Learn it. Live it. Love it. Share it.
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1. Speak your truth … say what you mean and mean what you say
Not everyone speaks from truth or follows through? Really? I’ve felt let down countless times when I was lied to or someone didn’t keep a promise. So I made a point to be even more cautious of the words I choose and the commitments and promises I make.
Words are a powerful tool to communicate to ourselves, others and the Universe. Words set our intentions. If you make a promise, honour it. If you are unsure about something, say so. Be honest with your word, when speaking with yourself and others. (This includes no half truths, choose your words carefully but make sure you choose them with your integrity.)
2. “It’s not you, it’s me” … don’t take it personally
Of course at 22 I took this line personally. I was in love and they no longer were. Now I see that there wasn’t something wrong with me, it wasn’t about ‘me’. It was where he was at and what he needed to do, and that was ‘be free’. It just so turned out his freedom was a blessing for my own self-discovery.
Everyone acts and speaks from where they are at that time of day or that stage of their life. You can’t take anything personally. (And you may even be offered a gift in disguise).
3. Time frames shift … enjoy the journey
It is great to set timelines and goals. I was the queen of time frames. “This will take one week. I will finish this project two days early. I will write and publish my book in one year.” Haha. Ah, sweet naivety. Writing my first novel has encouraged me to focus and have something to strive towards and work for, sometimes the Universe has had a slightly different road for me to take in order to get to the next stage; thus, I put the book aside, completed my Masters, moved to Paris, then picked her up again only to go from editor to editor … which is where the book is now, with a different editor. But this grand undertaking of seven and a half years to date has taught me more than ever to enjoy the journey of getting there! And, when I can’t enjoy because I get frustrated, I step back, take some breaths, grab a giant glass of clean water (or a raw chocolate treat), meditate and know everything will fall into place when the time is right.
You may have some unexpected hold ups, challenges, or a complete fork in the road along the way. Be open to these, as they are your growth and will better equip you for the journey onwards.
4. Be passionate and present
When I have been in ‘The Zone’ painting I’m unaware of time. My hands don’t get tired, my focus is clear. I am creating and channelling all my attention and energy into the artwork. Before I know it morning has turned to night, I have a finished piece, and I feel elated. The same feeling arises when I talk with a loved one about something we both feel passionate about; talking for 20 minutes or hours; we are left inspired, energised and ready to channel that energy into the rest of our day.
Be utterly in the moment. Be devoted to your work, your craft, your current activity; from writing to making love, the connection you feel with what you are doing, or who you are with intensifies. Be passionate and present with your Tribe, with your partner, with yourself and your work. Listen when others need to talk to you; offer advice when they ask for it, whilst always being present. This is an ‘investment’ in your relationships with self and others. Honour and respect them and yourself, for you are a Tribe of support for each other. Enjoy the moments you share. And likewise, enjoy your YOU time; listen to what you need and channel your energy into the present moment.
5. Walk your talk
I don’t talk about the benefits of nourishing foods, floating and mediation, then spend that time watching television eating chips. I nourish my body with healthy whole foods and self-love. I float and I meditate, and I feel the benefits of what I talk about. I walk the talk because I believe wholeheartedly in what I talk about.
Be authentic. If you are passionate about a practice, whatever that may be, then learn it, live it, love it and share it.
6. Dreams do come true
Oui oui! I would dream every night about speaking fluent French with my new Frenchy friends while living in a chic Paris apartment. So I signed up at Alliance Français classes, saved every penny to build a healthy nest egg, and covered my vision board with many Parisienne images. A couple of years and plenty of grammar mistakes, and lost in translation moments along the way, I knew I wanted it and I knew I could do it. So I stuck with my dream. The lost in translation moments may still arise but it’s easier to laugh when you’re leaning out of your balcony from your Paris apartment with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand.
Dreams come true. As my Dad taught me, they do take patience, persistence and perseverance to manifest, not just the power of visualisation and affirmations, but you have the ability to realise your wildest dreams.
7. Karma is real
Countless times I have witnessed the ‘what goes around comes around’ scenario.
There is one person you cannot lie to; it is yourself. There is one force you cannot hide from; that is Karma. What you put in is what you get out. Give love. Receive love.
8. LOVE conquers all
The Darkness sing “Love is only a feeling” and The Beatles will tell you “All you need is Love” … though a romantic at heart and a love devotee, I have come face to face with the opposite of Love, let’s call it Fear, and thought it more powerful. At these times I had to turn within and realise there was something telling me otherwise, call it The Universe, God, The Divine. But after a cry and crash down to rock bottom I saw with Love everything is possible, because Love is everything.
LOVE comes in many forms. It is our energy source for life. Say, write and show “I LOVE YOU” every day, in as many ways as possible. There’s no such thing as too much LOVE.
8a. Say “I LOVE YOU”
Besides the sound of your own name, nothing really sounds as sweet as “I love you”. I have always LOVED hearing it, and if there is one thing I do know it is that we are all no different when it comes to hearing it too.
Say “I love you”. Before you go to sleep, when you wake up in the morning, on the phone, before you leave for work, or catch a plane, after a heated discussion, just because! It’s medicine and it’s free, yet utterly invaluable. Say “I love you” to yourself when you look into the mirror. Say “I love you” to your Tribe, and to our beautiful Mother Earth. (This also ties nicely with 15#, Gratitude is essential).
9. You are what you eat & drink … eat more greens drink more clean water
On returning home to Paris after a writer’s workshop in Switzerland, I unpacked, showered and proceeded to gorge on an entire giant Toblerone, and then start on a pack of dark chocolate Suchards. Dinner was done. Did I feel great after? NO. Neither did the void within miraculously fill me with love, joy and nourishment. (Yes, this was my attempt at filling the love void with chocolate. Clearly an unsuccessful strategy. Proven unsuccessful on more than one occasion.) But, when I make a green juice or super smoothie for breakfast, eat a wide variety of greens and fruit, nuts and whole grains, and drink plenty of clean water (and the odd cheeky glass of champagne or two, and yes, some homemade raw chocolate treats), I feel fabulous. I also say “thank you” before I eat, either out loud or in my mind. I take a moment to be present; thank the earth, and the people who created the food I am about to enjoy and be nourished by.
Nutrition is paramount for a healthy body. What you consume literally becomes the blood, tissue, and muscles of your system. Choose your food and drink with consciousness. Choose to nourish you body with fresh, organic, natural produce from the earth. You have one body for an entire lifetime. Treasure it. Treat it like the temple it is. Your body is the most remarkable machine on this earth, and it is your responsibility.
(Please Note: this means gluten, sugar, fatty, fast processed and preservative drenched foods are not body nourishment).
9a. Only a small portion of what feeds you is on your plate
Your physical, spiritual, emotional, mental and sexual self all need to be ‘healthy’ too. Perfect eating and drinking alone, will not make you feel entirely nourished and whole. You need to be fed and nourished from all aspects of life.
9b. Your home is your extension of self
‘Healthy’, clean living extends to your personal space. For a healthy mind, keep a clean home and work environment.
10. Your thoughts create your reality … start with self-love, self-trust and self-forgiveness
As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Think it, feel it, manifest it. Positive thoughts, affirmations, visualisation all assist in reinforcing the life we want to lead and are leading.
11. People come and people go … nothing nor no one stays the same
At primary school I learned that friends come and go no matter what you do; some moved school, some moved countries, some moved to the other side of the playground to hang out with others. By my early 20’s I learned a soul mate, who I believed was staying around forever, could get on a plane and not come back, but still have been a soul mate none the less.
You know that great love you thought would be around forever, the loved one who passed away, the best friend who ‘changed’? … People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. They may disappear for a few years and pop back, or not. That’s ok. As you evolve so too does your Tribe. You meet new like-minded souls, you step away from toxic relationships, you spend less time with some people and more time with others. Accept this as Tribe Revolution and embrace the change; it’s healthy.
12. Meditation will transform your life
Sitting still in silence, reciting my mantra is now a twice-daily practice I love to commit to. I dabbled for years with different forms of mediation from walking eyes closed, guided with a heavy accented guru, to structured breathing and belly techniques, or just that part of the yoga class where you get to drift off to nirvana after a sweaty workout. But then I was introduced to Transcendental Meditation; I learnt 20 minutes morning and night as often as possible, doing nothing but sitting, saying my mantra in my mind and breathing the way I choose, really made a big difference.
There is power in simplicity, in stillness. Meditation will clear your mind of the constant noise inside and around you, and free you to reconnect with your true essence – a divine soul. It’s proven to lower stress, improve creativity and increase longevity. Your soul knows what to do. The challenge is to silence your mind. When you do clear your mind of noise and clutter, you free your soul, and you will transform your life.
13. Money is money. Happiness is happiness. These two are not the same.
There was a time I liked my money where I could see it; in my wardrobe, in my bank account, in my purse and stamped throughout my passport. But I discovered only one of these assists with real happiness, and that is the freedom to travel.
Money may afford us the ability to ‘buy’ what we want, need and desire, but what it cannot buy is time and love. Quality time with someone you love is invaluable. Be aware of this when you are connected with nature, laughing at yourself or with your Tribe. What you are experiencing and sharing is ‘money can’t buy’ happiness. This is invaluable.
14. Raw cacao is the food of the goddesses & gods
Discovering raw cacao and how to make raw cacao desserts changed my world. I had no idea how amazing real ‘chocolate’ could taste and the numerous health benefits associated with it.
Once you go raw cacao you won’t want to go back!
15. Gratitude is essential
“Thank you” was one of the first things I learned to say, that and “please” were mandatory practice in my household. And it always felt right, for I was truly grateful for everything. Years later after reading The Secret, The Magic and The Power I started writing, then reciting 10 things I was grateful for every morning and saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you” after each one. I still recite a list of 10 gratitude’s in my mind before I get out of bed, and I make a point of being grateful throughout the day. From a green traffic light when I am driving, to morning sunshine, a fridge of beautiful nourishing foods, to a conversation with a Tribe member and dinner prepared and shared with a loved one.
Saying “thank you” is a powerful way to increase what you are receiving and ensure it keeps manifesting.
16. Reconnect with Mother Nature … for we are all one
Walking into the ocean and diving under the cool water to completely submerge my body is the most magical feeling. It is my favourite way to connect with Mother Nature, cleanse, and recharge.
We are all one. Made up of energy; the trees, the plants, the animals, humanity. Honour each and every one of us that make up this world. There is beauty in everything and when we can see how interconnected we are that beauty comes alive, and we awaken. Walk barefoot on the earth to charge your electrons, swim in the ocean to cleanse your mind, body and soul, walk through the forest to breathe in the fresh smell of earth, and dance in the rain to feel free. Connection every day in some way will ground and elate you. Make it a daily practice.
17. Acts of kindness mean a lot
The act of giving is so powerful. I love preparing homemade gifts from the heart for my Tribe. From birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, to the spontaneous, just because acts of kindness. I especially love making raw dessert, bundling it up with a bow and taking to a friends place. Writing some loving words in an email to someone who pops into my mind. Volunteering a few hours at a friend’s business or charity event, or helping someone I don’t know find their way when they look lost on the street. I also love smiling at strangers, a big heartfelt smile, so they know there is LOVE and they are seen.
Loving kindness and compassion for others is part of your service on this earth. It’s your way of saying “thank you” and giving back. From smiling at strangers, volunteering, helping a sibling move house, watching your friends baby so they can have a romantic dinner together, or preparing a loving meal to share. What may take you a second, or a few hours may mean so much to someone else. And believe it or not, you both will benefit.
18. Work smarter, not harder … and don’t forget to play
Diary. Online Trello ‘to do’ board. Note pad of daily tasks. Post-its. You name it I use it, and I find the more organised I am the better. A clean space (with a pot plant and a Himalayan salt lamp), a plan and prioritising work/calls/breaks etc is a smart way to not over work. If productivity is at a lull, I get up get a glass of clean water, go outside and get some fresh air, get a snack, or change what I’m working on. Sometimes pushing through is not the answer, so I listen to my intuition to guide me. If my intuition says I need to read a certain book and watch a documentary for inspiration, I do it. If I need to stop work early and exercise, I do it.
Time management, efficiency and balance will help you succeed more than slaving away all day every day. Plan your day with a checklist of tasks and mark them off as you go. And invest in a pot plant to increase the oxygen around you and a Himalayan rock salt lamp to help your concentration levels and purify your space. If you need an energy boost, inspiration, or you know it’s break time find your favourite way to ‘play’ and throw it in the work mix. You will be happier, healthier, and more productive for it in the long run.
19. Do what you love and love what you do … carve your authentic self
Every morning I wake up and feel grateful to do what I love. I literally say it and I pause and remind myself of this periodically. I believe we are all here to create in our own way and to share our creations for the greater good. From writing and art, to public speaking, coaching and modelling. I love every aspect of my ‘creations’ because I know this is what I am meant to do.
If your ‘work’ is something you are passionate about, you believe in and you are giving something back, then you know you are on your path doing what you are meant to do; you are tapping into your authentic self. Even when challenges arise, you will have the inner strength to see it through. Because under all the layers is a foundation of love. There is nothing stronger to sustain you. (If you don’t love what you do, don’t feel fulfilled or that you are giving back, ask yourself why, and then ask yourself “what do I need to do to change this?” Then act.)
As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
20. Don’t leave angry
It’s true; I have hung up the phone and driven off fuming after a heated discussion or disagreement with a loved one. But I have since put a firm stop to that kind of behaviour for my wellbeing and that of the relationship. With the art of diplomacy, patience, breathing, and inner calm, I don’t have a desire to walk away in anger. If I need to walk away I do it calmly and on good terms. Nothing is worth acting like less than your integrity permits.
If you have a disagreement with someone or a fight don’t walk away, slam down the phone or drive off angry. People can be here one day and gone the next. Part on a good note, even better, say “sorry” and mean it. Clear things up then and there. Don’t drag unnecessary emotional baggage into tomorrow.
21. Relax, it’s just a hiccup
So I got out of bed and stubbed my toe, then the hot water was lukewarm and no one else was home to turn it up hotter for me, then my phone rings and I miss it and I get out of the shower to find my black cat sleeping on my freshly cleaned white blazer I am about to wear to an important meeting. What does this tell me? Get over it. These are not ‘problems’.
Little mishaps may occur to jolt you back to the present, encourage you to slow down, have patience, be grateful. So relax, take a deep breath; smile if you can muster it, put on a different jacket and keep on going. Life is too precious to waste time and energy on the little hiccups.
22. Listen to your intuition above all else
Sometimes when I’m driving along a little voice tells me to switch lanes. So I do and I soon find myself avoiding a massive bank up of cars I would have otherwise joined had I not listened to that simple little voice tell me, “change lanes”.
Call it a gut instinct, your guardian angel, psychic dreams or insights, or your intuition. Listen to it. This will not fail you.
23. A relationship will not complete you or make you happy if you aren’t already … but it will be a great mirror
Being in a relationship is an amazing gift. I love sharing my world, my life, my love with that special person. I feel joy in them sharing theirs with me, as much as I do creating an ‘us’. It incites happiness, of course, but I don’t look to my relationship to be my everything. I feel complete as an individual entity of love without my mate, and I believe that is part of why it works so well. When two rings interlock they are connected but still keep their perfect round form. They can dance together, move closer to appear as one unified ring and then they can pull back and appear almost side by side as the infinity sign.
Work on yourself first. Feel complete as a beautiful soul on this earth. Learn what makes you happy. Discover your purpose. When you are at the ‘happy’ stage you will be like a lighthouse to like minded souls, and you will gravitate to each other. And when you do find each other realise that the person in front of you is a mirror offering you the opportunity to see different facets of your self. They will challenge you and make you confront parts of your self you may have previously avoided. Embrace this dance; it is your growth and journey as an individual and as a couple.
24. No one knows you better than YOU
Do you ever want to start something new but you think you don’t know what? So you speak with your parents, and your partner, and your friends, colleagues, coach, mentor, industry or field experts, read a few books then realise the first thought you had was actually what you wanted to do all along.
You can listen to experts and take advice, do what your friends and family tell you, or read articles online and books galore, at the end of the day you must listen to your body, your heart and as #22 says, listen to your intuition and choose for yourself.
25. Don’t compare yourself to others or follow the crowd, be YOU
When surf gear was cool I dressed like a hippie with long floaty cheesecloth skirts and plaits in my hair or dressed gothic with black make-up and nails to match, for a bit of fun. When all the girls in high school were getting their belly buttons pierced I cut my hair off. Even being in the fashion industry with fads and must have’s of the season I’d rather wear my nana’s dress (that she made) belted with heels I bought in Italy 10 years ago than conform to the ‘norm’. I also grew up with my nana playing the piano and my mum and her both singing nana’s favourite song, Frank Sinatra’s, My Way.
You are a unique, one of a kind, beautiful soul here on this earth with your own talents and purpose in life. When you are the brightest, most authentic version of you, there is no competition. Likewise, if everyone else is doing it and you don’t feel it’s right for you, DON’T DO IT! Whatever that may be. Be a leader. Be revolutionary. Be your own Muse. Be YOU and do it your way.
25a. Get inspired, not rewired
There are times when I find it wonderful to be around others for inspiration. I listen to their life stories, see what they do, bounce ideas with them … but always in my mind I know to BE ME.
Listen to your integrity, your intuition and your heart, take the inspiration you have gained from others and use it as a wonderful bonus ingredient in your own life mix.
As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
26. You will share your life with more than one ‘soul mate’
I used to have this Hollywood, romanticised notion that a soul mate was one person who I would serendipitously meet, connect with more than anyone I’ve ever met before, fall in love, and that ‘in love’ would sustain our entire lives. I’ve since learnt, this may be true, sort of. I have serendipitously met soul mates, connected, fallen in love and shared a journey of growth together. These have been romantic and platonic soul mates. I have a beautiful handful of soul mates, who have had a great impact on my life journey, some have challenged and tested me, pushed me, expanded my mind, soul and heart. Some have left, others continue to share the journey, inspiring, nurturing and growing together with me.
You will meet these people, maybe only a couple, maybe a few. They will have the deepest connection with you, the most heart felt moments and soulful experiences, they will help you learn what love (life) is. You may have that feeling of déjà vu (from having lived previous lives together), finish each others sentences, know when they need you and call them without them asking. They may break your heart, you may break theirs, but that love, that soul connection will sustain a lifetime even if you do not share this entire lifetime together.
27. Travel is life changing
Most of the last 10 years of my life have been spent travelling; from Western and Eastern Europe to Asia, America and the United Kingdom. Though the most challenging and most rewarding travel experience was when I moved to Paris. Heart broken and alone, not searching for love, I studied, painted, modelled, wrote, went to the markets every week and lugged kilo’s of fresh food back home and up three flights of stairs, got assaulted, found an editor and a mentor, got stuck in a fire, turned down an engagement proposition (ring included), make that two. I learned to surf, got a new editor, and learned how to love again – myself that is. I did numerous things I would have never have done if I stayed ‘home’. It was an education that no piece of paper from any institution alone could have provided.
From a trip away with a loved one to clear your mind and bring you closer together, to taking a year off to travel alone or with someone, or live abroad. DO IT. You will face challenges, learn, grow and create a stronger more global, humble version of yourself. Nothing broadens your entire Universe like travel.
28. Have a daily personal ritual … take care of you
When my eyes open first thing in the morning I say my ‘10 Gratitude’s’ for the day before I get out of bed. Once I’m up I prepare a mug of warm lemon water to sip, do the 5 Tibetan Rites to align my chakras, exercise (either aerobics /Pilates/ yoga/jog/swim) then I meditate for 20 minutes and at the end I jot down any insights that come to me in my sacred journal. If I’m pressed for time the only part I move to later in the day is exercise, the rest in non-negotiable. It’s my fuel for mind, body, heart and soul.
From yoga and journaling to creating a special meal for yourself or reading a book. Switch off from the noise, the rushing around and commitments and take time to invest in your wellbeing. Nourish your soul. When you are at your strongest, happiest and healthiest you are in a better place for yourself, and a better place to give to others.
29. When you are on your right track, you awaken the magic of synchronicity
It took hours and hours of my time, years in fact, my entire life savings, strength and will power, heart and courage, to push through boundaries and fears, but when the pieces to my puzzle started coming together, more and more I began seeing synchronicity in my life.
You meet the person to help you, your friends introduce you to someone who wants to invest in your business, you bump into someone in the market and strike up a conversation that leads to the realisation you are both working on a similar project and can collaborate. Keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your determination unwavering. The Universe assists you when you are clear about what you want and actively pursue it. As you trust the process you will be moved to be in the right place at the right time; through surrender and willfulness, you will discover your right track and the magic that brings.
And a bonus, since I’m half way to 30;
Believe in yourself … Love. Believe. Achieve
My mum always taught me to believe in me. No.Matter.What. “Believe in you,” she would say. This ignited a flame inside my heart that I have carried with me ever since. When I first moved to Paris and I was living alone, making no money from freelance correspondence journalism (since everyone wanted to publish me for free – oh the honour when you’re trying to buy food!). I didn’t know how I was going to get on my feet so I stepped away from the computer and I took a bath. I sat balled up in the middle of the tub thinking, “this is it. I can end it all now, just sink. Or I can swim.” And I felt that flame inside my heart, I believed I could pull through, find a way to stop writing for everyone else and get back to writing my book, pick up some modelling and find a new apartment in a fabulous location with equally fabulous Frenchies … and so I did.
Irrespective of what you are told, what you or others have done before, what you have seen and read, if you are at rock bottom, tap into your heart. If you are set on achieving something, creating something, learning, healing yourself, changing your life, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO DO THIS. Everything starts and ends inside you. Love yourself, believe in yourself, and you will achieve your dreams and manifest them into reality. It all starts with tapping into your inner ‘Warrior’ by igniting the fire within and when challenge arises, always come back to that inner flame.
What is your most Stella life lesson so far, StellaTribe?
With Love, S*M