My Golden Rules

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Every now and then it's important to take stock of where you are in life ... are you thriving or are you feeling a bit lost... we all have desires but sometimes it's easy to lose sight of them, so what are your golden rules right now that are keeping you in the moment and really living ... 


1 /  Explore as often as you can.

Find people and places that inspire you - artists, chefs or even people outside the realm of your usual interests. Travel because you need to, because disrupting the ordinary keeps you curious and on your toes and there’s something about discovery, that sense of wonder that stays with you and feeds you in a way that every day routines never could.

2 / Find 10 minutes every day to meditate.

My friend’s ex would often say to her: ‘your head is such dangerous neighbourhood rather stay out of it’… He’s a witty guy and let’s be honest, he' s right but also, he is wrong. I got into meditation a few years back when Janie told me about Headspace - a mindfulness app that The New York Times described as ‘doing for mediation what someone like Jamie Oliver did for food’, that was a relatable enough hook. Not only was it easy and beautifully designed but I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t about cancelling out noise around you or getting into the storyline of your thoughts but rather, an incredibly effective tool that changes the way you respond to everything around you. Your head is only a dangerous neighbourhood if you’re stuck, spending all your time and energy worrying about stuff that doesn’t serve you.

3 / Don’t ever let anybody steal your groove.

Like death and taxes people will always have their opinions and trust me they mean well when they share them with you, you’re guilty of doing that too. But what they don’t share is your comfort-threshold with change or your current circumstances so don’t let that throw you or stop you from trying new things. Every opportunity I’ve had has often started off feeling like a scary, uncertain place. Be bold, if you can believe in Santa for nine years you can believe in yourself right now in this minute.

4 / Always find the light.

My good-vibes-only optimism is something I shared with my gran. At the age of 95, she was still the upright epitome of a lady with a healthy dose of sass. She showed me what it meant to be kind - to keep your footprint on everyone you encounter light, not expecting anything in return. That’s not to say you have to walk around with a creepy grin on your face or deny yourself having a bad day, it’s just learning to not get stuck or attached to those feelings and genuinely not wanting to be the reason someone else feels the same way.

5 / Exercise. Sweat. Feel what it really feels to be in your body when it sets itself on fire.

When I was 17 I had to give up my ballet career because my hips and knees were no longer interested and for years I’ll admit, I banked on that muscle memory always being there. Exercising became this thing I would do if I ate a cupcake or because I felt I had to - a guilt ridden effort that only left me feeling frustrated with the pain I now associated with it. It took me witnessing my mom go through a very debilitating illness to fully appreciate my health and what our bodies actually do for us every single day. Ever since then I’ve been so much kinder to myself and prioritise that space for me to focus all my energy inwards. Music is such a big motivator for me as are cool instructors so I found studios (yogalife and Switch) that recognise the huge part this plays when you’re pushing yourself and your limits - whoever thought a DJ and disco lasers would help is a solid genius! So exercise has taken on new meaning for me ditching the guilt and horrible self-chatter for an intentional space, a chance for me to give something back and really feel what it feels to be in my body when it sets itself on fire. That transition in itself feels better than anything and plus, cupcakes are no longer responsible for world wars.

6 / Fear is the revolving door between you and freedom, it’s going to be ok.

Whenever I have felt the presence of fear the other side of that has opened me up to so many freeing possibilities beyond anything I ever imagined. There will be many revolving doors and there will be times when you sit and watch them spin, but where’s the fun in that? Get in, push through… what’s the worst that can happen.

7 / How? Take action, try this 5-second rule.

I watched Mel Robbins’ popular TEDx Talk titled ‘How to stop screwing yourself over’ right at a time when I seemed to be doing just that. I had a beautiful blank canvas with an open invitation to create anything I had ever dreamed of and yet here I was, paralysed hitting some sort of internal snooze button while that revolving door spun. Fear had a lot to do with it and Mel, almost knowingly, said: ‘when your thoughts and feelings are at war… your feelings are always going to win’. Struck by similar feelings in her own life she developed this technique to propel herself into action by realising ‘if you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea’ … try it! Start with something as simple as getting out of bed when your alarm goes off in the morning, or commit to going to that gym class with a friend within 5 seconds of them asking. FYI: that beautiful canvas is no longer a blank white space, you’re reading it!

8 / See your life the way you want it to play out.

At the beginning of 2015 I grabbed a notebook and intentionally wrote down what I wanted for my life while sunbathing on the beach. I’d just come out of a break-up and was still working for my ad agency at the time. Unbeknownst to me, I was a few months away from experiencing profoundly devastating loss that would make me let go of everything as I knew it. I wrote about travel, about seeing myself creating my own business, I saw myself connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. I saw myself not having all the answers but many questions and that was ok, in fact, that was better because it meant a journey of discovery rather than a dead end. I saw myself being truly happy and feeling a sense of security and gratitude for everything I could give myself rather than seeking that from someone else. It’s 2 years later and that person I wrote about is very much here. After losing my mom I resigned from real life as I knew it and travelled to 6 countries. I met up with friends I hadn’t seen in 10 years, and made new ones along the way that opened me up to different points of view. I returned home after living in another country only to find people I admired approaching me to help them in ways I always envisioned I could. It’s crazy but you really can manifest what you want to feel if you consistently work away at it.

9 / Oh honey, let go …

Let your hair down! Also, be ok with having really bad hair days in humid countries. Stop trying to control everything around you because when you look back you will see how your life plays out cinematically. Relationships come and go, be ok with that, learn from them. Nothing is permanent including your time here so have fun and skinny-dip at least once.

10 / Laugh every day and collect beautiful coffee-table books that remind you to do the same.

A is for Armageddon by Richard Horne and Nasty Galaxy by Sophia Amoruso are two of my faves.


SteHan Botha