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ABOUT ME

 

Who am I?

 

Hello! I am Stella Zhang Ning, creator of the Zen & Fun with Stella brand, which is dedicated to  motivating you to achieve for your best physical and emotional health— that is, if you’ll allow me to be! I don’t like to call myself a coach, mentor, teacher or master; but if my story, my life, my experience could inspire you to make the right decisions, to take positive action, then that’s enough. Of course, your life is yours to live, your decisions yours to make. If you decide to go on a journey with me I will be your  #1 fan and supporter, I would always be right there by your side, at times to offer feedback or insight, but also always to offer understanding and encouragement.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We

ourselves must walk the path. 

--Buddha

Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.

--Lao Tzu

I grew up in a Chinese family that practiced calligraphy and ink painting. The traditional standard of a well-educated Lady in Asia is to practice five elements: music, chess, calligraphy, painting and dancing. Slowly, one by one, I practiced all five, and I am proud to say I LOVE them all! Being a global citizen, I have also studied and worked in three different regions (Asia, Europe and America) in three different languages: Chinese, English and Spanish. I truly enjoy working and living internationally and  appreciating the beauty of cultural diversity. In addition to the five elements I have also learned Chinese classical dance (a combination of Opera, Martial Arts  , Qi Balance and Tai Chi movement), Guzheng (antique Asian harp), food therapy in China and Thailand, Salsa dance in Havana, Cuba, Yoga in India, Art and Culture appreciation in Barcelona, Spain, Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain and Merida, Mexico, and more to continue…

Keep learning, stay open,

Inner shine will never fade away.

Your energy is limited, but your potential is unlimited.

-- Stella

 

 

 

The PAST:

 

My career started as a bilingual TV news channel reporter, and subsequently, as the PR Director for the government, luxury brands, and regional head of international environmental NGO. In my mid-thirties, luckily, I started my FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early–but I would rather call it Financial Independence Never Retire) journey, which included making some investments and working as an independent contractor. All of this sounds glamorous, right? however, unfortunately, life can take us on another road regardless of our plans. 

In 2014, I suffered from a PPT (Postpartum Hemorrhage) right after giving birth to my son, and had to have almost a complete blood transfusion in the ICU. Then, in 2020, I was diagnosed with stage 3C TNBC(Triple Negative Breast Cancer), which is the most aggressive cancer in women since it grows quickly, and has limited treatment options. Afterwards, I underwent a long year of treatment at the same time COVID made its worldwide debut—what a double challenge!

Everything you learned will be useful one day,

Every suffering you’ve had will bring new ways of thinking.

--Stella

These two sudden near-death experiences caused me to realize that life is extremely fragile, but also full of miracles. Lucky enough, both times I choose a combination of Eastern and Western medical treatment. Doctors from three countries worked together with open minds, warm hearts and dedication. Because of that, in 2014, I skipped a hysterectomy which is the most common treatment option for postpartum hemorrhage, and my healing became a case study in Medical University. In 2020 with Stage 3C Cancer, I underwent the full package of cancer treatment: chemo, surgery and radiation, following that, one year of physical therapy. Despite all this, I was lucky enough to manage the whole process very well sustaining only mild side effects, again skipping a double mastectomy but instead having a conservative lumpectomy. Post treatment, by following food therapy and holistic/integrative therapy from my doctors, creating my own Balance Recovery Program, and following my own combination of Zen Flow & Fun Flow, I surprised my entire medical team with my recovery, and been invited by my doctors give workshops in order to help other patients. 

Here I am, Reborn as a Survivor, Live as a Warrior,

and  Proud to be a Creator.

--- Stella

 

 

 

 

 

The NOW:

Am I fully recovered? No, physically I still suffer from one of the postoperative complications: Lymphedema. Some lymph nodes that were removed during the operation caused poor lymphatic circulation in my left arm. I cannot carry more than 2.5 kg. If I am not careful, swelling and pain can occur and sometimes I do need the help of a companion sleeve for blood flow. As for my mental state, I have lost three dear friends in four years who had the same exact disease. Every day I am living in this world not only for me, but for them as well. I’m carrying on their life, their hopes and dreams– RIP–there is no pain in heaven. 

 

Do I feel better than before? YES, totally and dramatically. I have learned so much from the last ten years. I have never felt so light, free, beautiful, strong, brave, positive, healthy, motivated, kind and sensitive. NOW is the best time in my life, and I live as if NOW is the last moment in my life. I dance, paint, write, cook, dive, travel, move, play and the MOST Important thing: CREATE and SHARE. I’ve been bald twice from sickness. I count it as my self-monk meditation practice, in keeping with the proverb in Buddhism: “Cut the hair to cut the worry, stay clear, calm and away from ordinary troubles.” The best is yet to come…

Be patient and tough, 

someday this pain will be useful to you. 

--Ovid

 

 

 

 

 

The FUTURE:

On the professional side, I went from ‘work hard, play hard’, to FIRE, then to a digital nomad lifestyle.  Now I am proud to say I am a Passionate Creator with a Bucket List, some of the dreams on it are: 

 

Create ZEN&FUN with Stella Brand, with 3 main programs including: 

1. Balance Health & Recover Program: For those experiencing or having had experienced physical and mental traumas. Finishing medical treatment is just the first step. It's the start of a life-long Recover & Reward journey.

2. Lady Luna Sister Support System: Lady Luna is an international sister support system for women facing physical, mental or financial challenges. It offers a safe space to heal, learn, grow, and connect with other women. Join the group and receive encouragement, support and concrete tools for restarting your life.

3. Private sessions for individuals or private groups who need private guidance to rest, relax, recover, refresh then restart.

 

Write a book, the title: “Why me? Lucky me”.

Everybody has a story, and this is going to be my story: “From Questioning and Complaining to Gratitude – I Am Indeed a Lucky Girl and Tough Cookie!”

 

Produce a Global Health Documentary/TV Program/Podcast.

Do not forget I started as a TV Reporter and my whole family works at a TV Station. Let’s discover and discuss both the healthy and not so healthy things in each country.

 

Build a Shared Community.

Including a Co-working and Co-living space for creators, a Retreat Center for those in recovery with a Nature view studio, a Farm to table food therapy restaurant, and a Holistic treatment spa. also establish a charity in order to create a school for adults and kids to learn life skills NOT focus on academic exams.  

 

Does all this sound like too much? Not to me. I truly believe all of these goals are achievable. It might take another ten or twenty years, but as long as we are willing to start the process and keep at it step by step, what unfolds can be brilliant. In my view, the most important thing in life is to live no regrets. Right now, as you are reading this article, it counts as my first step, and our first connection.

 

“What a LIFE I had, I am ready to leave with peace and smile.” When the last day comes, If you may say so cheerfully and proudly, that’s enough…

Love yourself just as you are, the way you are.

People with Passion can change the world.

People with Action can change themselves.

--Stella

 

Last but not least, even though life has brought me ups and downs, I still truly consider myself as a super lucky person. God has blessed me  by saving my life twice from two serious illnesses. My family and I live a not luxury but decent life. I am doing things I like as a part of my lifestyle. Now it’s time to share and give back! Giving brings me peace, joy, kindness and gratitude. Giving is gaining, so 10% profit of Zen and Fun with Stella will always be given as a fund to serve those falling into two categories:

-        People in need of medical help.

-        Ladies who have gone through tragedy and want to restart their new life.

 

I may be miles away from you, but my prayers will always be with you… God bless all.

Let life be beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves.

-- Rabindranath Tagore

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