FASHIONING

In years gone by, fashioning crafted swords out of blooms of steel, tin and alloy, was a prized skill of the metalsmith. Today although crafted swords are still being manufactured, a lesser weapon in comparison to the nuclear weapons of the modern age. I always ask myself whether this makes us less civilized than we think we are. What do you think? Surely a more civilized society is a more enlightened one? Comparably, the single combat non-contact sport might arguably be a more civilized fight. That’s if the only resolution is combat. And yes I do think that sometimes defense is a necessary evil when innocent lives are being threatened. Gangsterism is in my opinion the most cowardly method of violent resolution.

But what am I rambling on about?

Recently I have been going through an incredibly tough time. The level of stress is taking its toll. The exacting discipline to overcome the difficult circumstances has been exhausting to say the least. It has not been easy to fight my way back from my recent experience but today everything has begun changing.

In an incredible turn of events I was gifted with 2 extraordinary gifts of kindness today. A friend gave a R1000 tip and another that I had borrowed from that was stolen by my scam artist has agreed to do a service exchange for monies owed. As I write this blog the tears just weep uncontrollably. Sometimes, just sometimes goodness comes back to us in the most unexpected ways. But, and there is a but, we need to stay in the fight.

So often in this world we tend to crumble at the signs of difficulty. Although I have been plagued with lower back pain in my attempt to cope with my demands and stress related flu has hit hard, get up and go I have had to do. Agreed I needed time off for a few days to regain the will to fight but done it I have. Not pretty but done. What are you facing that is fashioning you towards greatness? As most entrepreneurs know the hurdles one crosses to achieve ones visions is not a road paved with party lights and decorations. It is tough. But the self-appreciation of goals accomplished is unlike being employed could ever give one. I think this is attributed to the fact that live or die entrepreneurs are their business. The deciding factor, however, is are you the kind of metalsmith that hardens a sword or weakens it? What I mean by this is…. are we the kinds of people that use our gifts to enhance the world, in love, or do we destroy lives by enhancing only our own?

One of the flaws of our consciousness is when we think with small-mindedness.

Part of the responsibility of our particular gifting/s is to share with others as is their responsibility to share with us. No one man has the exclusive right of being uninvolved in life. We are all equally here, right here, right now. Thus the responsibility of being a citizen of the planet that ambassadors the champion cause of making the world a more free and equal place than we inherited it is a must.

Recently a quick read on LinkedIn caught my eye.

It struck me that Africa is starting to ask some valid questions and it makes me proud to witness it. I wrote about this very topic, in a loose manner, in a blog called ‘FAIRY-DUST’.

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FAIRY-DUST

It is time that Africa rises from its spell of thinking the rest of the world is better. Enough global news has clearly indicated that the world is taking strain under egotistical power mongers. It is time for the citizens of this one planet, Earth, to stand and fight for its rightful place to equality. We are Africa and we are amongst the richest continents, if not the richest. It is time for us to put aside our ‘in-house’ fighting and take our brothers by the hand and be united with the cause of raising the failing status of our magnificent continent.

But I am not the only one saying or thinking it!

Zooming back to ZA, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane is up’ing the reign on corruption by stepping up anti-corruption units, sending police on training camps for a year to provide better efficiency and service delivery. In a time where the baddie won the match for a while, opposition alliance parties to the ZUPTA ANC are banding together to fight for the Madiba Africa that saw us shine beacons of gold-glazed hope onto the world at large.

The nobility of this non-contact combat against oppression and elitist supremacy is the highest order for which our mutual gain will create more eager to participate integrated societies and willing to share than our current system that enslaves people to capitalist greed. I am not saying that ambition is a bad thing, not at all. However, when ambition is applied to a universal mindset we quickly see that a greater good will yield a standard that gives way to speedier growth and hope. Think about it!

As we head into the holiday season in ZA, I hope that enlightened consciousness fills each of us up. I hope and pray that universality draws us to a brighter better future for all. Let’s make 2018 the breakout year that yields awesomeness and a restored faith in humanity and its dream of a better future. Nothing matters more than treating others as we want to be treated. I am fighting myself, daily, to be a good, kind and productive human. Are you?

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LIVING LOVE LIFE

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

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Breaking the silence

Sandown, Johannesburg, ZA

06:25

Lastnight I had the most restless sleep. It’s understandable I guess. One of the hardest things about being an Empath is this uncontrollable immersion into the feelings or near everything around one. It stands to reason then that my dreams are plagued by the Libyan Slave trade. Gosh, I feel the tears well up as I write this. I am dumbstruck and mortified. Not that I don’t think that minimum wage and ‘sweat shop factories’ are any less expressions of slavery. My heart pounds in my chest as I try evolve myself into some kind of Marvel Superhero. If I had a secret super-power today would be a day that I take out all forms of evil. My heart bleeds for the cruelty of our savage humanity that preens itself as civilized. Hardly!

Not to harp on a subject but even my scamming son-of-a-gun recent BF broke my wisdoms with tales of the difficulties of living an openly gay lifestyle hailing from the Congo. My humanitarian kicked in so hard that all caution was thrown to the wind in an attempt to be a good force in the life of one. I am no saint. Thankfully however, the rhythms of my life have granted me the freedoms to learn from the weights of consequences. And boy do my own inner struggles fight to make their degrading debut from time to time. Fight I must, daily, one step at a time, as the sickening end result is always the same for me…… feelings of self-inflicted death. But this morbid story is not the context of today’s blog.

I often get backlash about my blog. In South Africa, and I guess globally, people meander along the outskirts of inhumanity. I understand this as it is hard to question in oneself if ones beliefs, thoughts or actions are valid. It is hard being uncomfortable with oneself. After some tragic self-inflicted deaths last year I took to blogging, openly living my life on a public platform. It has not been easy and the running commentary, that has gotten back to me has cut deep. I have needed to remind myself that, besides my own clarity of thought the flip side has been wonderful as people have reported being able to find solace from their own struggles. As much as each of us would like to be an island, the gruesome but unavoidable truth is that we each need people. Gosh, I do. To be quite honest the last few months I have been the loneliest I have ever been. With ‘friends’ abandoning me after my scam, some fessing that they disapproved of my multi-racial relationship, and others citing pop psychology of my supposed self-sabotage based on the fact that I got scammed. But anyhow….. as for myself I would allow myself the controversial privilege of falling in love with the right person of colour again. Not that controversy is where it is at. I guess I have just gotten to a point where people are people, skin is merely skin and cultural differences an interesting new learning curve.

One the most fascinating things for me in religious, history books or the lives of heroic people in the world was their ability to put a cause above their own personal immediate needs. I can only hope to be a person like that one day. In my morning quiet time I felt prompted to read a piece in my own faith book, Isaiah 15. It tells of the mourning after he ravages of war. Wealth that was stored up lost to the victors. Again it is a familial historical story….. Pride comes before the fall and consequences are unavoidable.

With the looming questions of a North Korean threat of war, American Trump, ANC corruption, Libyan Slave Trade, natural disasters are we perhaps not being called out of our totalitarian elitism and being tested as to whether our humanity is in tact?

CHOOSE ❤️

#❤️🌍🌈

✌🏽

•AJB•

#standforsomething

IT IS NO SECRET, I STAND FOR AUTHENTIC LOVE ABOVE ALL ELSE.

My favorite international DJ, DJ Stevie B on Mixcloud has dealt another loin-grinding body-shaking mix. I bust a move, alone, in my living room. I simply adore this man’s transitions and vocal choices.

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DJ STEVIE B

#❤️🌍🌈

My empatheticheart has been tossed like a sailing boat against volatile seas this week, rudderless and torn sails lost to the battle of violent and invasive onslaughts. From being lectured by a complete stranger as to whom, when and how I may be entitled to use terms of endearment, my Mayoral hero Herman Mashaba facing a vote of no confidence by a revolting ANC ZUPTA corrupt gang, our Miss SA/ Miss Universe’s reputation being called out by racist attackers, my personal favorite Miss SA contestant finally being crowned Miss SA and not to mention the Libyan Slave/Torture trade fillingthe news. Never mind the continuous harassment of my own scammers repeatedlytrying to get more money out of me, which I don’thave, with some or other cockamamie story. I am fighting the urge to just give up on life. I don’t want to live in a world like this.

Thankfullythe failed votes of no confidence will dig a deep guttural hole into the failing and corrupt ANC grip.

Thankfully Naomi Campbell is organizing a march in the UK to march to the Libyan Consulate to prostest this disgusting practice. THE WHOLE WIRLD MUST DO THE SAME!!!!

I woke up this morning in my little but beautiful home in Sandown, Johannesburg, ZA and had a deep sense of spiritual connection to my HIGHER POWER. The message to myself , and all of humanity is a stark reminder that nothing under the sun is a secret.

Recently I started an online dating profile. I eventually deleted it because I found myself meeting people who were either judgmental,dabbling in things I don’t want to be part of, or looking to make a quick buck. Being scammed once this year and my heart shattered with little regard is enough thank you. I guess I am just an old-fashioned guy that does not fit into this modern world. A world of opportunists that seem to be riddled by narcissism and nepotistic instincts; mostly.

It’s true….. I do struggle to know authentic from self-serving manipulation.

Look life is better for me than most. As I listened to the emblazoned speeches of Mayor Mashaba and Presidential hopeful Mmusi Maimane I couldn’t help but weep. Our world system as it stands isso unjust. It favoursthe few at the expense of the many.

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MMUSI MAIMANE SPEECH

When will enough be enough?

Yesterday at the Democratic Alliance March seeing the mothers with kids in tow, whom had traveled from afar made me want to quit my life. I was so close to writing a letter to the Mayor asking if I could be sponsored a small wage and work the rest of my life for free to help with the JHB regeneration project. I still might, so torn and conflicted I am.

With increasing measure I cannot reconcile myself to a world where the name of the game is money. The stirring in my soul is for more than minuscule glory. Something that aligns itself to the purpose of using my life to count for the benefit of lives so vandalized by racism, elitism, sexism and classism. I mean what the $@&* is wrong with us?

Slavery still?

So as I grapple with my own disturbances of purpose versus indulgence I leave you, us and myself with this question, “Are we really going to continue to turn a blind eye to the desperation of the world around us, for a bit more stuff we cannot take to the grave?”

CHOOSE ❤️

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SWEET DREAMS

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽 AJB•

Every now and then

GIVE A GUY A BREAK!

Sometimes, just sometimes it would be nice to be able to do the things I want. It would be nice to have more money to actually take my ideas off paper. Yes, you have guessed correctly….the boy is a little down today. If I am at all honest, today is a kak day. Pushing through daily, with barely enough has taken its toll and I feel a bit sorry for myself today. Spending almost every night on my own, at work trying hard to grow my little business from the ground up, actively marketing myself without much support is really hard. Look I truly grateful for the clients that I do have. Goodness knows that they keep me alive. But I am asking myself what am I doing wrong? I must concede that I have also been taken by a bit of being ill the last few days so my mind is also exhausted. Despondent to say the least. What I fail to understand is that I am damn great at my job, do it kindly and honestly and follow my dreams of being recognized not only within my Hair industry but also outside of its immediate confines. Is it so hard to understand wanting to not only be a salon stylist but a fashion, television and stage stylist too. If the truth be told I get so bored of the same old same old that I need a break from the routine. I am just like that.. I do the routines but from time to time doing hair out of the salon is a welcome break from being in a stationary place. Gosh I like variations. Don’t you? It keeps me razor sharp and inspires creativity.

HOW ELSE DOES ONE MARKET ONES TALENTS IF NOT BY PUBLIC DOMAINS?

Often the response is stylists get when we ask clients to refer us is that people don’t like to do that as they are afraid that we will get too busy to see them. Look I am not asking to be triple fully booked everyday but at least 3x more busy and I will be able to get a medical aid, car, TV and study something. Even a mediocre holiday might be on the cards then too. I understand that my consequence of years gone by has played out, but enough already. At some point the valid efforts of man must be recognized and rewarded as such. For crying in a bucket!

I am tired of scraping the bottom of the barrel. But I guess this is a familiar story with what is going on in ZA as an overall picture. The question I am faced with is my loyalty to professional Haircare worth it any more? Do I forget the truths of an industry that I have believed in and seek other ways of scratching a living? I am stuck and I have no idea what comes next. This year has been an exciting developmental year for me, but I am coming up broke and exhausted.

With Miss SA having won MISS UNIVERSE a ray of hope has shone onto South Africa. God knows that the vibe in ZA sucks as things get progressively worse daily. I find myself feeling guilty because I am white. Guilty for being a man. Guilty for being gay. Guilty for being a Believer. Guilty for being non-elitist. Guilty for caring. Guilty for being honest. It actually is just too much to bear.

But I must be doing something so wrong if my prayers, efforts and well developed & studied talents are not coming up as able to earn a decent living.

Besides being a recent victim of a scam putting me into serious stress, my everyday is shaping up to be a little nada. I am scared. Really scared.

choose ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

Salted Butter and Apricots

Rough!

‘Halftribe’, Mixcloud brings such soothing relief to a the last month of nail-biting angst.

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SOLAR TERM

Rough is hardly the word to describe this recent moment in time. Day 3 of no water in my home in Sandown, Johannesburg, sacrifices being made to play catch up on my finances, dealing with an injured heart, a new venue to operate my rent-a-chair out of, remaining honorable, meeting expectations and getting on with it has been raw to the bone. Let’s just say that my faith has been stretched that much further. Also, running into my ex a while ago finally brought some closure to open unanswered questions that I have labored for 15 months. Gladly, yesterday, a shift in tempo saw me able to buy some food for my home. Look I haven’t starved but I certainly have had to cut out every ounce of niceties, except chocolate, to meet the responsibilities I have. It’s done and some semblance of normality is emerging. With re-payment plans in place and beginning to be met I munch on my comfort food of peanut butter toast laden with salted butter and a side of apricots. Gosh have I missed the luxury of eating fruit.

Honoring my clients and friends who extended the hand of favour towards me in the midsts of the recent scam I fell privy to was ever so fabulous to do.

The bottom line is that obstacles, unforeseen events, self-inflicted struggles and curve balls will inevitably punch us a bloody nose. That is ok. The question is whether each of us will roll up our bloodied sleeves and do what must be done, honorably, to deal with them.

In the salon yesterday I was referred to a new client. She had been observing my work from the corner of her eye and was taken by the results. We chatted about her desired result and her valid gripe about her dissatisfaction with the results her current stylist was delivering in comparison to her achievable desire. The opened door granted me the chance to educate whilst understanding. As a stylist I do my best to never bad-mouth another’s work as ‘hair history’ is a large subject that influences outcomes loftily. What struck me as an all too familiar yet strange result after the quotation, with saving options and alternatives given, was the reluctance to pay the price. It is a funny phenomenon that each of us wants what we want, whether good or bad, but somehow don’t want to make the necessary investment to achieve it.

Erik of BetterMan put out an email yesterday that I asked if I could quote. It is the direction of today’s blog. (Apologies for the screenshot, but ‘copy&paste’ was malfunctioning today….🤣)

An interesting read from a corporate perspective regarding the changing landscape of how people approach business in a technology accessible world shed some interesting focus.

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SUSTAINABLE

Too often you and I are taken by the fashion fad of the season and forget the big picture. Taking a more reasonable and sustainable outlook towards mutually beneficial outcomes, long term,may open our eyes to behavioral changes we need to make. A sustainable and beneficial world is what we would like to leave generations to come after-all?

My recent experience of being in a situation that required serious sacrifice taught me a valuable lesson. I was so busy focusing on being a good guy in a turbulent world that spews so much hate that I forgot my own needs. What I mean is this: I poured my heart into trying to save and prove to another that I was worth a go in love that the thing that sustained my life bore the brunt of shifted focus. Although romance, sex & love etc are not bad things, contrary, when it takes over it can blind us to dangerous outcomes. So pay the price I have and am for neglecting the fact that my own needs are as equally important to those of everyone else. Oh well, I guess this is the inevitable battle of an empath/nurturer/giver. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Take heart!

As each experience unfolds, if we willingly participate in the rhythm of life, we grow, change and learn.CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

Holes in the ceilings

For many years the Zimbabweans suffered at the hands of an egomaniacal dictator who served himself. Let it be a massive warning to all the world, again, as to what happens when democracy that serves the whole is nullified for the objectives of the minority. It is a nepotistic practice that breaks the prosperity of talent, skill and sincerity. In short when we deploy favour for the select few we in turn tell the mass that they do not count other than to serve the self-proclaimed elite. The other consequence is that the narrowing view of the ‘in gang’ is easily fed misconceptions vs mutually beneficial outcomes. As Mr Maimane states in the above screenshot tweet, the work for the Zimbabweans has just begun.

I congratulate the efforts of the brave men and women who have endured and overcome the revolting practices of a cruel Mugabe dictatorship.

Zooming back home, another Maimane tweet sheds some more light onto a fragile ZA psyche.

Over and above fighting the depths, breadths and heights of the corruption and fraudulent practices of our own Zupta crises, Major Herman Mashaba works steadfastly to turn the rotting Johannesburg CBD into a more lucrative and plausible housing situation for its citizens. It is a wonderful feather in the caps of civilized society when the right to choose is exercised well to carry the sentiments of the majority.

Fight on goodwill!

Fight on humanity!

Fight on justice!

Over the last 14/5 months since I started blogging so much has happened. It has been heartbreaking to be judged for being vulnerable and open with the aim of reaching out to others through my personal journey, struggles and experiences. Oh hell yeah, there have been times where I wanted to bury my head in shame. My flawed humanity, like all of ours, gets in the way and our shiny new-shoe clad foot oft trips us up on loosely tied laces. I wish more often than not that I was mainstream, alas not. But learning I am.

Yesterday, with the no water scenario in Sandton had me feeling grim from the inside out and put a depressing spell on the victorious Zimbabwean moment. Heading to the local garage to buy bottled water to bathe and drink and have my cherished morning coffee. The row of screeching peeps from Zimbabweans filling up with fuel, flags raised and song lit brought tears to my eyes.

VICTORY IS SO SWEET WHEN IT IS MET WITH HONEST EFFORT.

I have been waiting, patiently for my Landlord to fix the light in my living room that fell out one night. The relevance to today’s blog is startling.

Every ceiling has a way through.

As an award-winning stylist I have had to crash through many personal ceilings to find the bricks to start building a life for myself that is authentic and solid. Oh gosh, many times in my life I was in pimped up mud huts, only to have them fall to the ground with the first blast of the big bad wolf. Just yesterday I was chatting to someone who was encouraging me to endure my personal financial loss. When compared to their 12 million rand devastating loss mine is small change. And although relative to each of our lives, hectic nonetheless, the lesson is that ceilings/ floors are man-made configurations.

The main topic of discussion centered around business expansion. The relevance to the current ZA psyche is this, and I quote: ” The issue is not about South Africans being entrepreneurial, the question is changing the belief that our small enterprise is the best we deserve.”

For the agnostic and atheist this next section is not for you.

DEAR HIGHER POWER

(In my case that’s God)

We thank you for the miracle of life. As we grow out of our old way of thinking that binds us to small-mindedness help us to dream bigger. Help us to find and use those opportunities presented in an honorable way to not only grow ourselves, but our communities at large. We continue to pray that you will help us to love, forgive and reach out the way you do to each of us. Shut down the works of a devious enemy and help us to clearly see and act upon the truth. Help us be a generation of heroic people that serve the ends of justice creating a fair community where all people have the tools to prosper.

Mia Amare dishes up a cutesy and happy set on Mixcloud.

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HAPPY

CHOOSE ❤️!

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

Cold Pizza

Salvo Migliorini serves up a tranquil and uplifting offering on Mixcloud.

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RELAX

Taking stock, the maths is slowly getting an order. Going back to the drawing board is a necessary discipline to overcome the whack of rather disappointing love affair. Not to mention the disruptive vanishing with sums of money that left a mountain to climb. But alas, climb one must. Breath Arion, breath.

I have never been one for ‘the next day pizza’. Somehow the titbit doesn’t rev my motor as the night before. In the same breathe the idea of a Mugabe titbit landing and being housed by ZA is an unsavory notion. I mean how dumb must one be and still breathe. The wife assaults a ZA woman and flees, hubby brought a country to its ankles and ZA is contemplating putting up with this trash. No thanks, we have enough of our own thank you very much. I mean I am here huuuuuney, sweeetie, daaaaarlin’, angelcakes, bokkie. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

It is so weird. I drew up my ‘Black Friday’ promo yesterday and felt all kinds of discomfort about the name of said international promo day. Although I understand the promo to be a getting rid of seasonal stock, a symbol of giving back, a potential for new repeat business and a sense of being part of a global community, the term ‘Black Friday’ still conjures up pictures of mass mourners. I guess that is just my creative thinking. 😜

So often when things go on sale, one discovers the reason why particular items didn’t sell. So to counteract the argument and to offer a valid and valuable offer to peeps at large I banged out a really great offer. An offer that will yield some great experiences and awesome win-win scenarios for both the client and myself.

A stranger fed me some cold pizza yesterday in the form of an online enquiry. I was startled to say the least that her desire was drawn from the trashy Jordy Shore gang. I mean seriously. As, supposedly, entertaining as that bunch are they are not exactly style icons by any stretch of the imagination. To be honest, although I haven’t watched any television in over a year, the random running commentary of that bunch leaves one wondering why the heck they even are on television at all. Sadly, it is a reflection on us as a society. Yup, the television mongering dictators feed us what we are drawn to. Give me a period piece biography any day over the flimsy, to say the least, reality ‘yawn, gulp, aaargh’ TV any day.

ARE WE REALLY

Look I am no prude. I have done more than my fair share of ‘ poorly-chosen-behaviours’ and I still smoke ciggies and devour gallons of chocolate. But are we really a society that indulges corruption, greed, trashy behaviour, settle for comfort rather than truth, get into bed with destructive dictators, hate based on superficial judgements, claim rights when it suits our personal agendas and negate the sincere self-improvement of the honest worker?

Something to think about….

Look, recently I fell for a lie too. I ignored the red flags, warnings and negative behavior and got scammed. I think we all want the best to turn out so. The lesson I have learned is that:

Hoping for a good result does not mean turning a blind-eye to questionable behaviors. A good result comes from joint efforts for mutual gain in honest process.

The rest is just cold pizza!

CHOOSE ❤️!

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB