Name: Karen Pallisgaard
Star sign: Scorpio
Favourite colour: Blue
Spirit animal: Owls and lions
Favourite season: Autumn and spring, because the air is crisp and holds the promise of a new beginning.
When I was a child, I wanted to be… Madonna!
Today I am … in the process of growing wonderfully into myself.
If I had to describe myself in three words, they would be … God, what a ‘job interview’ type question … I immediately start searching for words like inquisitive, imaginative and knowledgeable. And they are true, but I’m equally indecisive, moody and always seeking something.
I am good at … achieving what I set out to do. I think (probably naively) that I can do anything if I want it badly enough.
I’m happiest when … I’m breathing mindfully and am in the present moment (and have hot coffee in my cup) or when my boyfriend French-kisses me into the floor.
My deepest wish is … my daughter stays healthy and strong and has a happy life. AND I also have a small, humble wish that humanity will raise its consciousness so that we can take better care of ourselves, each other, and our planet.
The easiest way to make me happy is … just let me have my way. But flowers work too.
It makes me angry when … children are mistreated.
The last time I cried was … Yesterday. I cry often. I actually enjoy it.
When I get mad … I stop caring and withdraw.
It pisses me off when … people don’t keep their promises and appointments, or if there’s a disconnect between words and actions.
My girlfriends mean … That I always know everything is going to be fine.
Things I do only with my girlfriends … find our inner Britney, talk about men, consider whether we should all take a women’s Tantra course and drink ourselves silly on wine while wearing nylon naked man costumes and dancing to 90s music. That kind of fun and games.
The meal I remember most is … the liver pâté sandwich with cucumber and salt I had when I got home to Denmark after being on a detox retreat in India.
My favourite treat is … chips. With dip.
In summer I like to drink … rhubarb and riesling. Not necessarily at the same time.
The song that always gets me onto the dance floor... “Crazy in love” with Beyoncé or all things Britney or just generally all things: I’m not precious about music, and I love to really let go on the dance floor.
The best book I’ve ever read is … I can’t name one, so I’ll give you four;
1. I read Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” when I was a teenager, and the deep impression it made is still there. It really provides food for thought on women’s lives, norms and expectations, on sexuality, motherhood, education, and solidarity between women.
2. “Eat Pray Love” – Yes, I’m yet another WOACA (woman of a certain age) who’s found Bible-like guidance in Elizabeth Gilbert. I read the book. Got divorced (not just because of the book, I must say). Travelled to Bali. Rediscovered my belief in magic. Quit my job. Wrote a book. Met my boyfriend and got pregnant a few months later. So Gilbert hasn’t just changed my world view, but maybe even my life. Maybe.
3. I constantly explore and return to Alice Munro’s writing. In general, I prefer short stories to novels and hers are the best I have ever read. I began in reverse order with “Dear Life” and “Too much happiness” and am now collecting her books. She published “My Best Stories” in 2009, and it’s a great place to enter her wonderfully well-written world.
4. Naja Marie Aidt’s “Bavian” (“Baboon” – ed.) is about totally ordinary people like us and our inner beasts, demons, suppressed feelings and all the dark stuff we may be afraid to see. Aidt describes it all amazingly well, and many years later this story collection is still clearly imprinted on my consciousness. It’s magnificent.
The thing I always take with me on holiday … way too many books!
My absolute favourite city is … Ubud in Bali. It’s a high-vibration place with yoga, art, healthy food everywhere and it’s where I’ve made many of the most important personal connections in my life.
Sometimes I tell white lies about ... How much I’ve managed to accomplish in a day – to my boyfriend.
If I won a million, I would … shouldn’t I say something about paying off debt?! Well actually, I’d get the party started! No huge changes, because I love my life, but I’d give some money to PLAN to support vulnerable girls, and then I’d take a sabbatical and drag my family on an adventure around the world.
If my house were on fire, I would save these three things … my family, my journals, my computer.
I spend a lot of money (maybe too much) on … food, books, and body treatments.
I would like to become better at … giving a good night kiss when I’m angry.
When I get old, I want to … wear red lipstick and live by the water in a little wooden house and sit in a rocking chair on my veranda holding my beloved by the hand, in utter certainty that I lived my life with full presence and did what I came here to do, and I’ll be ready to flow out into the universe when the time comes.
My proudest achievement is … My daughter – not that she’s something I’ve “achieved”, but she is my greatest and most beautiful contribution to this world.
Do you have a favourite Rudolph Care product? Hard to choose just one, since I’m only using Rudolph products these days. And I’m not saying that to kiss up, either! But if I MUST choose, it’s got to be Body Balm because I feel like I’m swaddling my body in love every time I use it.
Karen has published four books on yoga and slow living. You can check them out here. Her fifth and sixth books on yoga will be published in November.
Follow her on instagram @karenpallisgaard, and get inspiration sent directly to your inbox by subscribing to Karen’s newsletter.
Foto: Ditte Capion og privat.