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Unseen Damages of Ambition and Achievement

A story on how high-functioning patterns may affect your physical and mental health.

Kala is a high-functioning person, accomplishes a lot, thriving career, and a lot of energy to do what needs to be done.

Yet, Kala knows that, deep inside, something feels a little off. She doesn’t know what it is? But, she can feel that something is off.

So, she comes to therapy, with questions, and no answers.

We explore together — peeling layers of work, home, sleep, emotional patterns, moods, and more.

Her digestion seems to be a little off, she sometimes finds herself with stomach aches when stressed.

She has the tendency to overwork, and taking a moment to pause seems difficult.

Kala is often on social media and consumed by the digital world, often.

We acknowledge all that she is going through.

Together, we digest where she was, where she wants to be, and where she is.


We discuss some possibilities of how she can resource herself better. What is a restful yet active activity?

Perhaps, walking in nature for 1 hour without herself. Perhaps, going offline after 8pm everyday. We find accountability with each other, we narrow down what feels right as tangible action steps forward.

Yet, we do not rush to solutions and take time to linger fully with her journey at present.

Now, enough talking, let us allow the body to speak.


During our session, we both settle into a restful state.

Our conversation brought up patterns, internal conflicts, and a lot of minute memories stored in the body to process.

At this point, there is nothing to do, but to simply – be with the body, listen to it, allow it to metabolise our process.

Her diaphragm also seems to have short breath, and her headache seems to come from her neck.

Her lower back pain rises, around the kidney areas…

The kidneys are also where the adrenalin glands are – signifying some stressors that trigger her adrenaline.

Her busy-bee lifestyle made all of these minor embodied issues totally unnoticeable and subconscious.

Now that we are taking time to be with the body fully, these little discomforts reveal themselves.

We simply acknowledge, and give it some presence, and held support by the therapist.


Soon after the acknowledgement, the head ache dissipates, the lower back issue is soothed after some time, and the entire body feels more whole and connected — not in disjoined separate parts.

Towards the end, Kala falls into a slight brief slumber, and sleeps for a few minutes.

As she wakes, she feels like she needs more rest after the session.

We discuss that all of her accomplishments, successes, and ambition — seeks a better balance.

While, her success has lead her to many gifts in life, she knows that sometimes, it is her form of escapism.


We commit to making more time for slow living and set the intention to listen and connect with her body more.


The names have been altered to assure and respect their privacy.

Somatic and Embodiment available in Singapore with Body as Earth this May and June 2024.

Receive 1:1 support through Biodynamic Somatic Therapy.

Join the movement workshop Embodied Landscapes.

Learn about being trauma-sensitive through the Art of Holding Space: Trauma Sensitive Practices for Facilitators.

Unearth your ancestral stories through Primordial Waters: Ancestor Circle.

Explore all upcoming offerings here.

Further Readings

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Ancestry, Earth Wisdom, Guidance & Resources

Anxiety, Holistic Health, Somatic Therapy

Anxiety, Guidance & Resources, Holistic Health

Guidance & Resources

Ancestry, Earth Wisdom, Guidance & Resources

Embodiment, Guidance & Resources, Holistic Health

Embodiment, Guidance & Resources, Holistic Health

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Embodied Landscapes in Singapore

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Art of Holding Space: Trauma Sensitive Practices for Facilitators

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Embodied Landscapes in Singapore

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Primordial Waters: Ancestor Circle

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Biodynamic Somatic Therapy in Singapore

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Embodied Landscapes in Singapore

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Research-in-Residence: Ubah Rumah

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Oceanic Body: Rituals of Deep Time – An Embodiment Retreat

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Embodied Justice: Physiology of Body-Mind-Spirit

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