Step Back: An Ode to the Small Things.

Image via Miss Moss

Image via Miss Moss

Now I don’t usually listen to morning radio. Firstly because I refuse to deal with the reality of the current traffic status, and secondly, as much as I love Taylor Swift, she’s definitely going “out of style” at the rate of three songs per half hour.

But one specific, chilly morning the good old talk show hosts on the FM spectrum taught me something that changed my world with one question: they asked the entire, invisible cohort of listeners what was their ‘NOW’.

Like what was happening right now – urging people to share their current journey, goal, project, opening, closing, launch or completion of something…anything.

It was an enlightened morning commute because it really got me thinking how totally stuck in our mini worlds we can be, and how neglectful we are, of the cheeky achievements we make on a daily basis.

This ‘small thing’ goodness is a theme I’ve been toying with on Incogo.com (Check out my journeys here!) and ties in pretty perfectly with the whole foundational perspective of the positive, mindset fraternity: be present.

Sure, recognise you’re playing a big game with big boys, but don’t forget to actually stop and give yourself a gold star for the small goals reached.

Realistically, these things you pie off as unimportant could be major achievements in the eyes of someone else, and you’re doing yourself a disservice by regarding it as anything less. ‘Treat yo-self’.

Believe me I’m guilty of disregard constantly. It’s only when I’m chatting to a long lost friend about recent movements that I actually reflect on the last week in my diary and head, and realize that hey, finishing that essay was the best feeling ever, perfecting quinoa was a huge deal and I didn’t go on Facebook for a whole two hours straight yesterday! These are just basic examples, but going a little deeper, there is so much opportunity for us to turn up the pride.

Think of planning events, working in a team, writing your first blog post, helping someone spell ‘professional’ (seriously, is it one or two ‘f’s?), winning a competition, eating clean for the whole week, getting up earlier, having one less coffee a day, not swearing as much, remembering to feed the dog, telling Mum you appreciate the Roast she made last night or making someone laugh.

It’s all so damn good! Can you remember that please?

These are the little things, but they are all we’ve got. Let’s love them a little.

That may or may not have been a pun, but you get the picture.

Stop being so damn egotistical and thinking you need to do something major, get 367 likes on your Instagram post, win a medal, or be recognized a guest on Jimmy Fallon to feel accomplished.

Sure those would be nice (and don’t for a second, stop setting the most outrageous goals!), but don’t forget that before the Jimmy action, is the recognition and gratification of mini achievements. If you’re not grateful for that, there’s no way you’ll be motivated to work even harder.

It always has, and always will be, just you. And if no one else cares, make sure at least you do.

Here’s to the small things.

Love, S.

Baby steps.

Tippi Degré via Pinterest.

Tippi Degré via Pinterest.

“Whoever said small things don’t matter has never seen a match start a wildfire”. – Beau Taplin

It’s an interesting concept, the idea of ‘little things’ being big things.

I for one, am a huge advocate. Being small (in height), I’m pretty adamant on turning such a presumable defeat into something magic.

I’m a certified pocket-rocket, a proprietor of ‘fun-size’, and a 50 cent reminiscent ‘Shawtay’.

It’s fine, after 22 years in this bod, I’ve accepted my Latino induced height challenge. But that hasn’t stopped me from coining #bigthings as my motto for this year.

BIG everything.

BIG moves, BIG events, BIG meets and BIG goals that – if all goes to plan – become BIG successes.

Because as my favourite Beau Taplin has beautifully affirmed: small things can be wildfire huge.

Re: Change

In a recent article I’ve been poring over for days for Lot’s Wife Magazine, the true impact of small=big has kind of engrained itself in my head. I’ve been covering a story on ‘Live Below the Line’, an initiative run by the Oaktree Foundation to realize the end of extreme poverty.

Now I don’t know about you, but for me, I believe changing the world is a task that should be reserved for Superman, Obama or Angelina Jolie. The concept of little ol’ me actually having an ability to make a real difference is pretty jovial. It’s impossible right?

Apparently not.

Something as ‘small’ as me raising $50, can put some cute little boy in school for a year.

Small for me? Sure, I mean, $50 is hardly a new Kookai top.

HUGE for said cute little kid? Abso-freakin-lutely, it’s life changing.

See, #BigThings

Re: Goals

The good thing about goals is they are huge. The bad thing about goals is they are huge.

My Dad has always said to my sisters and I, ‘to reach for the stars because even if you fail, at least you’ll fall on the moon’.

The cool part about this is that our goals are inevitably set sky high, almost unattainably high.

It’s like we are gearing up for failure – at least without a plan for getting there anyway.

It’s all scarily reminiscent of the Year 12 teachers’ chime: ‘failing to plan means planning to fail’. So what if we broke BIG goals in baby steps. Small ones?

I read something recently that was like, ‘see yourself achieving a goal, and backtrack to what you would have done immediately before that moment, then before that one, and the one before it etc. etc., until you are sitting where you sit right now.’ I like this a lot!

As you can imagine, any #bigthing is a series of small, little things that accrue together for the final result. I guess it’s nothing new, but I’m learning it all over again.

Re: The World

Even on a global scale, little things may be pretty major.

I recently entered a competition answering the question: “How would you change the world”. Without even realizing the trend that I would be experiencing together with the ‘Live below the line article’, and my own need to break my goals down – my 30 second video was all about the importance of little things.

As you can imagine, I’m convinced the ‘little’ mindset can change the world.

See the video here.

Think about it, it’s 100% where change begins. With a little giggle to lighten a tense mood, a cheeky smile to convince someone you’re a fun human being, or even just a pat on the back to show someone their efforts are appreciated.

Take-away

So what’s the moral of the story S.?

Well Bae, I’m proposing we bring it back a notch.

That we remember the little people, and the baby steps we took before we could walk, run and jump.

This is where it starts, that is where real progress is made, and unfortunately, its what we seem to forget.

So break down the big, and make them small enough to eat in one bite.

I wonder if this was the motivation behind the creation of macaroons: So small, but totally inclusive of a world of deliciousness – I’m looking at you Adriano Zumbo!

So think you can do it?

Be small for the sake of being BIG. I dare you.

Love, S.

Can you ever just be, whelmed?

Image via Free People.

Image via Free People.

I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be, whelmed?

It’s an auspicious question I first came across in my pre-teen, cousin accompanied viewing of ‘10 things I hate about you’ many moons ago, and I have to thank those 90’s screenwriters for posing such a thought provoking interrogation.

Because for many situations, circumstances and presented opportunities, there may many, suitably descriptive words: exciting, nerve-racking, inspiring, motivating, challenging or just really damn cool.

For others though, the term speechless is the only thing I can muster.

It’s not that I’m indifferent, undecided or perplexed – I’m simply, factually, downright speechless.

I’m just, whelmed.

You know that adage, which goes something like: “it’s my party and ill dance/cry/eat cold sausage rolls if I want to”?

It’s a thing. This life and everything in it is basically your party, do with it what you will. No one cares.

And in this daily rollercoaster, that I’m probably a tad too short for continues to creep up to the highest peak, I’m not sure how I actually feel about it.

I’m whelmed, and all I can really do is throw my hands up in the air like I just don’t care. All there is to do is enjoy the thrill.

Because on the way down a mega drop, there’s no stopping, pulling out or bailing, all there is to do, is embrace the butterflies, hold the regurgitation of your most recent hot dog and try make a semi-decent face for the inevitable mid-flight camera shot.

You are asked nothing more, than to enjoy the ride.

So do it. Do it well and do it every damn day. Enjoy, race to the end of the line to do it all again and run far from the Ferris Wheel whose circulating view you know far too well.

This life is hec-tos (Elwood housemate slang for hectic), but that doesn’t have to equate to it being overwhelming.

In the face of endless meetings, mountainous weekly readings, demanding assignments, uncooked dinners, treadmill laps, unpacked weekend bags and invitations, reject the need to want to slump in your chair, order another soy latte and complain about being busy.

For me the choice was and continues to be easy.

You can bite off more than you can chew and risk choking on greatness, or nibble on mediocrity.

The choice is now yours, are you ready for the drop?

Happy Little Vegemites: Secrets of the Grin.

Happy.

Happy.

There’s nothing like some down time to make you contemplate the things you really love, and on a recent bus ride from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, Peru – which was just that little bit too long – I had just that sort of ‘me’ time.

Prepared for a three-hour journey through the Peruvian countryside, I prayed to my iPod to prepare the best, chilled playlist, turned up my earphones, lifted my legs onto the back of the seat in front of me (smelly feet alert!), and spaced out to the view from my window seat.

There’s something special about some old school tunes that really make me smile from the eardrums out, and as I bumped along to the beat – and potholes – I started thinking about the other, teeny tiny little details, which really make me happy.

I’m not talking big-ticket items like “winning the lottery”, “falling in love” or “landing a dream job”, because these are pretty far and few between. If I thought these big things were the only way to be a happy-go-lucky person, then happiness would always seem another Power Ball ticket, lover and promotion away.

So why not focus on the little things.

It sounds cliché I know, but think about these merry makers. Think of how simple yet totally rewarding they are (hopefully you can relate):

  • When Coconut water is on sale for no particular reason.
  • When a waiter brings a big, cold, jug of water to your table without being asked.
  • Big coffee mugs.
  • Hearing children speak in another language.
  • Perfectly made cordial.
  • Waking up to a sunny day.
  • Sand between your toes.
  • Smelling good.
  • Fresh bed sheets.
  • Hotel bathrobes.
  • Hot showers.
  • Telling a bad joke that gets laughs anyway.
  • Perfectly ripened avocadoes.
  • Finishing a book.

These are just a few of my favorite things, and with them, I am the happiest little vegemite in the world.

Sure, the big things are important too, but at least I can experience the bliss from any of the above daily, of my own accord, without relying on some outside source to bestow upon me a $2m prize pool, attention, or a new job.

So what little things ‘float your boat’?

Find a pretty place to sit, grab a pen and paper, and brainstorm the heck out of everything that reveals the cute dimples in your cheeks!

Conjure, remember, reminisce and revive every thing you love, every incy-wincy-teeny-weeny detail, use them and abuse them everyday.

I’d love to hear what you come up with!

Love S.

FOMO: A deconstruction.

Image by @valentina_muntoni via Instagram

Image by @valentina_muntoni via Instagram.

Being available at the drop of a hat is something that I genuinely pride myself on, and I’d like to think that being “down” for anything is a trait that most people would aspire to.

Because in my books, it’s totally okay to text someone at 3pm requesting chai latte accompaniment in half an hour; and my own replies to invitational texts read something like this: “So. There. It’s. Insane.”

Basically, I’ve deduced this erratic tendency of always being available, to nothing other than FOMO.

I’ve heard acceptance is the first step of any form of recovery, so here it is:

I, Sheona Bello, solemnly admit that I am a full-time, hardcore sufferer of FOMO – more extensively known as the “Fear Of Missing Out”.

But to be honest, I never want to lose this ‘fear’. Here’s why.

On the one hand, it could be argued that such a condition leaves one forever in anticipation of the “next big thing” and never truly enjoying the present. But I prefer the contrary, FOMO is the best thing ever!

Think about it: if you have FOMO, it means that you have identified something you want to experience, and in an effort to reduce FOMO, you go ahead and do it! It’s a simple equation, really:

FOMO averted = experience attained = happy days!

And seriously, who doesn’t want happy days, for dayyyssss? It’s not a trick question, we all do! 

Now I am fully anticipating you, my beloved reader, to at this point deduce what I’ve written as a ludicrous indication of naïveté, idealism and outrageous optimism, but please stick with me here.

I mean sure, it may be some form of psychological conditioning, too many olives when I was a toddler or maybe even a recent overdose on coconut water which has conceived these ideas, but I definitely say all this from experience.

Because, once again I am humbly reminded that plans are made to be changed, and there are greater things available than I could have ever imagined myself – only if you are willing to avoid your FOMO, and embrace them!

As such, it is with huge excitement that I write this post, less than 24 hours before boarding a flight to Shanghai – a place I didn’t plan on seeing for another 5 years, and a trip I am not nearly prepared for given the 48 hour proximity of a separate, 2 month trip through South America.

But the opportunity was there, I have FOMO, I wanted to relieve my FOMO, so I POUNCED. 

Don’t blame me, blame it on the boogie.

拜拜啦

Sheona xo.

 

 

How liquid breakfast pulled me through a mini-crisis.

Image by James Lee Parry for Oyster Magazine.

Image by James Lee Parry for Oyster Magazine.

I recently had an epiphany on Up&Go’s claim of possessing the ‘goodness’ of 2 Weetbix and Milk.

It’s an inventive marketing ploy, to embed ‘goodness’ into something as simple as 3 breakfast ingredients, but the events of a certain yesterday have taught me that such combinations really are, inherently god sent.

I’ll break it down for you.

The events which took place less than 24 hours ago, saw me:

  • Experience one of my worst fears: getting a flat tyre, driving high speed on the freeway,
  • At the most inconvenient of times: on the way to an end of semester exam worth 70% of my overall mark,
  • In undesirable circumstances: 120km northwesterly winds, torrential rain and a deep dark sky.

Needless to say, my insurance finally came in handy after an almost perfect 3-year term on my P-Plates. I mean, I was running a stellar track record, and was was pretty proud of having acquired nothing more than a cheeky bump into the back of an old commodore, in my attempts to escape the Safeway car park up to this point.

But this was a whole new playing field, one requiring me to jump on board a tow truck, and effectively miss the essential 10 minute duration of exam reading time (not to mention the ENTIRE exam).

It was horrible, literally the worst possible thing that could have happened, but I have surprised myself in thinking that it was the BEST sequence of events to occur on that very, Melbourne day.

Firstly, I didn’t swerve off the road and cause a major collision, disrupting the homecoming traffic on a major freeway.

Secondly, I didn’t have to suffer a wrongly, prolonged exam duration – the lecturer accidentally prescribed the 3 hour exam as 4 hours on this exam day. Ew.

Thirdly, I came out alive without so much as a broken nail. AMEN!

My RACV ‘knight in shining armour’ says if I’d driven any further, the rubber part of my tyre would have completely stripped off, leaving me rolling fast paced on the metal part of my wheel – a prospect which could have been extremely catastrophic given the weather and road conditions.

This deserves another AMEN, because to be honest, I am in no position to accept any liability – I have a flight to all things Rome: Meatballs, Nonnas, Vespa rides and Italian stallions, in 48 hours time.

So essentially, I am one grateful cookie that these whole shenanigans played out they way they did. I am alive, I am safe and I finally got a chance to make use of those endless insurance fees.

Sure it doesn’t have the protein, energy and fibre of 2 Weetbix and Milk like my favourite, Chocolate Up&Go carton, but it’s pretty damn full of goodness.

Yay for being alive!

Where can you source goodness today? Holla!

.

#100happydays ago…

Image via Instagram @thesheonaexperiment.

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Why you shouldn’t date someone who does anything.

Image via We Heart It.

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