OMG, My Life is one big Pinterest Dream! (Thailand Part 2)

Kamalaya Program Description: “This program offers an experience of self discovery and growth both during the immersion in the program as well as a continuation with tools to take back home”

Sarah’s Brain on the first night (I arrived around 5.30pm): “Wow, I’m overwhelmed with excitement but I’m not here long enough…. eek. Okay, so next time I come i need to do this program but with other stuff, i need to come longer, hmm should i bring a friend? No, probably gives too much security. If I get married, should I come here on honeymoon or is that weird, I wonder if I should give this to Bhey as an 18th birthday treat to really help her not make the silly mistakes that can be avoided in life, but then what about my other friends kids… would boys want to come here, guys are here but could a young man appreciate it as much with their macho egos’, hmm but then it’s not really fair is it if you give to one and not the other… I could get them something else of value… but i hate boy stuff… i like girl stuff… hang on, maybe it’s too much money… who do i think i am Oprah…. Hmmm, if i came for a month it would use all my leave, could i work a bit too and consider it like working from home (one guy is doing that), hmm but it’s so expensive and would that kill the magic….I wonder if next time. Maybe i should quit my job and come here it’s what I need to do for myself, hmm and then maybe i need to become buddhist and a yoga teacher and could I be a monk, can girls do that? I think i need to go to an Ashram to fully experience what life has to offer… but I don’t know enough, okay I should buy some books and learn all there is to know bout Buddhism, but hang on….the metor guy everyone raves about is also Hindu… maybe I need to learn that to… I  wonder if i could live there (like in India)? Hmm, would I like it.. Hmm, where is my career going…. Oh wow there is a shop, I need to buy every book here, these must be the best books ever because they sell them here… how many books can i read here, I need to read, I should read… Chanting, I hear it’s good maybe I should do that too. Should I do Yoga morning and night? But then when do I run? I need to be able to run 10KM by the time i leave.”

“Woah… you cray cray lady…. Stop…. Wow, you really need this Rajesh guy to sort you out tomorrow….”

Rajesh (Not sure how to describe him, here are some words…Mentor – Indian Guy – Ex Monk – Buddhist – Hindu – Meditation Leader):

“Sarah, you must stop with the extremes…

It’s a cycle… It’s a Loop.

Your life has a pattern, can’t you see….”

Lightbulb! Wow, this is nothing new to me, I know this, I always new this… why did it suddenly click in my head… was it the fresh coconuts and balmy weather?

Sarah’s Brain: “Okay, I definitely need to come here again… Should I live here? How can I, what skills do I have? Can I keep talking with Rajesh after this – we could do Skype sessions… how many, like once a week? Hmm, I think I need a meditation room.. oooh I should go on Pinterest.”

“No, bad Sarah – you’re banned from the internet this holiday… now go medititate or some shit”

Anyway, I wanted to share a few things I learned (I am sure they taught me more or I even got things a little wrong.. but either way this is what I took from the experience) or did whilst I was there…. because one it helps me to remember when I write them down and two because a few of you were very curious about it all!

One: Question my plan mentally before I agree to it (with myself)

This is kinda the self talk I need to start….

Sarah’s Brain: “Okay Sarah, that’s a great plan but let’s try this plan a different way… if you wanted to find the middle ground… what would you do? Lightbulb! Okay, this is what I choose….”

So, this is how it could go…

Sarah Brain: “I love Yoga, Yoga is good for you. I should do it every day and then on my next holiday I should go to India. In India I can do Yoga. I can even become a teacher. I mean I don’t want to give up my normal job, but perhaps I could do it as a hobby… Yeah, that’s a great plan.”

Imaginary Rajesh speaking (but yes, it’s really me talking to myself) – “Okay, that would be pretty amazing… but if you decided to start a little smaller…. where could we start… before you do all this stuff… If the opposite is doing nothing at all, where could you find the middle ground”

Sarah Brain: “Hmmm, okay… what would I recommend to someone else… I got it, I say you try doing Yoga once a week consistently for a year first and perhaps go somewhere really wonderful for a holiday again and do some Yoga, maybe every few days but with good teachers…”

It’s like magic… although like most things in life, I gotta make sure I actually do it…. Damn, I think that’s the hard part…

Sarah… Step away from Pinterest! Okay, well maybe that’s the other extreme… let me find some moderation…

I was so proud of resisting buying ANY books in both Kamalaya and Bangkok … I was tempted I had some in my hands, I browsed for a long time… so many plans….. But don’t worry, I did take pictures of every single book in the store… just for when I’m ready haha.

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Two: What you Love and Fear comes to you whether you like it or not!

Sarah’s Brain: “Okay, but before i stop hating stuff… can you please just help me get rid of the bit of excess fat I have and then I’ll start doing this… I promise!”

Explanation from Rajesh….

Sarah’s Brain: “Ah ha, okay I’m just beating myself up…. I’m so mean to me…. be nicer. Sympathise…”

Sarah Speaking Out Loud: “Okay Rajesh, I get it but, like I actually DO need to lose a few kg’s – so my mean chatter is mean but technically right… my pants and scale can prove it…” Sarah’s Brain: “and I saw this cute little outfit on Pinterest and I think I could rock it if I lost a few…”

Hmm, okay we’ll see how we go. I will need to actively practice this….. wish me luck in my pursuit!

Three: Maybe you just don’t like your plans… And just because you could, doesn’t mean you should!

I’d recently started running in a small group once a week and it was fun, social, not too challenging and I got a sense of accomplishment at the end. All in all it made me remember why I did love running once I got into the swing of things….. but of course I had big plans… (see point 2 on extemes) I would plan to smash the treadmill or beach each day in Kamalaya and by the end of the 5 days I would nail 10km – I mean 10KM in 14 weeks is way too long (Soft APP people who designed my new Running APP), who on earth needs that long – it’s all about discipline, now I have time, I used to run I can do that again… Plus I’d already given myself a break by not choosing the detox program, so I practially owed myself this.

Explanation from Rajesh about perhaps you turn something you like doing into a plan, but you don’t like the plan….

Sarah’ Brain: “Get out! What? No, I love Yoga… Running…. Entertaining…. Reading…..Partying….. Cooking….. Learning….. etc. etc I just need to sort out my motivation sometimes, I get distracted or lazy. Yep, I’m lazy.”

And a little more explanation from Rajesh. You plan things and in the process move away from what you actually enjoyed about the activity and turn it into something else…

Sarah’ Brain: “Maybe he had a point… but the session is up. Off to the wellness centre for a massage.”

So, day 1 and 2 I had some excuses – I mean hello, I was sooo busy and this place was so amazing… Then I felt guilty and decided to smash the treadmill, because I missed two days, I would have to run even further and faster to make up for it……. It was hot, I didn’t feel like it and I wanted to meet some people for breakfast (so I better run faster and only be 15 minutes late, because there is no way I am not running 6.5KM today!). So I did it and went to breakfast as bright as a beetroot.”

Sarah’s Brain (a little later that day): “Running…. okay, I don’t run in this place anymore…..”

So, I relaxed, I listened, I walked slowy and simply observed everything I could for the rest of the trip! 🙂


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My Two Favourite Meals – Raw Pad Thai and Prawn Betal Leave Wraps

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Okay, I couldn’t help but do a mini recreation of the Nut/Seed Buffet (served at Breakfast) when I got home (well I did it at work… of course all the jars match) … And I had to schedule in a private cooking lesson with the amazing Head Chef Edmond (because I did one, but was going to miss out on the 2nd class)… Okay, so a leopard can’t change all it’s spots in 5 days! haha.


And a little more Relaxing….




Anyway, I’m back in the land of the living again and trying to remember the wise words I heard there 🙂

Christmas Shanghai Style

Not celebrated by the Chinese but Christmas still comes to Shanghai!

A friend took this picture but I had to share as it sums things up so perfectly!

A fun little trip to buy a Christmas Tree at the Plant and Flower Market/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/aed/70877506/files/2014/12/img_0598.jpg

I plan it out wonderfully…. (Christmas that is…). And I realise, Pinterest fuels my grand plans quite a bit!

I will buy a cheesy Xmas jumper and marvel at how ironic I am.

I will make gingerbread or christmas cupcakes and take into work.

I will decorate my Pavlova so it looks like a Christmas Reef.

I will start the day early, so I can do Yoga and Meditate.

I will enjoy breakfast of fresh cherries and strawberries with a cup of Twinings Christmas Tea.

I will slowly open my presents.

I will play with Marley and his new toys.

I will tart myself up a bit… in my Sunday bests so to speak.

I will brush my hair and do something with it.

I will clean the house-top to bottom before I go to work, that way I can relax when I come home and prepare for my guests.

I will…….

Then I wake up Christmas morning, on the couch, in my clothes, Marley staring me in the face and that familiar and nasty dry mouth feeling… Yep, seems I am a little hung!

I will buy a cheesy Xmas jumper at lunchtime. No way I am walking anywhere today.

I will make gingerbread or Christmas cupcakes and take into work. WTF.

I will decorate my Pavlova so it looks like a reef. I forgot to buy some Kiwis.

I will start the day early, so I can do Yoga and Meditate. No Fucking Way.

I will enjoy breakfast of fresh cherries and strawberries with a cup of Twinings Christmas Tea. Screw it, today is Starbucks Latte and Jumbo Scone day.

I will slowly open my presents. I am running late for work.. .later.

I will play with Marley and his new toys. Get out-of-the-way Marley, here eat this.

I will tart myself up a bit… in my Sunday bests so to speak. No Fucking Way.

I will brush my hair and do something with it. I will brush my teeth.

I will clean the house top to bottom before I go to work, that way i can relax when I come home and prepare for my guests. I will do it later on, I will get stressed and flustered whilst preparing for guests.

However, it took a bit of self punishment to realise I was doing exactly what the Indian Mentor in Thailand said I do… Bouncing back and forth between my extremes!

Idealist Sarah vs. Bad Ass Sarah

…. Bad Ass always wins in the end haha, but time to experiment with a new approach… today I’m not admitting defeat and so this means making a Gin and Tonic with the bag of lemons I gave myself!

So… I decided, I hadn’t ruined Christmas, it can wait till Lunch time…

Christmas waiting for me patiently as I rush off to work.

I mentally crossed a lot of things off my list…

Make Cupcakes. Gone

Yoga. Gone

Meditation. Gone

Then I added a few things:

Eat Tuna Salad for Christmas lunch because that’s what you feel like. Done

Give Red Envelopes with money to a few people. Done. Cash is King after all.


So, I went home at lunch, I tidied the place (translation, chucked out rubbish, stick things in my spare room and pretending the kitchen wasn’t full of dishes), I made myself a Christmas Tea (Twinings of course!). I pumped my new and cringe worthy favourite power song (Shake it Off – Taylor Swift), sat on a cushion and opened my presents.

By the way, thanks for Mum sending me the best gifts, she knows me very well! Marley enjoyed his gifts too.

I then proceeded to open the gifts for myself. Now this might sound a little kooky… but I decided on my retreat that it would be fun to buy myself a Christmas present and wrap it up (that’s not the kooky part… hang on) but I decided to take it a step further because I was feeling idealistic…. I purchased 3 Gifts….

    • One to make the past (young) me happy
    • One to make the present me happy
    • One to make the future me happy


And, whilst it’s almost embarrassing to say that I actually did this cheesy exercise, it was brilliant… I think I’m going to keep it going. Don’t judge me… I promise I still shave my armpits…. haha

And, I will end with a Joke I am stealing…

Q: Who is never hungry at Xmas?

A: The Turkey – he’s always stuffed.

Found the perfect tree… although i realise my choice of footwear could use some work…

My little Christmas








Eat Meditate Learn (in a Tropical 5 Star Paradise of Course)

It’s taken me over 10 years to treat myself to what I had originally called ‘Fat Camp’, but the Koh Samui Wellness Retreat I went to provided oh so much more than that…. Eh and I also decided it was far too much money to spend on a holiday only to deprive myself!

My lovely friend Jo (The Mindful Morning) was the one who told me about Kamalaya and when Jo tells you something is good, you know it’s good…. she’s like my own personal episode of ‘Oprah’s Favourite Things’ (except she doesn’t leave me free stuff under my chair…I forgive her for that because she gives me so much inspiration).

Hmm, so where to start…. do I chat about the lovely experiences, the spiritual (sometimes weird and uncomfortable ) aspects, how I would like to think it’s opening up a vortex in my brain for a new way of thinking, or the fact that I found myself happily chatting about colonics (a key part of the Detox Program they run) and past lives with my new found buddies at the communal dinner table?… Hmm, perhaps a few pics to set the scene first.

Oh and of course, I had to do the cliche and bring the book Eat Pray Love with me (once I got over how cheesey I was, it’s a briliant book I have to say, many more layers than the movie – I recommend). Nice book suggestion Lozzie!

I should say I brought a whole lotta stuff with me as enterainment but didn’t touch a thing – I only just, had time to read the book!


But first, I caught up with a friend the night before… It was cold and we had Mulled Wine… Ah, I guzzled it as if I was going to Rehab tomorrow and not a health retreat haha!


But don’t worry, we called it a night and I woke up excited (although a little nap in the taxi was needed – an early start!)

Oh yes, this will do just fine. I had this weird feeling of wanting to cry when the Thai guy picked me up at the airport… I was just soooo happy and excited (and yes I was creeped out by my own reaction)!


Every morning you have fresh limes and they encourage you to drink first things… also when you return at night they have turned down your bed, adjusted the lighting and lit an oil burner for you…

Little Plunge Pools (different temperatures) along the cliff… amazing and very peaceful/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/aed/70877506/files/2014/12/img_0284.jpg

Yoga, Meditation or Stretching at 7.30am…. yes please (I have to say being here at sunset is pretty spesh too… but strangely I prefered sunset in the shower)


Hammock at Sunset…. boy do I love Hammocks!

 Did I mention it’s all inclusive? Fresh Coconuts galore!
 Lazing about the place… doesn’t feel lazy at all
 Room Service…. for colouring in and art supplies. Why not?!

Namaste Peeps!

An Unofficial Chinese Tourist

So I know that I’m not blogging as much as I want to. I had (and still have) many expectations and thoughts on how much fun and simple blogging about stuff would be… And whilst I actually really enjoy doing it, from time to time life gets in the way and then I lose my window of motivation.

Anyway I’ve decided to use this dictation thing on iPhone maybe that will work a bit better and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t cost me anything!

So I went to Okinawa which is a Japanese island. It’s actually really close to China though and the flight was only two hours. After I returned I decided I couldn’t in honesty claim I had been to Japan.

It sits quietly, nestled in the ocean somewhere in between China and Japan.

It was a work trip essentially a bit of fun and team-building. Win! What I didn’t realise was that actually it was going to be more than just a regular trip overseas because I actually got to be part of a Chinese tour group and what I mean by this is that it was almost like I was some sort of observer.

So we land and then all pile on to this tour bus… Chinese guy stands at the front with a giant smile and basically he’s talking to us on a microphone at the front of the bus… Pretty much the whole time in Chinese and it’s safe to say I have no fucking idea what’s going on or where we are going.

Now I did of course ask people things and I get some tidbits, but I often felt unclear or like a pain in the butt, so anyway I just give up and just rolled with it.

I chilled on the bus and anytime we stopped, I followed the group I.e. get off and go shopping then repeat. Eventually I decide I am too tired of shopping on the last day and opt to finish Gone Girl (great book btw).

Back to the shopping – the first place we go to to my surprise was a giant duty-free shop, and theirs plenty more of these… Duty free, souvenirs, chemists… Oh my!

I bought me some goodies Of course….. When in Rome they say….

We of course stop off at the odd ‘attraction’, but mainly it’s a shopping exercise (China is really expensive). When we check in at the airport (going back to china) I see a ton of people with multiple rice cookers and even electric toilet seats to take back to China.

So, I guess the things that stick out to me about my trip Okinawa (besides the huge value people put on Japanese rice cookers) was the merged American / Japanese culture, the teeny tiny part of the history I learned about and a trip to a cool little old school Geisha bar.

Did I mention that I’ve since ditched dictation? Nice idea, but it’s like having a shitty secretary that hasn’t quite nailed English.

Hawaii Five O meets …… Japan

Palm trees, Hawaiian shirts everywhere, pineapples, Maui bars… Hang on I thought this was Japan?! I was reassured I was yes in fact, in Japan when I would go to the bathroom and was welcomed by a warm toilet seat and way too many buttons to figure out how to flush and of course the Japanese school girls in painfully short skirts. Oh and when I questioned why the waiter said ‘horse’ when I asked for some Sashimi…. (After a confusing conversation that went like this – Me: ‘fish’ Him: ‘horse’ Me: ‘fiiisssshhh’ Him: ‘horse’ … He then used his phone and finally showed me google images of black beauty…. Me: beer).



It was quite surreal this merging of two cultures. They have a few military bases in the island… So you see the odd army dude (or WAG) walking about the town. But it wasn’t in a tourism way (like Kuta making things ‘Australian’) but in a way that gave this little it’s own identity. Albeit a slightly 70’s throwback one…

American town was cool but weird, it had all these American stores, but it felt ‘wrong’ like it hadn’t moved with the times… Still I enjoyed a Budweiser, a burger and a random mix of usa tunes in the background…

The cool thing about American town was this place ‘American Depot’ that sold used but cool American stuff. I found old copies of Life Magazine and strangely found myself excited and buying a few copies from the 70’s with quite provocative headlines (I question myself, who is this person….) particularly around women in society. Blog post to come perhaps…






War History

We stopped at the USA airforce base lookout (totally bored out of my brains…) so I go to the gift shop and nose about.

I flick through a history book (it was a picture book mostly… Hence the ability it had to capture my attention).

What I saw was fascinating and so I had to read more…

Admittedly I don’t remember much about WWII (I mean from school), but at some point the U.S. decide they want to take Okinawa, I assume it’s cause it’s got a nice location… Good place for a base I guess.

Anyway, so the US take the island (I read it was a surprise attack so it happened quite quickly and easily – although I assume these things are quite relative).

The thing that surprised the U.S. Forces was that their were many many civilian causalities. The saddest part was, that it was due to murder / suicides.

Apparently the story goes that the Japanese soldiers in Okinawa told the people that a) the American soldiers would rape their women and kill their children and b) the honourable way to show your allegiance to Japan is to kill yourself and your family before the Americans do.

It’s reported that the soldiers gave people grenades or people strangled each other or even tried on themselves.

I don’t know too much more than that, but I thought it was incredibly sad.


Old School Geisha Bar (and I mean the Ladies not just the concept)

Again, a bit random but interesting all the same and on a lighter note.

So two girls walked into a bar, it seemed weird as we peaked into it – we went to turn away and leave and the staff all cheered us (a lovely Chinese girl and myself).. Mmm, okay one drink to be polite.

Over the course of many more drinks, we worked out this was a ‘real’ geisha bar – again not in the tourist sense. It was run by ‘old lady’ geishas. Almost like the last real ones left (maybe they are the last generation – I don’t know).

Service was amazing, they did traditional entertainment and doted on the big spenders – sitting drinking with them, talking, serving and telling jokes.

So cool, especially seeing pictures of them when they were young. Makes me want to read Memoirs of Geisha again!





Ahhhh, and that was Okinawa. Now I feel better 🙂

Eh, I’ve done stuff… Did it really happen if I didn’t blog about it?

So, lost my phone… Lost my photos… I kayaked somewhere, travelled somewhere else and well I thought of super awesome stuff to blog about…

But it’s gone…. Now I am letting go and moving forward!

Here are some randoms that made me happy, nothing special nothing amazing… Just stuff 🙂

Only took 2 months to buy sheets and a doona cover… What a luxury


Hot Cross Buns in November – don’t ask why, just stuff your face!