Silence is golden. Is it?

What is silence?


According to Cambridge’s English dictionary, silence has a number of meanings, among others are:

  • A period without any sound; complete quiet;
  • A state of not speaking or writing or making noise;
  • A state of refusing to talk about something or answering questions, or a state of not communicating.


Two questions popped up in my mind. Is it possible to be silent in our lives these days? How come silence is so precious that it is golden?


I don’t need to tell you how fast our world moves these days and how that impacts our lives on daily basis. Sometime I looked back on how the world was 10 years ago and I’d never had dreamt of such pace that we’re in today then. Inconceivable.


What comes into our lives is an immense amount of data, from many directions; at any time we open ourselves to it. We have, at least, 5 senses to receive and send data.

The challenge today is to filter, process, and manage data, no longer to search for it.


Combination of fast speed and immense amount of data in our lives means frequent data overload.


How does this play out on daily basis?
We had conversations that we often couldn’t even recall. We attended meetings where we forgot what had been agreed and why. We repeated ourselves to the same people over and over. We didn’t remember to whom we had shared something with. Sometime, we don’t know what we already know or have. And this is just to name a few.


Overload. Redundancy. Repetitive. These are some of the downside outcomes of having a combination of speed and immense amount of data.


This is definitely far less than being neither efficient nor effective.


We are more disconnected from others and ourselves as we are surrounded by more data in our live. What a paradox!


In 2011, World Health Organization report called noise pollution a “modern plague,” concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”


I came across this fascinating article titled “This is your brain on silence” – I’d recommend you to read this as this highlights a number or researches about silence, from the perspective of noise.

One information stood out to me in particular and I am quoting it here:

“In 1859, the British nurse and social reformer Florence Nightingale wrote, “Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” Every careless clatter or banal bit of banter, Nightingale argued, can be a source of alarm, distress, and loss of sleep for recovering patients.

Surprisingly, recent research supports some of Nightingale’s zealous claims. In the mid 20th century, epidemiologists discovered correlations between high blood pressure and chronic noise sources like highways and airports. Later research seemed to link noise to increased rates of sleep loss, heart disease, and tinnitus”.


You get the gist. This is just from noise and noise is everywhere – TV, radio, music, social media, podcast, etc., on our finger tips, not even needing going to the shop to get it. Then we have chatters around us. Everyone has opinions and these days, we feel freer to share them, regardless that we’re not asked.


How about visual overload?

An article authored by Rebecca MacMillan of University of Texas about image overload highlights some psychological effects people experience being overloaded by images.

“As we snap, store and communicate with thousands of images on our phones and computers, a number of researcher and theorists are already beginning to point to some of the unintended consequences of this “image overload,” which range from heightened anxiety to memory impairment.”


Photos on the phone are not the only visuals. Billboards, magazines, newspapers, TV, our possessions, etc. They are everywhere.


What is real, what is not? What is relevant, what is not? What is important, what is not? What is useful, what is not? What gives us pleasure, what does not?


Yes, the plot thickens. The points above are only covering 2 information sensory receivers. There are a few more.


Is it possible to alienate noise and visual completely? Hardly, I’d say. Not all of us live in recluse areas and not operating using technology we have today.


What we can do is to experience inner silence regularly; to clear out the inner noise and visuals within us, as such we are, in that moment of time, being in the present, connecting stronger and deeper with ourselves. In turn, this will help us connect deeper with others.


It is quite evident that the more frequent we interrupt the data overload, the better our quality of life can be. I’d label the interrupting act as “Silent Time Practice”.


Here are some examples of what you could do in your “Silent Time Practice”:

  • Breathing deeply, regularly, for a few minutes.

At least 5 counts inhale and 5 counts exhale.

If required, put a reminder on your agenda/phone so you take time to do this.


  • Mindful walking/jogging

It means walking/jogging with the intent to feel your body. No music, no phone, no chatter. Focus on your breathing and feel the sensation in your body as you take one step after another. 


  • Automatic writing

Grab some sheets of paper. Take a long deep breath for a few times. If you want, you can close your eyes and start writing whatever comes out of your mind. Let it all out. Don’t think, don’t question, just follow whatever streams out of your mind and move it to the paper. Do this for a few pages. Upon finishing, take another long deep breathe and read back what is written, if you can.


  • Painting/Drawing/Sketching


  • Meditation


  • Praying


  • Extended silent time

It can be half a day, 1 full day, 3 days, 10 days, consisting of all the above activities and more.

Vipassana is an example of an extended of silent time with self.


The point of the above exercises is to breathe deeper and slower while doing them, to stay in and feel your body and to allow what comes up to come up as is, in the present moment. No judging, no arguing, just acknowledge it. You can say to yourself: “I hear you. I feel you. I see you”. Let these thoughts float and dissipate after.

When they keep lingering, note them down and attend to them at a different time. Processing emotions need focused attention.


Regardless how long and how often you do a Silent Time Practice, here are some benefits of it:


In silence, you feel your feelings and hear your thoughts louder and clearer. When you listen without judgment, you figure out sooner what matters most for you. Then you can let go the rest.


More space and energy within to experience new things

We are sophisticated machines that need purging. The more often we purge, the better. In silence, we can easily acknowledge our thoughts and feelings. Only few require follow-ups. As our mind purges and lets go or archives things that are not relevant for us anymore, it allows creative juice within us to flow.



Wisdom is one of the most powerful assets for anyone to be resilient in life. Wisdom is not shaped by the number of years one has lived, but by how quickly one learnt from their experiences.

Silent Time Practice is helping us in detaching ourselves from the stickiness of situations. Such act allows us to do a reflection/contemplation, which means transforming experiences into something with a truthful meaning. Truth always brings out inner peace.


Improved physical and emotional well being

Dr. Herbert Benson, a professor of Mind/Body medicine at Harvard Medical School, pioneered mind-body research, focusing on stress and the relaxation response in medicine. In his research, the mind and body are one system, in which meditation can play a significant role in reducing stress responses.

He introduced the term relaxation response as a scientific alternative for meditation.

According to him, relaxation response is the ability of the body to induce decreased activity of muscle and organs. It is an opposite reaction to the fight-or-flight response. With Robert Keith Wallace, he observed that relaxation response reduced metabolism, rate of breathing, heart rate, and brain activity.


I enjoy integrating “Silent Time Practice” regularly in my life. It started out with 30 minutes of silent time everyday and it has expanded to 1 hour daily in addition to 1-3 days of silent time monthly.


What I realize is that integrating a “Silent Time Practice” requires some discipline and practice over time. There is no one recipe of which practice is good. You can decide. It is your life. What matters is to give it a chance and experience how this uplifts you.


So, is it true that “Silence is Golden”?

Yes, indeed, and to be precise, Silent time is golden.







Surrender = smart living

“There is no medicine for it. Sleep and drink a lot of water are what you can do so your body can do its best to fight the virus and heal”.


It took me a while to understand what the doctor was telling me. I had just returned from Asia. My temperature was 39.5 Celsius and she had just told me I had Dengue Fever. 

No medicine, are you serious? My already clouded mind went in a spin. Dengue Fever is known as the “Break-bone fever” for a reason. It causes grave pains all over your muscles and joints. No kidding!

Dengue fever taught me something profound though. It taught me what surrender means.


Like a lot of us, I associated surrendering with being passive, and to a large degree with being irresponsible. 

I grew up believing that working hard was a way to achieve what I aimed for. Being focused, persistent, resilient, responsible, and resourceful were the ingredients to being successful. 

This formula worked for years, until I had dengue fever, of which after I realized, there is an additional ingredient to add to this formula. It’s called surrender.


What does surrender mean?

In a personal development context, I think of surrender as a mode of acceptance. 

Accept what, you may ask?

Surrender is a conscious decision to accept that:

  1. You can control what you have power over, which is your mind ; 
  2. You are the designer of everything you want to have in your life;
  3. You are interdependent with others to manifest what you want;
  4. Others you are interdependent with are doing their best to fulfill their parts as you are doing yours;
  5. And lastly, you always get the best POSSIBLE outcome at that time when all the decisions above are honored.

Let me refer back to my experience with dengue fever to bring to life what surrender could look like.

When I returned home from the doctor, I made a decision that I wanted to get healthy as soon as POSSIBLE.

I asked myself, what would it take for me to get well, and the answer was straightforward: sleep and drink water. Just as the doctor prescribed.

I asked myself the next question: what would it take for me to sleep deeply?

I’ve read a few articles a few years back that deep sleep  is required for our body to heal itself.

The answers were profound:

Let go of stress.

To be completely open, I was scared and in pain. I classified dengue fever to be a life threatening disease. I had heard many horrific stories about it of which a lot of people had died or not fully recovered. These ideas in my mind stressed me out big time. The fact that I could not work, as I run my own company, added even more stress.

My mind was clear though – I intended to recover fully. This was my end goal.

To let go of the stress, I asked for help. I handed over all of my work to my colleague, switched off my working brain, switched off my phone, and did my best to sleep.


Handover the rest of the healing process to my body faithfully.

I took a leap of faith (yes, it was a leap of faith for me). I chose to trust that my body was going to do its best to heal without medicine.

I was praying for the best. Never had I been in a situation like this before. In the past, when I had a serious illness, I ALWAYS took medicine.

For 2 weeks, I slept for 18 hours per day and drank a lot of water in my waking hours. I had 2 additional resting weeks before I went back to work. 


Surrender is often misunderstood as “giving up” on the situation we’re in. It is NOT that. Yes, surrender entails a level of giving up, but not on the situation itself.

It is giving up the belief that we, alone, need and can change what is.

It is giving up to a fixed idea of that there is only one way of doing things (which is the way we have done things in the past) and it is only “I” who can do it.

It is giving up the idea that we are here alone and separated from others, even from our own body.

It is about choosing to hand over the next step to something beyond and larger outside of our “physical comprehension”, and very often it is unseen.


Very often, a crisis in our lives brings us face-to-face with this concept; when it feels like there is nowhere else to be, apart from giving up and handing over to something else beyond our (limited) cognizance.


Surrendering feels like a moment in our lives when we realised that we have been swimming against the currents without realising and stopping it.

All of a sudden, the perspective changes. It changes because at the moment of surrendering, we are swimming with the currents towards our true destination. We are no longer trying too hard. We are no longer holding on to what was, to how we did things in the past. We just go with what is.

In other words, in the moment of surrendering, we are changing the direction from holding on to the past/comfort zone/how we have been doing things into the present, and the present continues to change with every movement that we make.


The gist of what I am sharing with you now is applicable to many situations we face everyday and not only in a crisis situation.

It is relevant for ANYTHING that entails uncertainty, from wanting to get promoted to moving houses to having children to getting a divorce and many more.

We need to integrate surrender as a habit so it becomes an integral part of our lives. Just like having a healthy and fit body, the habits of eating healthily, doing sports and regular emotional de-cluttering are pre-requisites for it.


How to surrender:

  1. Start your day and any of your activities with a clear intention.


“I intend to fill my day with love and kindness”

“I intend to participate in this meeting with respect so the best fitting solutions for our project are in place”

“I intend to provide my clients with the best solutions for them in a way that is uplifting for me”


  1. Do your best in going about your activities; fuelled by your intention.
  2. When doubts, fears or struggle creep up (because they will), breathe deeply.

Do this for 3 minutes. Inhale in for 5 counts, and exhale out for 5 counts. For 3 minutes straight.

Gregg Braden in his documentary called “The Missing Links” explains that deep breathing sends a signal to our brain that the situation is safe. Such signals allow your brain that is in flight or fight mode (due to the fears) to shift.

This shift gets the right hemisphere of your brain to work again. This hemisphere of the brain is in charge of creative thinking.


  1. As you are becoming calmer, give your mind a focus of attention that leads to opening up possibilities, entailing positive feelings.

It is very important that the mind has the right focus.

Christie Marie Sheldon, an  Intuitive Life Coach that I respect, has a fantastic phrase that I use in my life: “What would it take for… (fill in the blank with what you want)?” instead of “What can I do to …?”.

Notice the difference – of these 2 questions – the first question is encompassing more than just you. This is what surrender is about.

Repeat this question 10-15 times; to get your mind to understand that this is the focus you want it to have.


  1. Open your heart and mind to receive the answers, as they will come through from many directions.

Your intuition is one way for the answer to come through, but it is not limited to only that. You may have a friend or a stranger out of the blue telling you something that is on point with what you are asking. You may see a poster on the bus stop that speaks to you. Anything may bring the answer to you.

TRUST these answers and follow it with an ACTION


Surrender is about opening up yourself to everything outside of your self, allowing for help to come to you.

Do these steps everyday. Make it a habit. I am convinced that your day, your work, your health, your relationship; basically your life will be uplifted.


You will know that surrendering is an integral part of your life when you feel:

  • Present and focused;
  • Optimistic;
  • More resilient;
  • More peaceful within;

regardless of how challenging the experience you are in is.


Wishing you the joy in surrendering.



Celebrate 2017! Welcome 2018!!

“The authentic self is the soul made visible” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

2017 has been the year that I’ve had the honour of cross-pathing with courageous souls who are making steps forward to show up more in their lives. They choose to be visible in their lives.

I love a quote from Viktor Frankl: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lie our growth and our freedom”.


Let’s acknowledge this: change takes a lot from us. It requires commitment, persistence, and investments, all kinds of investments. 

Only the brave ones truly make the moves.

Freedom starts in our mind – we are to decide whether we want it or not. To make a choice whether we are willing to change the way we live and more often than not, the people we have in our lives.

Decluttering beliefs that run our mind is a key step in integrating freedom and visibility into our lives.


I applaud these inspiring individuals, from all walks of lives and many corners of the world for choosing to be VISIBLE in their lives. To show up more awake and to do their best on daily basis to take consistent actions aligned to their chosen beliefs. CHOSEN is the key word here.


2017 has been exactly that year for me. The passing of my mother (the last of my parents) in March was a visible marking for me to be an elder in my immediate family system. Coming with it are both responsibilities and opportunities. The world opens up even more.


It was my time to make some important decisions based on honest and truthful conversations with myself. The main questions are: Who am I now and how do I want to show up in my life?


I’ve chosen to live embracing and nurturing inner peace since. It is a biggie, this one.

Inner peace does not come over night and in a cathartic fashion. Not at all. This comes from me consistently deciding for actions that bring about inner peace, on daily basis.


For the past 9 months, I’ve been decluttering and re-structuring my life: my mind, my emotions, my beliefs, my values, my physical health, my living and working space, my support systems, my friends, all aspects. There is one ultimate state I have in my heart and mind during this quest: inner peace.


It has not been like a walk in the park. It goes up and down. There are moments that I still want to sulk (and swear too!) about what happens. I choose to allow this to be a part of my day. Not long usually, though. It comes and goes, like nature. What comes in will go out. I breathe in joy and breathe out all kinds of emotions.


Is it worth it? Most of us who are further in this journey would say YES! I am included.
Some of us would say, it better be, as they are still in the thick on the process.

On such quest, choosing to trust the process and the voice in the deepest part of who you are is of paramount importance. Nothing that last for decades is built overnight.

So, here is to the brave souls who choose to be visible, to show up in their lives!!

What I celebrate in 2017 is my well-being, the deeper connections I nurture with my friends and family as well as the learnings I receive from facilitating others’ inner transformation. It has been an enriching year.

What I welcome more in 2018 is my own visibility in my life and to feel more at ease and safe in being seen and listened to by others, as it is indeed a part of nurturing the inner peace in my heart.


What are you celebrating in 2017? What are you welcoming in 2018? Please share them.

In this holiday season, I wish you a great festive celebration of your life in 2017, surrounded by the people that you love. May 2018 is the year for you to choose YOU and to be more VISIBLE and FREE.

I look forward to continue sharing and supporting your journeys in 2018.

Warm regards,



Boundaries = Visibility

Thank you for your thoughts and questions after the first post I did about Boundaries.

Most of you felt it was a timely reminder for what is going on in your life these days. For some, it is a new concept that just enters your life.

This post is to address some of questions that are worthwhile to share.  It is “Let’s talk about Boundaries Part 2”.


How can I set and maintain my boundaries without upsetting others?

I remember a conversation I had with a friend whom I had not met for a while. Let’s call her Alma.

When we ordered food, Alma asked, with a serious face, this question: “Are you a Vegan now? Please don’t tell me that you are becoming like most of my friends now”.

I laughed and said to her: “No, I am not”. 

I heard a sigh of relief come from her and she went on to let me know how her friends’ decisions to become vegan lately created quite some discomfort for her. We chatted more about it and I discovered that her discomfort had nothing to do with food choices.

In this situation, what struck a cord within Alma was her need to belong. The changes triggered the feeling of insecurity as to whether she would continue fitting in this group going forward. She decided not to change her lifestyle. It is indeed an emotional reaction.

Many of us gather with our friends over food and drinks. We associate food and drinks with socialising, as part of a ritual to belong to a group. This is what the reaction boils down to.


From this example alone, two important principles are to be drawn from creating and maintaining boundaries:

  1. Your boundaries are yours to make and whatever reasons you choose are your truth.
  2. How others react to them is not an issue or a problem for you to solve.

Why? Because you cannot. It is as simple as that.

What you can do is to acknowledge their feelings that arise from the change. Be kind. It helps tremendously.

“Alma, I hear you and I am sorry you feel this way”. I acknowledged her feeling that sounded a lot like grief. It brought relief to her. She could breathe again. Her feelings are valid.


I was also in a similar situation to her. A couple of my friends have also recently changed their eating habits. However, this did not affect me in the way that the choice of Alma’s friends did on Alma.

Obviously, I needed to reconsider a couple of more things when meeting up with them for a meal yet there was no emotional reaction on my part.


Alma and I have 2 different needs and our responses or reactions to others’ new boundaries are strongly linked to them, not to the boundary itself.  This is why there are 2 different reactions from a very similar situation.The reason why people get upset when a new boundary is drawn is because they perceive that they will lose something from the relationship and this negatively affects their efforts to fulfil their needs. 


The truth is they may loose something, but more over, they may gain something too.

Regardless, acknowledging how others feel as a consequence of your decision to create a boundary is a wise thing to do. Their feelings come from the deeper parts of them. Belittling it or revising your decision to stop other being upset is simply disrespectful, towards them and yourself.


In summary:

Yes, you can choose anything to be your boundary as long as it suits you and your values as a person. 

No, you cannot prevent others from reacting in the way they do.

Yes, you can help them by acknowledging their feelings that was caused by this new boundary. Act with kindness. Being acknowledged puts them in a position to accept the changes. Give them time.



What actually happens when I draw boundaries?

Boundaries are created so you are at ease living your life, being true to who you are.

Boundaries allow you to say what you mean and mean what you say. When you say yes, you mean it as a yes. Likewise with a No. 

Such congruence with yourself is bringing the following into your life:

Clarity – you know what is important for you and you interact with the outside world consistently. 

One of my very good friends, a high-flyer talent in her employer company, had a candid and clear discussion with her Boss. Let’s call her Anna.

Anna informed her decision about what kind of role that she wants going forward to her Boss. She explicitly communicated that she is not willing to take on a role that requires office politics management as a larger portion of the role. It is not something she neither likes, enjoys nor gives her contentment. There are others better suited for this because they like doing it.

What is most important for Anna is to be in a role where her intellectual capability is growing regularly and that she delivers tangible solutions for a problem that is critical for the company. She welcomes the opportunity to work with others in the process. It’s been proven for many years that she is excellent in working and managing others.

Anna made it clear to her Boss that her time, her growth and her contentment at work are very important for her. She had poured a lot of herself into the work that she’d been delivering to her employer in all these years. Anna realised that to be her best and perform at her best at work, respecting her needs is a requirement.

Any good employer would listen to such request. Her Boss certainly did and acted accordingly. Employers have no interests in losing their valued employees.

As a Recruiter in my previous career, I know how difficult and costly it is to find a genuinely great Talent.

Anna knows this too and she also believes she brings a lot of value to her employer

Ease at maintaining boundaries is definitely linked to your beliefs about yourself.


Visibility – you feel safe standing in your own unique light.

I associate creating boundary with sculpting. It is about creating a unique shape and dimension based on an inspiration. 

While it can be quite challenging to do, the sculpting process and the end result is beautiful, always beautiful. 

Beautiful sculpture attracts people who appreciate it. These people very likely are staying longer admiring the sculpture they resonate with. There will be people who appreciate it less and they will leave the sculpture after a brief visit.

This analogy is what is happening to you and with you when you have boundaries. You are attracting people who appreciate you. You are encountering people who appreciate you less, and they are not sticking around for long. The ones who do not have common bases with you are going to move on. Consequently, the interactions and connections you have with others (sometimes with more people and sometimes with less) become deeper as you have more space and time to do so. The swing shifts from quantity to quality.

Indeed, boundaries help you to feel safe in being seen and heard as you are.


Resilience – you can always bounce back after a setback.

Many things cause drainage of energy and this happens on a daily basis. One of the top 3 energy drainers is to “make others happy/pleased”

This is indeed a “Mission Impossible” yet many often do this all their lives.

Drawing a boundary that is healthy for you is to move the line from “making others happy/pleased” to “doing my best”. The control is back with you and your decision for your own actions.

Remember, how best looks like may change from one moment to another, so be mindful about what that best looks like everyday.

When you have boundaries, negotiation with others becomes a regular part of your life. With your friends, parents, children, colleagues, whoever is coming your way. Accept this and always remember why you decide to have boundaries. 

Here is something of paramount importance in boundary maintenance: let go of any fears.

Just think of it this way, the invisible circle around you (with you in the middle of this circle) is a FEAR FREE zone. Anything within your boundary MUST BE uplifting.

So, when you draw a line because you are scared of something (which means your intention is driven out of fear), work on letting go the fear in parallel so it eventually becomes an uplifting intention.


Let me share with you my story.

When I experienced the burn out, the first 1-year of my recovery was driven out of fear for being drained again. While I drew the line of “my health comes first”, the intention was so I did not fall into the burn out again (it is a fear-based intention).

In one year, I did many things, including negotiating my work content with my then Boss. I said many more Nos, and I went through a number of therapies (physical, emotional and spiritual). 

After I reached 1-year mark, I realised that the fear was still the fuel of my choices. I decided to flip it. I changed the intention and it became “my health comes first so I am enjoying my life and serving more people”.

Since then, my body, emotions and spirit have become much more resilient. I have seen much more intense growth in the years following that, and I found myself far more resilient in bouncing back from setbacks. These experiences are bringing me here today. Living a life filled with gratitude and given many opportunities to support others.

Despite sounding like a paradox, I believe so strongly that Boundary is a tool that helps all of us to feel safe being visible in our lives – to see, listen and accept ourselves as we are whilst being seen and listened to by others. 


In this post, I’d also like to express my gratitude to you, who are reading my words and listening to my voice.

It is my honour and a privilege to share this growth and growing space with you. Thank you for choosing to show up.

2018 is just around the corner. I wish you a festive celebration of your life in 2017 and also a great 2018 where you are more VISIBLE in your life. See you in 2018!


Warmest regards,




Let’s talk about boundaries (Part 1)

“How do you do it? How do you keep yourself as composed and energetic after your session with me?”

Asked one of my clients, a week after I facilitated a 2.5 hours RTT (Hypnotherapy) session for him. And he was serious about it.

Indeed, a very good question, and one that I have been asked a lot in the past few years.

So, the topic of today is about boundaries.

Why? Having and maintaining my boundaries are key to keeping my energy and composure during an intense and unpredictable time.

Truthfully, boundaries were a big issue for me too. The lack of them, to be precise. This actually led me to a burnout in 2008. What a profound lesson it was.

In fact, it got me making a lifelong commitment towards myself to do my best to honor this concept called boundaries (it is, after all, a concept. It is not a physical fence we gate ourselves with!).


What is a boundary?

Let’s reflect on what is a life without boundaries.

Everyday, we start the day by waking up and getting ready. Soon after, we roll with how the world around us revolves. We “play” according to others’ needs: the deadlines at work, the people to coordinate, the task list that keeps on growing, the tantrum a child throws that morning, etc. etc. etc.

The day continues. Meetings, calls, clients sharing their problems, colleagues asking us to solve their problems, etc. Before we know it, we’re in bed at night exhausted, often unable to recall what has happened, yet feeling somewhat defeated.

Defeated by life or by the events that happen that day.

You are likely lacking a healthy boundary when you feel one or more of these:
• Exhaustion, physically and emotionally;
• Irritated easily, by someone or something, as if there is something wrong, missing, or lacking;
• Unclear, confused and indecisive. Often the following thoughts come to your mind: “I don’t know who I am anymore, I don’t know what I’m doing here, why does this situation keep happening to me?” etc.;
• Anxious, anxious, anxious, as if you are lacking time, energy, resources, or support to do what you want to do;
• Feeling ashamed, as if regardless of what you’re doing, you’ll never come close to what is expected;
• Feeling scared of making mistakes or making a wrong decision;
• Feeling guilty for having a habit of being overly helpful to others that it actually takes too much out of you;
• Feeling overly worried for others’ problems.


In my mind, boundary is a concept. It is a guideline created to help us feel safe and comfortable being who we are. I imagine it is like an invisible circle around each of us. Operating from this space helps us stay centered and grounded. My client recognizes it as “composed and energetic”.

This invisible circle helps us to manage how we interact with others and how to handle others’ behaviors when they cross it. Everyone has a unique set of boundaries as it is determined by our personality, values and beliefs.

There are 4 types of boundary:

1. Physical boundary.

Personality, family and cultural upbringing usually influence this. You can sense it quite easily by close observation. Reading body language and facial expressions helps a great deal. Among others, see how people greet each other, how they position each other in a group (how much space is in between them), and how they express themselves through gestures. Honoring this boundary keeps us feeling safe.

2. Mental boundary.

When we interact with others, exchange of thoughts is inevitable.

Paradox to the label, a healthy mental boundary allows you to expand yourself while feeling safe. It enables you to openly share your view, based on your conviction while also accepting that others may disagree with you. You conduct the interaction calmly. When you decide to agree with other’s opinion, you own this opinion as your own, without judgment, especially against yourself. You have a healthy dose of open-mindedness.

Lack of mental boundary makes you build a tendency to always follow others’ opinions without internalizing it. Saying NO is difficult for you.
Another form of lack of this boundary is that you easily become defensive and highly emotional in a discussion. Everything, even little things, can feel like a personal criticism or attack. Yes, being much less grounded and composed.

3. Emotional boundary.

This is about distinguishing your feelings from others and keeping them separate.

A healthy emotional boundary allows you to be present for others without absorbing their feelings. It helps you to be compassionate with others.

When this boundary is robust, you have much more energy to help others. You empower them by being available to listen (with your heart and mind) to them. In essence, you offer a safe space for them to hear themselves.

An unhealthy one often makes you react in a highly charged up way. You tend to blame or attack others or take on guilt or any negative feeling that is not yours. Such situation drains you.

4. Spiritual boundary.

This is about what you believe about God/Source/Higher power/Universe and how you live this in your life.

All of these boundaries combined are useful to have in any situation, both in personal and professional settings.


Why boundaries are so important?

We are at our best when we are in flow. What does it mean, being in flow? It is a state of being where the comprehensive systems we have (mind, body, spirit) work together in a natural dance, without us neither over-engineering nor overthinking anything. We often label this state creative, inspired (In-spirit), ingenious, or resourceful.

You don’t tell your body how to breathe. You decide you want to live. Your body, mind and spirit combine do the rest. Your MAIN task is NOT to disturb this so the innate collaboration works smoothly.

See it?

Boundaries help us ensure we’re not blocking our mind, body, or spirit to do what they are meant to do to fulfill our desires. It is as simple as that.

We are the sole key holders of our boundaries. External actions done by others are just triggers to remind us how healthy or unhealthy they are.
Every time we are triggered, it is a sign that we need to do something uplifting to strengthen it.


Why is it so challenging to keep boundaries strong at all times?

Firstly, some of us do not have the concept of boundaries in our life.

Secondly, we’re not aware that these boundaries are organic. They are alive, like we are. It is not like the Great Wall of China that stands there for hundreds of years.

We are human, with emotions, and we evolve continuously. As an adult, what is a good boundary today may not be a good one in 6-months time.

We know that our boundaries need upgrading when interacting with others brings more pain than joy. That’s a big clue. Conflict with others is actually useful as it tells us a new boundary needs to be placed. Whilst painful, it’s a tool to help you re-establish what the new boundary is.

The truth is a boundary is something that we develop overtime. We were not born with it.

Babies cry when they feel like it, to communicate what they feel and need at that moment. They really don’t care that the parents are sleeping, even if it is 2:14 AM.

Growing up, we learnt from our immediate environment what kind of boundaries there were. What was right and wrong, accepted and not.

We adopted these standards very early on in our childhood, mostly before 7 years old. We eagerly did that as a way to belong and to ensure that we were loved and taken care of. It was a way to keep us safe and alive.

The most powerful machine in our mind, our subconscious, records everything that we experienced and it found patterns of what was good and not, what was acceptable and not, what was safe and not.

Once these patterns/assumptions are set, our subconscious mind runs and powerfully influences how we behave and responds to the environment around us. Without fail. Until today.

In essence, boundaries are a cocktail of chosen beliefs about ourselves, about others, and about life mixed with our personality.


So, how do we create and maintain boundaries with ease?

Here are some important ingredients to a healthy and strong boundary:

1. Accept that you have the right to have a boundary.
This is the foundation. While you are a part of a family unit or a community, you remain your own person.


2. Accept your personality and your values as they are.
Embrace that you are an outgoing introvert, for example, and feel at ease with how you recharge your energy. Choose to act in a way that feels aligned with who you are.


3. Identify what emotional needs you have in your life right now.

Tony Robbins categorizes 6 human needs that everyone across the globe has in common and we all do all that we can (consciously and/or unconsciously) to meet them:

a) Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure;
b) Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli;
c) Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed;
d) Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something;
e) Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding;
f) Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.

Take a moment to identify what you need right now.


4. Set your intention, based on your needs.

Once you identify which need(s), set a powerful intention for it.

What is an intention?
It is a powerful sentence that captures your deepest desire for and of yourself based on your needs (see step 2 and 3), at a particular point of time.

Here are a couple of examples:

When you want to have more “love” in your life, a possible powerful intention for you would be “I am here to experience love for myself and others” or “I am love” or “I am lovable” or “I am enough”.

When you want to feel more “significant” in your life (feeling recognized, acknowledged, unique, etc.), an intention could be “Through work, I gain clarity of what talents I have” or “I live my life loving and embracing my unique self and talents” or “I embrace opportunities to share my talents” or “I am appreciating and accepting who I am”.

An intention is inward focused.

The intention you choose will bring all kinds of experiences into your life. It also plays a role as an alarm system that goes off when an experience that you DO NOT want enters your life.


5. Choose for actions, big and small, that are aligned with your intention, regularly, every day.

What does an intention have to do with your day-to-day life? A whole a lot. Its most important role is to bring you back to your center when the world around you is chaotic and messy.

Whether you realize it or not, your life is filled with decisions. All the time.
How you respond and conduct yourself at any time is a decision point. When you know what you intend to allow being in your life, choices on what to go for become obvious. Much more obvious.

How you bring yourself in dealing with challenging situations at work or in your personal life would be more impactful when they are fueled by the same energy that you wish for yourself. In the examples above, it is from a place of giving love and significance.

Law of physics says action leads to reaction. What you give out is what goes back in.

When you love yourself, how you deal with others, regardless of how challenging the situation can be, will be fuelled with love. This is the REAL BOUNDARY that I am talking about.

A real boundary is the deepest desire you have for what you want in your life leveraging who you are and what you stand for. The other side of this is what you want to filter out from your life.

When you are committed to yourself and your intention, a real boundary is formed. It is an uplifting one. It is easier to let go of your needs to get something from the outside world. It is easier to say NO. It is easier to let go of the needs to be RIGHT over doing what is best for you.

What happens when you face difficulties in any of the steps above? Wait for Part 2 in the next newsletter.

Now, let me let you in on my inner world.

These days, I want more connections (with myself and others), growth and opportunities to contribute.

I decide that my intention is to open myself up for good, love and wisdom, more than I ever experienced, realized and imagined before.

I learnt a profound lesson from the burnout in 2008. I used to believe that I would be accepted and loved only when I over achieved. This was consistent in all areas of my life. I always gave more, even when not asked. My boundary then was the fear for not being loved, for feeling that I was not enough. Of course I did not realise this at the time. I delved deep, asking myself how I drove myself to the point of a burn out. The answer was clear – the unconscious fear was the driver. I had an unhealthy boundary at the time.

I’ve changed my belief since. I commit to my wellbeing over anything else. Since, my boundaries have grown stronger. I make better choices for my life. Not easier, but better. Definitely more often than not. The bottom line is that I feel grateful for my life today and excited about what is to unfold.

This is why facilitating an RTT/Hypnotherapy or a life coaching session or a workshop does not take more energy than it needs. It’s because I am clear of why I am doing it and of my boundaries. I give my best without sacrificing my wellbeing.

Makes sense?

For now, I want to know what are your challenges in keeping your boundaries and what you plan to do about it? Please share in the comment section below.

Looking forward to hear from you and see you again, latest in Part 2!


I am enough



What is your ritual to start your day?

Yes, your day, the one that you can not retrieve back once it passes.


Mine is simple and energizing.

I start my day with a meditation and prayer, followed by setting an intention for it. I decide what my life that day is going to be about and I choose how I’d feel about it.  I then fuel it with an affirmation that supports and uplifts it.

One that always does it for me is: “I am enough”.

Nooo, my day is not always free of stress. Not at all.

Life brings all kinds of things into my day, just like yours. Some days bring more than others. I accept that this is a part of my life, since I invite continuous learnings into it. Learnings do come on daily basis. It goes up and down, and up and down.


How this affirmation helps me is to remind myself that who I am and what I do at one point of time is the best that I can be and do at that particular moment. It dissipates self-judgement (yes, we tend to be the harshest judge towards ourselves, repeating the coulda, shoulda, woulda moments) significantly. It takes the illusionary pressure that we often put ourselves under.


During the day, I often take a few brief moments to take 3 deep breathes and I repeat these 3 powerful words to myself “I am enough, I am enough, I am enough”. It always gets me grounded and composed again. The best bit about it is that it takes only a couple of minutes to do so. Brief, sweet, powerful!


So, start your day with a clear intent and choose an affirmation that uplifts you. It makes a huge difference!


Now, share with us, what is your affirmation for your day today?


Have a fabulous day!



Healthy boundary, a key to inner peace

Wishing for more inner peace in your life?

Hold and respect boundaries, yours and of others.


Words of the day

The Power of Crying

“I woke up the other day feeling utterly confused. Apparently, I had been crying hard in my sleep because of a dream that I could not, for the life of me, remember. It was strange because I know I am at the happiest time of my life. After years of feeling like a misfit in my corporate career life, I made a decision to quit and cast my soul back to life with things and people that matter to me. I am happier than ever. So, what was that all about?”  


This may sound familiar to you, it may not. One thing I am certain about is that we all have been in a moment where we are facing with a strong emotion, our tears are just bubbling up and we feel so very uncomfortable, doing all we can to stop it.


What is crying about, really?

Let’s start here: tears. There are two types of tears. One that brings out our body reactions to deprivation of certain things such as hunger or pain, or any uncomfortable situation that make a baby cries. 

The second one is a physical reaction to our emotional distress; a self-protection mechanism that reacts against an extreme emotion that we do not allow to express itself in the first place. 

Every adult has shed this type of tears. Children have no problems in expressing their tears, which is appropriate to their feelings and situations. Theirs belong to the 1st type.


As adults, we train ourselves to hold off strong emotion until we can make sense of and deal with it. The downside of this approach is that there is a time lag between the time a strong feeling rushes up and an understanding that satisfy our mind is attained. This delay means longer tensions linger in our body. Unreleased tensions are what create havocs in our body over time.

Emotional tears are an expression of a specific emotion that we strongly feel at any given moment, consciously or not. They carry a high-charged energy we have within, to find a release. To find a release is what we need to remember.

Human design is certainly comprehensive. There is a legitimate reason why crying is a part, a NATURAL one, of our life and it is created for a very good reason. Crying is a way to decompress charged-up energy in our body.

Scientifically, when a strong emotion is registered in our brain, the endocrine system is triggered to release hormones that cause the tears to form in our eyes. 

When that happens, our body releases toxins specific to emotional tears, helping us to reduce the pain and improve our moods


Parallel to this, our body is also sending cues to other humans that we need their help. This help is called sympathy. Sympathy allows human to bond with one another. It also makes the main ingredient of a hug. That’s right, a hug. You wonder why a hug is a powerful way to help others? This is the reason. 


All strong emotions can cause us to cry, when not attended to properly. Be it anger or joy or anything in between.

In some unavoidable situation, we force ourselves to bite our lips instead of letting the tears from falling even if it hurts so much. 

Such approach is not effective in relieving the tension and de-compressing a charged-up pent-up energy. When we stop ourselves from crying, we often become restless or tensed or unfocused or agitated, for hours or days sometimes. Headaches often show up. Very stiff back and neck often happen too.

Do not, I repeat, do not let this disturbing state linger in your life for too long and for too often. 

Hurt that does not turn into tears will make your organs weep. It is a fact. Unprocessed emotions that can’t be released through crying have a chronic negative impact on our body. It accumulates over time, without us realizing this. When organs weep, diseases appear in our bodies.

Imagine this analogy: a drop of water dripping slowly yet regularly over a long period of time on a rock. One day for sure, the rock will break. Just like our organ receiving pressure of unprocessed extreme emotions, regularly. 

Crying is one of the most powerful ways to release pent-up charged-up energy. It is indeed a healthy and integral mechanism for our lives as human. Human is a bundle of mixed emotions. Crying literally makes our life so much better. More importantly, we are designed to cry, naturally.

Most people are not comfortable crying nor attending to a person who is crying. There are many reasons why. Upbringing, stereotyping, culture, you name it. It does not matter. What matters is you allow yourself to do what you are designed to do.

Here are some tips that may help you (as they have helped me):

Firstly, always remember that your feeling matters and it is absolutely okay to feel what you feel. 

Then, find somewhere private to be. It could be your room, a toilet, or find a place outside to sit in a rather quiet place, whatever works for you at that moment. In time, you will not notice nor even care that you are crying in a public place (like I do now every now and then when a situation calls for it, like in the airport leaving somewhere). To begin with, do it in the comfort of your privacy.

Next, breathe and stay in the feeling. Take a deep breath. Once. Twice. A few times. Feel the emotions in your heart. Hear the voices in your head. Feel the tissue in your hand. Just feel them…

Let go your judgment of yourself. Remember that big strong girls and boys do cry. They are human, with the same design, like all of us. 

Then let it all out. Cry your eyes out. Feel the stream of the tears on your cheeks. Let it out, until it stops by itself.

Then breathe deeply again. Stay still for a moment. Breathe…breathe…breathe. When you feel ready, pick yourself up again. When you can, go for a brief walk before joining others or perhaps going back in the office.

Trust me, you will feel so much better immediately after. Much much lighter, to say the least. If you’re worried about your puffy eyes and swollen face, just splash water on it.

 As a therapist, I rejoice every moment when my clients shedding their tears. Their lives restart after, lighter.

Remember, we are designed to cry when the needs are calling for it. It is a part of us and it is a skill that we inherently have. Enjoy it!

Tell us, what helps you enjoying your cry? Share your comments below.


Yours truly,


We are MEANT to leave a legacy – In memory of Widayati and Suwarto Martosudirjo-

It’s been 23 days since my mother passed away.

While grieving, I have more time to rest, to sit still and to reflect on all that have been happening lately.

Having both of the most important and influential persons in my life already passed away, I ponder a lot about my life and theirs.

Despite the pains I have in my heart for missing them, I decided to continue living my life as full as I can although I’m also less than sure on how to live my life without my parents. It is new to me, and is a bit daunting.

As I adjourn deeper into my question, it becomes very clear to me that my parents leave my siblings and I a few important things to take further into our lives without them physically here.

It is their values, the deepest beliefs in their hearts that they held so dearly, about them and about life, and the wisdoms they have gotten when they were still physically here. This is essentially their legacy. Not only for us, but also for the people around them.

My parents never sat us down and preached to us on what values they held so dearly. No!

I learnt it from how they behaved on day-to-day basis in dealing with opportunities and set back, in expressing what are important and not for them, the lessons they learned from life, and through how they connect with each other and others. This was not a one off thing. I observe patterns after patterns of behaviors from them throughout my life. Some are uplifting and some are not. When they passed away, these patterns become much more obvious.

What I find most beautiful about this legacy is that there are no conditions attached to it. It is free for me to take. No need to pay inheritance taxes for it (!!).

It is an offering they give their children and we are free to take what are suitable for us.

In the recent weeks, I feel so much more “grown up” because now I become an elder in my family. Comes with it is the feeling that I feel more empowered and have a bigger sense of self-responsibility to choose which “inheritance” I want to keep to serve my life and which ones to let go. I must admit, it feels uplifting and daunting at the same time. The same feeling I always got when I was about to embark on a change.

To ease the way forward, I opt for my conviction that once people pass away, what remains is only LOVE, and not ego. I have a deep-rooted belief that my parents want us, their children, to live OUR lives, and not the lives that they once (perhaps) wished and planned for us.

This realization touched me in my deepest core. This is what a legacy is all about. This is what passing on the baton means. Legacy is simply an offering of collective wisdoms and values from a person to others to use as one of many fuels for their lives. Realizing this comforts me a great deal.

Now, here is a fact. EVERYONE leaves a legacy, consciously or unconsciously, regardless whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not.

It really does not matter how much money we have or do not have in life, how much or how little we are educated, where we live, whether we are single or have a family, etc. We are MEANT to leave a legacy because we always touch people around us, in one way or another.

So, here is a thought for us all. Do we know what we are leaving behind?

Here are some clues to ask ourselves:

  • What wisdom have I gained in my life up to now?
  • How do I love others and myself?
  • What do I choose to be important in my life, so much so I do not want to live without?
  • How have I been dealing with setbacks?
  • How have I been responding when opportunities knock on my door?
  • What are my inner guidelines in making decisions?
  • What kind of relationships I have been developing with people in my life?

Reflect on these questions. Journal them. Share them with the ones close to you, if you wish.

When you don’t feel satisfied with the answers you come up with, CHANGE THEM. You still have time. Take advantage of it while it lasts. You can TRANSFORM your legacy, anytime.


So, tell me – what do you intend to leave as a legacy? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.

Yours truly,