I have redefined retirement at age 23. I have a lifestyle where I do the things I like, with the time I have and still get paid for it. I designed my freedom these two decades, traveling to more than 40 countries. I run a successful business doing consulting works as a Corporate Writer, Corporate Emcee, Event Producer and a Workshop Facilitator. I am also a talk-show host on an Internet Radio station with two programs "A Course In Miracles for Work-Life" and "Freedom Speaks". Life is Healthy, Rich & FREE! You can design this lifestyle according to your willingness. I hope mine will inspire you to achieve that freedom too.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lifestyle - Trekking up Mount Sinai, Eqypt

I was in Eqypt backpacking in the year 1999. That was the time I took 1 year sabbatical. So, I thought I will want to cover as many of the 7 wonders of the world as possible. The pyramids of Giza happens to be one of the 7 wonders.

For the past 18 years, I have enjoyed myself at the foot of some of the world's greatest sites, (there are many more, in the meantime, this is the list) :

  • The Great Wall of China
  • Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • Taj Mahal in India
  • Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Niagara Falls in America
  • Grand Canyon in America
  • Stonehenge in England
  • Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Nasca Lines in Peru
  • Mount Fuji in Japan
  • The Red City in Jordan
  • The Blue Mosque of Turkey
  • The Parthenon in Greece
  • Fatima, Portugal
  • Lourdes, France
  • Cape of Good Hope in South Africa
  • The Serengeti wilderness in Kenya
  • Prince Siddharta's birth place, Lumbhini, Nepal
  • Rocky Mountain, Canada
  • Sydney Opera House, Australia
  • Mount Cook & Milford Sound, New Zealand
  • Picasso-Sammlung, Der Stadt, Luzern, Switzerland
  • The original Picasso paintings in Madrid, Spain
  • The hanging graves in Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Sun Moon Lake, Tai-Chung, Taiwan
  • Cheju Island, Korea

I happen to browse through some of my photo collection and found 2 pictures of my trek up Mount Sinai (or Mount Moses, as some would call it.) Apparently, the massif rock face of Mount Sinai looked like the place where Moses parted the Red Sea, crossed it and received the 10 commandments.

As usual, I don't know there exist a Mount Sinai in Eqypt. It was the first trip oversea that I bought the Lonely Planet. I bought the book about travelling in Eqypt because I wanted to read about the Temples and the Palaces to get a better understanding of its structures and its history. So, I read about Mount Sinai when I was in a renowned seaside resort town, Hurghada. This is a place where the Europeans will spend their summer vacation or to escape from the cold of the winter months. You will get to see many European tourists flying directly into Hurghada for sea sport, the attraction here is of course, diving in the Red Sea. The Red Sea has one of the richest marine sites in the world, that makes it one of the best diving spot too.When I was in Hurghada, I have 2 ways to go to Mount Sinai. One is to go back to Cairo, by bus, it will take me a whole day. Or cross the Red Sea into Shal-al-Sheikh, a little town hitch at the bottom of the Sinai peninsula. And to cross the Red Sea, I can either take a fast catamaran or a slow 4 engine (or was it less??) fishing boat. Of course, I chose the cheaper version - the fishing boat. I think it cost me less that USD10.

That turned out to be my worst boat trip ever - it almost went down with the wave!!!

It was blue skies and expectedly, everything nice. No clouds in sight. Yes, it was a true blue yonder. I di not rain for months, so having blue skies is normal. So, that being true, I hopped on the boat and went a sailing. Never have I imagined that the sea can be so rough under a deep blue sky.

The waves slapped the boat so hard, it rocked the boat to cut the sea upwards, then slid back like being sucked into the ocean but because of its bouyancy, bounced back strongly to repeat the pendulum swing. I could not even balance myself. So, I lied down on the bench, closed my eyes. All the acids in my stomach was already churning out the gas, so strong it pushed pass my gallbladder to reach my throat. I shivered in its pungent regurgitation, the feeling reached the tip of my tongue. But nothing was thrown out, instead I swallowed back the air that almost escaped my tightly clenched teeth. I was in a state of twirling nauseaness, I could not open my eyes to see. I thought if anything happen to the boat, I will sink into Napolean's cuddle.

I laid in that position unmoved, suffering from acute stomach discomfort and distorted mental condition. I thought this will be my last trip. I stayed there feeling like forever. When was it going to reach the shore of Sharm-al-Sheikh. I think the boat swung in the Red Sea for more than 4 hours. Until to my relieave, I heard screams of seafarers calling for the dock. I still kept my eyes closed, worrying that if I opened them, my stomach will pour out from my mouth in one gulp-full.

Finally, I passed through a check point, got my rugsack. I took a van to a place called St Katherine in the middle of a (what would you expect?) desert. It was a small little place, probably only a few hundred people lived here. There were bunkers built of clay and mud but with uneven plastered white wall.

I entered. There were no beds but a row of mattresses on an elongated concrete slab. It was dusty. People there were mostly locals who are staying a night, then move on in their journey.

It was quite an early morning, so I thought I will leave my backpack there while I look around, have my breakfast and try to find out where Mount Sinai is situated. While I was having breakfast, I checked the location and found out that I can go up and come down and back to town, all in a day. Great, I thought. I might as well carry all my things with me, since it is going to be so easy, I will come back before dusk and take the next ride out of this small village to a more decent dorm eslewhere.

I swing my rucksack on my shoulder and started to walk towards the direction to Mount Sinai.

There are only 2 ways to go up to the summit, one is : take a ride on a camel,  or two : Walk. I chose to walk. I am a very experience trekker anyway. It took about 3 hours - all the way up. There were no trees, not a single plant, only some little shoots that found their growing place in the huge massif fiery rocks. So, don't expect to look at greens, there are none. All the way, I see only brown and earth-red tone. Some treks are slippery, not because there is water, there are lots of loose stones and rocks, so when my legs were weary and wobbly, once I stepped on them, I lose my balance. To be careful with my 10kg rucksack, I walked slowly and took rest as and when I wanted to. I have all the time in the world anyway.

It was an exhilarating trek. Many times, awe-inspiring. The massif face really looked like the place where the lightning strikes and chiseled out the Ten Commandments, I could imagine Moses, with its unwavering robe flapping with the strong wind, reached out and collected God's words. The more I looked, the more I felt the great power beyond any human condition that made all these possible. Using John Lloyd Stephens words : "among all the stupendous workds of nature, not a place can be selected more fitting for the exhibition of Almighty power".

On the way up to the summit, I came to a depression, while I stand in-between the depression, I could see what is called Elijah's hollow. Here is where Elijah heard God's voice. The little chapel is about 30 feet below where I stood, so it looked like a valley.

From here I continued to walk, I took a much longer time because I was enjoying every minute of it. So, after almost 7 years, I could still recall the details.

I reached the summit after nearly 3 hours of walking. At the peak, there stood a small chapel. It was locked. There were just a handful of tourists who came up by taking the camel-ride. There was a small little zinc-roof make-shift shop selling mineral water and chocolate bars, manned by a small boy who also slept there.

After a few hours, dusk sets in. I didn't have the intention of going down to the village to stay the night, so looking at the sky, which is miles and miles of blue sky without a single cloud, I decided to sleep at the summit - all alone!!

I walked down a little from the chapel, took a turn at a rock face and came to an opening that overlook the ravine that roll down to the base which is more than 1,000m below where I stood. As I looked down, it was dark and far. The wind that swept up from the base into the ravine swoosh and push up a gush that turns into a strong breeze that I could feel playing with my hair. I chose a protruding rock face that was reliably flat, but I know if I roll over, I will fall over too. But that was the best spot to spend the night. The setting sun over the massive rock face, in its crimson bright glow, was too beautiful and enchanting that it oveshadowed all these possible fears.

I did not have anything to eat except some bars of chocolate because I was not prepared to sleep at the summit. I only had my sleeping bag, good for tropical jungle. I was lucky I packed my jumper along. So, I stretched out my sleeping bag, put on my track bottom, cover myself as cosy as possible to keep myself warm..........then, the most amazing scene unfold right in front of me............I looked up and saw the moon illuminated the sky. It came on immediately after the sun set. Because there was not a single cloud in sight, it was shining so brilliantly bright, I could see everything, I don't even need to turn on my torch. That was the most thrilling scene I have ever experienced in my trekking life. And I need to cover my eyes with my eye-mask to sleep, imagine how bright the moon was. Mount Sinai was just amazing!!! Never mind the empty stomach, never mind no shower, never mind no toilet, all these experiences were enough to cleanse the physical body and raise the illuminated soul.

That was an experience I cherished, what a way to live, wasn't it?

And if you happen to be there, do go into St Catherine Monastery, which is at the base of the mountain. You will see the Moses's Burning Bush, Moses's Well, and many artifacts of this church which dates back to 337AD.

My life is so blessed, all the time, all day long. In grace and gratitude, I say "Thank You".

Lets do more.................I am ready and I receive!!

Lifestyle - watching sunrise on Mt Kinabalu

"My profession is always to be alert, to find God in nature, to know God's lurking places, to attend all the oratorios and the operas in nature." Henry David Thoreau

I was an avid trekker for many years. We trekked to many densed forests in Malaysia photographing lots of beautiful sceneries and waterfalls. We trekked almost every weekend, so it was like trekking 40 times in a year. There are only 7 mountains in Peninsular Malaysia that are 7,000 ft about sea level. They are :
  1. Gunung Tahan 7,174 ft
  2. Gunung Korbu 7,162 ft
  3. Gunung Yong Belar 7,156 ft
  4. Gunung Gayong 7,129 ft
  5. Gunung Chamah 7,121 ft
  6. Gunung Yong Yap 7,110 ft
  7. Gunung Ulu Sepat 7,089 ft
I had trekked them all.

And since I had traversed the Peninsular, I will also do East Malaysia. So, I had covered many parts of Sabah and Sarawak, including the interiors and the beautiful seafront villages. The ultimate destination is of course Mount Kinabalu (13,455 ft). I had gone up 3 times to its summit. I had also trekked up the 2nd highest mountain in Sabah, ie Gunung Trusmadi (7,795ft).

My aim of going up mountains is not to reach the summit, touching the summit is incidental. My major satisfaction derived from camping and trekking in the wilderness is the feeling of Oneness with nature - I AM nautre, I AM light, I AM.

How could I describe looking at myself in every dew drop on a hanging bunch of montane growth? How could I explain how I feel when clouds passed through my body and leave me a stench of its rain? Or how could I explain camping and sleeping on a sheet in a 150 million-year-old forest infested with leeches yet survived the bite - with a smile? How could I even let you listen to the wind which carries messages from thousands of miles in the wake of dawn? These feelings are feelings of a child. How could an adult understand them? So, friends often asked me what I do when I trek in the wilderness for 10 days? or won't I get mucked? (by what? who?) or what do I do when the forest is dark at night?

Oh....... I am tired, not of trekking, but of answering such adult questions. I just know that I am here to play, to feel, to thank and just to BE -- I am not here to do.

I had, for 15 adventurous years of my life, enjoyed my connection with nature at its purest, simplest and funniest!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shanghai - Lifestyle is working joyfully and peacefully

"Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results." James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

I started my business in Interior Design. I worked at it for 11 years, we did very well. I had the time and I was financially sound to realise my dream - to travel around the world. But yet something stirred inside me that I felt like an oaktree used only to make chopsticks. That was a real waste.
I was potentially underused. Although I was very good in sales and having really good PR closing many contracts, I still felt there was something wrong. That feeling was more intense when I started to wake up at 8am then dragged myself to work at 10.30am. The feeling of such negativity actually had to do with debt collection. It hindered my creativity, and I wasn't myself, I felt trapped, not free. I got to get out, lest I will die in my youth. I knew I have another 40 or perhaps 60 more years to live and I didn't want to live a single day without zest. I called it quits after 11 years. I took one year sabbatical. I had so much time to myself I travelled to Eqypt and the USA, I polished up my culinary skills, I exercised more and I did a lot of work as the Area Governor for Toastmasters Clubs. That was my most profound discovery of myself. Amazing as it turned out, I found that I was given more opportunities to express my inner potential. That was when I found a business in a product which is truly universal - the Science of Nutritional Immunology. As I progress these 5 years, I begin to know that doing a successful business can be Rich and Free, best of all I learnt about being healthy. As I soared in great success, I realised that I can even share this success with my other Rich Partners. These photos were taken in Shanghai where my Rich Partners enjoyed the trip with me - Vivian, Pat, Mui Seng and Cyndy. We had a really great time savoring Shanghai delicacies and ultimately shopping stole the limelight. Life now is incredibly satisfying and truly FREE!!

South Africa - Lifestyle is camping at Krueger National Park

"Wherever you live is your temple, if you treat it like one." Buddha

I started my overseas travel when I was 20 years old. I had joined local tour agencies and most of my travel, I did them all alone - backpacking. I have the time to be in a country sometime as long as one month. After joining a tour to Kenya, I just could not get enough of the wilderness - the Serengeti plains kept whispering in my ears, ringing tones of serenity and the sounds of vast emptiness. Sitting alone watching the sun sets over the arcacia trees, with silence whispering into my soul and sensing the Lion's yawn amidst the bushes, the experience was spellbound. Holding on to these memories, just 2 weeks before Chinese New Year in the year 1999, I boldly booked a flight ticket to Johannesburg, South Africa. I did not have any details at all about the country and I didn't have an itinerary (as usual). I just knew that when I arrived, I will find my way. My lifestyle is purely based on faith and trust. Having faith that everything will be taken care of and having trust that whatever happens, it's for my own good. So, there I was camping in Krueger National Park, having met wonderful buddies - 2 girls from Australia and 1 from England. The guy seated next to me was our South Afircan driver and guide. We camped along the way. I had a great time sleeping under the stars and waking up to see elephants playing in the water and hippos, as always, submerged in the lake with only their tiny eyes and little nostrils on the surface of the water. ( Top picture - giraffe crossing the road, so we got to stop to take a picture. Bottom picture - we were having dinner, our guide cooked us the meals too.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

At an ancient castle at Hampi, met with some teachers with cute and playful students. Posted by Picasa
This is the bowl-ing way to cross the lake, row row row row your bowl... Posted by Picasa
At the mediatation tree near to Sai Baba Ashram, all of us had a goin-within moment Posted by Picasa
Ringing the bell after prayers at the Wishing Tree Posted by Picasa
Take a group photo with some villagers before climbing the stairs up to the Wishing Tree Posted by Picasa
Shopping at Ruff's sooooo affordable, buy more Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 27, 2006

Angels in Indian saris, beaming and glowing except one handsome but bewildered Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 24, 2006

From left - me, Sue, Peter and Teri, a spiritual connection brought us to the Church of Today in Detroit, Michigan. My mesage to Sue and Teri from Windsor, Canada who brought us to such wonderful places : "We love you!" Posted by Picasa
Peter's godparents Helen and Bob in Birmingham, Alabama, far right is me. Message from me : "Those were wonderful days, thank you so much for having us and making sure we were taken care as if we were home. We love you!" Posted by Picasa

Lifestyle - is about sharing good times with friends

Enlightening time in Puttaparthi, Bangalore, India with my 2 business Rich Partners, Mui Seng (left) and Cyndy Ban (right). Lifestyle is about sharing good things and good times with friends. When I discovered, to my amazement, that doing business can be so much fun, no hassle and stree-free, I began to share this discovery with my friends. And when I understood about inner works and inner peace, about being a spiritual being having a human experience rather than a human being having a spiritual experience, I also enthusiastically tell my friends about it. It is just like watching a favourite movie and you want your friends to come along. So, when I went in search for a product to start my business with, I found freeze dried fruits & vegetables, 20 kinds in a sachet for only RM2.50. Naturally, I was excited and started building my business network all over Malaysia. As we progressed, we made so many new contacts and acquintances that when we found ways to inner peace, we get everyone to experience it as well. And there we were in India for a 12-day enlightening trip to Sai Baba Ashram in January 2006. It was a jolt-in-the-soul kinda euphoric excitement, we know it is the route to remembering!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Design A Lifestyle

“Style is as unique and nontransferable and perfectly personal as a fingerprint. It is wise to take time to develop one’s own way of being, increasing those things one does well and eliminating the elements in one’s character which can hinder and diminish the good personality.” Dr Maya Angelou, renowned poet, author, actress.

Since I know the
Science of Nutritional Immunology and the excellent products through Dr Chen’s informative talks, I designed myself a Lifestyle. A lifestyle that is so unique to me that it takes shape as natural as breathing.

Like most people under employment or in your own business, you wake up at 6.30am to prepare yourself to go to work. I do exactly that too. I wake up at 6.30am, I recharge immediately with a rejuvenating meditation, going within to remember peace. "Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven........" then, I go for my exercise by 7.30am. After that, I have my breakfast with fresh fruits. I dress up neatly with an empowering-colored tie, executive long-sleeve shirt and a pair of well-pressed slacks, roll a watch into my wrist, button up my sleeve, adjust my tie and start my usual weekday’s lifestyle at 9am – just like you.

While you take a jam-packed road to work, I start rolling in my calls at home. I have a fax machine, a pc, my reliable handphone – all at home. I start to make appointments to see my friends and business partners at 9am, just like you – but I do it at home. Then I will go out to meet them for lunch, for tea or just to meet up and chat. I meet them during office hours. I do overtime occasionally, and sometime, I am home by 4.30pm to cook a sumptuous meal – just like you do.

Think about it, am I not doing the same thing as an employee, a business owner, or a company salesman? The big difference is that I have a Lifestyle. I can do all the things I want, with the time I have and still get paid for it. You may be just doing a business – but I am building a network, a financial asset.

On this journey to becoming a Diamond Master has given me plenty of time to freely explore what Dr Maya Angelou puts in perspective : I am wise to take time to develop my own way of being and increasing those things I do well – and I have a Lifestyle to attest to it.

And as I grow, let me be of service to you and let me be The service to mankind!