cash? Advice from my mom that during state of emergency, I cant go to the bank. Ironically she told me the same thing the night before #lockdown or what we know as #circuitbreaker. I forgot that we now have credit cards and Paynow.

Anyway, what would I bring?

1. Handphone and charger

2. My mask and beauty routine

3. Laptop and battery charger + yeti mike + earphones

4. Eye drops

5. Precept Bible + flags + TSW book

6. Blank journal + drawing stationery

7. Exercise mat + hoola hoop

8. Flask and tea bags

9. Cute Socks + sweater + mom’s bolster + blanket from brother + pajamas + clothes

10. Credit cards

With my hp and laptop, I can work and connect with anyone. I can pray, listen to sermons, worship etc. I can even go to church via my laptop, ie attend church service. :-))

I can follow exercise routines. I can even order anything I need and pay via internet. Rest is really luxury.

Seriously, time to begin minimalist lifestyle and focus on the important. Maybe even start a healthy diet.

What would you bring if you were under quarantine orders?

In a few hours, we will say goodbye to 2020, a bittersweet year for many of us.

From a state of shock to witnessing resilience and sacrifice in those around us.

1. How has 2020 changed your life?
2. What are the things you are grateful for?
3. Whats your plan for 2021?


Wishing you a better year of peace, good health and happiness in 2021. 😍💗🌹

You are a PEARL

Do you think your life is a series of random events which you have no control?

18 months ago, I embarked on a learning journey with 10 ladies Ive never met, facilitated by an amazing loving lady Catherine.

We were paired with peer coaches. However, as there were three outsiders, we were put together. E, A and me. Unfortunately, three of us couldnt match our schedule as A was always busy. This was before we knew ZOOM as an option. E dropped out and joined another group. A and I never had a chance to meet up. She had a successful online business marketing health products and volunteered to help other ladies with their home business.

Last weekend, we were informed that A passed away. She was 55 yrs old. May she rest in peace.

Her life direction statement was “To use my joy and healing gift to evangelize, to pray and heal, so that ladies who are broken hearted physically, emotionally and spiritually can be restored.”

Indeed. May she be restored to greater joy in the arms of her Maker. Last lesson from my former peer coach on the brevity of life and to focus on the essentials.

This week I learned of an activity on gratitude.

Mental subtraction – What is that one thing when taken away from you, will be dearly missed?

I can think of two areas. My family – Beloved. Peace in my beautiful country Singapore. I am grateful for my family and the leaders in my country.

My thoughts of lovingkindness (Psalms 63:3) and compassion towards them, that they will live out their Purpose in Lovingkindness.

Spiritual Gifts Survey – Copyright © LifeWay Christian Resources

http://ebcrochester.org/misc/php/LifeWaySpiritualGiftsSurvey.php

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01897/full

Do you find that 1hr just flew past and you were scrolling on social media sites/ newsworthy rabbitholes reading (almost anything aimlessly).

If you are like me, I was going site to site reading the same news about President Trump testing positive.

“Brainwash” by David Perlmutter, MD has quick tips to share, using TIME as a checklist.

Whether you are Social Media or TV bingeing, might I add (Korean soap operas), we need to take back the power to control our time usage and avoid tech addiction.

Time restricted – set a timer say 1hr or 10 min to accomplish your goal if you are doing online shopping to restrict the time spent. Tweak the timing until you arrive at one which you can comfortably honour.

Intentional – does it truly benefit you? Is it a good use of your time, be it to relax or do research.

Mindfulness – awareness of how you are using it and being conscious of the way it is making you feel. Incorporate pauses where you question the way you are using the tech and the way it is making you feel. Does it make you feel angry, envious or self conscious?

Enriching – is it a waste of time or helps you understand your world. Does it better you and make you feel more rested and optimistic or just distracted.

David Perlmutter has more advice on understanding our brain.

What do you think about his TIME checklist?


One of my coaching clients shared that he was very anxious but didnt know why. We have this conversation every week for past 6 months. Where he tells me he is anxious but not sure why.

His anxiety is not unexpected given the current economic conditions and the “departures” from his firm. Especially the conversations he is having with his bosses who are down-sizing.

The question is not WHY? His anxiety is natural, given the circumstances. It is HOW?

How can I improve my well being despite the circumstances?

% time spent in affirmative relationship
% time spent in flow, engagement activities
% time spent in meaningful activity
% time spent in positive emotions
% time spent in achievement

Source: Martin Seligman’s PERMA Model

Total : Anxiety level

Indeed he was catching up with well-meaning ex colleagues spending 3 hrs going through all the conspiracy theories over the weekend on power play. His fear level spiked.

How can I improve my well being despite the circumstances?

Shifted my desert rose from sun to shade. It started to thrive.

Who would have thought when the seller at Chatuchat market said it was sun loving.

Relook assumptions of what makes you thrive. Have a supportive environment that believes in you.

Mastering Adulthood” by Lara Fielding, PsyD.

Mind Warps: Can our brains distort reality or as Dr Fielding calls them “thinking errors”.

Do you trust your thoughts? One of my clients is going through a “Nobody cares! Im alone in the world” moment. Dr Fielding recommends a Mindful Mastery practice to Validate, Check and Change.

Skill 1: Notice: mind warps (examples below), catastrophizing.

Skill 2: Ask: is the thought 100% true?

Skill 3: Compassionately reframe.

1. All or none, black and white thinking – She always gets all the rewards.

2. Blaming – Hold others responsible for something that went wrong. If not for you, I would have… its all your fault. You screwed up my life. My mom wont let me…

3. Catastrophizing – assume the worst that can happen. I recall a client who thinks the plane will crash when he’s queuing at the visa office.

4. Emotional reasoning – mistake feelings for facts. If I feel nervous, it must be bad.

5. Mind reading – assuming others are upset about you when you see them frowning. She thinks Im stupid.

6. Minimization or Magnification – That doesnt count. My parents taught me not to boast or show off. Afterawhile every time I get a “compliment” or positive feedback from a student, I think they want something out of me. I disregard all the compliments I get from my students. Result – burnout. I magnify all the negative comments from 1 student of a class of 45 or a cohort of 120 students each semester. Lol.

7. Overgeneralizing and time travelling – if it happened in the past, it will happen again. One of my clients who is in her 70s talks about being bullied by her mother in law who died 20 years ago. She talks about this everyday if she has nothing dramatic to complain.

8. Personalizing – why is this happening to me? Eg. When something breaks and needs repair. Rather than thinking, all things break.

Any of these mind warps are common traps for you?

Do pick up this very practical book. Dr Fielding has QR codes for more videos on the topic.

Reflect + Reset + Results

“Virtues and vices – like carpets and hats – obey the law of fashion, and at different times, society with infuriating inconsistency punishes or rewards the same trait.

What characteristic in Churchill, won him adulation and honors? The same characteristic that earned him censure: his love of war. He never changed, but the values of the world did.

And if the years before 1940 were a prelude, the years after the war were a long decline. In the 1945 election, even before Japan surrendered, Churchill was ejected from office. The public sensed in him the permanent relish for battle, and they wanted no more of it.

Ch13 Churchill’s Bellligerence, His Defining Characteristic from “Forty ways of looking at Churchill” by Gretchen Rubin.

Can our weakness be our strengths?

Is there such a thing as strength or weakness? Gretchen Rubin concluded Ch 12 with this observation “Churchill didn’t care what anyone else thought. He never shut up, he was rude, he was undignified. Churchill’s greatest fault was the fault of his greatest virtue. His disdain for other’s opinions gave him his own clear vision, and he saw what others missed. Willingness to consider all points of view can be a source of weakness as well as strength; in 1940, Churchill knew the true course and led the way without listening to anyone.”

Forty ways of looking at Churchill” by Gretchen Rubin.

My initial reaction to the PM’s announcement that the “circuit breaker” will be extended till 1 June 2020, was one of despondence. Failing to queue for my favourite bubble tea, I went to Chinatown to buy a box of plum wine roast chicken and Chinese roast duck. The food surprisingly tasted bland. The mind plays tricks on our desires.

Instead of mopping if an L shaped or W shaped recession awaits round the corner, what if I use the next 10 days as entering a meditative retreat, in my own home. Minus tv or news. Minus noise. Minus activity. Just deep breathing. Simple food. But

allowed to read and write.

allowed to walk.

allowed to listen

to me

Not judge.