I have an anxiety disorder and the mouth of a sailor so it's no surprise that I fell in love with this week's Friday Feature Viva Rebel. I pretty much always carry a worry stone in my pocket to rub when I'm feeling anxious. Add swear words to my worry stone and it's like carrying around my own little foul mouthed therapist to help me through the day. For those of you badass rebels, this one is for you!
Hi! My name is Stefanie, I’m a Certified Hypnotherapist, entrepreneur, author and empowerment advocate. In 2019 I launched Viva Rebel (vivarebel.com), the world’s first swear word worry stones. Viva Rebel Rocks are specifically designed to uplift and encourage women by reminding them of their power and worth.
What made you decide to start Viva Rebel? How did you choose the name?
Viva Rebel was created as a fusion of my hypnotherapy (ie: woo woo) background mixed with my passion for empowerment and love of swearing. Through my hypnotherapist training, I learned the incredible impact of our thoughts and the words which guide them. Daily affirmations and mantras are wonderful tools and they don’t have to be innocent to work their magic. In fact, they can be even more powerful with a little edge. Because holding a rock that says Hope or Dream just doesn't quite cut it sometimes, you know? Viva Rebel Rocks are like worry stones - extra strength.
How do you decide which words or phrases to introduce?
This was a very time-consuming and painstaking process! We had about 100 little strips of paper all over the kitchen table with different combinations of swear words and phrases. We eventually widdled them down to the top 3 sets which became our debut rock collections. These collections were chosen based on relatability, usefulness, inclusiveness, calming effect, and confidence building. In addition, we conducted numerous polls with family and friends, many of whom didn’t know what we were up to when they received texts like “Which do you prefer, F*ck This Shit or F*ck That Shit?” (The latter won by a landslide by the way.)
What does the f word mean to you? Why was it important to include it in your business?
The F word was my grandma’s favorite word, so I’ve always considered it an homage to her whenever I use it. It’s also liberating and powerful and the most versatile word I know. F*ck goes with everything! And it’s important that women know they’re allowed to use this word and not diminish or compromise their femininity because of it. You can say f*ck and still be a lady. Just be thoughtful and deliberate; as with most things, use it too often and you’ll wear it out.
What can we expect in 2020 from Viva Rebel?
We're actually looking at offering some PG-rated rocks because it turns out advertising with swear words is a total shitshow! Even with censor bars our rocks aren’t allowed on most advertising platforms. (Seriously wtf!) Anyway, there are dozens of empowering phrases we’d like women to hold that don’t necessarily need any 4-letter additives to get the point across. Stay tuned for new phrases of encouragement that (possibly) won’t offend the general public.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Damn I have hundreds of favorite quotes! One that speaks to me lately is “Let me choose peace instead of this.” Cissi Williams, a Swedish spiritual coach, said that on her podcast and it struck me like a chord. The obvious use of this line would be to calm yourself during an argument, however I’ve found it helpful for anything that disturbs my inner peace. Negative self-talk, uncomfortable shoes, getting upset over some trivial matter... Let me choose peace instead of this. Even if full-on peace isn’t an immediate option, thinking of this quote at least brings to mind that peace (or something close) is available and it’s up to me whether or not I choose it. This mantra is a great tool for smoothing out anything that's abrasive toward your inner zen.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self if you could go back in time?
Give less f*cks. Waaaayy less. If people only knew how little most of this matters, we would live entirely different lives. There’s a much bigger picture at play.