Recently, The Guardian ran an in-depth article about Indonesia, dubbing it the biggest invisible thing on earth:

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 8.32.38 PM.png

You can read the full article here.

I am always interested to hear about people’s life-changing experiences, especially if it is related to Jakarta, because it is so deeply personal to me. The Indonesian capital is like a pressure cooker – hot, noisy, pressured, full of people, noise, colour, dust, a seething mass of humanity that is my spiritual home. I carry it in my heart always, this cacophony that is Indonesia.

It bears a special meaning to me, because years ago, I first saw my soul mate here, striding through the corridors of a Jakarta hospital, so many miles from our home country. Days after that, his fingers brushed mine, and for the longest time, it was all professional yet achingly personal between us. There had been drama, and there had been bliss over the years, but most of all, there is his strength, his love, his constancy. He is my storm, pulling me inwards into his turbulent energy; he is the eye of my storm too, my tranquility and my meaning of life.

Yesterday, I read the story of Cambridge graduate Emma Slade who left her job in banking to become a Buddhist nun in Bhutan after being robbed at gunpoint in her hotel in Jakarta. The experience left a profound impact on her and triggered her decision to change her life completely:

“I do think that incident propelled me to a different part, otherwise I would have carried on as a hugely successfully, articulate, well-dressed banker… once you think you are going to die you do start to live your life in a different way.” – Emma Slade

These are the things she had learned as she moves towards a more meaningful, more fulfilling life:

  1. No matter how drastic a career change you make, the tools you have learned can be transferred;
  2. Our focus is all too often outward and not inward;
  3. Success is not a measure of happiness;
  4. Romantic relationships are not a guaranteed route to happiness;
  5. A traumatic situation does not mean your life is over.

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.19.37 PM.png

You can read her story by clicking on this link.

I really concur with Slade’s discoveries.  I find that the skills I learned in my career is totally transferable, and I am very comfortable in my present life, though it could not have been more different than my previous one as a busy career woman in a man’s world.

Indeed, we spend too much time fulfilling our outer world that our inner landscape grow desolate and neglected. Thus, it is of no surprise that we run away from spending time inside ourselves.

Success and happiness: I have known many people who are successful in their careers but who are deeply unhappy. Romantic relationships are I think down to luck (to meet the right person) and the joint agreement to work together to build a beautiful, meaningful life. Luck alone does not last the course! As for traumatic situations, it should be a catalyst to do something, to address your life.

Do something amazing, be happy ❤

This is Emma Slade’s book: