It’s been a while since I’ve put digital pen to paper, so for those of you who hadn’t previously followed my weird and wonderful adventures, let’s do a little recap…
Was working for L’Oréal in London. Living not the dream, but my dream, surrounded by Heroes and climbing the career ladder at pace. Was about to move said dream job to another exciting city – Paris. Then, je suis tombée de l’amour – I fell in love. Or so I thought.
Gave heart away. Abandoned all hopes and dreams. Had heart smashed to smithereens. Not because of love for another, but lack of love for self. That, and a distinct inability to see or defend against a tortured mind. Slowly and subtly lost my mine. Hit rock bottom. Hit rock bottom. Hit rock bottom again, several more times. Then, one day, something really strange happened. I distinctly felt the disconnect between my mind, body and soul. My consciousness completely shattered.
I somehow found the strength and sanity to decide enough was enough. Broke free. Started this blog as a promise to make happiness my ambition and do good stuff to be a better me. Writing became my therapy, my brain drain. Fell in love with storytelling all over again. Foraged curiously through the inner workings of my mind, disentangling the knots. Felt drawn towards Buddhism. Learned more about the ego and The Power Of Now.
Eventually found my mind, quite unsurprisingly, exactly where I’d left it. Continued to climb out of the cranial hell I’d created. Was offered an exciting role in Hong Kong. Said Hell yes. Nine months later, that role nonchalantly disappeared. A fire ignited in my stomach and consciousness shifted again. Fight mode kicked in and, ironically, all I wanted to do was take a flight somewhere.
I handed in my notice without giving it any thought. Intuition was in the driving seat and I trusted it wholeheartedly. I was 33 years old, single, jobless and technically homeless, but the happiest I’d been in a very long time.
Things began to make me feel itchy. Things lost their meaning. I went from corporate to conscious overnight. A minimalist, almost. I was interested in everything and committed to nothing, and all that seemed to matter was finding some sort of inner peace.
I went to stay with monks in Menorca. Lived small, learned big. Slept good. Ate good. Meditated. Made local news. Embraced life and death in new ways. Felt more gratitude and compassion than I ever had before. Found the final piece of my jigsaw – forgiveness.
Then, there was a pull in my stomach calling me East, so I decided to take a one-way flight to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, a country I’d never been to before. I headed up a Fair Trade label, volunteering long hours for nothing more than a roof over my head, coffee and bananas. Cycled some of the world’s most dangerous roads in a leopard-print jumpsuit getting heckled by locals. Illegally free-wheeled a banged out car down a mountain at dawn. Did laughter yoga. Almost died of laughter yoga. Had weird massages and got a happy ending.
Next, I backpacked through Myanmar. Loved the Wes Anderson vibes of Yangon’s post-British takeover, but frowned at the evil arrogance of it all. Fell in love with sunrise in Bagan. Fell in love with sunset in Bagan. Took the most memorable train ride of my entire life to Hipsaw for less than the price of a cup of coffee. Later found out that Myanmar was quite a dangerous place to travel.
Spent Christmas and New Year completing a 10 day Vipassana – a silent retreat – high up on the hills of Mandalay. It turned out that twelve hours of meditation every day in a dark hall full of 150 burping Burmese people was pretty challenging. Got locked in solitary confinement, once again wearing that leopard print jumpsuit. Went insane in a good way. Wrote a secret diary. And a rap. Learned much more about the human mind by observing my own. Witnessed impermanence. Made friends for life before exchanging a single word.
Headed back to Thailand – Bangkok, to be precise. Wondered who else goes from complete and utter silence to one of the world’s craziest cities. Realised probably nobody. Had fortune told by a fat bifter-smoking monk. In summary, he said 2019 would be shit but when I turned thirty-five the following January, life would get better and better and better. And after thirty-six it would be incredible for the rest of my days.
Refused to believe stupid fat bifter-smoking monk and made my way to Koh Samui to work as a writer. Had an eight-day long first date on paradise island at a luxury resort for honeymooners. This was the happy-ending I was talking about before – at least on paper. We circled the island on a moped together and had romantic dates straight out of a movie set. All the while, I was working on my side hustles and making plans to get a corporate job in Hong Kong.
Launched Mindless Mag on 7th January 2019 knowing in my stomach it was going to be BIG. A business built from the heart up. Worked harder than I ever had before. Every single minute of every single day. Then, Grandma, my best friend, The Idol, died at the age of 97. My heart broke. I returned home, albeit slightly begrudgingly, but first I pit-stopped in Hong Kong.
Continued to build Mindless while frantically searching for work just to fund Four Weddings And A Funeral. Pimped my brain out as a strategy consultant. Became a university lecturer. Hosted writing workshops. Did everything I could while keeping Mindless separate so we could stay true to our values.
Spent the whole year rebelling against the monk, but it turned out the monk was right. 2019 was the Year Of The Shiny Carrot. There were false hopes and false promises. Exciting job offers in exciting places – San Francisco, Sweden, Hong Kong and London – all dangled in front of me, then all of a sudden taken away. It was tough. Pitching to small responsible fashion brands for consultancy work, however, was even tougher.
But the fire didn’t go out, not even once. In fact, it grew stronger. Resilience and determination hit new levels. I even surprised myself. Mindless grew from strength to strength and so did I. Things happened. Bizarre things. There was simply no way I could not believe in the Law of Attraction. I was magnetising the contents of my mind into my physical reality at an almost unfathomable speed. Important people came with important messages. Some stuck around, while others served their purpose and left.
Mindless continued to grow. I was investing an insane amount of time and energy into a start-up that was paying me in nothing social kudos and gratitude, but I knew it was going to pay off in the end. Necessity became the mother of invention and Digital Micro-Internships became a thing. My vision was clear and my business brain was in overdrive. Every hurdle was seen as an opportunity to leap higher and every let down was a lesson to be learned.
By January, just before my thirty-fifth birthday, I was hitting complete and utter burnout. I was running the entire operation solo, three hundred international internships. I was glued to my laptop and I’d barely seen daylight for months. I was working too much. Too hard. I was exhausted. I almost – almost – considered giving up…
But magical things happened again and the universe wouldn’t let me. There were more magnets, more important people, more messages. Then, finally, on the 17th January, I hit thirty-five and, just as the monk predicted, life began to rocket launch me forward.
And so, this Spring, while the rest of the world went into crisis, I finally started coming out of mine. Every spoke on my Wheel Of Life is heading for a 10. Mindless Academy began trading, precisely according plan. We became a profitable business from day one with zero financial investment. Demand is rocketing. We’re a dream team of like-minded souls committed to powering business for good. I happy cry at least once a week with pride.
Then, came the curve balls. A chapter of life I’ll forever refer to as Toyboys and Turmeric Lattes. Top of the league everything. In fact, a whole new league – maybe even a whole new game. Body fizzing with euphoria. And, it only got better. Within the space of two weeks I was offered a dream job, working with a dream boss for a dream company in a dream country – Denmark. Land of bicycles, pastries and hygge. And, of course, I said yes.
So, here I am, 500 miles away from the Motherland, listening to the Danish birds sing in the pine forest at the back of my bungalow, sipping my cacao and eating my rugbrød – smiling. I guess I’m exactly where the monk predicted I’d be – living in one of the happiest countries in the world, loving life more than life itself and turning every one of my dreams into a reality.
Karen 7 June 2020
Love this! The monk was SO right! x
Anonymous 7 June 2020
Excited to hear more x
Ankur Mithal 14 June 2020
Wow! Packed in a lot in a relatively short frame of time.
Carmel 16 June 2020
Fantastic you’re in Denmark. Well done you always able to see the best in everyone and everything. Just so great to hear from time to time.