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Jakarta Post

Judy Chapman: Following her inner voice

  • Intan Tanjung

    The Jakarta Post

Bali   /   Mon, February 3, 2014   /  01:23 pm
Judy Chapman: Following her inner voice

Judy Chapman. Courtesy of Dewa Gede Yogisuara

Her first book, Aromatherapy '€” Recipes for your oil burner, came out in 1998 and since then she has released at least three more books on spas.

'€œMy mother was interested in Eastern religions and cultures,'€ Chapman explained in Ubud, Bali, looking stunning in her khaki sleeveless top and trousers.

'€œI was exposed to Buddhism and Hinduism at a very young age,'€ added the author, whose novel, My Singapore Lover, has just been published by Monsoon Books.

Chapman said that a holistic and spiritual life was something she had known since she was little. She was raised in Byron Bay by a family that was into multiculturalism and often traveled to many Asian countries including India, Indonesia and Singapore.

At first, she did not embrace the philosophies like her family and tried to find her own path to success.

Young Chapman decided to take media studies at Monash University in Melbourne '€” but feeling impatient to enter the career world, she decided to leave her study to work as a fashion writer in The Melbourne Herald newspaper.

'€œI wanted to work in a normal job,'€ said Chapman. '€œBut I soon realized I needed to find something I felt truly passionate about.'€

From the ages of 23-30 she developed Sanctum Pure Body Products, a range of natural petrochemical-free spa skin and body care products that were sold in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

During these years she traveled to places like Bali and soon after she decided to join her sister, establishing yoga-spa Radiance Retreats.

'€œIt was during this time I knew that I was drawn to the world of wellness and health,'€ Chapman says.

Although the decision to work with her sibling did not work as well as she thought, she found a way to reach the success she always dreamt of right after having her first ever spa experience at Bodyworks in Ubud.

'€œIt was my first flower bath experience and yet it was so much more. It was actually
a very profound, if not spiritual moment in my life '€” and it was then I knew I wanted to write about spas and health,'€ Chapman says.

'€œIt was such an amazing moment and I think a lot of people that come to Bali also experience that. For me Bali offers a most unique and exquisite feeling '€” the smell, the energy '€” that is really beautiful.'€

She is no stranger to the spa world, having been in the industry for nearly two decades. In Bali, she is known as a spa curator for Karma Spa, a spa chain of Karma Resorts, and has been living on the island for more than five years.

She attributed her first spa book, which became an instant success in Australia, to opening up more doors for her and launching her international career.

She took an offer from TWG to work in Singapore as a creative director for three years, before taking up an editor-in-chief position at the Asia Spa Magazine and traveling the world to find the most exotic spas around.

She also took many spiritual journeys to further understand about Eastern ancient philosophies and healing methods across Asia, including a profound journey to the Himalayas.

She also spent time with Ayurvedic doctors as well as yoga teachers across Asia '€” inspiring her to write more books about spa and holistic living.

Within the last decade, Chapman has managed to publish three more spa books '€” More Aroma
therapy '€” recipes for your oil burner; Spa '€” bathing recipes for your home, which was photographed in Bali; and her last spa book titled Ultimate Spa, which has become a spa bestseller and was also photographed and
written in Bali.

These spa books have landed her an international acclaim in spa, wellness and holistic living.

'€œI feel that what one is exposed to at young age does eventually shape your life,'€ said Chapman. '€œI have the greatest respect for Eastern religions and philosophies with Chinese medicine, martial arts and yoga playing a very crucial part of my growth as a spa consultant, writer and person.'€

She feels there are times when most people '€” just like her character Sara in her novel '€” do not listen to their inner voice.

In the novel, Sara, who arrives in Singapore on a magazine assignment, meets a married Singaporean hotelier. The affair draws her to experience an unexpected past-life confrontation and self-discovery journey, which leads her to find her authentic '€œself'€, which balances her spiritual happiness and success at work.

With her novel, she hoped readers could connect to the story and be inspired to get through their own circumstances.

'€œI think the most important thing in life is to follow your inner voice,'€ Chapman says.

'€œIt can be challenging to know what that inner voice sounds like but once you learn to trust and follow its guidance then life opens up.'€

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