“If you believe the thing you make is really good, and really works, and if you believe this thing can help people, make their lives better, and give the planet a bit more positivity and peace, and you are NOT doing everything possible to tell people about it, that’s not just ‘bad marketing’ and that’s not just you ‘playing small’.On some level, you not sharing your gift, well, that’s immoral.” – Long Distance Love Bombs
Image by Georges Antoni and Windy Aulia for Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore
Resolutions. Who needs them, am I right? Here are some agreements with the self that I’ll be taking into the new year.
I am disciplined & honour my time. As time is my only non-renewable resource, I know what is worth my time, and hold myself accountable to deadlines. I only participate in events & projects that are worthy of my time & energy.
I listen to my intuition & say yes only to situations which make me feel energetically strong, positive, supported, empowered, challenged & appreciated. I say yes to reciprocal work partnerships that value my time, effort, passion, & creative expertise.
I will not punish myself for having a low-energy day but I will use this quiet time to be still, honour my body & balance by eating the right foods in moderation.
I am strong & tough. I move & keep fit because I love my body. I will close my exercise ring & move a minimum of 30 minutes a day. I am mindful that exercise has multiple benefits on my mind, body, self-esteem & spirit.
I process ideas & concepts clearly & with ease. I am mindful that keeping a tidy & organised space helps me to focus my time & energy of what’s important.
I advance my business every day. I make steps big & small to take my business to the next level.
I am present.
I am truly authentic & honest in the way I feel, but I also know that I can choose how I feel at any moment. I reset without judgment should I feel the need to realign, using yoga, aromatherapy, movement, prayer & meditation as tools to help me rebalance.
I am secure in myself & what I bring to the table. Only I decide that I’m worthy to be in the room. I know only God gives true promotion & so I relax, let God fight my battles & stay in my flow.
I move confidently & authentically in my own path. The only perfect time & path is the one I’m on now. Everything is unfolding as it should.
I understand the difference between self-care & self-indulgence.
What beliefs are you releasing, and what are some new intentions you’ll be setting for the new year? x Alli
Learn how to first be here. Here is zero. Here is grasping. Here is exhaustion and wanting to take a break but to not fall into insignificance. Here resents the ego’s need for recognition.
Here is wanting to make a difference and not knowing where to start. Here is not knowing that I’ll ever measure up. Here is not knowing what comes next. Here is wondering why it doesn’t come easier for me than it does for others.
Here is being reactive instead of being strategic. Here relies on external stimuli and market trends and competitive businesses to light a fire under you. Here doesn’t do anything and then wonders why others level up on your ideas.
Here wants to procrastinate because the mind is overwhelmed.
Here is my fear and un-centeredness.
I remember my first ever hot yoga class. I passed out from not breathing, and they had to drag me out, red-faced (literally) like a limp rag doll.
If there were ever a reminder of just how vital the breath is, this would be it. Which to me, is one of the reasons why I connect so deeply with aromatherapy.
We can get disconnect from our bodies and breath, becoming so hyper-aware of what’s going on around us, that we literally forget to take a moment to breathe. To nourish ourselves. To come back to our breath.
Lululemon Feelgood Giving
I’m fresh off the Lululemon retreat and I still can’t put into words how healing, (at times terrifying), and empowering the encounter was.
We learned about the magic of possibility on the first day, and our facilitators, Mohana, Cheryl and Stephanie helped us unlearn or rephrase ‘fixed language’ to overcome negative beliefs that you believe are immutable… ideas like, “I’ll always be broke” or “I don’t have enough time.”
It all begins with identifying what that fixed belief is, and writing down some proactive steps you can take to undo that mindset. So if you are always broke, you could ask your boss for a raise, take on a side hustle etc. You have the power to change, starting with your thoughts.
The Real Journey Inward Begins
The next day, we went into a silent meditation (which broke after breakfast) and allowed the silence to reveal and bring up things we would have otherwise overlooked in the busyness of daily life. We were told to put our phones aside, go inward, and not even make eye contact with anyone — not even our roommates who we were bunking in with. Not for anything, save a fire.
I didn’t realise how much of a gift silence would be to me. As I rose in the morning I found that I didn’t miss the not talking. It was a license to just Be. It was freeing to go about tasks in silence, marinating in your own thoughts instead of checking emails or catching up on social media. Isn’t it funny how we get anxious when we don’t check our phones, but similarly anxious when we do? There’s no happy medium. It was a gift to not even communicate with eye contact. The practice made me realise just how much we perform for the sake of it. How we exchange pleasantries because it’s polite, for face, for ego. How many times do we ask a cursory, “How are you?” and actually mean it? I kept my head down and walked to morning yoga by the pool, led by Stephanie.
During the practice, she talked about each of us having a light and shadow side. I tried hard as I could to keep up with all the incredible yogini, barre, fitness, and spinning experts around me.
We also spent a lot of time discovering our core values and pin-pointing our purpose or gift that we were here to share with the world. The values of freedom, compassion, integrity and legacy are intrinsic to who I am, which as an empath, explains why it pains me to see others suffering, being oppressed or forgotten.
Let Yourself Be Seen
We went deeper on the final day and were asked to project ourselves into the future. We had to imagine ourselves at our 100th birthday, with our loved one giving a toast for us. Even after meditation, it was hard for me to write my own toast – so much of life is unknown and I decided to pick the best case scenario and go for it.
Little did I know we were then to share our journals with each other and someone else would read our toast out loud, resulting in our group dissolving in tears. It was a revelatory experience, coming to terms with our heart’s desires whether we recognised it or not. Beyond fame and wealth, everyone wants to be appreciated, loved, and make a difference.
Was it absolutely embarrassing to have a stranger read your most innermost yearnings? Without a doubt. Did you have to be at your most raw and vulnerable for the exercise to work? Absolutely. But now that it’s out in the universe, you can lean into that.
You have allowed yourself to be seen and potentially judged as you truly are, and now there’s nothing to hide. There’s no downplaying dreams or fears. You are free to be.
Thank you to the truly inspiring team at Lululemon Singapore and its ambassadors for this incredible journey x Alli
“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate.”
T-minus two hours till the Lululemon retreat in Sentosa begins. I am so excited (and honoured) to be invited and find a three day yoga-wellness retreat secretly thrilling.
As delighted as I am, I have to admit the idea of a getaway with hardcore fitness experts and yoga enthusiasts fills me with trepidation. If ever imposter syndrome were a real thing, I’m living it right now.
You see, it was only four months ago that I made the conscious decision to do a 180 on my fitness and health. I grew tired of growing tired (imagine walking up a flight of stairs and feeling like you’re going to die – lol). Tired of always falling ill, feeling lethargic, and unable to keep up with everything.
Of course, it was never this way. After a few bouts of walking pneumonia, asthma, misdiagnosed illness and all the steroids and antihistamines that came with it, my metabolism and mental health just ground to a halt. When you feel so terrible about yourself, you tend to want to self-soothe (via black truffle tagliatelle and spa sessions) instead of confronting the root issue.
As Elizabeth Gilbert says, “I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.”
It was and is still hard. There are days where the only things motivating me are:
a) cute outfits from Lululemon (I know, I’m shallow but they keep it fresh)
b) the feeling that I need to close the rings on my Apple Watch I have to say, having this super machine on your wrist where you have real data in real time about how active you are is an eye-opener.#facts
Some days I am literally astounded by how many steps I get in, how full of energy I am. Other days, I pull out the yoga mat and get some mountain climbers in just to edge the ring a bit closer to close. Mr Mmerci will tell you I have been spotted on my back, waving my limbs about like an overturned ladybug just to get my Moves in (Again, I know right. Who am I?!)
c) the idea that training costs a bomb and I hate the idea of wasting money. There’s a whole level of accountability when a trainer is thrown into the mix
And every time I get in my tights, put on my watch, I think: you showed up. You’re here. You showed up. Even if this is as fast as you get, as strong as you get for today, you showed up.
Yesterday I managed to walk 3km in 30 minutes, a record for me. If only the me of 6 months ago could see me now. Sia sung, healing is difficult.
So, to the Alli of tomorrow and three days from now: now matter how uncomfortable (or amazing) it gets: show up. This is true self-care.