Karen Salmansohn’s Story

Karen Salmansohn is the founder of NotSalmon – as well as a best selling author and award winning designer – with over 1 million books sold – and over 1 million fans on Facebook. She is committed to inspiring people to live a life they love – no matter how much “you gotta be freaking kidding me!” life throws at you! Below is the story of Karen’s personal journey – a zig-zagger of a journey – with many obstacles to swerve around and peaks and valleys to travel up and through – which brought her to why she loves writing and designing inspirational books and products.

karen publicity hold glassesHi, I’m Karen Salmansohn – and if you follow my work, you might find it interesting to know that the books, courses, and posters I create are inspired by what I jokingly call my “Bucket List From Hell.”

I came up with this name recently by accident, when I was thinking about The Big Events of My Life – the things that changed me for the better.

Guess what? Many of these Big Events were not fun or positive. They weren’t your typical “Bucket List” things like “trek the Inca Trail” or “fly in a hot air ballon” or “witness a solar eclipse”!  No, no! I realized that it was as if I got my hands on the “Bucket List From Hell” – and decided to make sure I did all these foolish, soul-crushing, serotonin-depleting things on this list instead!

Here’s My Bucket List From Hell :

  • Get to experience being backstabbed (frequently) in a job at an ad agency. So much so, that it’s surprising I can still drink a glass of water – and not have it spurt out the knife holes in my back. ( I write about some of this here.) 
  • Get to experience the emotional high of leaving this back-stabbing ad agency –  to pursue my dream of writing a book – only to be quickly followed by the self-esteem-obliterating experience of being rejected – and rejected – and rejected – by over 28 disinterested agents (before I find one who was game for taking me on). 
  • Get to experience a sexual assault by a building manager – who appeared to be a kind and helpful man. Then suddenly need to move out of building and find an apartment within 1 week – in NYC’s competitive and expensive real estate marketplace. 
  • Get to experience falling in love with a man  – who turns out to be a big-time cheating Prince Harming.
  •  Get to experience the emotional roller coaster ride of I.U.I. for a few years (with a wonderful partner)  – which then turns into a monetary roller coaster ride as it gobbles up a majority of savings.
  • Get to experience the emotional high of finally getting pregnant via I.U.I. – quickly followed by getting to experience the huge emotional low and blow of miscarriage.
  • Get to experience a huge betrayal by a close friend – who I help (for free) to create and publish her dream book – for back-end commission only. Watch her tell the world it’s a #1 best seller – while telling me she hasn’t earned out advance – while refusing to show me royalty statements – thereby breaking our signed legal contract – as well as moral code.
  •  Get to experience the emotional high of finally getting pregnant via IVF – as well as a new weight high – where I gain 90 pounds – and thereby get to experience the double whammy of high cholesterol and a diabetes health scare.

Yes, somehow I seemed to have gotten my hands on this above bizarre-o world Bucket List From Hell! And diligent me, I managed to meticulously check off each and every single heart-breaking challenge on this list.

Guess what?  This “Bucket List From Hell” turned out not to be completely horrifying…because there was  “time-delayed” wisdom and joy to be found! 

Thanks to my “Bucket List From Hell” I wound up growing into a better, wiser, stronger, more compassionate me.
quote fond pain

Some of the topics near and dear to my heart (and heartbreak) which were inspired by my “Bucket List From Hell” include the following:  

the importance of forgiveness, how to heal and move on from toxic love, the qualities of true friends, the importance of eating healthfully, the struggle of feeling hopeless, curiosity about karma, doubting the universe knows what it’s up to, never giving up no matter how much “you gotta be friggin’ kidding me” life throws at you, etc

Thankfully I’m now on the other side of this Bucket List From Hell – and – thereby I am passionate about helping as many people as I can to focus on (and believe in) the light at the end of their tunnels – which is really the light found within.

There are many days I still have many justifiable reasons to crawl into a fetal position, lay on my sofa, and cry.  But I mindfully choose not to tell my stories as sad ones.  I choose to view myself as a “Champion of quote regret future past anxietyChallenges” – someone who makes it a “must” to turn all “tales of woe” into “tales of wow” – and keep on “faith-ing forward.”  Every time I’m faced with a challenge I make it a “must” to never leave the scene of the challenge without gathering up at least a few golden nuggets of insight to pocket away.

One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten from people is being told they think my life has been easy. It always makes me chuckle when I hear this. My life has been miles – and miles – and miles from easy.

But in the end I don’t regret a thing – because it’s made me who I am today – and I am truly wiser and stronger and even more loving – because I appreciate all that I have – and all who I have – with so much extra gusto.

In the end I’ve taken the broken pieces of my life – and myself – and I’ve mindfully built something beautiful out of it all.

Admittedly my accidental “Bucket List From Hell” didn’t have fun “Bucket List” things on it like “get to experience skydiving” or “get to experience riding a camel.”  But in the end, I wound up valuing the surprise dives I took and the bumpy rides I traveled because it brought me to where I am – and who I am – now in this moment.