Bourke street mall

Bourke street mall

About 4 years ago, I followed my heart and decided to move back to Singapore to be close to mum and dad. It was a brand new life, starting from the ground up. Where would I buy berries, kale, where would I go for good cup of coffee? For Emilie, it was quite a shift for her to be uprooted from her second home Australia to trust and have faith in my decision to move. For that I am eternally grateful.

As I look back at the year that’s passed I realised how much I’ve done. Looking even further back I almost forget who I was before. Almost a decade ago I was at the lowest point of my life. Jobs that were keeping me alive but sucking my spirit dry, living day by day with zero purpose whilst trying to fill the void with unnecessary ‘stuff’ in hope that the next purchase would buy my some happiness. Heh, I even thought of putting a downpayment on a Harley Davidson Sportster (which I could clearly not afford) dreaming that when I finally got it, throttling each purr from the V-Twin would allow me to find some freedom in the blowing wind.

I was merely existing and far from living. There was a splinter in my life and I kept sweeping it under the carpet hoping that it would go away. There was one particular issue that I consciously blocked out hoping that it would go away. It never did. Instead, the wound this splinter created affected how I thought, felt and lived. I listened to tons and tons of self development conten. From Dr Wayne Dyer..to Anthony Robbins, affirmation after affirmation, a momentary surge of inspiration that waned as the days, weeks passed. I even went for hypnotherapy and life coaching sessions but that only scratched the surface. I think back to one of the sessions when my coach asked me…”Do you love her?”.. I ummed and aahed..I could not answer it wholeheartedly.

That was the splinter.

I now realise I was in a relationship of convenience for the longest time and I was guilty of dragging it on, guilty of my eventual infidelity. This splinter led me to live a hedonistic lifestyle of day to day existence sinking into a rabbit hole of self doubt, denial and lack of self worth. The destination? An unsuccessful attempt to take my own life, a near conviction and ultimately… shame for the person that I was.

My archetypal descent. When you are down at your lowest, all you can do is look up.

It all started with this dream… an extremely vivid one. Teeth crumbling in my mouth, like shards of glass piercing my gums, my tongue... the taste of blood on my palette. I sprung awake. “Oh my god..” I thought to myself, my heart racing.

I swivelled from the bed, placed my feet on the cold winter floorboards, I trudged over to my laptop, opened it and searched for what the dream meant. Was it trying to tell me something?

It was.

After a quick search, I found what the meaning of this dream was. The world as I knew it falling apart. Filled with disgust..these words echoed in my mind “Who have I become? What have I done? Why am I here?”

It was a crisp Melbourne morning. Dew setting on garden shrubs….the dings of the morning trams, harmony in the distance with chirping birds welcoming the morning sun. Almost perfect except for the emptiness I felt in my heart.

I unlocked my bike and took a cycle to Bourke St mall. It was around 730am on a Sunday, barely anyone around I found a bench and sat down. Like sand falling to the sea bed, muddiness frittering away..I had clarity…a weight shifted, I felt somewhat liberated.

It was that moment that I decided to right the wrongs, unravel the knots, begin a new story.

(to be continued)

*I go into more detail my podcast feature on Prana On’s Power Plant Radio with my good friend Billy.


What is the splinter in your life right now? What may seem obvious, superficial to you might not actually be it..‘surface unhappiness’ I call it. Dig deeper.


First thing you can do? Keep asking yourself this question “why is this a problem for me?”

Be relentless, keep drilling down.

For example..

“I am unhappy with my job” ask the question

“because my boss sucks” ask the question

“because I am not paid enough” ask the question

“because I can’t provide for my family” ask the question

“it makes me feel helpless” ask the question

“I’ve never succeeded at anything” ask the question

“I never felt appreciated by mum”

Often when you reach the point where all the layers are peeled…you feel it in your heart.


Ask yourself some of these questions..

  1. How can I heal from this?

  2. What can I do next knowing what I now know?

  3. How can I send love to him, her or the situation?

  4. What do I want more than anything in this world?

  5. Why is that important to me?  

  6. What makes me really happy right now?

  7. What about it makes me happy?

  8. How does that make me feel?


Forgive. Whether it’s yourself, the person or people that have hurt you…even if it’s saying it to yourself in your mind, feeling it in your heart.

Be more of who you are..

By your side,


Luke TanComment