One Day (a time-left exercise)

Sleeping with Butterflies

Sleeps with Butterflies, a pencil sketch, 2010. All rights reserved.

“One day I’m gonna write a book…”

“One day I’m going to create a workshop…”

“One day I’m to send a query…”

I like having friends of all ages, and it’ll amaze me sometimes that people who qualify for senior bus passes are still talking about One Day. If I’m in Tough Love mode, I tell them to do it now, or to set a deadline.

Put it on the calendar. Prioritize life around it. Make a list. Break it down into little steps. Sometimes, I’ve been on the receiving end of the tough love, and I’ve always been grateful for it.

Grateful because I recognise that I am responsible for putting in the effort and making what I want to happen, happen. If my friends involve themselves enough to remind me, I can accept that reminder and do something about it.

Either I recognise that the desire I expressed was just pie-in-the-sky dreaming, or it really means something, and I have to follow up. It’s one of those two things.

Ready for a weird story?


Like this but not like this. First, he was male, and second, he was dressed for the office. I know. Weird.

A door-to-door fortune-teller once came knocking, and, because I was suffering from boredom and cabin fever, I entertained him. In hindsight, everything he said probably had been for extracting more money. But one thing stuck: he said that I’d live to 79, and he delivered the news acting as if I should have been disappointed with that number.

I didn’t know why he expected disappointment. The figure was average for women (in first-world countries). In fact, with my health history, I thought the number was quite satisfactory, even if it wouldn’t reach the crazy nineties that my grandparents lived to. I was also well aware of cancer rates, chronic illnesses and how suddenly life could be taken away. Being given over 40 more years of life (if one believed him) was absolutely fine by me.

Especially now that I’ve lost friends and loved ones—talented friends, creative friends—who never reached 40. And a talented writer whom I knew, just 2 years my senior, succumbed to cancer within the last week.

When I’m reminded of our mortality, the words “one day” no longer fly. I set deadlines, even if they’re years ahead. I write them down, I ask for help during meditations, and slowly, I build. (And I do not assume I’ll live to 79. Though it would be nice.)

The Exercise

From the excellent Psychology of Success, it starts off with a simple diagram that will take 2 seconds to draw. Assuming you’ll live to 80, you shade the boxes to represent the time you have left to do whatever you’ve been pushing to One Day. Sleeping, eating, working and entertainment time get subtracted as well.

Time exercise from Psychology of Success

The above exercise is one I go back to whenever I’ve lost motivation or think I have time to spare. It may be exactly what some of us need. Whether it’s a dream vacation, degree, career or business idea we want to pursue, I think such exercises force us to weigh which wants are Burning Desires, vs Nice Daydreams. (And it’s OK to have daydreams, but it helps to know whether they’re temporary indulgences, vs continual distractions that we’re clinging to to Avoid Failure.)

Not Yet vs One Day

If you’re ambitious (or crazy like me) there may be several big things you want to get to. I don’t let the combined enormity of them keep me from starting. Instead, I line them up like dominoes. I see one step leading to the next, and though I know the going may not be that simple, imagining them as steps at least lets me focus on one thing at a time.

If all goes well, ten years from now, I’ll get to the fifth thing on my list. Having the time frame is different from One Day.

Have you started, or are you still hesitating at the first step?

If you’re still hesitating, when will you start?

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The Festival du Féminin in Singapore

festival du feminin poster

The Festival du Féminin® links women from all over the world together to connect with each other. The Singapore edition is launching soon, taking place on the weekend of 1st & 2nd April 2017 at SCWO (Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations). Created and started in Paris by the Centre Tao, this registered trademark festival is rapidly developing internationally (India, USA, Colombia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong).
I will be conducting a session on Day 1 of the event.

Story Keepers of the Family by Janet Chui

story keeper program excerpt

Excerpt from the Festival program

The Singapore Festival du Féminin program

For more information about the program, the session schedule and facilitator details, you can view the PDF program below. Registration details are also in the PDF (see below), or can be viewed at the FaceBook event page. You can also register by email.


A walkthrough the Self-Love Oracle Cards app

Need some daily inspiration and advice to love yourself? Using the Self-Love Oracle deck just got easier!

In a video, I walk you through the new app version that was created with Indie Goes.

Available on iPhone / iPad and Android / Amazon devices

You can try the free (limited deck) version before paying to unlock the complete app!

The Self-Love Oracle App is here!

self-love oracle app iphone android

Now shinier and more portable 😉

When the oracle deck was begun in late 2015, a mobile app version was something on the “Nice To Have” list, but I had no idea how it was going to happen, only that it was possible. One year later, I found Indie Goes. I was over the moon when the Self-Love Oracle got their acceptance, and I absolutely LOVED our collaborative process! The app is now available across all mobile platforms and can be found on Google Play, the App Store and on Amazon Apps.

Self-Love Oracle Janet Chui portrait

Besides featuring the artwork I’ve created over a decade and a half, the messages of healing, self-acceptance and empowerment on these cards are the culmination of my own (ongoing) transformation process; from a person to hid most of her writing and paintings in her closet as a teenager, to the person today who revels in creative projects and considers it part of her mission to help others get their own stories out.

The original boxed set included the 44-card deck and guidebook. Now the cards and all the expanded guidance from the book can be carried with you on your smart phone or tablet. These cards were designed for inspiration and affirmation, and you can “draw” a card on the app any time you want a hint on how you can heal, help, and love yourself at any moment.


Some screenshots:

Grab the free app, and get free readings on my FaceBook  too.

You can try the free (limited deck) version before paying to unlock the complete app!

And feel free to Like and Follow me on FaceBook for screen caps, general readings with the app, and weekly video readings with the printed boxed set. Plus that’s where I post art videos and works in progress. See you there!

Writing Meditation

The Self-Love Oracle features a “Write” card that carries the painting “The Patron Goddess of Journaling”. This post offers more detailed (yet loose) instructions on how to write as a meditation exercise, with variations to inspire you.

writing meditation

Suggested Aims for Writing

  • Understanding a negative emotion
  • Recording a positive emotion
  • Moving from overwhelm to integration by articulating our hopes and fears
  • Venting at someone/something you can’t communicate with in real life
  • Moving past frustration or a block to find solutions
  • Addressing fears and naming the worst-case scenarios (and best-case scenarios)
  • Naming possible avenues to move forward

More tips and variations

  • Put your aim at the top of the paper, and state it in your first sentence.
  • If there is a target of your frustration, whether it is a person, an event, an object or circumstance, address it directly in your writing. You may be surprised when you start writing its reply and that it’s a positive voice!
  • Write your lines on an inward spiral (from the edges of the paper toward the center, turning your paper as you go).
  • Write on an outward spiral, starting from the center of the paper.
  • Writing on huge paper in free-form directions.

The image above may be saved for your own use. Good luck!