Living in Singapore Magazine - January/February 2024

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January/February 2024

EXPLORE LESSER KNOWN SINGAPORE Take a stroll around the North Eastern Riverine Loop

Travel-Worthy Pizza

New Year's Resolutions

Sound Healing

Where to find the best pizza in Singapore

How to make sure they are realistic and achievable

Learn about this alternative therapy available in Singapore LIVING IN SINGAPORE 1


who we are EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Susan Williams

Happy New Year! I hope the holiday season has treated you well and filled your heart with joy. As we enter 2024, the association is gearing up for some exciting events, including the 88th George Washington Ball and the 75th Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament. We hope to see you at one or both! In this issue, we take you on a culinary journey through the energetic streets of Singapore, exploring hidden gems that often go unnoticed. Our feature on lesser-known bars and restaurants will unveil some of the city's best-kept secrets. From quaint bars tucked away in historic neighborhoods to trendy cafes and vintage shops, our writers have scoured the city to bring you a list of establishments that are sure to pique your interest. As we embark on a new year, many of us contemplate resolutions and goals for the months ahead. We offer practical insights on how to make New Year's resolutions that are not only meaningful but also achievable. We share tips and strategies to help you set realistic goals and stay motivated throughout the year. Thank you for your continued support, and here's to a year filled with discovery, growth, and fulfillment. Wishing you a wonderful start to 2024!

Publishing Editor: Melinda Murphy LAYOUT Graphic Designer: Susan Williams ADVERTISING Advertising Manager: Thila Chandra COLUMNIST Andrea McKenna Brankin CONTRIBUTORS Midori Dwy, Tiara Giles, Richard Hartung, Agi Heale, Kyle Hegarty, Sucheta Khanna, Fran Martindale, Melinda Murphy, Marc Servos, Claire W., Pasquale Wong AMERICAN ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS President: Ashok Lalwani Vice President: Mkulima Britt Treasurer: Naureen Rasul Secretary: Jennifer Yarbrough Directors-at-Large: Ed Fitzpatrick, Aaron Kim, Daniel Moss, Michelle Reeb, Priyesh Shah AmCham: Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei AWA: Julia Tan SACAC: Dan Levine SAS: Kyle Aldous The American Club: Adam Radicic Non-Voting Members US Embassy: Lisa Liao US Navy COMLOG WESTPAC: Rear Admiral Mark Melson AAS: Melinda Murphy PUBLISHER – AMERICAN ASSOCIATION The American Association of Singapore (AAS) is a professional, notfor-profit organization established to enhance the well-being and living experience of Americans residing in Singapore and to promote relationships, both business and social, between Americans and those from different cultures and nationalities. 56A Boat Quay, Singapore 049845 • Living In Singapore magazine will be released six times per year, with the purpose of enhancing the expatriate experience in Singapore.



A subscription to Living in Singapore is complementary with an AAS membership. AAS annual family membership is $120. To join, visit and have Living in Singapore magazine delivered to your inbox. Reproduction in any manner, in English or any other language, is prohibited without written permission. Living in Singapore welcomes all contributions of volunteer time or written material.


what’s in... 10 Community News 34 Hidden Gems of Haji Lane

Go beyond the usual haunts on Haji Lane

38 Travel-Worthy Pizza

Who has the best pizza in Singapore?


44 Journey on the Northeastern Riverine Loop Find yourself in nature in this lesser-traveled part of Singapore

48 The Art of Sound Healing

Learn about this alternative therapy

50 Setting Achievable Resolutions

How to make sure you can stick to your resolutions


44 48


message from the president By Ashok Lalwani First, a very Happy New Year to all! I hope everybody had a wonderful Holiday Season. Of course, it’s not entirely over, as Chinese New Year is just around the corner. 2023 ended with a bang for the American Association of Singapore. We had our Thanksgiving Feast and Fun, where families built up an appetite with games and crafts before enjoying a proper Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. We partnered with the American Women’s Association and XCL American Academy for this event. More festivities followed with our sold-out Boozy Bus event. Our Toys for Tots event at The American Club brought much joy to kids. The boxes were over-filled with gifts donated by the community and then distributed by the US Marines to young, sick kids at Ronald McDonald House in Singapore. In an unexpected and funny turn of events, the Marines had to be called in a bit earlier than expected for their assistance and bring a little order as our planned heads or tails raffle event (with kids eliminated for making the wrong call) took a lot longer than we (and, in particular, the parents attending) expected with kids migrating from one side to the other after making their call. It was wonderful to see so many kids having such a great time. We look forward to seeing many of you at the 88th George Washington Ball – A Night of Fabulous Fortune on Saturday, January 27, at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore. This year, the Ball is supporting Over-the-Rainbow, a charity that improves youth mental health wellness. The 75th XCL American Academy Ambassador's Cup Golf Tournament will be held on April 26, at the Laguna National Golf Resort. Please sign up to golf with our own US Ambassador to Singapore, Jonathan Kaplan.

American Community Organizations Directory AAS



The American Club


Navy League


US Embassy

American Dragons

SACAC Sports

Scouts BSA Troop 07: BSA Troop 10: BSA Troop 1010:


Cub Scouts Pack 3017: USA Girl Scouts:

member benefits AAS paid members enjoy discounts at a range of local businesses. Check out our website for more details. AAS members, be sure to log in to receive discount codes on the “Your AAS Membership Card” page.


upcoming events Thirsty Eagles Jan 18, 7:00 – 9:00 PM AAS at ACRES Jan 20, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Freelancers, Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Coffee Jan 31, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Chinese New Year Tour

The 88th George Washington Ball Jan 27, 6:30 PM

Feb 3, 3:00 – 6:00 PM

AAS Annual General Meeting Mar 26, TBD The 75th XCL American Academy Ambassador's Cup Golf Tournament Apr 26, 11:30 AM — 11:00 PM

AAS Strategic Partners Patriot Partners

Stars & Stripes Partners

Community Partners


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Shoeboxes for Sailors

Thanksgiving Feast and Fun

AAS and Stamford American International School joined forces to pack shoeboxes for US Navy sailors based here in Singapore. A huge thank you to all who pitched in to help and who generously donated items. This project is a wonderful way to give back at Thanksgiving to those serving our nation, living far from home. We delivered more than 120 packages to the deployed members supporting the US 7th Fleet, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

AAS, AWA, and XAA teamed up to kick off the festive season with a full-on feast, complete with lots of fun games and crafts at XCL American Academy! Thank you to all who joined in and brought in donations for Food from the Heart!

See more photos here.


We hope you enjoyed the delicious turkey dinner and the Woodford Reserve cocktails specially created for Thanksgiving! See more photos here.

Toys for Tots Our annual kid-friendly holiday bash was a big hit! Everyone enjoyed crafts and delicious food provided by the title sponsor, The American Club. The SAS Singers entertained us all with their beautiful voices. BERNINA provided a fabulous sewing machine for the adult Lucky Draw. A few of our kids won baskets provided by The American Club and tickets to the Disney Immersive Experience provided by Disney and Base Entertainment. All of the kids liked their goodie bags from Smilefocus and chocolates from Little Farms.

We kept the Marines very busy as they had lots of toys (27 boxes!) to deliver to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. A big shout out to BSA, Girl Scouts and the schools and companies that helped us gather toys, and a huge thanks to our members for your generosity. You've made some sick children very happy for the holidays! See more photos here.


Year in Review 1

During 2023, our members took part in llywood Glamour more than 70 events! We loved seeing The George Washington Ball: Ho everyone dancing the night away at our George Washington Ball, swinging a club at our XCL American Academy Ambassador's Cup Golf Tournament Ambassador's Cup Golf Tournament, celebrating several American holidays, and giving back during the holidays! Neighborhood Clean-up



Check out our photos to see all the fun we have been having!


Easter Extravaganza With our members' help, AAS could support so many charities this year. We donated $30,000 to Kidz Horizon Appeal during our 87th George Washington Ball, earning Turkish Cooking Class AAS the Significant Tier Sponsor award. Our golfers did their part while out on the course, allowing us to donate $7,150 to =Dreams. We also contributed to earthquake relief in Turkey, helped pack gifts for sailors, gave Fourth of July Celebration canned goods to Food from the Heart, and donated toys to sick children in hospitals around Singapore. And, of course, our members volunteer every month at ACRES, and we donate there, as well. Welcome Back at Bird Paradise




AAS is also excited to kick off our new sports teams. The Yankee Noodles, our softball team, now has Newbie Night more than 50 players! Our AAS Runners group had a great start and is looking to ramp up their runs in the new year! Our Flag Football team needs a few more players, so let us know if you are interested! We have more to come in the Inaugural Pickleball Bash new year, so keep an eye out! And yes, we are still working on getting pickleball officially off the ground in the new year. Thanksgiving Feast and Fun with AWA and XCL As we move into the new year, AAS is excited to continue organizing events to keep our community connected. Get ready for us to bring you Toys for Tots events focused on American cuisine, holidays, sports, and culture! Keep an eye on our calendar to see all the fun we have lined up!












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g n i t u o c S h t i w s e r Adventu , BSA Troop 1010G By Midori Dwy

e years, for all thes d n a , w o n ble 113 years learn valua r d n fo a d s n e u ri o ro na ble mem camps. A has bee unforgetta o to Scout te g a to Scouts BS re c is to o d nd e been able p Alpine a te things to ri m o a v C fa r y fo Scouts hav m , of itzerland this for Scout, one ersteg, Sw oting. I did d o n h a S K skills. As a e to ifl R t te being about the er, I wen nowledge s, my favori k Last summ ie ic it s v a ti b c a e to rn n lea d in fu as given tim ir rifles to w a d d n e participate a s s u e I fl use the ri dge, where w friends. ng. I got to a Merit Ba ti o o h s nd met ne s a a ll g e in w ik s h a f role did lots o rifle itself prove. We s. I like my ie im it n d u n a rt o e p c practi t I like is the op troop. Wha t Scouting u y o b m a r y fo jo n r) elp de ing I e skills and h Patrol Lea r ip io h Another th n rs e e S d t a g my le allows L (Assistan t-led and n developin u o as an ASP o c rk S o w is n A a S that I c Scouts B about it is ncement. a v d ills. a ir e rds h th nication sk u m m o rking towa c others wit o ir w e th m a n o d n can go ,a work so a Scout k in Scouts , n d e ra everyone to c d a ir -p th lf se their at it’s se Class, the Scout choo outing is th ry c e S y a Second v t tl e u n g o e b rr in a u tt c I am ing I like y want, le . Another th fast as the k s n a ra t m x ra e g n my the pro earby or ey want in camping n as far as th re a e w r e share th places and world, whe t e n own path. th re e fe e if s d ts. eople from a chance to ew interes p n t ts e u rk e o a c p m S s s d to ive ya. I get things an Scouting g Camp Ken plore new x e to hile y to a t w e g e I activities w own. in y g m n going all th n ti a a th ip fun partic entures I’ll xperiences ue having at fun adv different e n h ti w n o d c n a to get there ambitions how I will re, I have re en. tu u s fu t e o n th In . I’m r it to happ le fo g it a a E w to ’t y n t Senior ca wa e Assistan outs, but I th c making my S d n h a it t w u y o ss Sc the wa Second Cla have along Midori is a 010G. for Troop 1 r e d a e L l o Patr

Planning a Father Daughter Dance by Claire W., Troop 21 ted to When my troop, Troop 21, decided we wan first plan this year’s Father Daughter Dance, the e. We thing we needed to do was choose a them set settled pretty quickly on “Under the Sea” and erest out looking for inspirational photos on Pint also p to find decoration ideas. Some of our troo to do made up games and activities for girls during the dance. to Leading up to the dance, we also had t decide on the food to serve. We had some grea e som with s ideas, like bags of blue jellybean , red Swedish fish mixed in, but unfortunately use some stuff is beca just ted we couldn’t do everything we wan were like crafting wizards, turning paper hard to find in Singapore. On weekends, we capes. and cardboard and mesh into undersea seas undersea wonderland Turning Singapore American School into an rns and shimmering was the best part. We hung jellyfish lante l reefs in the gym, and streamers in the hallway, built beautiful cora tables. It looked like an scattered seashells across the cafeteria did it! undersea party, and we couldn't believe we e all so excited. The When the big day finally came, we wer of fun, and the activities costumes girls and dads came in were lots st 300 girls and dads we came up with were a big hit. We had almo To celebrate our hard attend. Everyone had a really good time! drinks. work, our troop got our favorite Starbucks in the new year! We look forward to having more fun together

r i h p O . t M g n i b Clim ong, BSA Troop 10 By Pasquale W

out, growing Sc a s a ir h p O . ey up Mt. ntain again azing journ b the mou m m a li c n a to n o rn tu old, I went unity to re went on st 11 years ible opport d ju t re a c , in o g ntain. We e a u th o rs d m a a e e h y y th r tl u f Fo . I recen descent o and Cub Scouts ascent and r u o -h e fresh from v MacRitchie fi e k e li th s il t s a tr ju g ore than kking alon untain. The ition was m e climb, tre ter-tall mo e th -m to 0 p 0 u ,2 The exped g 1 l, eagerly this leadin onal Schoo s to climb tice hikes ti e c a lv ra e rn p rs te y u n In o a m ey. can pare ford Ameri of our journ Hill to pre m g h ta in a S n t in im a g T d e it b e Buk e gathere marked th the hike, w e bus that th g ily set up in day before rd a , we speed and bo M ff P tu 0 s r :0 u 1 1 o nd ounters packing insect enc l Park arou a l n a o ti im a in N m g and dan with Gunung Le the night r breakfasts t u g a o in g d p e in a k c iv o s o rr e A r ec dinner, y began ou 5:30 AM, w r a short e cheerfull . Rising at w p , g e n camp afte le fi s e a ri g b er a short mptly fallin ahead. Aft before pro e ik h g n lo r the ver, I prepared fo ssly. Howe le . rt M o A ff 0 e :0 d 8 a ere ascent at rew into we conqu e stairs g teps that s th 0 s 0 a h 7 g d h u a it e ro h began w gressing th hallenge a Our climb xpected c ch step. Pro e a n e u h l stairs it e w th y zed energ ing natura c r u fa o r, g e in h soon reali in ig h dra nd hese opponent, efore us. T d further a b e b rs m e li ik c h e y formidable eb d 3, w emanding, paths mad ts 1, 2, an nd more d a ts and the r e o checkpoin p ro e e te e s tr ch ly from y were mu crafted sole either; the s ir ta s ry . a p in r, and ith each ste were no ord wellverance w grew coole e ir rs a e p e r th eam for a u o tr r, s e rt g o in h h s s testing a ru rs to reach s grew bing ladde t alongside m o it, the tree li p c m s , m ic in u n s ta e n c e proved ou as red th oing down on of the m g stopped at ti , c e As we nea e ly s W g t r. in s s e e p ri p e legs. tee Surp grew ste toll on our ckled the s scending. ir e ta e d e th w re , k the slopes y fo o ll e a to b s tu reak. Even steep step fying lunch t deserved b number of yed a satis g jo n in e s a at stood ou e re w c where s the in e lesson th a n o t, t n e e n c a th s t rt a u the peak, o imp ike, b n the ahead, the enging tha uring the h y ll d a la l h a s c e e d ry g re e t n o v a e e m gre many chall and savor I learned a matter how e attitude, iv o it n torm s t s o a e p th th a s aintain through e m to me wa il , h m g s u to ro l a push th it's essenti hurdles. thing is to ht me that g u ta despite the e it ik ir h p s e l h T fu y t. n jo e a mom ey with perience. ce the journ exciting ex d n a n fu and embra a aking as moment, m , the hike w ry in e a v tr e s d l a re ic o av e phys friends, I s Despite th g with my in h g u la d . n e t a lifetime Chatting a er in charg ories to las m e m l u rf Patrol Lead e r io n e wond S e and was th agle Scout E n a is le Pasqua . of Troop 10


living in s

In this issue, we feature the story of Transportation Security Administration Specialist Maureen Yee-Lam, a fifth-generation Chinese American from the vibrant islands of Hawaii. Her story reflects the diversity and cultural richness that define the Asian American Pacific Islander community. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of O’ahu, Maureen grew up immersed in the traditions and values of her island heritage. From a young age, she admired the strong sense of community fostered by her family and the larger AAPI population in the islands. As the fifth generation of her family to call Hawaii home, Maureen recognized the importance of preserving her cultural roots while embracing new opportunities beyond the shores of her beloved state. In 2023, Maureen joined the US Embassy in Singapore. The decision to leave her island home and immerse herself in a new culture was not without challenges. However, she believed the exposure to different perspectives and experiences would broaden her horizons. As a Transportation Administration Specialist, she has expertise in ensuring the safety and security of civil aviation operations, working at the forefront of a crucial aspect of the aviation industry. Upon arriving in Singapore, Maureen found herself in a dynamic and cosmopolitan environment. Singapore allows her to engage with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. This exposure reinforced Maureen’s belief that diversity and inclusion are essential for fostering innovation and driving progress in any field. Despite being far from home, Maureen remains deeply connected to her island heritage. She actively seeks opportunities to celebrate her cultural traditions and share them with her newfound friends and colleagues. By promoting understanding and appreciation of her heritage, Maureen believes she can contribute to a more inclusive and harmonious society.



Humans of The Embassy Maureen Yee-Lam, Transportation Security Administration Specialist

Maureen’s story serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals, particularly young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, who may face unique challenges in pursuing their dreams. Through her accomplishments, she encourages others to embrace their cultural identities, while breaking barriers and pursuing their passions with determination and resilience. Maureen’s journey from Hawaii to Singapore showcases the power of following one’s dreams and the importance of cultural pride in shaping personal and professional growth. Let her journey inspire us all to embrace our roots, break barriers, and soar to new heights.


Choosing the Right School By Sarah Farris, Dean of Student Life, Singapore American School

Deciding on a school to enroll your child is probably one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. Making the right decision could lead them to a path of lifelong learning, a good college education, and then a successful career. But, what if you choose wrong? Talk about pressure! Choosing the right school can be pretty overwhelming. As you start exploring, you will soon realize that you have dozens of options even here on this little red dot. And they are all a little bit different. Looking through websites and brochures seems overwhelming and exhausting! However, you will probably end up with several schools which meet your requirements reasonably well. Now is the time to fine-tune your choices by visiting the schools. As you set foot on the campuses of schools that pique your interest, you will see how they work for you and your child. Discern and decide by asking the right questions and comparing the responses.

Once on campus, what should you look for? What questions should you be asking and why? Here are some of the most important factors that should influence your decision. Keeping students engaged: Children thrive in their learning when they're not confined to a single spot all day. Young learners require movement, stimulation, and variety. They often prefer shifting between quiet spaces and active play areas.

ASK: How does your school’s educational philosophy match the physical setting? Curriculum delivery: How a school delivers its curriculum is as significant as the curriculum itself. Not all International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) schools are alike.

ASK: How long do teachers typically stay and why do they leave?

Social-emotional learning (SEL): To be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making).

ASK: What is your school's approach to SEL? How do teachers develop a sense of community both in and out of the classroom? Does your school have counselors, psychologists, and deans of student life to support both student and parent well-being? Home-school partnership: Different schools differ in parental involvement. Some encourage active participation with frequent conferences, volunteering, and open communication. Others limit parental visits and have formal communication. A strong homeschool connection is important for student growth.

ASK: What is the role of parents and the family in the program? Diversity: Look for a healthy mix of nationalities and ensure the school can effectively manage the needs of a diverse student body.

ASK: What kinds of opportunities do students have to explain and celebrate their cultures, traditions, beliefs, or holidays? Scores: Ask to see a school’s actual scores and results on learning measures. For every promise a school makes, they should offer you reasons to believe.

Graduation and university placement: Learn about the number of students who have graduated from the campus your child will attend and where these graduates have gone for further education. Beware of schools that misrepresent their university placement statistics.

ASK: What is the unique advantage your school offers its graduates? What are universities saying about your school and the students who graduate there? A sense of belonging: When schools, parents, kids, and communities are all on the same page, children tend to do better at school, feel a sense of belonging, have more self-confidence, and have a more positive view of education.

ASK: Is there a feeling of inclusivity for all, and how does your school encourage this? Location and accessibility: Instead of asking how central the school is, ask how long it takes to get there in traffic. Being close to town doesn't always mean quick access to schools.

ASK: How long does it take to get to school during peak hours? By posing these questions and carefully assessing the responses, you can make an informed decision that sets your child on the right educational path.

ASK: What does your optimal student look like, and do you believe all students can learn at high levels? What do you do if students struggle to succeed academically, emotionally, or socially?


HEAD SPACE Welcome to the Head Space column, where we’ll discuss all matters related to mental health and how it relates to our lives here in Singapore. By Andrea McKenna Brankin.

Knowing What to Say For Mental Health Issues is Important I have it on good authority that what you say to someone with mental health issues matters. As a person with bipolar disorder, I’ve experienced many instances of people saying all the right and all the wrong things. Things like, “Get over it,” “It’s not all about you,” “Don’t be so sensitive,” and “You’re weak” are all probably the worst things you can say to someone who is suffering. I’ve heard it all. People also try to minimize your pain by saying things like, “It’s not that bad,” “I know how you feel,” and “Everyone feels that way sometimes.” I realize people don’t know what to say when someone asks for help for mental health issues. But it all comes down to education. The Singapore government has even gotten in on this trend, as mental health finally comes to the forefront of social and health issues today. I found these posters recently at various bus stops and buses around the city (see photo). It’s a campaign to teach people what to say and how to say it when someone asks for mental health support. In particular, it tells people to listen and not impose their opinions.


As part of the SG HealthHub app, which you can use your SingPass to access, the campaign talks about supporting others with CARE: C: Show CONCERN that we want to help. We can say, "I'm here for you if you need someone to talk to or if you need help," or, "I may not have all the answers, but let's get through this together." A: ACTIVELY listen. This means removing all distractions. Don't look at your phone, your watch, the TV. Show that you are entirely focused on them. We can say, "I hear what you are saying." "I'm listening." OR "Go on, I want to hear more on that."

R: RESPOND effectively. Don't trivialize their situation and feelings by forcing our opinions on them, such as saying, "You'll be fine. Stop worrying." OR "There are others who have it worse." Instead, validate their experience and feelings by saying, "I understand this must be tough on you." OR "It takes a lot of courage to share your feelings like this. I'm proud of you for being open with me." Other advice under this section is crucial. It also includes some more DO NOTS, such as trying to relate to the person by taking over the conversation with your own experience or advice, thereby minimizing theirs. Instead, we can make it about them by saying, "It's okay to feel overwhelmed or upset. Let's talk about what's making you feel that way." Also, instead of jumping to conclusions or trying to problem-solve, try letting them express their feelings without interrupting. Don’t pressure the person to talk when your discussion turns to silence. Instead, try saying, "It's okay to take time to process your emotions. I'm here whenever you're ready to talk." E: Be EMPATHETIC. This is the part about not imposing your views on them because it can make people who are struggling feel invalidated. Instead, try paraphrasing their thoughts to show that you understand. Say, "If I’m hearing you right, you mean… XYZ..." OR " I see, so you felt frustrated when... XYZ happened." Try to feel their feelings and be with them in the moment.

I hope you find these tips on how to support people's mental health useful. So next time someone asks for help, you’ll know you’re saying all the right things in the right way. It matters. And thank you.

ARE WE GIVING THE RIGHT SUPPORT? When starting a conversation with someone who might be feeling troubled, it is good to ensure we are well-equipped to help. Here’s a guide on how you can better support those you care about.

Start with an open-ended question:




But if you feel that something is not quite right, try saying:

“I am not feeling too good…”

“I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed.”

“I am good.”

“Everything’s not been working out for me.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s get through this together.”

“I understand…”

“I hear you…”


“This must be tough on you. Can you tell me more about...”

“Thanks for sharing this. How are you feeling about it?”


“If I’m hearing you right, you mean...”

“Hmm, so you were feeling frustrated when...”



What you can say

“It’s been a while since we caught up. How have you been?”

“What’s on your mind? I’m here for you.”



What they might say

• Encourage them to try activities that can help them feel better • Check in on them regularly to show that you’re there for them

Some conversations may be difficult for you to take on alone. If you notice someone who is feeling low for more than two weeks, encourage them to seek professional help as soon as they can.


Health Promotion Board Guide

“I was wondering if you’re okay, as you seem a bit different recently. I’m here if you need anything.”

“I don’t really feel like talking about it.”

“It’s okay, I’m here for you whenever you need to talk.”

Coming Soon!



Meet Our Writers!

Living in Singapore magazine wouldn’t be possible without our amazing writers who volunteer their talent and their time. We thank them for their continued support. Want to write for LIS? Email

Andrea McKenna Brankin is an American journalist and author, who published her book about her life with bipolar disorder, Bipolar Phoenix, in 2020. She writes mental health columns for several magazines and speaks often about mental health issues. She is active in the Singapore kids’ rugby community as head coach of the Titans Trixies, her daughter's team. Andrea also spends her time on charity efforts, especially at Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre for abused teen girls and for Writing Through, an organization that teaches conceptual writing to marginalized communities in Southeast Asia. She is also a board member for the American Women's Association (AWA) and is chairperson of the AWA Listen Ladies women's support group.


Faith Chanda has lived in Singapore for nearly nine years and is a former CareerSource Manager for AAS. With a career in Marketing Communications and Event Management spanning more than 25 years, Faith is currently a freelance writer and enjoys the opportunity to tackle a wide range of topics, styles and industries. She has moved four times within Singapore and currently enjoys the views and laidback feel of the East Coast area along with her two children, husband, father-in-law, and beloved Singapore Special.

Asif Chowdhury has worked in the high-tech world of semiconductors for over 30 years. From a very early part of his career, his work has taken him all over the globe and exposed him to various cultures, languages and traditions. He is a freelance writer and his works have been published in various newspaper, magazines and semiconductor trade journals. His first book about the Japanese work-culture titled A Gaijin Sarariman was published by PenguinRandom House in 2022. He is currently working as a key member of the executive management team of a global semiconductor company.

John S. Hamalian lives a dual existence: his ‘day job’ is in Management and Innovation, but another passion lies in a parallel path of travel, writing, and photography. An avid explorer, he has visited more than 75 countries, including the entire Asia region, journeying to lesser-traveled places such as North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Siberia. John’s personal mission is to help spark a spirit of building a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable world.

Richard Hartung is a freelance writer, startup advisor and volunteer board member focused on sustainability. He is the co-founder of Asia Sustainability Angels and a member of E8, serves on boards of non-profits including the Centre for a Responsible Future, and writes about sustainability for Impact Entrepreneur as well as blogs and non-profits. Richard is also a former banker and is currently a consultant on retail banking strategy. Richard writes for The Asian Banker as well as other media and is the author of Changing Lanes, Changing Lives. Richard has a BA from Pomona College and an MBA from Stanford University.

Agi Heale is a CPCC, PCC, Master NLP Practitioner and ICF Mentor Coach. She is the founder of Westbourne Associates, which supports both corporations and individuals to deliver coaching and leadership development programs. Agi wrote Generation Panic, published in May 2021, which is filled with tools and techniques for anxious professionals to get back on track. She has lived in Singapore for the past six years with her family.

Kyle Hegarty provides sales and executive coaching and builds leadership training programs that prepare next-gen leaders for tomorrow's global threats and hybrid work opportunities. His first book is about the lessons learned, good, bad, and ugly, when expanding into foreign markets called The Accidental Business Nomad: A Survival Guide for Working Across a Shrinking Planet. It won the 2021 Axiom Business Book Award and has been translated into traditional Chinese.

Sara Madera led organizations and departments across the globe before becoming a career coach after realizing the favorite part of every job was helping her team realize their goals. A naturally good listener and mother of two, she is a career coach for working women, helping them thrive at work and at home, while still finding time for themselves. She has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Fine Art and worked in multinational companies, large and small nonprofits, startups, government and started businesses, across industries. She is an ICF-accredited coach with certifications in facilitation and strategic planning.



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Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone about Deviate Wine Bar! By Kyle Hegarty

The joke is that this place is hard to find, but come on people, it’s Dempsey Hill. You just have to deviate a little off the typical path. And once you find it, don’t tell people about it because this place should stay secret. When you settle down with a drink at this little foliage hideaway, you’ll realize how desperately Singapore needs this place. I’ve seen strangers sharing appetizers while playing with each other’s dogs. Of course, it’s dog-friendly, and since they don’t serve food, you can bring your own. Order delivery, it's all good. A visiting beer distributor passing by a table offers a free sample. The wine selection is huge and not obnoxiously priced. Occasionally a barbecue grill gets rolled out for fundraising events or other parties. And you sit there and think to yourself, “yes, if we’re all living in a rainforest, this is the way things should be.” Keep a lookout for the owner. He’s the guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt or a dad jokey kind of t-shirt. He brings a near-encyclopedic knowledge of wine delivered with a Kiwi lack of pretension. His wine list is nearly as colorful as his language. I’ve frequented this wine bar numerous times and have rarely drunk wine because of the small but adventurous beer selections. Corona is available and listed in the “Not really beer” section.


Yes, Deviate is a tiny release valve for a city-state desperately in need of chilling the hell out. Aside from the outdoor space overlooking an overflowing rainforest, the bar has two rooms. The first looks like it emerged from a rich man’s 1950’s yard sale while the second room could be accused of being a respectable establishment. Pick your vibe. Even the bathrooms have an attitude with funky Japanese toilets showing off their form and environmentally friendly function. I doubt this place has much of a social media presence, other than a blissfully nonintrusive email mailing list, so it’s a wordof-mouth kind of thing. Those who know, know. Once you visit, you’ll definitely return and become a Deviant like the rest of us. And whatever you do, don’t tell anyone.

Some other spots for a drink or a bite in Dempsey Hill: Blu Kouzina Canchita Chang Korean BBQ Forketta Hathaway Margarita’s Red Sparrow SIRI HOUSE The Dempsey Project

Did you know? The road leading up to and around where Dempsey Hill is today was named after General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey (1896–1969). The land that comprises Dempsey Hill was once a nutmeg plantation before barracks for British troops were built.


Hidden Gems of Haji Lane By Tiara L. Giles

Welcome to Haji Lane, a site to see on your journey through Arab street. Before you end up spending a bunch of money on food and souvenirs, let’s look at what Haji Lane has to offer. Now, I know some people might not consider Haji Lane to be a hidden gem. Technically, it isn’t. It’s quite well known for its colorful buildings, covered in large murals. You’ll see it recommended on several “Places to Visit” lists across Google. The lists will go on about the famous bars scattered along the streets, like the Blu Jazz or 3 of Cups. You might even come around and notice that most of the people passing through Haji Lane only stop for a quick drink and a snapshot. However, if you’re able to just take a closer look at Haji Lane and linger a little bit longer, you’ll end up noticing the various hidden gems. You’ll find tons of vintage shops, restaurants, or a random place hidden at the top floor of a shophouse with a sign saying “Bored? Enter here.” You’ll find a local vintage music shop with a young and knowledgeable staff. You’ll find a bustling and friendly Muslim community owning various cafes and restaurants. Some cafes, such as my personal favorite, Rumi the Poet’s Cup, create events for the visitors of Haji Lane. You’ll see people having chess tournaments, filming podcasts, attending blind speed dating events, and even participating in poetry nights. You’ll see a bunch of youths gathering excitedly together because Haji Lane is a safe space for them to express themselves creatively. Haji Lane’s community is like a big family. Everyone is from different generations, yet they’ve found a way to get along. It reminds me of back home in the community I grew up with. In the black community in America, we have this village energy. We may not be related by blood, but we take care of each other. We look out for each other. Our cousins are like brothers and sisters. Our uncles and aunties are like second mothers and fathers. And our friends are definitely invited to Thanksgiving dinner if they have


nowhere else to go. The people of Haji Lane are very similar. They know each other well, they share deep thoughts, they give advice to each other, and they take care of each other. It’s a nice home away from home. Of course, there are some bad eggs in the bunch, but what community is actually perfect? If you ever get a chance to go back to Haji Lane, I suggest taking your time to look at the shops, try the local coffee, and talk to the people. You might get inspired, you make a new friend, you might try a cocktail on a tarot reading night, or you might just spend a lot of money on vintage items. The beauty of Singapore is that even the most popular places have hidden gems that many people miss. So, take a slow walk through the neighborhoods. Be sure to look around, browse the shops, and sit for a coffee. You might find something new to like.

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Lunch in Mandalay is Delightful and Close – On Mandalay Road, that is… by Richard Hartung

The restaurant at the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) “guild house” at Mandalay Road is a hidden gem and one of my favorite places to take friends for lunch or drinks. While it’s not fancy, it’s my go-to place for a casual meal overlooking a garden on the back porch of a renovated Black & White mansion, or in the indoor dining room if that works better. The bar is great for drinks or afternoon tea, too, and the function room offers a low-key place for events, outside the usual venues at hotels. My joining NUSS was serendipitous. I found out about the Society decades ago and assumed it was only for National University of Singapore (NUS) graduates. A while later, I learned that associate membership is open to graduates of “foreignrecognized universities,” which seems to be a fairly broad category. An offer at the time gave me food and beverage credits nearly equal to the joining fee, so I applied and was accepted as a member quite quickly.

At the time I joined, NUSS had a guild house in a Black & White house on the NUS campus at Bukit Timah Road, overlooking the Botanic Gardens. I became a regular visitor to that delightful location and continued dining there until nParks took back the property. After a few fits and starts at other locations, NUSS ended up at Mandalay Road. Members also have access to two other guild houses, one at Suntec and the other on the NUS campus in Kent Ridge. The Suntec facility has a restaurant, bar and function rooms. It’s close to a multitude of office buildings so is quite convenient for anyone working along Beach Road or even in

the CBD. It’s a very convenient location for drinks in the afternoon, close to offices in the CBD. The Kent Ridge guild house is the largest, with a café, a Chinese restaurant and a bar as well as function rooms, a pool and a gym. NUSS organizes a broad range of classes and activities for members at Kent Ridge and hosts a variety of talks by speakers on politics, culture and a variety of other topics. The Chinese cuisine is quite good, NUSS has hired an Indian chef to cater to the preferences of Indian foodlovers and western dishes are standard fare. It’s quite pleasant to have the options of indoor or outdoor dining at the café and the bar.

Back at Mandalay Road, the small parking lot for members and a giant public parking lot next door make visiting the location easy. The house is small enough that staff soon get to know regular visitors. My personal preference is outdoor dining under fans on the back porch, looking out over the small garden and children’s play area. The menu offers local, western and Chinese dishes as well as a full spectrum of drinks. Service is fast and staff readily accommodate personal preferences – they seem to have my vegetarian meal choices memorized, too. It’s easy to linger after lunch to enjoy a long catchup with friends, and staff stop by just before the kitchen closes for a final order. Prices are attractive. As at many clubs, access is only open to members and their guests. Information about membership, including the joining fee and relatively low monthly dues, is here. While NUSS is clearly less well known among the expat community than many of the longer-standing or nationalitybased clubs, the guild houses offer attractive oases for casual dining and hosting functions at delightful locations that are just far enough away to be different yet close enough to be convenient.

Travel-Worthy Pizza By Fran Martindale

What makes for the best pizza can be a very personal and contentious topic. Thin crust or deep dish? Sourdough? Stuffed crust? And what combination of toppings? If we even mention pineapple, will half of you suddenly become irate?? Modern pizza was created in Naples, Italy, in the 18th century and started as a simple flatbread with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and cheese. This evolved into the Margherita pizza, with its signature tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves, supposedly first made by Pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito for Queen Margherita of Savoy. When people immigrated from Italy to America, they brought their pizza recipes and opened restaurants across the country. These grew into some of the most famous styles of pizza that we have today: Chicago deep dish. New York thin crust, soft enough to fold. California and Arizona pizza, with their healthy and novel toppings. So when we’re in Singapore, what pizza should we look for? Classic old-world traditional Italian, or one of the newer American versions? We are happy to eat them all! Here are some that are worth traveling around the island for.

Acqua e Farina Located at Rail Mall, this pizza is authentic Italian pizza made by Pizzaiolo Chef Antonio Manetto. He is not only from Naples, Italy, but comes from a family that runs a restaurant there, so making genuine Napoli pizza is in his blood. This shows in their pizza, which has a classically thin crust, fresh ingredients, and traditional toppings that one would expect, such as prosciutto and salami, capers, and anchovies. Plan to stop in to get this pizza if you are walking along the Rail Corridor or in the Hillview area.

Cicheti Located in Kampong Glam on Kandahar Street, Cicheti is often cited as the best pizza in Singapore. It calls itself a rustic chic trattoria, as it blends the rustic feel of wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza and traditional Venetian small plates with its chic ambiance and upstairs bar. The pizza is beautifully hand-made, as you would find in Italy, and after eating and having a drink in the beautiful bar upstairs, you can explore the Kampong Glam area, with its murals and bars.


John’s Pizza John’s Pizzeria and Bakery has four locations around the island, so there’s no excuse not to try this, as there should be one near just about everyone. They make classic American deep-dish pizza with a sourdough crust made in-house daily. Sourdough is naturally lower in gluten than commercially yeasted dough, so it is a little easier for some people to digest. They also have cauliflower crust pizza for anyone truly avoiding flour and related carbs. John’s Pizza leans into its American flavors, with toppings like hickory BBQ chicken and ranch, but goes global with Greek, Indian, and Italian pizza choices as well.

Pizza Face With an outlet in Ridgewood and another in Concourse, Pizza Face qualifies as a hidden gem of pizza places. Given its name, it naturally focuses on pizza, but it also offers pasta and salads. Vegans can rejoice that there is an option here for them. Some pizzas give a nod to the popular Australian pizza with egg, cheeses ranging from goat to burrata to gorgonzola, and lots of veggies, too. Its dining areas are colorful and fun, but there is a focus on pick-up and delivery, so if you’re in the mood to eat at home, consider ordering from Pizza Face.

Puffy Bois When it comes to being a hidden gem, Puffy Bois is quite hidden. They started out doing pop-ups at top hip restaurants like the Tippling Club and Meatsmith, but now have their own location in Bali Street, close to Haji Lane. You’ll need to head up some stairs to find it, but once you’re there, you’ll find both top-of-the-line pizza and a fantastic bar to hang out at. You can try their pizza by the slice (more chances to try its different variations!) or order a whole one with toppings like aged parma ham and pickled red chilis or clams and squid ink. Give each of these a try, and tell us which you liked best on our Facebook page! LIVING IN SINGAPORE 39

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By Melinda Murphy

I love a good Michelin-star restaurant as much as the next gal, but I also delight in finding spots that are considered local institutions. I always feel like a place that has stood the test of time must have something going for it. And I get even more tickled when I walk in and am one of the only expats. I feel like I’ve found the pot of gold. The list below is but a smattering of lesser-known fan favorites that have been around for a good long while. Here are cool places off the beaten path. Most I’ve been to, but a few I’ve been hankering to try.

CAFÉ COLBAR Walking through the door at this Singapore institution is like stepping into a time machine. Abbreviated for ‘colonial bar,’ it served formally as a canteen for the British army. This place is decorated a lá 1950s in a blue and white motif with mismatched tables and chairs. The menu has a bit of everything, lots of it heavy and fried. The term “hangover food” comes to mind.

HUA YU WEE The first time I went to Hua Yu Wee, my friend had hired a bus for her leaving party to stop at all her favorite places in Singapore – and this is where we had dinner. This seafood restaurant is listed in the Bedok Heritage Trail and described as a restaurant which “continues to operate today from its original 1920s bungalow. The bungalow features detached double-story wings, outhouses and steps to the former beachfront.” I’ll admit as a girl who grew up in the West Texas desert, some of the seafood is too scary for me, but safer options like popcorn shrimp are always delicious. And this is my hands-down favorite chili crab in the country. A reservation is a must.

RED STAR RESTAURANT Want a taste of old-fashioned dim sum with cart-pushing ladies coming by with dishes to sample? Then Red Star is the place to visit. Two of the remaining members of the multi-award winning Four Heavenly Kings of Cantonese Cuisine keep this spot going. Never heard of them? They invented chili crab and more. The place has remained pretty much unchanged for the past 40 years. They have Xiao Long Bao like Din Tai Fung, but here, a basket is only $4 each. Definitely worth a try.


SAMY’S CURRY RESTAURANT This family-friendly place in Dempsey is more upscale than some of the others on this list and it’s great for a crowd, especially if you can book one of the private rooms which are perfect for private gatherings, complete with their giant lazy susans on the big, round table. I’m not a fish head curry fan, but reportedly theirs is the best in town. The place has been around since the 1960s and has won award after award for their Indian food featuring cuisine from both the North and South of India.

THE COASTAL SETTLEMENT You know how you go to a restaurant in the US and they have all sorts of stuff on the wall that’s supposed to look old, but maybe isn’t? Well, if you want a taste of real antiques, visit The Coastal Settlement way out near Changi. Not only is the food good, but you can spend an hour just looking at all the bits and pieces scattered everywhere. Think retro vintage in a somewhat upscale restaurant. It’s a fun adventure that some love and some don’t, feeling it’s overpriced, and the service is sometimes slow. Me? I think it’s a hoot dining in what feels like an antique shop or the lovely garden.

WESTLAKE When I first arrived in Singapore, a friend from back home said, “Make sure you to go Westlake.” I remember walking up to this hole-in-the-wall place on the second floor of an HDB thinking, “Really? This place?” Because there really is absolutely no atmosphere to this spot started by a Chinese high school PE teacher 40 years ago. And that is the magic of Westlake. Because all that really matters about Westlake is that they have the absolute best Braised Pork with Pau on the planet. Sure, they have other yummy treats, but it’s this dish that’s worth the trip. And now they deliver, too! Yippee!

ZAM ZAM Established in 1908 (yup, this place is even older than AAS!), Zam Zam is one of the most popular Indian-Muslim restaurants in Singapore. Think about it... they’ve had more than a century to perfect dishes like Nasi Biryani, Murtabak, and Roti Prata. As with most of the old spots listed here, this is not a fancy spot and there’s not a lot of atmosphere, but the food is yummy.


Journey on the North Eastern Riverine Loop By Marc Servos

Running through the Sengkang and Punggol residential areas as well as the Buangkok neighborhood is a network of Park Connectors referred by the National Parks as the North Eastern Riverine Loop. These connectors are also adjacent to Serangoon and Punggol Reservoirs and the Johor Straits. Whether you trek on the entire loop or only trek parts of it, there is access to a number of parks, recreational spots, eateries, and shopping centers. Being that I live close to this Riverine Loop, my exercise routine sometimes involves going on parts of it. This includes taking roughly four hours to trek around this loop or large segments of it. Although your journey can start and finish anywhere, the National Parks website,, shows the North Eastern Riverine Loop route beginning at Punggol Park. This park includes a walking path of approximately 1,300 meters around a fivehectare pond, where I conduct my workouts regularly. A bicycle rental kiosk, located at the edge of Punggol Park, sits adjacent to the Serangoon Park Connector, which runs in the east-west direction at the northern edge of the park and along the Sungei Pinang tributary. Travel a few hundred meters east, and you can turn left and head north on the Sungei Serangoon Park Connector. This runs along the Serangoon Reservoir, leading directly to the Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk and Punggol Promenade, a popular destination for area residents, offering a variety of activities and consisting of a cluster of food and beverage outlets, 24-hour prawn fishing, and a nearby golf range.

Punggol Waterway Park

Go a little further north, and you can walk, run or cycle across the Serangoon Reservoir on the Lorong Halus Bridge. This takes you to the Lorong Halus Wetland, which is manmade, built to protect the adjacent Serangoon River’s water quality. Going back to the Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk, you can continue to trek north where the Sunset Gateway footbridge crosses the Punggol Waterway. Once across, you are on the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk. An alternative route of park connectors runs along both sides of the Waterway.

Lorong Halus Bridge

Here, let me give a word of caution. Wild boars and tapir are present in this area which you can avoid by taking alternative routes. In addition, I have seen what is likely the same family of stray dogs roam in various parts of the North Eastern Riverine Loop at times since 2019. It is advised not to provoke these animals in any way. On the Nature Walk, you can see Coney Island, officially named Pulau Singapore, just off the coast. This 133-hectare island is located between Punggol New Town and Pulau Ubin. It can be accessed from Lorong Halus Wetlands from the eastern bridge or the western bridge from further on the Nature Walk. When you pass the western bridge in a northwesterly direction, proceed on the Punggol Point Walk. As the name implies, it goes through Punggol Point where you can dine out at one of the food and beverage outlets, which have grown

Punggol Point Walk

from the original seafood haunt. Adjacent to the eateries include the Punggol Jetty, Punggol Point Park and Punggol Point Walk, where you can enjoy the views of the Johor Straits and Pulau Ubin. From there, continue towards the Punggol Reservoir on what is now simply named Punggol Park Connector, passing Outward Bound Singapore (there is ongoing construction of their new facilities on Coney Island), a reception and activity center, the scenic views of Northshore Beach, and Northshore Plaza Mall. But as you approach the area of the Marina Country Club, the Punggol Park Connector bypasses, taking you away from the reservoir into the adjacent suburban environment. After bypassing the Country Club and crossing Punggol North Avenue, head back towards Punggol Reservoir and continue your scenic route.

Waterway Park, a Singapore Armed Forces Reservists Association (commonly known as SAFRA) club, and being in the midst of a number of residential developments and small business outlets. This route, which is over four kilometers, can take nearly an hour by foot. Going back to the Punggol Park Connector along Punggol Reservoir, you can head south and see Sengkang Riverside Park on both

It is not too far before you get to the Jewel Bridge, located at the other, western end of the Punggol Waterway from the Sunset Gateway Bridge. You can choose different routes. The journey along the Waterway where you can go to Waterway Point mall adjacent to the Punggol MRT station, Punggol Punggol Point

sides of the river and the adjacent Sengkang Floating Wetland. Also adjacent is the Sengkang Sports Centre which houses a swimming complex and other accommodations for badminton, volleyball, basketball and other activities, and retail and eating outlets are also at the Sports Centre. On the last stages of your journey, you can see Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the only one that still exists in mainland Singapore. Established in the 1950s, its residents continue to enjoy a slower pace of life reminiscent of an earlier era many locals still remember. From there, make your way back to where you started via the Buangkok and Serangoon Park Connectors.

Punggol Promenade

The 26 km North Eastern Riverine Loop is considered to be one of the most scenic of park connector networks. In addition to the gleaming waterways, parks and developments, this route also offers the traveler a colorful variety of bird and mammal species as well as a unique variety of native plant species.





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The Art of Sound Healing By Sucheta Khanna

Amidst the bustling streets and its urbane landscape, Singapore somehow has quaint architecture and hidden gems to explore. One such place is the One Heart Community Centre, where wellness and holistic methods such as chakra balancing, reiki workshops, and sound healing are available. This holistic center offers opportunities to try different healing modalities to reduce everyday stress and anxiety and help promote a balanced lifestyle. The center is situated in a quaint-looking corner of Geylang, near an open field, giving a feeling of space that sets the mood and tone for the experience. Jaslyn greeted me when I arrived. She runs the center with three other practitioners: Toby Ouvry, Johnson Lee, and Simon Kee. She led me to a small reception area decorated with different kinds of glowing crystals. They were welcoming and gave a positive vibe to the room with its light and energy. Jaslyn is a reiki and yoga teacher, sound healer, numerologist, and wellness coach. She is passionate about

passing on her knowledge to others and helping them with their journey of self-care and growth. Interestingly, she was introduced to reiki by her husband, who had prepaid for the reiki workshop package for them both. Her husband was going through a phase of severe depression, and he wanted to see if reiki could facilitate healing him. Upon completing the course, Jaslyn began to experience improvement and changes in behavior and mindset through her reiki practice. This led her to start her journey through the different levels of reiki training and to leave her job of 18 years as a logistics officer to become a reiki teacher. Reiki originated in Japan, and it is a form of energy practice. Reiki is called “universal life energy" (rei means universal, and ki means life energy). Reiki is gentle and safe, and the practitioners act as the channel to allow

the energy to flow through them, exiting their palms into the recipient by placing their hands lightly on or hovering above the recipient's body. The reiki energy then assists in balancing and healing the recipient's energy field and body in any way they need. In addition to reiki, there is a wide variety of options available at the center to experience different forms of healing energies. I opted for group sound bath healing, another holistic approach to balancing energy and reducing stress. Our bodies are 70% water; therefore, our body responds wonderfully to energy, mainly the frequency and tones of music and sound. Jaslyn played her eight Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls that resonated with the chakras of our bodies. The tone and vibrations from the bowls enter our bodies via our largest organ – the skin – to

heal and clear any blockages on the cellular level. It is always good to drink lots of water after the session as the body will detox, and the water will help flush out toxins and unnecessary energies from our system. As I lay down on a yoga mat, I allowed myself to be transported, receiving the vibrations that soothed both the body and soul. It was a beautiful experience, and I felt refreshed and rejuvenated. In today's world, with its uncertainty, stresses, and anxieties, more people are choosing alternative methods to promote their overall wellbeing. Everyone has their own experience and learning journey. Your chosen modality depends on your comfort level and which resonates best with you. Sound healing was an incredible and rewarding experience for me, and I have planned to bring a friend here next time to celebrate her birthday with sound healing.

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Setting Achievable New Year’s Resolutions: A Guide to Clarity, Confidence, and Resilience By Agi Heale

As we step into a new year, many of us are filled with enthusiasm; eager to embrace fresh opportunities and set ambitious goals. However, the key to successful resolutions lies not in their grandiosity, but in their achievability. Over the years, as a life and leadership coach, I’ve witnessed various levels of success in resolutions. In helping individuals transform their lives by setting realistic resolutions, here are some of my top tips. It’s a guide to help you craft resolutions that foster clarity, confidence, and resilience – and, most importantly, ensure you stick to them throughout the year, not just the first two weeks of January!

Reflect on Your Priorities Before diving into resolutions, take a moment to reflect on your values and aspirations. What is important to you? What truly matters to you? Your resolutions should align with your core beliefs and desires. This alignment provides the foundation for meaningful, sustainable change. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you to identify the tasks that will help you get there.

Be Specific and Realistic Vague goals like “get fit,” “save money,” or “achieve work-life balance” lack clarity and are difficult to measure. Instead, set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives. Clearly define what it is you want to achieve. Then, write an affirmative, present-tense statement(s) about what you will do. For instance, say your goal is to create a better work-life balance. Your goal statement would look like this: “To spend more time with my family, I’ll reduce my overtime hours to five per week or one per day. I’ll do this for the entire month and reevaluate afterward.” Then, put it into action. Organize yourself so you know what your plans are and how you are going to implement them. Now, put this SMART goal up somewhere you can see it – add it to your mirror where you brush your teeth so it is front of mind.


Break it Down Large goals can be overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, manageable tasks or milestones. This step-by-step approach not only makes your goals less daunting but also allows you to celebrate your progress along the way, reinforcing your resilience. By being able to break down and reconnect the day-to-day tasks with the big picture, you will be able to be focused and clear on what will help you achieve future outcomes. One simple question you can ask yourself is, “Does this task relate back to my overall goals?” For example, does the coffee that you have been invited for help you with the promotion that you want to get? If yes, then great, go ahead. If not, then worth considering how you can choose a different

Seek Accountability and Support Share your resolutions with a trusted friend, family member, coach or mentor who can offer encouragement and hold you accountable. Having someone to share your successes and challenges with enhances your commitment and motivation.

Celebrate Your Achievements This is an important point many often neglect. Remember to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Rewarding yourself for reaching milestones boosts your confidence and reinforces positive behavior. Celebrations serve as powerful motivators, propelling you toward your next goal.

task that is in line with getting you closer to the promotion. Essentially using your time more effectively.

Cultivate Self-Compassion Resolutions often involve change, which can be challenging as we break out of our comfort zone. Embrace setbacks with selfcompassion, recognizing that setbacks are natural parts of this shift. There are numerous ways to demonstrate self-kindness, such as allowing ourselves to rest, seeking assistance when needed, releasing burdens, establishing personal boundaries, engaging in enjoyable activities, standing up for ourselves, and taking responsibility for our actions. Basically, it is about being able to accept that it is normal to be imperfect, instead of blaming ourselves for falling short. Treat yourself with kindness, learn from mistakes, and adjust your approach as needed. This self-compassionate mindset will bolster your resilience and keep you on track.

In the pursuit of your resolutions, remember that progress, not perfection, is the goal. By setting achievable, realistic resolutions grounded in your values and bolstered by self-compassion and support, you can navigate the challenges of the year ahead with clarity, confidence, and resilience. Here’s wishing your 2024 to be a year of meaningful accomplishments and personal fulfillment.



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