A Wood Cover Book. A Three-in-One. 

Memoir | Life Coaching | Tree Stories. 

Love failed me through different seasons of my life, from being born with a defect and 'unwanted' to being cheated on, and later being sued by my own husband. Yet it is also love of many shades and shapes, including the unyielding support of family, friends and the generosity of strangers, that have lifted me every time I fell. 

I bare all in this book with 50 shorts, then invite you (the reader) to reflect before introducing a tree that helps enliven my story. Come walk with me as you unearth your own journey of love and life. 

All net proceeds go towards supporting refugees, starting with the Rohingyas. 

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Silence Speaks. The Heart Sings.       

I started writing voraciously amid the broken-heartedness to make sense of the pain and suffering. As the healing and expansion began, the words became an expression of my becoming. I don't know how the words come to me... I only know that each time a stream of consciousness hits, the heart dances. Kiirtans (mantra songs) and bhajans (devotional songs) move me deeply so I picked up Saffy (my blue guitar) and learned to play her from the internet a few years ago. Before long, words and tunes found their way into my vocal chords and fingers. See some of my favourite expressions below. 

50 Shades of Love. First a book, then a podcast

​​Words. Poems+Proses+Perspectives. 

I Am That.
That sound of silence which robbed my voice, and brought on the inner songs of bliss.
That kiss of whispering winds which blew the illusion, and touched me with the real of Real.
That sweet aroma of joy which left me breathless, and invited a whiff of grateful fragrance
That scene of heavenly art which blinded my sight, and opened an inner vision of dancing clarity.
That which halted the senses as I know them, and recalibrated the deep recesses of my heart.
I am That.

Seventh Heaven
Wow. 7th month. 7th day. 7pm.
Singing. Dancing. Smiling. I am.
This gift of light and beauty at seven
Sure is nothing but heaven.

A magnificent intersection of the 3 heavenly sevens
How did I come to deserve this beauty as given?
Perhaps, this manifestation of life's synchronicities
Really is the priceless pleasure of love and simplicity.

The Rock
It is easy to miss
Amidst the glorious rush
But look intently
The rock stays solidly
Unwavered, emotionless
It just is, just be and
Yet it doesn't seem to exist.

Ode to Self 
The stars dance for you
The mountains move for you
The deserts cry for you
Rise from the deep recess of your fears

Your heart cries with tears of joy
Your body discards the baggage of limitations
Your soul dances with the lightness of love
Believe in the miracle of possibilities

Drown in the consummation of love for your being
Spread your arms to receive the messenger of love
Release the eternity of your love to all who gives you love,
And flood this love to those whom you know deserve love

Spread this love through the timeless waters of the Nile
The faithful terrains of the mountains
The quiet holy dust of the deserts
And the seductive winds of this ancient land

You are Love.
You are Loved.
I am Love.
I am Loved.

Antarctica Did Not Wow Me. 

The emotional buildup to this odyssey was undeniably intense.
The push for ‘Anthea in Antarctica’ Dare to Care campaign for Hush from October 2017. The determination to borrow gear to stay green. The joyous Chinese New Year festivities. The last minute media interviews. The deep gratitude in having the financial resources to self-fund this adventure. The disappointment that young John Tsao could not get any sponsors to fund his. The no-matter-how-little-there’s-still guilt of leaving Vincent to hold A Good Space for a month with all the good stuff happening. And the we-have-run-out-of-time episode with Lululemon to do the video for Project Yoga-on-Wheels. The happiness from finishing the 3 phenomenal reads on Antarctica from the library, just on time. The delight from packing everything needed for a month away into a 65-litre backpack, and nothing else. The anticipation of a 48-hour flight journey and all the Oscar movies that could be devoured.
The incongruence that hit with this fancy mountain resort that we checked into at Ushuaia. The sheer disbelief.... read more

​Lost. And Found. 

“I lost my self and found the Self.
And all was right with my world.”
– Bulle Shah, Sufi poet

The sail of the Divine Steel flapped gently against the winds, humming a soothing rhythm against the deep silence of a night sky freckled with stars. The moon was shining on the Nile like a searchlight, its silver beams illuminating the ripples that spread outwards from the sides of the felucca. Perched on the edge of the felucca, my feet were drawn into the timeless waters of the longest river in the world – perhaps to connect with the thousands who had come before me through this ancient river since the days of the pharaohs.

I wondered how many of them were like me – a woman, single again – celebrating the beginning of the mend of a battered self. How the river of time had carried me from that moonless night nearly three years ago when the collapse of an existence as I knew it would begin in cruel intensity to this moon-speckled start of a new life waiting in quiet optimism......read more

My Eulogy. My Modules. 

You are here today because I have left my physical body and am waiting for my next cycle of realisation. My ashes were sent to different post offices around the world to sprinkle over beds of roses. I learnt to see everything as part of the Infinite - spreading my ashes across the expanse of this planet is my last-ditched effort to experience a nano-bit of that infinity.  

Born Lay Theng, lived as Anthea for 30+ years and passed on as Indira - my life was one superhighway journey of learning and growth. Each decade was a reel of lesson plans designed by the Great Guru to prepare me for the next module. I liken this to a curriculum of life - 8 modules in total, each with a specific learning goal or outcome.

Module # 1 - The Age of Innocence
Had a wonderful childhood as the middle child of 3 children. Was a normal child but not altogether that normal. Born with a squint in both eyes, was given the very unkind nickname of 'retarded' and teased no end by family and school friends alike.. read more

A Becoming. Cira 2008-2016. 

Today is not just the last day of 12 months of 2016 but also the closing lap of the 9-year cycle in numerology, with 2008 as the start of this cycle. As I peer through the pages, some tears-smudged, of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of written conversations with my Self in the last 9 years, I hold my vulnerabilities in tenderness and my strength in comfort. Yet, what came through was the becoming of wisdom (‘did I write/think/do that?’) that I cradle with steep deep gratitude. Thank YOU for a phenomenal cycle. I close it, and open the next one, with joyful enthusiasm and conscious abundance. Today, I Rise. And Receive. <3

2+0+0+8 = 10, 1+0 = 1 (‘Buoyed’)

The beginning of the end of drowning in the million cracks and bruises, emotional and financial, from the colossal collapse 2 years prior of a broken marriage, a broken business and a broken bank account. Earth angels handed out buoys of every kind.... read more.

Why is Silence Important? 
As urbanites, we are constantly surrounded, inundated and even invaded with external sounds/noise. And perhaps we've become misguided that we are 'normal' when we are talking, chatting online, listening to music etc. We feel empty in silence so we fill our lives with sounds which create the illusion of 'company'. I firmly believe that underlying this dependence for sounds (and hence, activities or constant 'doing') is our fear of being alone with ourselves. When we run from silence, we run from ourselves...read more

I Think. Therefore I Am. 

​“I think; therefore I am” or ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (Latin) was the end of the search 15th century French philosopher Rene Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. He found that he could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place. 

Languaging our aspirations and gratitude is a key part of my daily practice and coaching approach because our reality is a construct of our subjective interpretation and social conditioning, therefore it is neither absolute nor final. We see the world not as it is, but as we are. Being able to make and embody this distinction is one of the most pivotal moments of my life, if not, the most. When we expand the ways we are in thoughts, the world we see expands in possibilities including actions and solutions. We see more doors open ahead than the one door that has just closed...read more. 

What I Do

Every setback gave me an opportunity to know myself better, to come back stronger. Every failure sucks but it also instructs and made me learn what didn’t work and presented me with an opportunity to try a new approach.

Thank you for allowing me to sharing what I have learnt from a colourful and enriching life so far that have shaped me in the way I show up in the world, especially in the area of social innovation. I have put these learnings into practice by using verbs.

I CARE about humanity and equality. I care deeply about climate change. I care deeply about how this stressful pace of life coupled with the incessant use of technology is pushing us further and further away from ourselves, and what truly matters. I care deeply about the increasing polarization of our society and our world – whether race, religion, class. I care deeply about empowerment for the differently-abled people in our society., whether the Deaf, the special needs children, elderly, the vulnerable. I think this care - this empathy, is what makes us human because we feel for others. This care is the fuel for innovation and action...read more

Empowerment, beyond Employment, for Persons-in-Recovery from Mental Illness. A Personal Reflection.
Mental illness is still very stigmatised in Singapore so it’s no surprise that a high percentage of persons-in-recovery from mental illness is excluded from gainful employment. 

It’s easy to point the finger at employers for not stepping forward to support this group within our community. Yet my own experience so far suggests that there’s so much more that we still need to do to educate and support employers. Because hiring people with mental health issues goes beyond merely giving them a job.... read more.

Words. & Tunes. 

Breathe. Now. Listen
Nowhere to go, nothing to do
I’m just here, with this dew
I’m alone with my songs
And the birds sing their own

What is life, if full of care
There’s no time to just stand and stare?
To breathe in the beauty all around ah huh ah huh
Happiness is here and now.

The splendid sun makes the trees dance

Whilst the birds flew over the sea so blue oooo
The pink rose says to the daffodil
Let’s just bloom for the moon like the best lovers do

Somewhere to go, something to do
I can still be still and move
Breathing in, I am here
Breathing out, there’s only now.

The past has passed, the future’s not here
But that’s where I live when I fear
So I always breathe to come back to oooo
This reality of life that I know to be true


BABA NAM KEVALAM (Love is all there is).

Be A Gift. Listen.

Brings a brand new scene
What could I be?

Be still and you’ll know
Where, from here, you’ll go
JOY leads the way

Heart (chorus):
Come sit with me
In your WHOLE
12 new moons, same bright stars; this shall be the brightest path.

Stay a while with me
In silence
Listen to your heartbeats; hear how they dance with me
You are free…eeee to be a gift

Thankful to be me
A real gift to be free
How can I give?

Stay true to your soul
Every moment’s home
TRUTH is your say

Heart-Mind (chorus):
Come sit with Me
12 new moons, same bright stars; this shall be my brightest path.

Stay a while with me
In silence
Listen to my heartbeats; hear how they dance with me

I am free…eeee to be a gift.

BABA NAM KEVALAM (Love is all there is)

I Have A Dream. Listen
I dream of a world

Where there’s no crumbling rubble

Where there’s no terror falling

From the sky above

I dream of a world

Where no child suffers

Where little boys and girls sing to

Fill the air with jingles

His silence.. his stillness

Breaks my heart.. into pieces

I cry for him.. and with him

But is that enough for him?

What am I doing? Why am I allowing

this insanity that makes my soul empty?

I can’t just dream, I have to be

The change that I want to see in the world

I dream of a world

With no walls and borders

Where we take time to

Connect with one another

I dream of a world

Where we love each other

Cos’ we treat one another

Like brothers and sisters

Yes, this world…can be here

If we let go of our fears

We mustn’t.. give up

on them, our children.

What are we doing? Why are we allowing

this insanity that makes our souls empty?

We can’t just dream, we have to be

The change that we want to see in Our World.

BABA NAM KEVALAM (Love is all there is)

Love. More. Listen. 
Here we are, no more tears
All that’s gone, left us in fear
What has gone, for which we long…… for?

How did it get so wrong and left us with no songs?

An eye for an eye leaves us blind
Can’t we tell we’re of the same kind?
There’s no other way to make this right
But to love more and stop all these fights

Love more is what we can do more of
Love more is what we should do more of
Love more is what we can do more of

Love more is what we must do more of…. oh uh oh uh oh uh….

Then we come to the sum
Of all the love that we have become
Isn’t this the life that we’re meant to strive….. for
Aren’t we here to love all the souls that we serve?

Life delights in life, that’s what holy
Love is what we must hold tenderly
Forsake our fears we must to find love
That's the only way to rise above

BABA NAM KEVALAM (Love is all there is)

I Ask. Listen
Why do I live the way I do? I ask  
Where did I learn to be way I am?
What makes love and how do I fall in?
How can it be love if it comes with rules? 

The wonders of this life
Curiosity I have much

I ask, not to know
I ask, to know my soul

How did I come into life?
Am I here just to love?
Who am I? 
What am I? 

BABA NAM KEVALAM (Love is all there is)

Living the Mystery Listen
Wondering, pondering 
This mindless wandering 
These goings, those comings 
Isn’t this suffering? 

This longing, that shoving
Why all this clinging?

Stop doing, start living 
And love just being 

Life is not a problem 
To be solved
Let it be a mystery

To be lived

BABA NAM KEVALAM (Love is all there is)

Life, Tenderly.Listen
Oh…it’s a white horse
No, it’s a unicorn
Galloping, gently
Across my dreams

Yes…that’s a butterfly
Dancing with the blue lily
Swirling, twirling
In this Masterpiece

No…I’m….not dreaming
I’m only living life, tenderly
In wonder and awe of Your artistry

Oh…it’s a white star
Sharing its secrets with me 
Sparkling, shining
In Your full glory

Yes…that’s a fairy
Whispering all these sweet nothings
Of loving, of living 
Showing me the way to be.

BABA NAM KEVALAM (Love is all there is)

[Words. & Tunes. of Life have come to me in close to 30 compositions. More on Facebook Notes. Namaskar.]

Anthea Indira Ong