Turning 26 was probably one of the biggest milestones of my life. Not because I realized I was getting older but because I was able to look back and reflect on all the lessons I had learnt in my 25 years. If there is one way I can describe it, it would be bitter – sweet. Moments of absolute bliss and moments of bitter pain. But I can proudly say I MADE IT.
15 Life lessons I learnt turning 26. I believe what I am about to write is relevant to everyone, no matter what your age is. Whether you are 18 or 60, I have learnt many valuable lessons I would like to share with you.
1. Let go of what is not meant for you.
So often we are naïve to think that we are content & happy with our lives and ourselves. Are you REALLY the happiest you can be? Do you live in denial? We hold onto so much that no longer serves a purpose in our lives. Letting go of a 4-year relationship with the man I thought I was going to marry was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But something in my heart was telling me it wasn’t right. It took me a long time to listen to my inner self but if you have any question about the person you are with or something you are doing in your life start asking yourself those questions. I finally got to a point where I asked so many questions that one day I found the answer. Remember it is a process to discover what no longer serves you. Letting go of that relationship was the toughest yet most liberating thing I have ever done. For the both of us, we were no longer meant for each other and now we are both FREE. Learn to let things GO, it will be one of the most liberating things you ever do.
2. You can heal yourself.
You often hear of people curing themselves of cancer, fatal diseases and so much more. I always knew in my heart that this was possible but never thought I would have to heal myself of anything. At the beginning of the year I started to get chronic lower back pain. I wasn’t able to exercise properly for 6 months and for someone who trained twice a day that was life changing. I went to see Physios, Chiropractors, went for X-rays the whole toot. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. I had always been told that when we become sick or have pain it is our body physically manifesting our emotional pain. Lower back pain usually represents money worries and stability. I knew in my heart that I had manifested this pain. Some days it was so bad I couldn’t even walk. The next step was to go for an MRI and most probably be told I needed an operation. I had made up my mind – I was going to heal myself. The journey was long. Hard. Everyday for 6 months I had a daily mission to do whatever I could to heal my back. Through Meditation Affirmation, Yoga and Physio and a lot of self-love. Some days I just wanted to give up and I became accustomed to the pain. But I persevered. I know this sounds a little crazy but one day I woke up and the back pain was GONE. I promise you – you can heal yourself. I am living proof. I sometimes forget I lived with such pain but when I do remember I am so grateful for what I learnt from that experience.
*(Please ensure you get medically diagnosed before beginning natural healing)
3. Acknowledge your emotions.
As human beings we find it extremely easy to bottle up our emotions because we don’t want to face our truth or face the pain. After my 4 year long breakup I pretended for months that I was okay & happy. I would drive past my exes’ house everyday and sent him love; I thought it was ‘wrong’ to be angry because I am a loving person. I thought, be the better person, be strong, be light, be love. Boy oh boy did that smack me in the face. One day I woke up and I was so angry. I wanted to hit walls, scream, shout and destroy everything around me. I had no idea why I was so angry until I sat myself down and had a very serious talk with myself to find out where this anger was coming from. I had not allowed myself to be angry in any way. Not that I was angry with my Ex, but in every breakup you go through many emotions and the emotion that I thought was ‘ wrong ‘ to feel I denied. I had bottled the anger up inside of me so deeply that the cork finally popped. I need to tell you that love is not a ‘ better’ emotion than ‘hate’ every emotion stems from two things. LOVE or FEAR. Hate, anger, lust, jealousy, greed all stem from the fear emotion. Passion, happiness, and bliss – these emotions come from Love. No emotion is ‘ better ‘ than another. They are just different feelings. They help you understand who you are. Do not deny any feelings you may feel. FEEL your feelings & then let them go. Life is about going with the flow. When you are down, feel down and face it. When you are happy, feel happy. JUST FEEL you will start to understand what they meant when they said
‘ Life is a wave ‘ RIDE IT’
4. Accept your body.
2013 was my year of the body. I was in the best shape of my life, an absolute machine. From triathlons to physique competitions. I was at my peak. Then life happened, I got a back injury, my life turned upside down and my body needed a break. This year my body hasn’t been in the condition I would like it to be. Nowhere near. I would look in the mirror and I began to hate what I was seeing. I recently when to go and shoot an international cooking show for a friend of mine in Mozambique and she caught me looking at myself in the mirror. Being in the middle of Africa you can stick to your normal eating plan. I said to her “ Ahhhhh, I am getting so fat” She turned around grabbed my arm and made me really look in the mirror. She said for one second Lisa would you just actually take a good look at that body in the mirror. She said, “ Your curves are exquisite” for the FIRST time in my life I saw something beautiful, every lump & bump was in its perfect place. My curves were beautiful, my curves were sexy. For the first time I accepted and loved my body for what it was at that time. It was a soul freeing moment. I have however learnt that I am most happy when I am lean, strong & toned and I am on the way to getting back there but we need to learn to love and accept our bodies no matter what they look like at any given moment. Whether you are looking the way you want or if you would like to make changes. In that given moment, wherever you are. LOVE your body. Its Perfect just the way it is. Thank You Callie.
5. Do something for you
Now you may call me hypocritical after reading the last point but it’s all about perspective. Since the day I can remember I always wanted bigger boobs, lets just say I was not blessed in the boobie department. I was always happy with my small boobs, able to wear a top with no bra, sport was fantastic, as I didn’t have to wear two bras like my bigger boobied babes. But it was something I wanted to do for me. So I did it. I got my boobs done & it was the best thing I ever did. Not that I ever needed confidence but I feel like a new person. I can now wear clothes I could never wear before. I look and feel like a woman and my body is now in proportion. I think this had a big role to play in me accepting my curves. If there is something that you would like to do, I am all for it. But please whatever you do, DON’T change what you look like. Learn to love the face you were given. In Sacred Chinese geometry they say that we have all been given the exact face we need to do what it is that we need to do here on earth.
I think I could write a book on this one. I have always had many friends, many friendship groups. I have always prided myself to be a great friend. I have learnt many lessons and had many ups and downs with friends. Here are a few things I have learnt. People change, their essence stays the same but their opinions and fundamentals change. We outgrow one another. Accept it; don’t fight for a friendship that isn’t working. It doesn’t mean you will never be friends again it just means that right now you are not vibrating at the same level. Let each other go. If you are meant to be friends again one day you will, if not you have left open a new space for a new friend. EMBRACE someone new you never know what he or she may have to teach you. Sometimes we need to go on our own journeys to find ourselves before we reconnect again. That’s okay. You will survive on your own without your once upon a time bestie.
7. Believe you deserve to be loved
If you don’t love yourself how to you expect someone else to love you? We need to learn to love ourselves. Accept ourselves. I have been on a long road learning to love myself. It hasn’t been easy to completely love and accept yourself. My friend Leeroy once taught me to look myself in the mirror every day and tell myself I love myself, even if you don’t believe it – just say it. Your mind is extremely powerful and you can learn to love yourself. I believe everyone in the world has ‘their’ person but we don’t believe we deserve love because we cannot love ourselves. Stop looking for Mr. Right. He/ She will come when he is suppose to in divine universal timing. You will meet that person when you least expect it in the most unlikely places. If we go looking for it you will only find Mr. wrong. So spend time learning to love yourself. Everyone deserves to be loved and there is someone out there that is going to love ALL of you, unconditionally. They are right around the corner. You just need to believe it.
8. Cut the crap
We live in a world where people choose to not see their truth because living a lie is easier. The truth is a hard path to choose but what you receive from the truth is unconditional love. A life without fear. We need to learn to cut the crap. There are people in your life and circles who do not add value. They drain your energy, they drain your soul but so often we believe we ‘ need ‘ to be friends with certain people. I spent most of my life trying to please people who I ‘ thought’ were important. People who I believed would help me in life. The stars, the celebrities, the people I believed had it all figured out. What I have come to realize is that there are certain individuals who are living the biggest lie. They don’t know who they are. They don’t even have the courage to find out. When you start to know yourself you start to instantly recognize those living a lie. They serve no purpose in your life. It’s OKAY to not be friends with the cool kids. I can promise you one thing that if you are stuck in a dark alley at 4am in the morning they have more important places to be. Choose to be real, choose to be associated with REAL people. Let those fake individuals living a lie, live their lie with the fake crowd. Its okay to not be ‘cool’ there are real people out there. Be a real person and you will find them. I can promise you they will add huge value to your life and teach you a lot. Don’t feel bad deleting that person on Facebook, it will be incredibly liberating and their energy will no longer be apart of your life.
9. Forgive yourself
Two days before my 26th birthday I was over whelmed with emotions. It was as though everything I had done wrong, every person I had ever hurt was coming to haunt me. There was this little voice in my head that said, “ you are a bad person” I didn’t know where to turn to. So I decided to face things head on. If something is coming up it is coming up for a reason. So I decided to throw myself a little ceremony and face my daemons. I sat down pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down all my daemons. Everything I had ever done to hurt someone. I expected there to be a massive list. Eventually I got to number THREE. I thought to myself, this is impossible the there must be more… But guess what? There were no more. The pain I went through for 3 little problems that I had made a mountain in my mind. After listing the three things I took another piece of paper wrote down each thing I had done wrong and underneath I wrote, “ I forgive myself for… I am sorry I Hurt… I learnt a lesson…I forgive myself and let it go.” After this I went and stood in the garden and burnt the pieces of paper. It sounds a little strange I know but we have the power to released our emotional pain on a physical level. Those daemons have stopped whispering sweet NOTHINGS in my ear because at the end of the day I created those daemons and they just needed to be acknowledged and released.
10. Sometimes things aren’t for you
It’s so awesome to dream. I remember wanting to be a model, Top Billing presenter and all these crazy wild things. We create this perception of ourselves throughout our lives without even looking at who we truly are. I was never meant to be a model because it as no my purpose in life. I am to short, to dark and to stocky to grace the ramp in New York City. My purpose lies elsewhere. The sooner we stop lying to ourselves, the sooner we will find our purpose. If you have been trying to do something for to long and its not working – maybe it just isn’t for you.
11. Talk about your shit
When you have a stomach bug – you go to the doctor. When you hurt your back you go to a chiro. When you hurt your knee you go to a physio. So what is so WRONG with going to talk to someone when you hurt your heart? There is some stupid taboo about speaking to guidance professionals. Like there is ‘something’ wrong with you. CHANGE THIS PERCEPTION. Fixing your mind and heart is exactly like fixing a broken body part, actually even better because like I learnt I wouldn’t have had a broken back if I didn’t have a broken soul. There are so many individuals out there who can help you become the BEST person you can be. Even if you don’t have a broken heart – why not discover yourself, learn about yourself? It was one of the most empowering things I have ever done. I have been to psychologists (they do have their purpose but I believe there are many other wonderful alternatives) life coaches, spiritual healers and many more. Every one of them has helped me become the person I am today. For the rest of my life I will be looking for guidance, support and knowledge from the more experienced. Even when there is nothing wrong with me. Because I want to be the BEST person that I can be.
12. Face Your Biggest Fears
I believe we truly only grow as human beings when you face your fears. Fear is an extremely powerful emotion. We fear the unknown; if there is something we don’t understand we associate fear with that thing. Once you understand what fear is, it creates a sense of knowing and understanding and it becomes easier to face your biggest fears. I have come to a place in my life where I believe the more times I face my fears the more I am going to live a life of TRUTH and embrace my destiny. Someone very special to me had a fear of flying, so what did she decided to do? She got her Helicopter License. Well Done Kate, you are an inspiration. Ever since I was little I had a fear of dying in a car accident. Don’t ask me why but every time I got in my own car I would have thoughts of crashing. I was so scared to travel in a car because of this fear. One amazing lesson my ex taught me was how to drive long distance. he would make me drive his car whilst we road tripped through South Africa. A few weeks ago I was doing a 2800KM road trip from JHB to CT on a 60 Super Car Rogue Rally. I had been informed that I would be driving down 8 girls. The morning we were supposed to leave I was met with a huge vito van with a big green trailer hitched to the back. To be honest, I became completely petrified thinking there was no way I could do this. I was so close to pulling out and then I reminded myself that I made a decision that I would conquer all my fears. So I drove 2800KM’s all the way to Cape Town with 8 girls and a trailer. Not only did I do this but also I had the opportunity of driving in a Nissan GTR at 293KM’s per hour. I remember sitting at the starting line of a rally race and I was completely silenced. The driver asked me if I was okay and I remember thinking to myself – you are going to die. This is the end. As my heart pounded in my throat, visions of my life flashing before me I decided to sit in the fear and feel it. All of a sudden I was reminded that I AM ALIVE. I was feeling emotions I had never felt before & it reminded me what it felt like to be alive & kicking. We took off, 1740KG’s of power all around me. The G-force coming up from underneath me. It was one of the most freeing things I have ever done.
I am no longer scared of dying in a car accident – its not the way I am going to go.
13. Use your body
After going through an incredibly challenging year this year physically I nearly wanted to pack it all in and give it all up. What was the point? I had come so far and now I had lost it all. Muscle tone, fitness, health. It was incredibly degrading for me to realize how deteriorated my body had become. After healing my back I eventually got back into training. And it hit me how fast the body loses its strength, flexibility and fitness. We are given ONE body in our lifetimes. I have realized how important it is to keep moving, keep going. Take care of that body. If you do not use your body it will begin to deteriorate. My gran mother did yoga till she was 90; I want to be that gran one day. It goes for your mind. Keep learning, keep reading or your mind will begin to deteriorate. Take full advantage of the tools you have been given in this lifetime to live a fulfilled life. No matter what the set backs are, pick yourself back up and get back on the wagon. I can promise you, you will only end up stronger and more powerful. If you don’t know where to start and you feel like you need some motivation – enter a race. Enter a competition. Start a 30-Day Yoga challenge. JUST START SOMEWHERE.
14. Acknowledge your mistakes, learn your lessons
It’s so much easier to live in denial. To deny your truth. I want to tell you that it’s okay to fuck up. It’s okay to make mistakes. I have made many mistakes some harder to let go than others. But the most important thing is to acknowledge when you have done something wrong, when you have hurt someone. Its important to learn from you mistakes. There are many different beliefs out there and I respect whatever it is that you may believe. I believe we come to ‘Earth’ school as humans to LEARN. It is all one big lesson here. We learn through emotion. We learn through others. We learn from ourselves. But the question you need to ask yourself is…. ARE YOU LEARNING? If there is something that keeps happening in your life, if you keep making the same mistake – you are NOT learning. My biggest lesson of late is that I trust too easily. I believe everyone is trustworthy, as I believe the best in everyone. In the past week two things have come up where I have been shown that I need to stop trusting so easily. Have you learnt this lesson yet? Not yet… But at least I am acknowledging it.
15. Find a place of stillness, Find a place of support, Find a place to learn
Now days we have become so against religion that we no longer have a place to learn, to share, to grow. I am not the biggest fan of ‘ religion ‘ because I believe it is used for power & control but what I do believe in is having a place where you feel safe to learn, to grow and to talk about life experiences I have been attending meditation groups for the past 2 years now and they have really changed my life, opened up my mind and given me a safe haven to speak about my problems and grow as an individual without being judged. I had a really intense mediation last week with lots of releasing and dealing with things. I remember lying in bed the next morning and feeling so happy, so free. I looked back on everything I had done and how becoming aware of the way I live my life had helped me live a more truthful, free, loving life. Everyone needs support, everyone needs individuals in their lives that can support & love them without being judged. When you attend meditation groups, church or other healing groups you all have commonality. This commonality gives you purpose and in this purpose you find healing. Spend time on ‘fixing’ yourself even if you believe you are perfect and there is nothing wrong. We are human. We are not perfect. And by looking at you fears, imperfections and facing them head on you becomes a more truthful, free human being.
When you decide to see LIFE for what it really is and change your attitude towards life you will begin to see the magic that happens all around. The world around you will become more peaceful, more beautiful. I need to tell you that the answer to life lies within each and every one of you.
YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. Stop looking around for the answers. Start looking WITHIN. Get to know yourself; you are your greatest teacher.
I look forward to sharing my next 15 lessons when I reach my next milestone until then…
I’m taking life by the balls, facing my fears, owning my mistakes, letting it all go, realizing that the journey is long and tough & no matter how hard life gets I will CHOOSE to be happy, choose to see the best in every situation.
We are our own best teachers… So start learning….