General manager of Four Seasons Langkawi, David Macklin, talks about the importance of self-care, his ability to meditate while brushing his teeth, becoming a better person, and a few of his happy places on the island
words & photography KARMAN TSE
“When I think of self-care, what comes to mind first is my health, because if I’m not healthy, strong and able, I cannot support the three most important people in my life. This is why I started exercising when I was 37, after nearly 20 years of no exercise. I want a healthy heart. I don’t smoke, I enjoy eating healthy, and I take part in Ironman triathlons. So, that’s what I think about — take care of me so I can take care for others. At the resort, too, I am responsible for every single person, so I need to ensure that I am able — mentally and physically — to do so… I like the way that Buddhists think. I enjoy meditation (I have a crystal singing bowl that I use when I meditate at home, and it just takes me to this different world), and I enjoy finding Inner David. I have ‘David days’, which means I spend the whole day doing things just for me. I used to feel guilty about this, but now I know that this makes me feel better the next day, that I will perform at the peak.”
“Evan arrived a little early so we didn’t have a lot of supplies like old towels and sheets prepared, but we made do with what we had, so I feel you don’t actually need much to have a baby… Eventually, after labouring around the house and in the shower, I had Evan at the foot of my bed leaning against my then-husband, with my doula catching the baby. My doctor arrived just in time to help me to the bed with baby on the breast, and stitch up the tears, while my doulas helped with the placenta and delayed cord burning. For that, we used a gentle candle flame instead of metal scissors…”
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
A conversation with women who write
words KARMAN TSE
photography YVONNE XIE
I have long been fascinated with the lives and habits of writers. Ernest Hemingway liked to write standing up because writing, he says, “broaden(s) your ass if not your mind”. Mary Oliver was inclined to revise through 40 to 50 drafts of a poem she’d written before she could begin to feel content with it. For Balzac and Voltaire, the secret was in coffee, a copious amount of coffee (up to 50 cups a day!) — to keep their creativity and inspiration awake, I suppose.
Whether it’s their first brush with writing or how they approach it, whether it’s the eccentric habits that have developed over a lifetime of honing their craft or the magical moments of inspiration encountered, it’s all very fascinating and edifying to me as a young and inexperienced journalist then, and now. It is without exaggeration when I say that literature saved my life on many occasions. So, of course I want to know the stories of storytellers who
have always felt like friends to me — with their advice and wisdom, empathy and sympathy, companionship and their words, a much-needed escape to worlds far far away from my ennui and melancholia.
This was pretty much the inspiration behind the theme of the most recent PowWoW which I co-hosted with the loveliest team of humans at Bynd Artisan two Thursdays ago. Titled “What’s Your Story: A Conversation With Women Who Write”, this edition of my conversation series was an invitation to three writers/storytellers in their own rights — poet Jennifer Anne Champion, singer/songwriter Inch Chua and artist/writer Cherie Altea — to share their stories, experiences and lessons from their creative journeys.
“My eclectic background wasn’t traditional in any way, yet I have learned some real important life lessons from the home. You are not your family.”
Beauty, Conversation, Singapore
“I always hope to achieve an evening that flows well, has conversation points and nourishes people’s bodies and spirits.”
“When you came along, it was like a gift from the Good Lord. So, what did I feel? Happiness that cannot be explained or spelled out.”
Beauty, Los Angeles
“I believe challenges help us grow and evolve, so I don’t shy away from them, but use them as opportunities to grow.”
“Everyone is afraid of judgement, and it will take time to feel comfortable showing people all your different sides, I was.”
Style, Conversation, Singapore
“Sundays would always be better with you and a bottle of tequila.”
“At the end of the day, it’s all just about being grateful.”
There’s a reason why they call it aroma-therapy.
Conversation, Beauty, Singapore
“Those moments of insecurity and self doubt… were so crucial for me to learn how to be there for myself.”
Wardrobe Ideas This Week