023 - From Catatonically Depressed to Creating Sunshine & Love, Spreading Joy Through Her Handpainted Creations with Chief Painter, Amelia

CONNECT WITH AMELIA

Despite being down and out after a failed health episode in the peak of her life at 31 years old, Chief Painter and a local Crafterprenuer, Amelia is thankful today that she has found healing and solace through her craft business, Sunshine & Love. 

From being a self-taught craft artist to conducting corporate workshops with various institutions such as Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Nan Chiau Primary School, Rainbow Centre; having her first ever art installation “Paper Cut Silhouette Jar Lanterns” with Chinatown Heritage Centre; to seeking out meaningful collaborations with local crafters and businesses to build up the craft community in Singapore, she hopes to journey on and bring about good vibes through her art/work.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Amelia’s slide into catatonic depression - and what does that even mean?
  • What it was like during those lowest times in her life
  • Amelia’s road to recovery
  • How she sees money and financial freedom from a different perspective
  • What business means to her
  • How she keeps herself going
  • And so much more!

I’m really grateful for Amelia’s honesty, friendship and generosity. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

RESOURCES

  • Visit Amelia at her website (http://www.sunshinenlove.com)
  • Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/sunshinenlove) or
  • Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/sunshinenlove_sg) pages. 

Transcript

Sharon: (00:04)
Hi and welcome to The Financially Free Woman Podcast! I’m Sharon and I’m the creator of this non-financial, financial podcast about money and how money affects the work we do, the relationships we have and our ideas about freedom. Most people don’t realize that the path to financial freedom doesn’t begin with gaining more knowledge or making more money. In this podcast, you’ll learn how to embrace and accept yourself as a fully whole, albeit imperfect person so that you can become the highest and best version of yourself. And this, my friend, is the key ingredient missing from typical lessons about money and personal finance. In this podcast, you’ll learn about your own psychology and relationship with money, how money is more than just the dollars and cents, and practical actions that are grounded so you can transform your dreams into reality. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Let’s get started!

Sharon: (01:08)
After going through a rough patch in life. Chief painter Amelia knew that in order to get better, she had to relook into ways to make her life count for the better and doing things intentionally to stay positive. It was during a trip to Perth and spring time that she was inspired by the seasons awakening from winter, where flowers bloom, and new life begins that sunshine and love was born. Combining a love for art crafts and collecting odds and ends. She started creating art on everyday objects in the hope of sharing her passion and bringing cheer to her customers and clients. When they see happy designs on glassware, puzzling plates and whatever she can paint on just like sunshine and love. Amelia also hopes of bespoke gifts and craft workshops will bring warmth and smiles as family and friends share the good fights around. I first met Amelia when my husband and I were running the cafe.

Sharon: (02:05)
We had Amelia do a pop-up at our cafe, and that's when I first heard about Amelia's exceptional story, battling catatonic depression to how she's now monetizing her passion through sunshine and love. I'll let Amelia share more about her story. So let's get right into today's episode. Hi, Amelia. So nice to see you again, and thank you so much for taking the time out to be, to be on the podcast and share with our listeners a little bit more about your story. So for our listeners who may not know Amelia, just a quick intro, how we met up. So I first met Amelia back in the day. Like, I don't know, was it a few years ago? I think right where my husband and I were running the cafe, and then we had the Amelia come in to share the craft that she was doing at the time was I think it was glass or painting on glass and I'll let, I'll let you share a little more about what you're doing, but that was when we were still running in a cafe. So it's been a few years. So I'm really looking forward to this catch-up is we keep in touch on WhatsApp and online, but haven't really spoken at least face to face, even though it's virtually yeah. So I'll let Amelia give her intro what she's doing, but yeah. So maybe it'll be a good, good time for you to give your introduction. Basically tell our listeners what exactly do you do right now for, in terms of a living and then how did you end up doing what you do?

Amelia: (03:30)
Hi, Sharon, thanks for having me. So yeah, I, I guess I call myself in an art craft business that I do called sunshine and love. So actually handpaint art on glassware and we slowly grew into porcelainware and all sorts of different, a glass of wine glass. And, uh, we also host a workshop. We also conduct workshop. So I like to think that most people actually choose that job, but in my case, I think sunshine and love chose me, so, yeah. Oh, this is graduating from school. I think I've been working and charting my own path through the tourism and education sector. I loved it. Never regret it, but I think it was in 2012, well, when I went to a pretty rough patch and I think that said my health. So do I continue? Yeah,

Sharon: (04:22)
Please do tell us only as of course, as much as it's comfortable, I know we've spoken offline before and you have told me a little bit more about exactly what happened back then, that then let you to doing sunshine and love. And of course, whatever you feel is comfortable for you to share, because I know it's a health-related thing. So if you're not comfortable with all the details, that's totally fine. Or whatever's comfortable in terms of how you made that switch from doing something like tourism, which is so different. Well, maybe, I don't know if it's so different, but yeah, that's for you to decide, but something like tourism, right. And if I remember like marketing and tourism or something like that, and then into something that is quite artistic, quite creative, and from what I've seen right now, you also do workshops and classes for kids. I mean, it's a little bit different. So that is the portion that I found was really, really quite captivating in your story, which of course by all means, feel free to share that if you want to.

Amelia: (05:25)
Okay. So yeah, so it took me a while to be okay with the sharing, but yeah, I think I'm in a better stage now to share. So what happened was I was diagnosed with catatonic depression. So it took a toll on everything around me. So during the worst of it, I think I was in a state where I couldn't move my limbs I think go about six months, I couldn't groom myself and I was very unaware of my surroundings and it made things quite hard for my husband and my family to cope with that. So what the doctor described this medical condition was the brain taking a long vacation. So it was quite scary because no one knew when the connections in my brain would would come back. So then from 2012, when it happened to 2015 before Sunshinenlove started and days were better, right.

Amelia: (06:13)
it was 3 years of then trying out different medications what will work. Yeah. Lots of therapy. And I think the breakthrough finally came when I went to Perth for a holiday in 2015 to escape from a very bad Singapore haze back then. I don't know if you guys remember, but yeah. So, and then I think being that then in Perth it was springtime, but I think when I saw the beauty of this season, I think it, it melted the winter in my heart. And then I think what stuck in my head upon coming home was sunshine and love. So yeah. So I think that's how Sunshine and Love started.

Sharon: (06:45)
Mm. Yeah. So that is kind of like the amazing, I mean, it must have been really, really tough at the time now looking back, of course it's always different, right. When we look back in retrospect and what we gained from it, what we learned from it. But at that time, I'm just curious to know, because it was 2012 to 2015. So during that time was, I guess the worst of it was like in 2012 or 2013, and then you were on a path to recovery, right? Yeah. So how did you like, and did you, I don't know, get to the point where you could actually travel because you were talking about how you weren't really mobile right. At the worst of it. And then to a point where you could travel, was it like a whole lot of rehab or how did that happen?

Amelia: (07:32)
So I think the immobility power back to them, I did that grew myself and it was about six months, I think the doctor. I mean, thanks for doctors the help. I think the medicine helps to be a bit more connected so I could walk, but it was a bit awkward actually. I don't remember much because my brain connections were affected. So I would say only the recent last year. I think I'm and my, and my feet connection. And I actually can, I mean, it sounds a bit that it's almost like seeing your own life, like, you know, in a movie you just flash past it's in your head, like in the memories, if it's, if I could describe it that we, so I remember the first six months that was the toughest, that was a bit off. Um, I mean I do the right semester to use vegetable state, but it was like, really I was sitting a lot on chairs.

Amelia: (08:22)
And just giving you might wondering why people were crying. I remember some friends and family members, uh, like I'll keep so that your voice. So once I'm in a movie and then voices and people like that in front of me, I couldn't connect. Why were they like crying and stuff like that? So that was the part where I couldn't move. And I think they still, with the medicine, I started getting a bit more connection. The brain started connecting a little bit more than I think that's when I was able to remember, but then my neighbor then invited me for Zumba. So, I think Zumba was the anything right, I mean, she said, Hey, come on, let's go for class right now. I can listen to the music. And then I noticed moving my limbs and I actually teared, but I didn't know why. I think I, I, it amazed me that I could move. And the void I was feeling the state I was in. The worst of it in 2012, 2013 it was really quite dark. I actually can't remember much except the people crying in front of me.

Sharon: (09:29)
Yeah, just as are, as I'm hearing you describe it, I'm trying to imagine. Of course I can't. I, I'm just trying my best to try to visualize, like you say that you were in a movie, so it was as if you were outside and you watching yourself The state of yourself at that time. And so you will kind actually a way that you will in that state and you were looking as a third person on yourself, Something like that. Right? Oh my gosh. Just like, uh, I'm trying to wrap my head around that whole concept. Yeah. And so my question is it took some time then for you to come back and then. You went for the Zumba. So you were aware of more things that were going on around you.

Amelia: (10:16)
Semi, aware of. Yeah, I was, but I think if I could put it, I think like the brain, like maybe like a hundred percent capacity, right? So maybe it's like, 50% I'm watching that movie of myself. Maybe another 20% is I think the memory is fine to connect back to the, and another 20% trying my best to connect with people. But I think I wasn't talking much. So I remember I was thinking a lot in my head and maybe the last 10%, the hours really just did the doctor.

Sharon: (10:47)
I mean, I was the cause of this. Do they know? Like what happen that? Because it sounds like you were calm, completely normal. Right? You were like totally fine. Working in your job in tourism, I guess, is what you're saying. And then it just like, was it like an overnight thing or was that a gradual deterioration or what and what causes something like that?

Amelia: (11:07)
Hmm. I think at least from what I understand is that, so I think I was really a bit depressed about what's going on my own personal front and, uh, I think there were days I felt down, but I think the trigger was probably when I probably stressed, so I think it was a new job that I had at the time. And then I think I was being extremely stressed and I wanted to do my best. And I think maybe what I should really take taken off, maybe just to go for holiday and just feel, and maybe think about why I should do but instead I threw myself at work and it was a new job. So new responsibility that I think the, yeah, so actually what happened was that literally I went to work and then all seemingly normal and then a colleague at work saw me walking. And I think that's how she was like, he was trying to talk to me and I realized, I made a comment.

Amelia: (12:00)
I was a bit lost. I think that was when I think my brain probably started moving away from reality, but if I put it away and that catatonic depression where there's when the doctor described it in layman's terms, literally the brain went away for a vacation. So yeah, I wasn't able to make connections with reality and I think whenever people talked to me, I couldn't recognize where I was going, what I was doing, and then I think he called my husband and, um, yeah. And we went to see a doctor and I think that went that's when things just went downhill. Yeah. And I believe they're now going to uphill, but yeah.

Sharon: (12:40)
So you said that, okay. I mean, of course there was certain already some stresses in your life and then, um, the job, so, and I guess now sunshine and love has become almost like a therapy for you in a way. I don't know, please, correct me if I'm wrong in clarify, I'm just trying to ask, like, what is the, what is the difference between when you were doing that and your stress and a new job going some through some of your own personal issues versus like where you are now, what's different? What feels different or what's, how's it different?

Amelia: (13:11)
So I think, um, yeah, I think what happened, I mean, okay. So just to backtrack a little bit, I remember my first glass got sold, right? Wasn't a girlfriend, was it? And then when she found out, then I came back while I was three and she kind of like what I'm doing, and she find me all that like seven rainbow jars for me, for the kids. So I think, yeah, the belief that the lack of faith in my outlook then from her, even though he's in help, uh, this belief that I didn't know, because I think during the period when I was feeling sick, right. I was going to a lot of emotion, I think internally. So I think it probably stemmed from many areas. I don't think the very straightforward, like, Oh, there's this particular problem or particular stress, I think everything just showed up and maybe it was the way I grew up not knowing how to express my thoughts in the era.

Amelia: (14:08)
I mean, then we grew up in the eighties. I mean, it's a lot about like, listen, and then, uh, do it, we're not allowed to express ourselves too much, not like now where there's a lot of other areas that avenues for expression, but as it to a block or two, I think those days, those days it was very simple, like drawing, or either you pay some new or, you know, keep your friends over the phone. I think maybe you and I thought that well, and we're getting married and their family commitments. And then I think maybe all these things are missed out and I just, you know, and then, and then just try to live. Right. So, yeah. So when, when Sanchez passed that I think, and the belief that, and also the joy, I mean, even though I was so inexperienced that we bought, I think the, the joy, just seeing other people happy from something that I could create from my hand. Yeah. Gave me hope to start believing, of course the early years. the early years were love myself out.

Amelia: (15:03)
Are you out of, you'll be embarrassed, are you sure? But I was guess that's where the fun begins because people started coming around to order gifts. They will also request that my first workshop was the kids' book shop, where a group of parents, uh, had a barbecue party at the condo and then they needed some, like they wanted the kids to be engaged me for a workshop. So, yeah. So, and then I guess they request to like corporate workshops over the years and that we even had the opportunity to do an art installation at a town. And, um, and even like, you know, collaborations like this meet like no random. I just met this Baba at my, my neighborhood has a cool Baba at the building next week. And yeah. So we just check that question, especially, and I just went in to say, hi, I really liked the music that you play and we checked it. And then we say, Hey, whether you do this, let's do this. So that's why I think over the years, it's not just the, uh, I mean, it started as a kind of therapy, I realized that the power of keep going, keep creating, and I don't know, maybe also the joy seeing, the joy of how the creation where it goes and, uh, lots of encouragement from all my clients, my customers, and even the participants. I the came more more real. That I actually don't draw the line between therapy and the joy anymore. It's this whole mishmash of, yeah. I would define it sunshine & love. Yeah.

Sharon: (16:49)
Yeah. I have so many questions. As I'm hearing you talk about so many things, I want to like go a little bit deeper and like probably a little bit more to find out a bit more and okay, let me organize myself and see what I'm going to ask us. So this is part of the thing, and I can relate with what you're seeing. I mean, of course you also was probably a really more extreme situation that you were in this kind of catatonic depressive state. But I remember also like, I mean, mine is really of no comparison, but I'm just saying that I got to a point where even though I grew my corporate career and I climbed, and like you said, we just do what we're told, what we are told to be the sensible responsible thing to do in order to be, to take care of yourself, to be financially responsible, to be a good contributing person. Right. And without really thinking, I just kept going for the more money, bigger title. And then I got to a point I remember in my forties already.

Sharon: (17:43)
And I just, one day I distinctly remember walking up the steps to office, to this job that I have finally hit my salary goal. I got the job, or so I thought this is like, okay, this is like the end point of where I want to be in terms of my career. And suddenly I was hit with this, this thought, this words that just came in my head, are you seriously going to be doing this for the rest of your life? And is this all there is to it? So this feeling of there's something more, there's something that I'm supposed to be doing here. I'm not fully expressing my, I know it sounds very cheesy, but not fully expressing my purpose because you always think, I mean, you hear like, Oh, you know, if you're doing the thing you're meant to be doing, then it doesn't feel like work and you have this fulfillment and this joy, everything that you're talking about and it was from then, I mean, I didn't really pay attention to it.

Sharon: (18:33)
I'm like, yeah, sure. I've got bills to pay. I've got a family to support. So I just pushed that aside and just continue. And then one fine day, I was kind of like, let go. I mean, I talk about this a lot on my podcast, but they basically said, well, I just had to pack. And so I was pretty much let go from this. What I thought was a dream job, dream career and everything. And I think it was just kind of like my own subconscious we have sabotaging, or I already knew it was not the right thing for me. And so it got to a point where I, I had to leave. I felt like I was in a very untenable position in that job. And then I had to leave. And that was really the beginning of like everything I'm doing now on the podcast.

Sharon: (19:11)
Right. And with the, yeah, I start off with a blog, what you said, like in terms of expressing myself and writing. So for me, it was writing. And then recently it's talking on a podcast. I really, really enjoy doing this, talking to different people and hearing their stories. And so I can really relate with what you are saying about sunshine and love. And then over time it evolved into this thing that you just do. And this is the thing, right? We, okay. I, I speak for myself. I thought that going for the job, going for the promotion, going for the money, going for all the responsible things and earning mine, all that I can take care of myself. I can take care of my family, which is all important. Don't get me wrong. It is all important. But, but after that, right, it's like a bit empty.

Sharon: (19:55)
And it is recently, I've been doing a lot more training and I coach people. And when I can see that I can bring joy in other people, it really feels so darn good, right? Like what you're seeing, you can see the joy in other people and you really feel so good and you feel that you can help people and you feel like this is what you're meant to do. And there's a much bigger thing you're here to achieve in our own small little ways. And so it's really, I like what you said. And that's also part of reason why I like to talk to people like you, who are really day by day, you are doing the thing that brings you joy and you are making it work. And which brings me to my second point. And it was kind of like a long thing, but which brings me to my second question, which was about, you know, you talk about how it first started off with those rainbow Johns that your friend or the, and then your very first workshop was with the kids.

Sharon: (20:52)
How did you for anyone like and, and I like to learn this from you as well, trying to make money doing something that they believe in, or they love, you know, going from zero to then slowly, of course, I know it takes time to grow, but what was that like for you in terms of growing into what it is today? Which I mean, from what you're seeing, like art installations and all that. Oh my goodness. It sounds really exciting. What advice would you give to someone who maybe is at a beginning point of trying to do something with something that they really love or the few is what they're meant to do?

Amelia: (21:28)
Yeah. I'm not sure that I'm the role model. Right.

Sharon: (21:32)
Okay. Yeah. I just want to hear your version. Everyone has a different version of it. So it's this always nice to hear everyone's different version.

Amelia: (21:41)
So okay, so for me by, I'm self-taught, so what I found was that, because I didn't go for classes, I didn't go for official courses. And I think that it means it gave me freedom and also not much pressure to make it work because I think the very Singaporean mindset and it's usually if I go for a course, if I go for a degree or masters or whatever the education I need to make it work because a lot has been invested in it. So I think the self taught process, while it took longer to experiment with different materials, research, trial and errors to find out what worked and what didn't and what you've done, I learned to be very thick-skinned to source for suppliers. I think that beginning step one with no goal in mind, helped me journey on, in what I thought was something that I was very excited about so I don't think in the beginning, I actually had a goal.

Amelia: (22:44)
I don't have, I just thought everybody, if I make it to the next year, it'd be great, if it's a current it's just every month I have something meaningful to do with that big of a school. And it's this opportunity in a project, I will, I'll do my best and work on it. And so far, this has been since they need to now. So, but I think what I would like to learn, I'm still learning and trying to figure out is, um, learning to price the craft. So I think it's a very sensitive thing to keep assessing. Like how do I pick up myself? How do you put a value to a journey? How do you fix that amount of work in progress? So constant struggles I have on the con side of this leaving it so vague without having a real goal or a real plan that people pulling your hand. So yeah. I keep telling myself quite a lot daily, even the earlier years, you know, like even though I don't own a stable income, like a corporate job, I look at the qualitative satisfaction. Fulfillment that I gained.

Amelia: (23:51)
Behind every handpainted piece of work, every craft that we design and we conduct. That I think thankfully, I mean, that definitely ups and down days, but I think it drives me and keeps me going all this five-years past that Sunshine has been going. And I think it also helped. Yeah. So the extremely understanding partner like the husband, I think probably being this pain, I just knew. Right. So his response to me always is that, uh, maybe one day you might read that, especially on days when my finance worrying hype, you know, and then to, uh, show me with this winning statement. No, why whatever I have, I'll share with you. So that, where we just continue to do what you do. So is it like that for the past year? And I think recently, I think because my own health and has improved get, uh, sharper with my, my logical head thought, I actually, somebody said, I forget, and I do get interested, upset with myself or why I'm not being more productive financially because it's the one who went off.

Amelia: (25:01)
But now, I mean, I do have friends, I call them the workshop. So they helped me out when we have corporate workshops. Uh, we have, uh, uh, about gifts that we have. And yeah, I, I, I'm thankful for this and, and a reminder on base or this, or we get about to learn what sharing. So this, that, that has by with me with, I mean, I don't have a lot now, but life, I really nothing too, a little bit of something now, what sharing and yeah, I don't know if I answered your question about what advice to give, but yeah, this is the site I'll be across the shift.

Sharon: (25:44)
Actually, what you said is something that I hear repeatedly, which, I mean, for someone like you, me, I have always wanted to be my own boss. I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur from, from even when I was in just coming out of school. It was something I wanted to do, but my motivation was purely to make money. And I realized the reason why everything fell around, I got bought in the process was precisely what you're seeing, which is that I was just focused on the end goal, which sadly, sometimes I do see that our, I don't know if it's just our education system, but I sometimes I do see in my kids, like they are just being trained to get the grade. Okay. So that's why I always emphasize the process, not so much degree, which is what Carol Dweck, this whole growth mindset thing.

Sharon: (26:30)
Right. A big movement now, which is all about the reward is in the process. Right. And it's exactly like what you're saying. Like, you talked about how you, when you started out and even sometimes now you're, you're really mopping attention to the day by day, the process of it. And that in itself is a reward, which is really interesting yesterday. I was just learning about this, about how our brain, because I'm quite a nerd when it comes to, I want to know why, how does it work physiologically in my body? And it's, it's really very fascinating, right? So we've heard about this dopamine, right? And serotonin. So dopamine is the thing that makes us feel really good when we've achieved something is the reward chemical in our body. And so this guy, I'll put it in the show notes as well. For those of you who are interested in the science behind it.

Sharon: (27:13)
Dr. Andrew Huberman, he's actually a neuroscientist. And he is also an ophthalmologist. He's a, he's a professor at Stanford medical school. So very credible. And so he is also emphasizing this about how we want to train our brain, to get the dopamine hit in the process and not just the end goal when you get the trophy. And what some people actually do really interesting is when they actually get the trophy, whether it is getting that big business deal or IP or recognition, they actually deliberately give it away so that they can train themselves to actually enjoy the process and not so much of the reward. And a lot of people don't like to do that. Imagine like you just got a $10 million deal and you give that away because in order for you to have arrived at that $10 million deal, it was actually the process along the week that got you there.

Sharon: (28:01)
And if we can train ourselves to actually be rewarded and feel good in the process, we actually will continue to succeed because you will continue to do, let you say, keep going, keep going, keep going and do the thing. Because doing the thing itself is rewarding rather than just of course, yes. You want to know, like, what's the goal roughly, right. But you don't want to be so fixated on the goal. You forget the process. And you're just looking at the goal because that is exactly what happened with me. I think, I think now, as I'm learning more and hearing you guys talk about it is I got to that salary. I got to that job title. I've got everything that, that goal that I want to add didn't mean anything when I got it. I mean, okay, Dick for maybe a month, I felt quite good.

Sharon: (28:42)
But then after that, it's like, is this it? Or what's next? You know, it was like, okay, it wasn't . And then there's always more, more, more, more, more, right. And then you just keep chasing something. And I also learned this from Karen McCall. She's also one of the earlier guests I had, she says, you can never get enough of what you don't need. Is this idea that you keep chasing for more when you get it. It's like, okay, done next. Okay, done next. Okay. Done next. But when you actually, number one are aware of what's your true need. What really brings you joy, fulfillment, happiness, satisfaction, and all of that. Actually, when you can meet that, you actually don't need to keep running for more, more and more of what you don't need. Right. So, yeah. So I think that is really good advice. And it's also, certainly, I think we don't, it's kind of like, I don't know about you immediately, but I know growing up is I get these influencers.

Sharon: (29:33)
Like you cannot make money. You're not a highly of a stabbing at this. You can't make money doing things that you love and your passion and what you enjoy doing. Come on, you got to be practical. You've got bills to pay. So I have been programmed with that kind of belief for so long that I'm trying to unprogrammed that. Not like you talk about beliefs a lot. I love it. When I hear you talk about that, because, and that is precisely the reason why I love talking to you and to all these women who are kind of like breaking that belief, they're really breaking that believer. How is I want to keep proving to people again and again, there are people who are doing what they love, and yes, there is the beginner speech where they are beginning. They're making it work. They're making some money.

Sharon: (30:15)
And some of us, like for me, I still need my corporate job on the side. And you miss the need some bridging thing, but don't give up on that. So I liked that you, you talked about slowly trial and error, making the mistakes, learning it with like your self-taught approach, maybe gives you less pressure on yourself as well. So I think those are all really good advice that to pay attention to the process, to enjoy the process as you're building, and it's really step by step. Sometimes it's you take a few steps forward and you take a step back. That is all part and parcel of building it. And, and don't give up so soon because sometimes people just think that it's not working or not making money and therefore it doesn't work, but there's always ways and means right. To make it work. So, yes. So definitely as that's that's interesting. Okay. I had another question. So you talked about like doing this and you are still excited to do it. What exactly about it that excites you to keep going? Because let's keep going part. I think sometimes there are definitely days where you wonder is it all it? I mean, I don't know. I do. I wonder sometimes I don't know. What's the thing that keeps you excited and keeps you going doing this.

Amelia: (31:25)
Yeah, definitely. So, yeah, I think before I answer that yet, uh, yeah, I do ask that, especially at the beginning of the year, I asked her some questions, how long am I going to do this? And I still get bleed with joy. And then we got really, this I'm really upset and we need to start rate, and then I'll be like, wow, how come all this process like has all this blood we seem to be doing so well and all that stuff and that one book, or can I be sunshine? And I get lost on belts. And we thought, and especially the beginning of this year where I was quiet, because I realized, then I forgot, I forgot where I was. And I think I stopped or comparing myself with what everybody talks about on a business. What is a successful business that you don't maybe for example, having a, a shopfront of profit that, you know, that, you know, you can feed the productivity to run mobile, for example.

Amelia: (32:21)
So, yeah, I would love that, but it's a very legit business and I, I think I, I really forgot. Uh, and, and, and I'm not sure if it's something that's the right good this page now, Sunshine now. And I go with my gut feel and you a lot. So, um, like for me being is one thing, keep things simple and not complicate methods to keep going, we still, I get easily bought. So I try to meet you both. And I think one of the things that I thought backward to connect, maybe not, because I'm trying to find that that's not who I am, what will my past is and what are my current interests and what I'm doing now. And I think I want to keep things that, for example, in the ABL, like post COVID really affected corporate workshop. And I think that was my defense model.

Amelia: (33:09)
And I felt that if I can't have a space to run a workshop, why not start with what I have and just my home studio and yeah. Instead of looking everywhere else. So I think I was doing this, looking at where the grass is greener, rather than looking at my own grass with what I have and what I can do that distracted me from keeping going in the beginning of the year. So I think I'm a bit more, a bit better on track with my own grass. So I think this year will be follow up what I want. I'm going to launch my craft with love at my home studio. Yeah. And, uh, and because, uh, I think it was inspired because one of the things I remember when I was looking at this reason and that I think I really loved about it was, and it still kind of stuck with me or this year for the joy of inviting someone to your space and hosting them with hospitality, for hello heart and dreams.

Amelia: (34:02)
And experientials for off, and ending up with a good handshake. Maybe not now, it's Covid. So, yeah, I really want, uh, I'm excited and I really want my put on my workshops for my participants to be able to enjoy this me when they come visit our homes to do. And we'll workshop. I go this book by doing like a retreat, a short getaway to refresh yourself with some sunshine though. Yeah. So, and remembering that, that sunshine love, it's not just that, but I, I hope it will be a more and more successful business, but I want to shift my perspective. Uh, they leave hopefully, maybe to remember it's also a creative platform where I can help others to smile through my handpainted gifts that is bringing people together to pause, to reflect, to create something that we can be proud of. So I think this, yeah, this keeping going out when I'm free to be who I am without pleasure. Right. I think it helps me yeah. To keep moving.

Sharon: (35:03)
I don't know. What I say is really being confident to stay true to yourself, despite what people are saying, because there's so many different ways to do it. And w which I also learned along the way, this whole idea of what does an entrepreneur mean? What does a real legit, like you said, a legit business, what should it look like? And actually it can look like whatever you want it to be. I think that's the fantastic thing about when we do our own thing. Yeah, sure. We can learn from other people who are successful and we can take bits and pieces of what we like and what we can experiment with what we're doing. And then we can create our very own model. And there is, as I Hear you say this, I feel like that's a very, very interesting perspective.

Sharon: (35:45)
Where you have it, like a home studio. You invite people into your space. It's kept small and intimate and very personal. So it's not like it's very different from like a corporate run thing. It's, it's a different field, right? It's a different like energy and vibe to it. And that may just well be what you're like known for, because sunshine and low, when I, you know, when I talk to you, when I meet you and I see the things, your craft, it's very, what's the word I'm looking for. It's actually like, you feel very comfortable. It's like very, you feel like your home is like that kind of feeling like it's familiar in is something that you feel very comfortable with. It's not, it's not pretty, it's not pretentious. It's very down to earth. It's very sincere. It's very real, those sorts of things come to my mind when I think about sunshine and love so that we just be like your very special niche, you know?

Sharon: (36:34)
Like they call it. So I like that. You, you see that, that of course. And also the self doubt thing, the angry thoughts thing. I mean, I'm glad you shared that because I guess we all kind of go through it as well. I mean, you know, the thing is I'm I talked about the whole thing that I'm talking about, what I'm all about is about helping people overcome their financial anxieties. And that's because something I deal with as well, but that's not to say that we are not also there sometimes. I mean, there are still days where I just really have to make an effort and work at it because I'm just naturally, I mean, I've done a lot of work on it, but I used to be very naturally the moment I see a bill, I panic, we don't mom. I have to pay something. I panic the moment I, this whole sense, like, I'm lacking, like you said, like sometimes you stress about it, but also balancing it off. Like what you see with appreciating and starting from where you are, what you already have looking at, what you already have around you, all the things that you already have around you and being grateful for that. That's a really, I think, yeah, I think that's really the police. We have to constantly remind ourselves to come back to because it's so easy to compare, right? Like you say, it's easy to compare.

Sharon: (37:39)
With the other KIBO who are seemingly doing well. But the interesting thing is, as I taught them, one more people, everyone has something going on just because we don't see, it doesn't mean it's not happening. You're not even apparently very successful on the surface looking people. They also deal with it. They deal with self doubt. They deal with the angry thoughts. They deal about the, do you have all of these uncertainties and all of this as well. So it's, it's just a day-by-day practice. So I like that. And you also say something about the gut feel, there's something I'm trying to learn. I don't know if it comes naturally to you, because you said that you tend to have a gut view or you listen to, is that your body or intuition, but there's something also I'm trying to learn to do. Sometimes I guess we overemphasize the rational logical side, which is an, especially when it comes to money and finance, that's a completely different thing, which is why I like to talk about how money is really not just the dollars and cents.

Sharon: (38:30)
And I want to come a little bit to the next question, which is the idea of financial, like to get your take on it. But before that, yeah. So I've learned to try to train myself and train other people, even with money. What does it feel like? What kind of feelings does it bring up? Because it's not really, it's not just the logical dollars and cents one plus one equals two is not always the keys. We know that when it comes to money, it represents so many things to different people. Right? You touch a bit about it early on. When you talk about how sometimes you think about, okay, the financial side and the income and you have a very supportive husband. So that's great. What do you think in your own definition is the concept of financial freedom? What does it mean to you and to you actually? I mean, has it got any linkages do, like you say about how your, you got you, you go with for instincts. I don't know. What do you think?

Amelia: (39:20)
Yeah. My own personal day to day. I do it separately, I do mean a link to sunshine.

Sharon: (39:29)
What I mean is like how much of your gut view plays a part in the day, day stuff that you do for sunshine and love, and also when it relates to finances or the sense of financial freedom. And of course you have to define what it means for you, because I've learned that financial freedom means different things to different people, but yeah, I'm trying to understand, because you talk about how you listen a lot to your gut. How do you use that? Like in running sunshine and love and in financial matters?

Amelia: (39:59)
So, okay. Uh, I think I, I thrive on ideas. I thrive on connecting these ideas together, so, so I don't know, so I think for me being financially free is to be able to keep things simple and to do what I can do without feeling burdened. So I think, uh, like what I shared earlier a little bit about like the legit, business dream, I think for the longest time, I keep now only, only the cloud to being away only the last couple of weeks when, when I sat at my office, the Sunshine and Love and the first workshop that I have. And I think that helped me shift my paradigm, my perspective on financially feedback. So I don't think so. Okay. So why do we want the money? That one? Alright, so I, I tried to walk back, so this one bigger house I'm going to just buy investment for all holidays, etcetera. As I said, I think through the process of serious life, a bit simpler. I love shopping. I really do. I love by accessories. I always joke with my friends, but I think it goes back to buying and support.

Amelia: (41:32)
Uh that's so cute, uh that's so nice. Then, you know, I'll be buying and either global workshops and, you know, just for fun, it's nice to disappoint the community that I move at all and Nomi and seeing everybody needs a different perspective. So that gets me going. And I think for me, that's being free financially because, uh, I don't think I let, I need that if we want to talk about my need that people need. I think that really a lot, a lot. I mean, it's a wide spectrum and I think this topic can be discussed nonstop because we really a wide spectrum of what is the need? What is the want and why do we need the money for? So I would say I'm really lucky enough to be able to make it through my bad health to be able to where I am today, to move, to even paint, that's a miracle.

Amelia: (42:18)
And I, I treasure that. And I think that putting that into perspective and now learning to make friends with my friends that were, that was so weird for me and new friends that meet and also learning to just talk through this discussion of process of the business and running it, I think in, in itself, uh, the, the qualitative, the joy or freedom is enough for me as a finance to keep me for weeks because we earn a salary everyday rights. And then first, yes, we buy our basic needs. And buy whatever you eat to survive. But yeah, I see that this, whatever that the process of Sunshine and Love is and maybe a meaningful phone call, you know, uh, a great chat to you right now that I'm having to helping me and thank you too. About having me here is like a fun to be a bit more so, you know, uh, not everybody needs to be a Caspian big Bombay can just be a simple settler. I really have a roof over my head. Uh, even though it's not a huge piece, but it's a rule we all have t-shirts or the way I think in itself that we financially for me, like, I don't know if it's, I'm sorry.

Sharon: (43:34)
Completely. I've heard this word come up quite a few times already. This, you said to do what I love to do without feeling burdened. Wow. I think that encapsulates it all really like a lot of people feel like obligated that they have to go to a job because they've got family to feed and I'm not, I'm not downplaying it. Reality is yes, we all need to eat. We all need to, for some of us who are parents, we need to provide for our kids and our family. Those are real, real physical and safety needs that have to be taken care of. We do whatever we need to do in order to care of that. So I'm not disregarding that or dismissing it or belittling it at all whatsoever beyond that Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Right. But it's kind of like beyond that, it's, it's really the beyond that, that I'm talking about that I think for, I mean, we're really so fortunate here in, in Singapore, generally, of course I'm generalizing, but generally we are not in like a war zone.

Sharon: (44:32)
Even if you talk about COVID, we're probably one of the safest places to be in very good public health care, very relatively, a lot more transparent government in terms of like taking care of the citizens, free vaccinations for us and all of that. I mean, we are in a very privileged position already. So I like that you see that. And that sometimes it's really the state to me, it's like financial freedom is really the state of mind and feeling. And because the mind creates a feeling that so many of us and I was there a few trapped few trapped by the financial pressure. Sometimes they actually, if only we could do more, what you say, like have a different perspective that actually it does not have to be like that you can pay attention to the small things and actually find freedom in the choice to pay attention to those small things and appreciate those small things, that choice, that deliberate choice that we make. So I really like what you said, I'm going to have to put that as a quarter already

Sharon: (45:31)
Do what I love without feeling burden. I liked that so much. And like you said, even things like supporting the community, that you're part or that's how I see money. Now, I've learned to expand my perspective a bit. That money is not just about buying the things we want. Yes. That's important if it's a need for us and your needs, not the same as my need. My need is all about books. I spend a lot money on books and I love to read and, and all of that. And you spend on your accessories and that's fine, but like the things that we do with the money that we make from our hands or the things we create goes back, it's like, it's like a circle and it's like a cycle like ecosystem, right? I mean, it's actually that kind of energy that we take something we created. And then we give back to the things that we love and we support.

Sharon: (46:15)
And it can be such a beautiful thing. I mean, maybe I'm a little bit dramatic here, but to me it is such a beautiful thing compared to, we feel the pressure of having to make that money in order to pay that bill, that that is like so angsty and so negative and so tight. You know, the feeling compared to I make something, doing something I love and it's enough for me to take care of my needs. And then I can support causes. I believe in, you know, that kind of feeling it's completely different feelings. So that is the, my model of financial freedom that I try to live by every day. I try to let go of the old one where it's very angsty and tight and heavy and stress and pressure, and then go for that light, easy feeling, doing what I love and enjoy.

Sharon: (46:58)
And like you say, saying, don't like talking about it right now. It's, it's such a, such an enjoyable chat right now. So thank you for sharing that really nice perspective on your idea of financial freedom. And can you tell us a little bit more about this craft with love workshop that you just thought? I mean, as of the time of recording where we're like in February, so this episode is probably going to go in April or something. So is this, this is the thing that you're kind of really simplifying pay attention to in terms of also adapting to the whole COVID situation. Is that, is it yet, we should tell us more a bit about this craft with love workshops that you're starting to do now.

Amelia: (47:33)
Right? Yeah. So yeah, of course it can be about our corporate workshops, the usual and, um, a lot has a lot of books and he tried boom and all button I'll try, but this year I'm going to start with the face-to-face workshop, small V1. And is it sales? I don't know, because I maybe feel the connection where your hand with coming together with both and this not just sticking to brush and just learning simple technique that this thing, the color comes alive with, it goes on the glass is something that I treasure very much. And I really want to share that with people on site. Yeah. But, um, yeah, so that's what, so for this process, now we have to do with this on what we started.

Amelia: (48:26)
So I think I love my food, right. So, um, I thought why not to combine food? And, um, the last time he did this was at both, I think, uh, we actually, the high milk I see in a Mason jar, Some things that they suggest. And then once I hit, uh, there was something that I didn't expect. And so it could be, I think I said friends and people asking, when are you going to have this kid and stuff like that. So I thought the, I shouldn't wait last. So we, we actually collaborating with, uh, uh, and then, so what we're going to do is that STEM houses. After they finished their whole process, uh, we'll fire it, the oven, and then we're going to have, yeah. From the humping, the cup that the participants. So yeah, in a home studio, but it's one of the full grant. Yeah. I don't want it, uh, uh, Edison, one banana silhouette, so that kids buy it because of my love, Alison wonder that maybe the parents that I didn't know. So we had that fall for her Buffy and, uh, I realized that it was very much bill and it was nice to just see all that, to remind you of the directors that we grew up with. And yeah, so we were have a little workshop for it, had to do this workshop.

Sharon: (49:53)
That's so cool. And we'll provide the link. So people who are interested who want to sign up is this open to anyone who's interested to sign up.

Amelia: (50:02)
So actually initially we pass it with a specific date that people, uh, especially, I just don't, uh, I mean the beauty of being a very small office that you can adjust along the way. So yeah. Keeping the people. So we, whenever we do private groups, so whenever, uh, parents or families, or just individuals who want to do this on campus sign up and then we're just organize it. Yeah. There's minimums.

Sharon: (50:31)
That's great. And so we'll provide that. So for people who are interested, then they can also sign up there. So this has been really, really great. I think we really covered quite a lot of deep topics, in fact, so thank you so much for your kind of transparency and sharing. I really hope that this gives people an idea of the insight story. Sometimes we see on social media, but actually there's so much going on behind the scenes to make that photo, even have that picture taken. There's so much like behind it. So many layers and their stories. And I love digging into the details as I want before we record it. You said she you're talking about that. So please go into the details as much as you like it, because I do really think that he's really in the detail that we gain a lot of insight and therefore the values. And then we think about how we can also learn and apply to our own life. So really, really appreciate that. Is there anything else as we're wrapping up, is there anything else that you want to make sure that you touch on or say or cover? Make sure our listeners hear before we complete this chat?

Amelia: (51:35)
So I, I collect, so why not? The earlier days when I was super like negative and discouraged, right? The counselor that I met then taught me to start a better suit. I don't know the. Then I think there was nothing much I put will be much thankful for our costs, our health and everything, and nothing last, repeat my job. We had no income. I couldn't even have excused to people who asked on what I'm doing, I'll be like, Oh, and bill is quite hot. So I think one off the court actually keeping a long diary offer, uh, since being out all the way till now. So it's been building up and I think one of the latest quote that very like and I've kept in my notebook is this picture offer and that, and, uh, uh, the segment, I can share this pen that I think some of you guys have seen it.

Amelia: (52:36)
So this tender is more important. I think the dragon, the journey or the destination. So the tiny dragons that the company. So I think it made me think a lot, because I always thought it's always about the journey or the destination, but I realize, yeah, the biggest satisfaction for me, right, for Sunshine & Love, is really the company, I don't think I've made it through, like this far if not for family, old friends and new friends like you, yeah. These relationships are very precious, uh, through this journey because yeah. Whether we are on the journey or to the destination and really in the scene, I think the company makes a difference in the company.

Sharon: (53:23)
That's so sweet. And it's, so I really thank you for sharing that because I was very surprised when I was kind of like, I'm also like you, I recently started, I like my courts as well. And I stopped at recently also writing my favorite ones down. And when I hear you say, I was like, kind of like equally hang, okay. So it's a journey or a destination. And it was quite surprising for you to say company, but when you say that, it completely made sense. And I think sometimes we forget and we take it for granted. I know I do. Sometimes I, I take it for granted and especially when sometimes people catch me at the wrong moment that I'm like, Oh no, what does this person want again? But then I of, I just think either the fact that this person actually decided to start messaging you, that they were thinking about you for whatever reason, or even become an ask you for help, they obviously see value in your help.

Sharon: (54:12)
That's why they came and approached you. So I, I really liked that and yes, please do share it. We'll we'll also put it out. We'll link it up. I think that will be so cool to share. And it really is about the company. So I really do appreciate you as well, coming on this podcast and really looking forward to seeing all your works and how things work out. So where should people, people who are interested to connect with you, what will be the best platform? Would it be Instagram or how should people get in touch with you?

Amelia: (54:38)
Yeah. Instagram is good or Facebook. Uh the website.

Sharon: (54:43)
Okay. Yeah. So I think we'll put the links on the show notes when this goes out and then people can get in touch with you. So thank you so much for me here for your time and for this wonderful, wonderful conversation. I really enjoyed it so much and I will definitely be in touch time and time again. I'm sure I'll be checking in on my Instagram to see your latest stuff as well. So thank you so much for taking the time today. Okay. Okay. I'm so excited to be pre-selling my online course, rice rice is a step by step program to help you master your relationship with money so that you can be financially free doing what you love in this four module. Self-paced online course. You'll get to learn how to recognize and let go of the self-defeating money, stories and rules you've been living your life from, which is likely the very thing, keeping you imprisoned by the fear of not having enough money. You'll learn how to master your head and your heart when it comes to money so that you don't have to let money control you or make you feel stressed, anxious, or burden for more information about the cause. Visit, www.twopointzero.me/rise. Thanks for listening. And I hope to see you program.

Sharon: (56:13)
Thanks for listening. If you liked what you heard, please leave a review on whichever part, because plea or you were listening on, it really helps me further. My mission of helping more people realize their highest

Sharon: (56:24)
Potential and live rich fulfilling lives. Don't forget to hit subscribe, to be notified when a new episode is released each week, finally download the worksheets and check out the resources for the episode and most importantly, practice what you learn so you can transform your life. I'll see you in the next episode.

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SHARON SIDHU
The Financially Free Woman Podcast Host

ABOUT SHARON & THE FINANCIALLY FREE WOMAN PODCAST

The Financially Free Woman Podcast was launched in November 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic to share the stories of everyday people making a living doing what they love. While training her students in leadership and mental resilience, Sharon noticed the rising level of financial stress and anxiety experienced by many of her students. It dawn on Sharon that this was an opportunity for her to share how she overcame her own financial anxieties triggered by her personal experience with a 6-figure business debt and being let go from her job as the family's primary breadwinner. She began sharing everything she learned about mastering not just the practical side of money but also her mindset around money. Through this work, Sharon began meeting and building a community of women creating and living their dream lives. The Financially Free Woman Podcast is a collection of stories, practical tips and strategies to help you discover your passions, and use them to make a lucrative living. Imagine a life where you spend your time doing what you love and getting paid well for it! That's exactly what these women featured on the podcast are doing and they tell you how! Get inspired and start creating your own your dream life!

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