Hair: The Female Body

Photo's taken at African Film Festival London held every year in Peckham.

The Body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project - Simon de Beauvioir. 

We were driving to The Orange Tree, I was becoming bored with this routine. I busied myself by perusing through my Instagram account, it's teaming full of spiritually aware folks that inspire me. I halted at a photo of woman with hairy armpits, I was so proud. Armed with a new discussion topic, I was quick to show him the photograph, his face said it all. He was disgusted, said that it was 
"shameful, a very unfeminine thing". 

I asked him who signed the consensus that women must be hair free, that beauty resides in plucked, shaven and shaped pubic hair. 

He found my questions humorous, I envisioned him patting my wig bouncy as I'd delicately stuffed my Afro inside it but moments ago when I heard the honk of his car sound. I found his humour patronising. He mused himself some more and told me that were it me, he could attempt to bare it because he thought me beautiful. I scoffed at his remark. 

Why must you bare it? It's natural. Oh! What heavy cross you carry; please sir, lay down your burden and cast thy fears onto the Lord for he shall provide soft and tantalising manner I said. 

He told me I was funny, I told him I was hairy. 

He told me to stop. I smiled at him, "it's everywhere" I said in a whisper tone with raised eyebrows.

He fell silent and continued parking with anew focus. 


Work is Noble

All work is noble; you work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle, is to become a stranger onto the seasons and to step out of life's precession that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. When you work, you are a flute, through whose work the whispering of the hours turn to music. And when you work with love, you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another and to God. And what is it to work with love; it is to weave the clothes with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved was to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if you're beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if you're beloved were to eat the fruit. 

 It is to charge all things you fashion with breathe of your own spirit. And to know all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching. 

 Often, I've heard you say as if speaking in sleep, one who works in marble and finds the shape of their own soul in the stone is nobler that the one who ploughs the soil. And one who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth for the likeness of man is more than one who makes the sandals on our feet. 
Not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of new tide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than it does to smallest grains of grass. And they are great; they turn the voice of the wind into a song, made sweeter by their own loving. 

 Work is love made visible.

This wonderful writing is from a cartoon movie called The Prophet, I find such magic in these words.


Lessons from Mistakes

The Kenya Society

The essence of mistakes is to learn, but acknowledging the learning process is something I have not analyzed. The emotional hurdles that come along with mistakes, the learning curve is the realisation that; a mistake is an experiment run for too long.
The definition of an experiment in this context is the action of cognitive bias and the security of not experimenting on new things, a safety net.

For the past few months, I have been learning lessons I quite frankly felt ill prepared for. Today, I read a quote that stated you are never ready, and there is no better time than today. Acting this, I've started posting my thoughts on Instagram for the blog and decided that I must make it priority to stick with this blog. For so long, I did not want to share thoughts on society, so I may remain neutral. Often I've had thoughts of future consequences for sharing my thoughts, that some may taint my image. I now see how wrong I was, regardless of how neutral I remain on social media, not all may agree that those thoughts are diplomatic.
I have also learned that not all mistakes have to be made by me. You can gain from others' mistakes, this is probably the best kind of mistake, if there is such a thing.

Do whats difficult when it's easy - Loa Tzu. Plan for different eventualities before they happen, do not wait for things to happen to react. One of my plans is to make war with a multitude of councillors - I can learn best how to navigate through the complexities of life this way.


Fearful Hindrances From Moving to The Next Level

1) Undeserving
'I do not deserve the good measure that flows through success'. This often comes from what people say to you or about you. They have programmed you to see yourself in a limited parameters so when you see opportunities beyond what you've been programmed you reject it because you don't feel like you're worthy (deserving) of it. 

2) Ordinary
'I do not want to stand out, I want to fit in'; because some people have the beliefs system of staying ordinary, they do not want to take the lead. They don't want to be targeted. If you take the lead you will become a target, but just because they are shooting at you doesn't mean they shot you. Sometimes you should rejoice that someone has emptied out their quiver of arrows shooting at you and you are still here. And that person who didn't have the courage to do what you did -does not recognise that. Because of your faith and conviction you have been able to pass through the arrows shot at you and SURVIVE. You have to have courage to do so, and let go of fear. You have to be able to see arrows zinging by you, people hating on you and controversy rising all around you.

 3) Social
Not wanting to be rejected by your sociological environment. Watch out for "we's". Because people will control you with the 'we', and you will miss your opportunity at what maybe the best for you because of the 'we'. By trying to be loyal to the "we".

 4) Fleeting
Being afraid that you're success will not last. You have a fear that the blessing is fleeting, so you will not go out and cast you're net again because you have programmed yourself that nothing exiting is ever going to happen to you again.

 5) Perfectionism
I will have to pretend to be perfect but I am not. I know I have imperfections so I do not want to get into the light because someone might see them. So you are going to be secretly talented, locking your treasure inside you because you are imprisoned by your imperfections. And you don't want anybody to know that you aren't perfect, though you are good at this and that. Someone once said; 'I reject the opportunity to be blessed because I know something about myself that I don't want anybody else to know, and I am more concerned about the security of my secret than my progress'. You don't give the person a chance to accept you because you have already criticised yourself. You know exactly what to do to move up to the next level but you don't want to because you have issues. EVERYONE has issues. If you're waiting to clean out all you're issues before you drive forward, you might become stuck twenty years cleaning it out.

6) Besiegement
People will put pressure on you to stay low and all of a sudden you are afraid they are going to demand things from you. I will be besieged by all the people wanting things from me. And it is true that when you go up there are a great deal of people that associate with you because of where you are not who you are. The pressure is so great.
 When you first start going up amongst people who haven't gone up, they have a tendency to start acting like crabs in a barrel.


Choose Yourself First

Above all else, the person you will spend most of your time with in life is yourself. The company you keep best ought to be your very own. The phrase "love yourself first and all else will follow" simply means, once you have discovered and accepted your own worth in love, the things you choose to accept of others and from them become clearer. This becomes a navigation guide that transcends into your social, economic and personal issues; from friendships, relationships, job, income and code of conduct in business. It is also important to note that how you treat yourself is also included, as such, you are responsible for loving yourself better than all others. For those that have yet to learn to fully love themselves, choice, is an alternative narrative.

P U R P O S E 
Loving or choosing yourself first can help in finding or striving towards your purpose. We as human beings are goal seeking organisms, we only function at our very best when we are working on something that is important to us. Earl Nightingale drew wisdom and inspiration from the works of James Allen about the power of thoughts. Below are his thoughts on purpose;

"Thinking with purpose is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognise failure as one of the pathways to attainment. Who make all conditions serve them, who think strongly, attempt fearlessly and accomplish masterfully. Having conceived of his purpose, a man should prudently mark out his straight pathway to his achievement, looking neither to the right or left.
Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded, they are disintegrating elements which break up the straight line of effort. Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything, they always lead to failure. Purpose and energy are weakened when fear creeps in, and he who encourages them, thwarts himself at every step.The [self] will to do, springs from the knowledge that we can do. He who has concurred doubt and fear, has concurred failure. His every thought is fought with power and purpose. Thought, allied fearlessly with purpose, becomes creative force. All that a man archives and fails to archive are the direct result of his thought."

"You cannot travel within and stand still without."

You are responsible for the success of your life, be it spiritual, financial or emotional. Success is subjective, to define what I mean, is none other than Mr. Nightingale"Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal". It is important to determine what your worthy ideal, goal or dream is. For to take footsteps in your path is more important than the destination. These steps should be progressive ones, failure is included in this. Failure is not a destination but a step, and if you chose another, you can turn it to success.
Benjamin Isiah Mays said;
"The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals, the tragedy lies in not having a goal to reach. It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled but, it is a calamity not to dream. It's not a disaster to be unable not to capture your ideas, but, it is a disaster not to have any dreams to capture. It is not a disgrace to not capture the stars, but it is to have no stars to reach".
As you begin to reach reach for your goals in life, it is important to work diligently, be kind to yourself and never allow the mind to waiver based on your perception of the current circumstance. My favorite mentor and teacher Les Brown says start "working on yourself, by setting aside time to work on your mind, it causes you to begin to reflect on yourself. To take personal inventory, upgrade your strategy and increase faith. Our [self] belief continues to grow, what I earn, is a reflection of what I believe -subconsciously- I deserve".

"The thing about decisions is to make a decision, and if that doesn't work, make another decision, and if that doesn't work, you're probably in the wrong field anyway". Develop the habit of making decisions the first time they come around.

The commitment to becoming excellent in your chosen field is an indispensable pre-requisite for success. Excellence is a journey not a destination, you will never get there; complacency and distraction are the key enemies of excellence. This yields opportunities, when you become excellent you come to the attention of people and they want to give you more responsibilities. In our society you only work 8 hours a day for survival, everything over 8 hours is for success.  If you put in the hours, it is an investment for your future; whether it's studying, reading or working, it will pay off.
Always concentrate on the best use of your time. Look at your work and use the 80/20 rule, which is the 20% of the things I have to do that account for 80% of my work? Before you start anything, make a list and ask your self, what is the most valuable use of your time right now? Whenever you are working on the most valuable use of your time you feel great, concentrated effort is a source of energy and enthusiasm. Develop a sense of urgency. Develop a reputation for speed and dependability. Learn from each set back, ask yourself, what is the most valuable lesson I can learn from this experience. Seek and you shall find [bible], if you look for the valuable lesson or the seed of an equal or greater advantage or benefit in the difficulty, you will find it.
Above is an excerpt from Brian Tracy's principles of self efficiency titled 'Keys to personal power'.

"All  changes in our life come with the input of new information". -Anon


Commonwealth Secretariat - IWD

International Women's Day celebrates women, a reminder of the continual progression of gender equality rights, and lastly, it marks a conscientious deliberate effort by all; legitimizing and championing the empowerment of the woman and it's importance to the world. I was graciously invited for a conference at Marlborough House. Upon arrival into the house I was immediately taken by the courteousness of the delegates, radiating in elegance, as much as the house interior.

Deputy Secretary-General Dr Josephine Ojiambo gave the gloomy statistics that 60% of the work in the world is done by women, yet we earn only 10% of the worlds wealth and own a dismal 2% of land. One third of women in this world have experienced sexual or physical  violence. 130,000 girls/women have suffered F.G.M (Female Genital Mutilation) in Britain. Sir William Cash spoke on this issue regarding the demographic governments taking cosmetic measures of appearing to address the issue of F.G.M. He spoke compassionately about the prevalence of such cruelty still in existence in our society is utterly appalling. He read the amendment of International Development Act 2014 Chapter 9.
The High Commissioner of St Lucia Dr. Ernest Hilaire spoke on the issue of bride price; that it beings about the belief that the man owns the woman. It perpetuates the ideal that a man is worth more than a woman, which can lend a hand to violence against women. Her Excellency Ms Winnie Anna Kiap uttered words I've heard before. She said she was of the thought that not all countries -ones that had to fight for independence-  had the same starting point, but the set-up help determine a standard to be measured by. Ms Foo Chi (High commissioner of Singapore) ended on positive statistics on the progress of her country and the movement of gender equality. In Singapore, 42% of women have jobs and of those 63% are in managerial positions. 11% of Supreme Judges are women and 25% are in Parliament seats.

After the delegates had spoke, the floor was open to the invitee's to ask direct questions to the panel. One lady asked something I was yet to consider. Representing Widows Rights International, she asked why Widows are not yet a part of the Common Wealth agenda. She reminded the room of the harmful cultural practices that affect Widowed women and the fate of these women should be included in the agenda of gender equality.

 This made me wonder a great deal about the woman I am becoming, and what accomplishments I am preparing for my future. What I will leave behind for other women.
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