How a stuffed Pekingese led me
to create Green Body Mojo
Hello, I’m Chloe Hodder, founder of Green Body Mojo.
I didn’t follow the traditional education path.
Due to Chronic Fatigue, I designed my own apprenticeship from home.
At 21 years old, having resolved all of my symptoms and healed fully,
I created my own ‘Career in a Backpack’.
This gave me the freedom to work remotely, anywhere, anytime, and from just an iPhone.
…Even out of a teahouse while trekking in the Himalayas
Through merging the two experiences I created Green Body Mojo, and am now
helping others to get their mojo back so that they can fuel their adventures.
…But let me back up a little.
At 16 years old, I left school wanting to be a wildlife ranger in Kenya.
You know, the khaki-clad hardy folk that you see on TV hanging out the side of low-flying helicopters, all while attempting to shoot a tranq. dart at an antelope’s bottom. Pesty shorts aside, it was going to be epic.
My career guidance counsellor didn’t have a pamphlet on that though, or on my second option – stunt double – so my plans to grab life by the wildebeest horns were cut short, and I was to report to Career HQ.
You may have experienced what happens at Career HQ.
If you fail to come up with a viable (read: sensible) career choice for yourself, you are to sit a computerized test that will determine a match
So after one hour of evaluating statements such as “I like plants” against “Strongly Agree” “Agree” “Maybe” “Disagree” “Strongly Disagree”,
I was just one click away from revealing my “Ideal Job”.
Strongly agreeing to being creative and liking animals,
can you guess what that turned out to be?
…I’ll just wait to hear from MI5 then, shall I?
I realised I was facing a fork in the road; I could either follow a well-worn path through the traditional education system, or I could trek into the unknown.
The choice was clear. I’ve had some weird jobs in my time, but the thought of sprucing up FiFi the deceased Pekingese? Not a chance.
If there was ever a sign from the Universe, this was mine.
(Oh and don’t worry, “Green” is alive and kicking, we were able to re-release him back into the wild shortly after the photo was taken.)
It’s not that I wanted to boycott having a traditional job to spend my days watching belly-achingly hilarious cat videos on YouTube. I reserve that for Sunday’s only.
I’m someone who needs freedom – particularly of the creative kind. Not above all, that would be melodramatic – water, food, shelter, you get the drift, but it’s right up there.
I get restless at the thought of a traditional job. I have this innate tic where I start hatching escape plans.
Have you ever done that? Where you can’t stop thinking about just getting up, knocking over your chair, leaping over a desk and climbing out of the window – because it’s more Bourne Ultimatum than walking through the door – and GOGOGOGOGO! Running!!!!! Running!!!! Running!!!
My lungs may give out after only 50m – my work experience placements always seemed to be at the bottom of a steep hill – but boy, was it worth it.
So this is why I chose ‘direction unknown’.
Plus, employers get funny about you climbing through windows, Health and Safety or something.
At the time, I was wandering through four different colleges, dipping into courses that interested me. Yet I was struggling to manage college with chronic fatigue and it’s myriad of symptoms. These included:
- Dehabilitating fatigue where, at best, everything was a constant, weighted effort, as if lead weights were attached to my limbs, and at worst, I just didn’t have the energy to move.
- Sleepiness that would wash over me rapidly like a drug and I’d be slumped over, unable to stay awake, no matter where I was or whether it was two o’clock in the afternoon.
- Severe endocrine problems that worked themselves up to indescribable amounts of pain.
- Daily muscle aches and joint pain.
- Regular dizziness, blurred vision and black outs
- Hair so thin and weak that my hairdresser said it would be better to shave it all off and start again! (I didn’t take her up on that!)
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Periods of being in a depression-like zombie state
- Shaking hands
Yet with any reclaimed energy, I was pushing myself to be active.
Passing my black belt grading and fighting full-contact Muay Thai
in the ring.
…wading out into bloated rivers to undertake white-water rescue and capsize drills throughout the winter.
Barefoot, feeling every step on the hard, frozen ground as we raced towards the lake during an expedition training weekend and plunging into the icy, February water…
My hands coarse, after shredding them on the razor sharp cliff barnacles whilst coasteering, before jumping off the cliff into the pounding, thunderous waves to climb and swim between the rock stacks.
Carrying a kayak on my head through the woods for miles, because I was too stubborn to share the load…
…the time spent upside down, underwater, learning how to roll a kayak and then running rivers in the floods.
I still hadn’t learnt how to ‘take it easy’.
So I ended up wiping out.
My life then became like a real-life version of “Room Escape”; where you’re stuck between four walls with limited resources and have to figure out the puzzle to unlock your way out.
Designing my own apprenticeship
My first solution was to buy a laptop. This provided me with a window to the world.
I researched holistic health feverishly, and this insistent drive to figure out the missing pieces of the health puzzle led me to search for other possibilities….
What if I could work from home?
I didn’t know where I was headed, but I thought I could at least prepare myself, and so I designed my own apprenticeship based on my core interests:
- Holistic Health
- Outdoor adventure
- Conservation and sustainability
- Digital media
No course or career existed that would combine all of these, and I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice any. This made me realise that the only true fit would be a bespoke career.
Sometimes though, my hands would be too weak to even use the laptop or I wouldn’t be able to stay awake, so it was frustratingly slow progress.
At this point, my GP prescribed me thyroxin – which is often a life long prescription, as it suppresses the function of the thyroid gland.
This was their final attempt at a solution for me, to try and get my symptoms under control.
The GP’s I consulted had outsourced me to many of the different medical departments; cardiology, neurology, diagnostic imaging, ENT, endocrinology and physiotherapy.
When it comes to healing though, the body can’t be compartmentalised.
As in nature, as in the body;
there is a root, a reason and conditions
that determine the current climate.
So I decided not to take the thyroxin, nor any of the drugs prescribed.
Career in a Backpack
Continuing with my self-designed apprenticeship, this had so far included paid work that provided me with playground to learn, such as being a voice over artist and practicing the coaching skill.
The first major stepping stone was reaching out to a popular digital company that I followed on Facebook and creating my own position, as this provided me with a full-time income.
My role was to learn as much as I could about entrepreneurship, holistic health and digital media – while feeding back latest trends and strategies that we could implement within the company.
This was my dream ‘job’. I was now being paid to do what I had previously being paying to do – learn – and I had the freedom to work remotely from anywhere in the world.
Having cut my teeth as a student at an online business school, I went on to become an instructor, helping students to create their own digital career or bring a traditional business online.
By now, I had spent an intense three years of learning from some incredible holistic health practitioners whose depth of knowledge is vastly underrated and under-utilised and doing my own investigation, research and self-experiments. These included therapeutic doses of natural supplements such as plant derived minerals, NADH, B12, maca root and colloidal silver, a raw food cleanse, eating clean (wheat-free, diary-free, sugar-free), light therapy and acupuncture.
Testing revealed that my body finally became free of the virus that it had been under strain from for the past ten years. I healed chronic fatigue, resolved each of the symptoms and my thyroid is now firing
on all cylinders.
The next stage was to get back out into the world and fully road test my Career in a Backpack.
This included camping out on a surf beach during the summer, hosteling in Berlin, travelling through Nepal for a month and trekking in the Himalayas.
As I grew, my career needed to grow with me.
This is why I’m an advocate of creating your own Career in a Backpack (flexible + portable + remote). It’s not just for people who want to trek the Himalayas.
A Career in a Backpack enables you to have the freedom to fit work around life, instead of life around work. While you heal fatigue and get your mojo back, designing your own bespoke career can give you direction and a sense of purpose and progress.
You don’t have to decide upon one path to follow for the rest of your working life. Instead, you can explore whatever direction you’re drawn to, at any point. I call these ‘Passion Projects’.
…and so a dream job at the time can serve as an apprenticeship to something even more exciting and fulfilling.
For me, this is creating Green Body Mojo, for you… Let’s see!
3 Steps to Getting Your Mojo Back
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