A Traveling Life Learner

Ling Kulanko life Coach

The Four Tragedies in life…

and Opportunities to Transform My Life

It all started from 1996 … one summer while I was traveling with my ex-husband, in anguish. It was the last trip for us together and it was a test if we would go through this together or seriously think about separating. The trip just went from bad to worse, separation was imminent. And while I was in front of the computer in one of the internet cafe, an email from my colleague popped up. It started with apologies, empathy, and then the news broke – I was one of the staff to be retrenched from the merger exercise between two big banks in Singapore.  I still remember the image vividly in my head – I had no emotions. It’s like you’ve hit rock bottom and something hit you further, but there is no more bottom to go. I couldn’t feel anything.

I went back and everything started rolling. It’s like all these were meant to happen. The divorce proceedings and the retrenchment, both at the same time. In 6 months, I was out of the job and out of the marriage.

A Tragedy Opens Up An Opportunity

Now I think the job situation had helped to pull myself together and just get going. I didn’t open the floodgates to healing my emotions, I just got on to look for a job quickly.  It was the first chance in my life I tasted the closing of one door, and the next open. I found a new job, later it was to be my door to an adventurous journey to life lessons and growing.

overcome challenges in life

The new job opened up to new opportunity.  I was working in my dream goal – to be interacting with international teams from all over the world. I forgot about the pain, or rather, I didn’t even try to face up to the separation and why the marriage failed. I moved on quickly, learnt new things fast and traveled around in my job. I made new friends and were exploring a new way of life.

Different people manage adversity in life differently

Read More: Success Stories Overcoming Adversity in Life

A Tragedy That Shook My Outlook of Life Completely

I didn’t imagine that the adventures and learning opportunities of my job in traveling around the places brought me to the next tragedy – I was caught in a major earthquake in Taiwan, one of the worst in history in 2001.  I was woken up by cabinets slamming against the wall, luggages thrown to the floor, and all things smashed in my hotel room. I thought it was a nightmare, a ghost hunting exercise… but not, I jumped up, grabbed the phone next to my bed and ran. There was smoke along the corridor and people were screaming. A middle aged woman came to me crying “what should we do?!” I replied to her calmly and loudly “Go down to the stairs now!”. I knew a new side of me – I was calm in handling crisis.

last day of my life

I saw a man at the opposite room to mine and he was packing his bags! I ran to him, grab his bags and his hand along and said “GO!”.  We made it to the open space outside and a colleague in the same business trip but at a different hotel called me, he said he’s coming to my hotel. I was shocked that he knew I was there, and I was much relieved to have a companion during a crisis. I forever cherish this friend deep in my heart (no I didn’t marry him).

The ground moved up and down and I started to cry, that I was going to die and I missed my loved ones.  I called my family, my mum tried to hold her calm and gave me a good advice, “You are not alone, stick to the people around you”. I called two more friends, it was 2am, no one picked up, all I did was leave a frantic voice message of, “I love you very much”.  After that, my phone went dead. The next time I charged it back on, I had hundred of voice messages. Tears rolled down my cheeks… I was reborn.

From that day onwards, I live life like it was the last day on earth.

Live like you'll die today


With this new energy, I began to face up to who I am, what I truly want to be, not wanting to waste my life each day, chasing after one goal to the next, but what was my purpose. I knew that I want to get away to a place I can focus to knowing myself better.  After months of searching I was accepted to a position in Finland, far far away from home.

Read More: What Happens When Everyone Says No To Your Dreams

The Next Tragedy Opens The Door of Healing

The first winter in Finland, I landed into a depression. They said it was the lack of light, but I knew deep down, I was lost. There was two weeks I was living like a robot – I went to work as usual, came home exactly same time, sat in the kitchen, cried for two hours and get on to bed to repeat the same thing day after day.  I was grateful to my good friend, who called me one Saturday to go for a walk. We didn’t talk much in the walk, but it was a turning point. I started to seek for help.

grey winter light

I went from professional counsellor to meditations, energy healing to private consultations. In the end, I sticked to a lady who does private consultations and coaching, in a year and more than ten sessions later, I was transformed from an inner chaos to first taste of happiness without a reason.   The month of March, I had a feeling of euphoria. The feeling of happiness without a reason. I tasted the first time what it means to have self love, what it means to love my present moment, and be happy what it is now.  I started my journey of healing the past, empowering myself to learn how we can use our powerful inner abilities – the conscious and subconscious minds and life. I am forever grateful to Carina Hagstrom. She opened me up to my own awareness, my authentic self to surface and a world of reading, exploring and open to change.  (Check out my books list).

Awareness is the first step towards change

Read More: What Is Self Awareness? 

The Fateful Day of Meeting Tragedy and A New Partner

As I made progress in my personal growth, I acted more consciously at work and put all my self into it. I was promoted through my hard work and was the youngest and only woman leader in the team. One of the challenges being in a male dominated work place and the fighting for power and pride hit me one day – I was not managing a matter well to start with and this triggered a superior to charge into my meeting room and “scolded” me in front of my subordinates. It was the first time for me, to be screamed at by a very senior staff at work, to be reprimanded in front my several colleagues, in a small room where I had no where to go after that, but carried on the meeting for another hour. (I managed to calm down the very aggressive male staff and it was several months later, he initiated a friendly chat with me.) Thereafter I hid in the toilet for the remaining day at work. I was crumbled to nothing.

When I got out of the toilet, ready to pack my things and leave, an external vendor came up to me and said there was an extra ticket to a big media event in the evening, and just left it in my hand. At that moment, I thought, nothing is going to be scary and worse than the worst thing had already happened in that day. I went.

Do one thing a day that scares you. One action a day in living your dreams

Read More: Live Your Dreams, Doing What You Love Each Day

That day, I met the friendliest person from afar, a stranger who smiled at me – my face that had cried for hours earlier on, the face that stripped bare of make up. I said to myself, “I am not going to wake up the next day with regrets of walking away from the man I saw I liked”. So I went up and said “Hi”.

This man became my current life partner. It has been a wonderful ten years now, of tremendous learning – what it means for me to love someone by first loving myself, what is respect and acceptance, I am still learning new perspective and areas of a rich and loving relationship.

Tragedies and Challenges Can Lead Us To A New Life

They are tough lessons in life, to go through the pains of these challenges in life. But there is only one way, and the only way is to keep moving and learning. Being aware, being open to changing mindset, what we believe in and then create more of us in this life.

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

I am open to the adventures ahead, and to share these life lessons and mindset breakthroughs through this blog.

Inspiration around the world
Wherever in the world you are, what matters is what is always possible, no matter what happens.

You may find more of my creative work and life at:

[one_third]Transform through Creative Workshopspersonal development courses singapore ling kulanko[/one_third] [one_third]Transform through real life inspiring storiesreal life inspiring stories around the world[/one_third] [one_third_last]Transform through Mindset Breakthrough

mindset change techniques workbook[/one_third_last]


My passion in inspiring one person a day,

life coach ling kulanko

Life Transformer & Adventurer

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message


My teachers are:

Dr. Richard Bandler NLP & Human Potential

Louise Hay on Mind Body Connection, Affirmations and Love & Accept Yourself

Eckhart Tolle on Mindfulness and Power Of Now

Namikoshi Shiatsu Therapy

Barbara Ann Brennan on Energy Healing

Energy Medicine Ambika Wauters