After resigning from a role she no longer loved, Sally moved to Chiang Mai and opened an Orphanage. Seeing how the locals used alternative methods to heal themselves, was the start of her journey to understand the mind – body connections and to learn alternative healing modalities and eventually in 2004 opened SoulCentre in Singapore.
What’s your story?
Originally from the UK , I graduated as a pharmacist and worked for The Boots Company. I was very much on a mission to rise up the corporate ladder and got promoted every 18 months to larger roles. The externals of life were exciting at that time. Boots decided to expand internationally and so I moved to Thailand as part of the team. It was exciting and fast paced as we opened 70 stores in 3 years. I was on a high ….and then the surprise came, Boots wanted me to return to the UK as part of the team “downsizing the head office” and so with a heavy heart I left Thailand and returned to the UK.
Each morning I woke with a heavy heart as I knew this role was not my passion and it was not what I wanted to do with my life, and one morning I just decided that I needed to be authentic to myself and so I quit my job.
Everyone thought I was crazy, having a midlife crisis or some other label, however I just knew I had to follow my heart.
I brought myself back to Asia and spent 6 months giving back as I opened an Orphanage in Chiang Mai with an old missionary I had met whilst living in Thailand. He had such an amazing vision that I decided to use my corporate skills and get the project started.
Whilst working with the locals in Chiang Mai I realised they had little access to medicines and yet were able to use alternative methods to heal themselves. As a medical pharmacist this intrigued me and it was the start of my journey to understand the mind – body connections and to learn alternative healing modalities.
I studied Meditation , Reiki , Chinese Metaphysics,Shiatsu, Colour Therapy and many more modalities along the way and eventually in 2004 decided to open SoulCentre in Singapore.
SoulCentre is today recognised as Asia’s Premier Centre for Personal Development and we have 2 brands ; SoulCentre for adults and SoulKids for children. Our mission is to Inspire, Educate and Empower people to live the life they desire, dream of and deserve. We work with individuals, companies and groups.
What excites you most about your industry?
In a world that is getting busier and busier, where we are connected 24/7, there is a growing need for inner peace and balance and a deeper understanding of life. More people are open minded and want to learn about Meditation, Reiki and Self empowerment. Parents are understanding that “life skills” are an essential part of a child’s education and SoulKids is providing such skills as confidence, inner resilience, teamwork, leadership, focus and skills needed for happiness and success in life.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was part of the team that opened the 70 Boots stores in Thailand. I fell in love with Asia and wanted to give back to Thailand and so I opened the orphanage in Chiang Mai.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. Transparency and ease of doing business. Ease of transport and the most amazing airport. Efficient, clean, everything works…and great taxes.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Have the courage to follow your heart and to believe in yourself.
Who inspires you?
Vikas Malkani – he was my first teacher on the Spiritual journey and I remember the first time I met him at a free talk event . I was inspired from the first question “ Who are you really?”
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That we spend most of our time on transactional matters and not enough time on transformational issues. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and how we “spend” that time is so important.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would learn earlier that the externals of life are not as important as we think. None of those things go with you, and it’s important not to get caught up in them.
We tend to complicate life by adding more and more to it.
Many of the clients we see are super wealthy, however inside have a feeling of lack, do not feel the joy of life and feel unfulfilled.
How do you unwind?
I love to learn. I have been studying Chinese Metaphysics for 15 years and love to read charts and understand the mysteries of daily activities through analysing the events from the viewpoint of the 5 elements.
I read – I walk – I love movies ….and I love wine 😉
Devine and De-wine always works wonders I find 😉
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love the Maldives – the stunning blue colours of the sky /ocean and the vastness of the space as you gaze out over the ocean …all put life into perspective.
Walking barefoot in the sand, admiring the colours of the sunset, having no agenda for days ….and simply wanting time to stand still …
Everyone in business should read this book:
The One Minute Manager – Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson.
I read it years ago and picked up a new version recently at the airport and it’s such sound advice.
Shameless plug for your business:
SoulCentre is Asia’s premier centre for your personal development needs. We bring out the best in everyone that we meet. If you are feeling stressed out, confused about life, needing clarity, wanting to find purpose, needing a boost of passion about life…then come to Soul Centre and you are in great hands. It’s all about mindset and we give practical advice, tools and techniques that work. It’s transformational and life changing. In addition we support corporates to achieve their goals through team development , mindset , leadership and focus.
Facebook – Sally Forrest
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.