Nov 25, 2012

Detox Diary #5: upwards and onwards

2150 hrs

So, officially day 3 here, but day 2 of the detox program...

Feeling loads better today and met some very nice people on the retreat-- Rani, a Sydney lawyer; Shannon, a medical infectious diseases scientist from Melbourne; and Tom, the new guy shaking things up at DBS.

To be honest, because i feel better today, i've been super social--lunch with Rani, dinner at the Community Table, and a relationship workshop [NB: dont roll your eyes. seriously.] and talking to both my nurse and naturopath...

BTW, got an emergency appointmetn with both the head nurse and naturopath to have a look at my insides and see why on earth i couldnt keep any food or liquid down last night... One of the most severe reactions, apparently.
that's another thing I love about this place-- everything is super personalized, and service is so attentive, and its just not overpopulated (I think the staff to guest ratio is 3-1...) so there's always more than one person there to take care of you.

Anyway. i've just gone and done a whole lot of talking today, but not as much self-reflection or thinking as I'd like. Ironic since I started today with a grand total of 3 types of meditation...

Nov 11, 2012

Detox Diary #4: what goes in... must come back out?

2130 Hrs

So day 1...
and already the withdrawal is pretty intense. I just threw up 4 times in the past 30 minutes, and a splitting headache has plagued me since the afternoon. Add to that a distinct sense of fatigue and nausea...

I knew there'd be withdrawal, but I didnt quite expect this. It feels horrid that my beautiful meal came back up to stare back at me from the porcelain throne, but I need to press on and push through this. No appetite whatsoever, but a weird salmon craving...


2200 Hrs

Make that 6 times of throwing up--my body is consistently rejected anything i put in--including H2O.
I'm concerned that my supplements are being hurtled back up, i.e. without being absorbed by my body. Need to get rest...feeling rather like I'm in hell. Sorta.


OK, 7 times...

Nov 6, 2012

Detox Diary #3: medicated

1245 hrs

Just had an hour's wellness consultation with my naturopath + a full body analysis + a bag full of over 100 supplements to be taken in this short week that i'm here. CRAZY! (in a good way).

Basically the diagnosis on my body isnt fantastic and i've been treating it quite badly. Hopefully the cornucopia of pills and supplements and protein shakes will help. We shall see. Aching from yoga earlier.

One day's prescription-- 27 pills to pop!!! (plus 2 fibre drinks, 2 probiotics, 2 protein shakes, 1 wheatgrass shot. 
multiply that by 7 days. 

Oct 19, 2012

Detox Diary #2: settling in

170712, Tuesday
2225 hrs
Villa 47
Leam Set Road
Koh Samui, Thailand

I am writing at a wood and rattan desk in what I can safely say is the most luxurious accommodation I've ever had the privilege of staying in. After the hustle and bustle of the past few days, when I finally reached Kamalaya I didn't even have time to anticipate in my mind what it would be like.

For starters, the hospitality was impeccable. Then i received a personal welcome from Clive, the GM (and predictably enough, Australian) with the good--no, make that stupendously incredible--news that Id been upgraded from my silly little garden view hillside room to... Get. This. A VILLA. I could've wept with joy, but mainly I just smile like a girl who's goten her first bouquet, and keep repeating "thank you" indiscriminately in both Thai and English.

A quick buggy ride and we are at the villa--and interestingly enough none of the room are built in standard rows. This is by virtue of the fact that they've left as much of the place's natural topography intact, building into the hills and slopes rather than flattening everything down to an interminable concrete tundra.

So--the room. i dont know how to describe this momentous occasion adequately, but it went roughly like this: we walk around some stony, grass-surrounded, tree-lined steps and come to a wooden patio next to a leafy area with a deep pond and running waterfalls. I should've registered it at that point, but it was only a few second later that i see the villa, right there beyond the patio, a vision of warm lighting and earth tones.
The AC was running and ambient music playing. The doors slide open to reveal a spacious living room, done up in modern "resort chic" rattan-cum-steel furniture, on top of a cozy ivory shag carpet, 2 vast double doors which I later learn are my closet, and to the right, some cool off-white synthetic marble steps down, is a King bed sat in the centre of the bedroom, flanked by white shades, bedside reading lamps, more ambient lighting and laid out with a HUGE duvet and comfy pillows my guide informs me have been laid out according to the pillow menu I had filled out earlier; I have i) a buckwheat; and ii) a cervicalopedic pillow.

And framing ALL OF IT is the most beautiful wood-beamed ceiling, high and vaulted, and a huge piece of asian artwork that looks more chinese than Thai but I don't really consider that too much because I then see that the bedroom is all glass panels on 2 sides as well--and I'm next to a small waterfall.
I felt like I could cry with joy, relief, incredible gratitude--who know a room could make me feel this way?
Then my guide walks me to the left of the villa with a tasteful countertop, and a door. And when she opens the door I am so flabbergasted as the bathroom is just...stunning. Huge wood-panelled outdoor-sy shower with 2 showerheads, fully exposed brick lining the entire curved wall surface, again the beautiful teak-beamed ceiling, symmetrical set-up for the wash counter, uplighting, and an entire GARDEN next to the whole thing, nestled within the bathroom.

I just think to myself--I don't even deserve any of this, I really don't. Its too much, too beautiful, too generous, too kind for someone as self-centred as I. After my guide leaves me I just walk all around, touching and picking things up like a child who needs to be tactile and each new sight (hairdryer! fresh flowers! a fruit platter! tea and the health benefits of each type extolled! personalized EVERYTHING! oh gosh, the view, again!) I say thank you again and again and again until i sink down onto the sofa and pray to God so that I'm properly saying thank you to SOMEONE.

Then i went for a quick and crazy delicious dinner of wild salmon and quinoa (because from tomorrow onwards its just VEGGIES for me!). I come back to find my bed turn down, blinds drawn, music playing, bedside lamp switched on, candles lit--they think of everything here. Even my clothes have been unpacked from my backpack and are hung up and folded in my closet.

I slowly shower and tomorrow I await meeting my naturopath and doing some morning yoga. If the theme of the day is gratitude, then I hope it runs through the rest of the week that I'm here. 

Oct 9, 2012

Detox Diary #1: getting there

140712, Saturday
1442 hrs
Seat 31D, Air Asia plane

So I'm still panting as I write this, my limbs quivering from the low levels of salt in body--it's salt right? (A bottle of 100 plus would be ideal right about now...)

Just ran the length of the stretch from the check-in counters to immigration, past the baggage check, to the gate, then the whole outdoor tarmac-side gangway to the plane. What. A. Sprint. And i just thought if I didn't note it down here, I'd never remember not to cut things so close.

Times like these, I appreciate the Malaysian way of doing things--a few minutes past the official gate-closing time? Well,

"No worries"--Literally what the lady told me as she took my passport while I stared at the aircraft mere metres from my last barrier between me and the start of this journey, willing it not to take off without me on board.

And now the plane has just begun its slow turn, meaning quite simply and without any shadow of a doubt that I am well and truly on my way to the Land of Smiles. 

Jun 30, 2012

half way there

And so, at the halfway mark of 2012, I find myself left with more questions than answers. As provincially trite as that sounds, it is an accurate statement of how I feel at this point. 

Did I envision this loss of direction and clarity? Certainly not. But since it's already happened, I've decided to take some active steps. Well, just one active step, really. 

I'm going to Koh Samui

Specifically, i'm going to a retreat on Koh Samui. One that promises emotional healing, the promotion of physical wellbeing, and generally a transformation over the course of a week. Aside from the fact that my body and health are a shambles, i think I could do with a bit of a clean-up/reboot, both mentally and emotionally. 

So I'm going to Kamalaya

 Of the handful of people I've told this to so far, the overwhelming majority have met my decision with one or more of the following responses:
1) you've GOT to be kidding me;
2) I knew you would do something like this!;
3) REALLY? no, really???

You get the picture. Derision aplenty--and I completely get it. People aren't so ready to believe that all it takes to sort your life out is a week. Perhaps this comes from a deeper human psychological tick that tells us we're all supposed to be damaged goods. I'll leave that analyis to my guru, whom I will soon meet.

 So i'm going to document each of my days there, not to prove everyone wrong, but to make sure I remember exactly how things went, and exactly what I need to keep doing when I get back to Singapore in order to maintain any progress I make while I'm there. 

I've tried not to go into anything too new-agey in this post... But I will put up what Tatler has to say about Kamalaya, the recent recipient of the 2012 World Spa Awards' Destination Spa of the Year Award (just saying), and leave it at that. 

"The spiritual energy at this hypnotically beautiful hillside retreat is so pure and intense that even stressed-out high-flying Londoners can be found kneeling amid wafting incense, losing sediments of sadness they didn’t know existed. But the joy of a stay in this most stellar of spas is that its transformational magic weaves its spell slowly and gently: it’s young, sexy and tropical. Every near-vegan feast is an Asian-fusion taste explosion, with snazzy salads and a juice bar, but also meat and wine if you wish. The treatments are outstanding, notably the acupuncture and moxibustion with Andre Tse, and ex-monk Rajesh Ramani’s profound personal mentoring. Visiting gurus are the sort that spa junkies fly around the world for, there are state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures and a mass of classes. Spring clean your psyche and reboot your mojo in this blissful honey pot of goodness."

we'll see how it turns out- watch this space.

photo credit: Kamalaya Koh Samui

Jan 10, 2012


life in b/w: i hope the world doesn't pass me by this year.