Lessons I get paid to learn

As a holistic spa therapist, I get to meet many different people from different walks of life. The socialite, the politician, the royalty, the self-made millionaire and of course the streams of celebrities. Not only do I meet them, but I am entrusted their sacred temples, their tired bodies that comes with hundreds of knots and tensions.

They disrobe, lie spread on the bed and they are all mine. Sounds provocative, but far from it-  its an honorable job really- according to a recent client that I had the good fortune to meet. That day, 31st January was really a day that deserves a place in my heart and soul. Its memory is worthy of a blog post, really.. But then again, there were just so many days in the span of my life as a therapist that’s worth remembering and retelling.

So in comes this very nice-smelling Indian gentleman, one whom I shall just name Mr SG. Really, he smells so good, musky and all peppery with a sandalwood tone. The air in the spa wafted and clung with his aroma. This guy really has a presence- with his thick and long black hair, full grown beard and Gandhi-like glasses rimming his very soulful sympathetic eyes. He asked for a massage, and yours truly attended to him and assisted him with his arrival, consultation, gathering his medical info and selecting the massage for him like any good and caring therapist would. Ahem.. 🙂

Normally, during a treatment I would refrain from chatting- unless I am asked a question. Its best to just be relaxed, immersed in the oils and music, enjoy the treatment ritual, be it a simple 1hour massage or more. But he was very friendly and very interested to know more of my job and how much I enjoy it. He shared with me that he is a very seasoned spa-goer, as his work-based travels brings him to different countries and continents that has spas in idyllic locations.

He shared an episode in a spa  he visited in Goa.. His Thai therapist was complaining about her job there and how she longed to just pack up and leave! When asked why was she there if she hated to be, she answered: she cannot stand serving Indian people because they are all smelly! Oh my! I was so shocked to hear that.. Awkward too. I asked then what was his reply. He answered, “With all my heart, I apologized to her on behalf of all the smelly Indian people that she had to come across, and I felt really really sorry for her!”..  Ok, my jaw dropped then. One would’ve thought that he would’ve clubbed that silly arse Thai therapist, but he was really very sorry for the Thai therapist’s work ordeals and his compassionate nature is truly most exemplary!

As we ended the 90min massage, he asked for recommendation for his next visit. I recommended him a herbal heated treatment that will help to comfort his arthritis and spine issues. He gave me a $20 tip, very rarely do we get tips. As he left, I told myself I will not forget this aromatic-smelling and very kind Indian man!

The end of this day came about as my husband and I were parked outside the supermarket, buying stuffs for my son. I waited in the car with Shaqil, feeding him his milk. I suddenly saw a figure of a heavily-build man lumped and hunched over at the kerb, shivering and and trembling in tremors of pain. It must be a lot of pain, because his face was wincing!
I wanted to go out and reached out to him as fast as I could, but I couldn’t with feeding child in tow and car parked illegally too. As my husband came back to the car, I commanded to him to go to that man and help him in any way. My husband went to him and spent a good 10 minutes talking to him, and after that he helped the stranger into our car. Turned out that this elderly Malay man was scheduled to have a kidney operation the very next morning, and he has several medical conditions apart from his kidney disease such as heart failure and Parkinson’s too. And he is homeless. And hasn’t eaten the whole day too… 😦

I suggested that we drive him to the hospital he was bounded to go to, and to assist him with admittance. Funny thing was, the nurses and administrators in the hospital have to repeatedly asked me if I was related to this man. I hated to say no, because I am really not related to him by blood. The staff there were giving me dirty looks, as if I was abandoning my father/uncle/relative as quick as I can to the nearest hands able to take over. It pissed me off, really. I don’t think they buy our help-a-stranger story!

Anyway, we got hold of his identification details and promised to call him the day after to check on him.
He was very grateful, and we were only too happy and humbled to help.. My dear son was way past his bedtime but its all worth it. Before we said goodbyes though, I remembered that he hasn’t eaten.. I asked my husband for some cash but unfortunately he used up the cash in the supermarket earlier. With Shaqil still firmly planted on my hip, I rummaged through my battered wallet and found $20. Yes, the $20 that I got from Mr SG earlier that day as a tip.

I almost cried! The hairs on my hands stood on its ends. I am not inclined to carry a lot of cash, preferring to just withdraw money whenever I need it. That’s the only $20 I had really! It’d be another fuss to go looking for an ATM. And Mr SG had personally came all the way to the spa, booked and paid for a treatment and handed out this tip to me so that I can help this homeless, ill and hungry elderly man.. I was so humbled and lost in the magical moment..

I am so grateful for this lesson. What have I learn? I learned that I have a new answer to the skeptical hospital staffs who badgered me on my relation to this pitiful man. The answer is: YES, YES, YES. We are all related. We are all interconnected, and we are all responsible and rightful to the connection. Blood connection is merely a poetic way of introduction, but we are all related through unseen webs weaved by higher reason.

Another lesson: I learned that this nice-smelling Indian gentleman deserves a retelling of how his presence affected my whole day, and also for others whom he wouldn’t have a clue about. But I suspect that he has a clue, for a kind man like him deserves a clue and so much more!

My prenatal oil

My beloved prenatal massage oil blend..
Missing those prenatal days, surely.. 🙂

Ok. So, I am an ITEC & IFA qualified aromatherapist. So I am 7+ mths pregnant for the 1st time and I should be worried about the nemesis by the name of “stretch marks” or striae (singular stria), as they are called in dermatology. So I should be doing my very own blend of skincare right? And not scramble to the nearest pharm AGAIN for creams, lotions & potions right? SO… This is what I’m up to then.. Wheeeeeee! 🙂

I’ve been mixing my own facial oils, massage oils, hair & scalp oils for my family and both for me and husband’s usage so now I’m gonna STOP giving credit and profit to Palmer’s and its lovely cocoa butter and make use of my lovely (and expensive) essential oils for my belly, breasts and wherever that this baby is stretching me and my largest organ out to! (basically everywhere!)

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Thank you very nice! And happy 2013 to you too!


This is me, sometimes. Please tell me it IS you too. Thank you!


Hello dear all!

2nd week of 2013, and I am sure a bit too late to wish you a happy new year.. I make no excuses for my haphazard blogging, and I intend to do something about that for sure. Right after I am done doing a lot of nothing. Haha.

I would like to wish you the best for this year, really. And what is the best? Well, to me- it simply means paying enough attention to be able to weigh in the many things to be grateful for and simply living, learning and experiencing from the best or worst of it. Yes, we may be handed out shit sandwiches from time to time, but insyaallah- may we be blessed with the clarity and help we need to get us through. Now, that’s what I pray for you all dear bloggers and readers.

I will try, I will try, I will try....

I will try, I will try, I will try….

Amin.. 🙂

Why is a Hot Stones massage soooo good?..

Why is a Hot Stones massage soooo good?..

Benefits of Hot Stone Massage

·Promotes deep muscle and tissue relaxation
·Alleviates stress
·Releases toxins
·Relieves pain
·Improves circulation
·Calms the psyche

Health Conditions Treated with Hot Stone Massage

·Muscular aches and pains
·Back Pain
·Stress, Anxiety
·Circulatory problems

Surreal Sunday

Ok, so I had a terribly lazy do-nothing Sunday.

Both husband and son are sound asleep, and I’m blinking away like an idiot and still figuring out: “how on earth did I manage to have a pimple growing on my right cheek just by being home and did everything about nothing??” Surreal.

In my path to discovering stimulus for my currently sleepless and zit-nurturing self, I roamed through the net and read too much on conspiracy theories, Lil Wayne being gay (like i care), other blogs and also found Octavio Ocampo.

Now here is a man who really invites you to lean in and gives new meaning to “closer”.
You really ought to look closer and read what he is telling you. I very nearly had my eyeballs touching the screen of my Galaxy Note as I took note of all details!

His paintings are labelled “surrealism”, and I believe that it is of no coincidence that that word popped again in completing my 11/11 Sunday. Ooooh!

I will not sleep tonight if I continue getting lost in his beautiful art.. Tomorrow is another day for me to delight more.

These are 2 among many that I like:


“Mona Lisa’s Chair”: Who ISN’T fascinated by this smiling lady? If you are not, then be prepared.


“Forever Always”: Too sweet..

Here’s more. Check out his other works here.

Say goodbye, not knowing when..

Dear all,

Its been awhile. Recent times have seen me in a couple of surprises related to work.

We were told that a big spa operator is taking over our spa and the club is releasing us to them. This was of course a big shock to my poor colleagues. Anxiety and doubts arise immediately, and impending gloom surrounds their countenances.

I have gone through a transfer like this, but only the other way round as my ex spa were the tenants of the club. I joked that this felt like ‘our parents are disowning us’.. Not funny of course in any sense, but I have been known to laugh at the most darkest of events. Perhaps that’s a trait that all of us could do with in life.

Next was our op manager (our Boss) is leaving to greener pastures. This sure is happy news of course, I was happy for him but when this was told after the initial transfer shock, of course it didnt come easy.

Anyway, it didnt take me long to realize that THIS transfer is for the best. If you can’t do what you oughta do, better to pass it along to the ‘experts’.. And in another bittersweet realization, I have come to embrace the lesson that if/when you do not know how/when to say goodbye, letting go and letting God lead you is best.

 I shall follow.

A fruitful weekend!

What a lovely weekend I had! On Saturday 21st April, right after a nice cool shower at work, I headed down to Ar Rabitah Mosque and met  my sister (who was informed last min) to catch Keelat Theatre Ensemble‘s interactive retelling of Prophet Moses (a.s) at the junction of the 2 oceans. Here, as written in the Quran on Surah 18 Al-Kahfi (The Cave), Moses met the Wise One from Allah. The Wise One was said to be Khidr. I have always been quite enchanted by the stories of Khidr, they are always mysterious.

I chanced upon this site dedicated comprehensively to Khidr,  http://khidr.org/. Very interesting indeed, as he is known as The Green Man. Green IS my favourite colour too. Gene Sha Rudyn was as hypnotising and thought provoking  as I remembered him years ago, at Substation- my 1st time as part of his audience. I look forward to witnessing more from him and Keelat Theatre Ensemble!

From one mosque to another, come Sunday morning I found myself all rised up early to make my way to Al Khair Mosque to attend Club Heal‘s Volunteer Training Session.

From Club Heal’s blog:

About Us

Mission: Club HEAL (Hope, Empowerment, Acceptance & Love) is a non-profitable society that aims to assist and empower persons with mental illness to regain confidence in themselves and others in their journey towards community reintegration.

Vision: To eradicate the stigma surrounding persons with mental illnesses, thereby breaking unnecessary barriers to their recovery process

Club HEAL has recently been registered with the Registry of Societies in 2012 (Reg No.: T12SS0028K) by a group of like-minded individuals who have a strong passion in helping people with mental illnesses and their family members to lead a fulfilling and stigma-free life. The team consists of doctors, nurses, lawyers and many others from various walks of life who hold this cause dearly in their hearts.

The club runs a psychiatric rehabilitation day care service in which psycho-education and supportive counseling to persons with mental illness and their families will be provided.

While Club HEAL caters to the needs of Muslims, we welcome all persons with mental illness, regardless of race or religion.

Patron: Mdm Halimah Yacob, Minister of State for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports

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Mengenai Kami

Misi: Kelab HEAL (Harapan, Pemerkasaan, Redha & Kasih Sayang) adalah sebuah pertubuhan tanpa-raih-untung yang bertujuan untuk membantu dan memperkasakan orang yang mempunyai penyakit mental supaya mereka dapat capai semula keyakinan  diri dan hidup bersesuaian dalam masyarakat.

Visi: Menghapuskan stigma terhadap orang-orang yang menghidapi penyakit mental, justeru memecahkan tembok penghalang bagi proses pemulihan mereka.

Kelab HEAL telah didaftarkan dengan Pejabat pendaftaran Pertubuhan 2012 (No. Reg: T12SS0028K) oleh sekumpulan individu yang mempunyai semangat yang kuat untuk membantu pesakit mental dan ahli keluarga mereka untuk menjalani hidup bebas dari stigma. Kumpulan ini terdiri daripada pakar-pakar doktor, jururawat, peguam dan orang-orang dari pelbagai lapisan masyarakat.

Kelab ini akan menjalankan perkhidmatan pemulihan psikiatri di mana psiko-pendidikan, sesi terapi dan kaunseling kepada individu yang menghidapi penyakit mental dan keluarga mereka akan disediakan.

Walaupun Kelab HEAL didirikan untuk memenuhi keperluan umat Islam, pintu kami terbuka kepada semua orang yang mengidapi penyakit mental, tanpa mengira bangsa atau agama.

Penaung: Puan Halimah Yacob, Menteri Negara, Kementerian Pembangunan Masyarakat, Belia dan Sukan

I love the fact that the website is on dual language! I look forward to learning more from the Training Sessions ahead, and would love to be able to contribute what I can to this noble mission. Insyaallah..

Why? Simply because I can and I want to. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in my early twenties by a trusted GP, (nobody in my family knows) but I was blessed me with a lot of good things that kept me busy, and one of it was my very keen interest in Aromatherapy. I found a strong liking to Ylang Ylang, and I am not surprised to know that it is known for its hormone-balancing effects.

I went through post natal depression just last year after giving birth to my dearest Shaq. I felt the darkness, and the sobering loneliness it brings. I cried everyday, and remembering feeling so numb and vacant but yet oh-so-weak. Alhamdulillah, I turned to my mum and husband, and also tried my best to keep my faith and pray to Allah as much as I can without curling into a ball on the floor and drenched in tears. I also know what I went through are probably just little whispers compared to the loud and clanging sufferings mental patients are going through. One of the worse things that is being experienced still is the stigma that mental illness carries. This we learned from the training session, thanks to Club Heal’s team of experts.

May Club Heal succeed in giving Hope, educating to provide Empowerment, build Acceptance and to instil Love among the givers and of course, the receivers. Insyaallah. Amin..