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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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

Deciphering

Having the privilege, for 2 days, to work with ‘How do I look’ SA live in Sandton City has been a wonderful experience. It is always fun for me to step into my forte, a Makeover Specialist. It got me thinking. What is the importance of change? Funny enough yesterday I wrote a blog titled, ‘Shake it off’, which dealt with the idea of what comes after the end of the next moment? So often as a seasoned professional I see the tug-of-war, in clients, between needing approval and being authentic. Yes, hair is a superficial vanity, but a significant part of people’s expression of self. The idea of changing ones expression, as charming as it sounds, more often hits trepidation and insecurity. Why is this? I think the residing argument is most likely that most of us have no real sense of whom we actually are. We all are well aware that the most consistent thing in life is change. Breathe, don’t breath remains a fundamental choice!

Over the years of getting into people’s heads, well the bits they are willing to reveal, has fed me much scoop about the human psyche. In hairdressing we have a bit of banter about the world at large, ” I want something different as long as I look like everyone else’s different and I look like myself.” This is an all too honest and familiar outcome with clients in our chair.

Recently I had a referral who wanted to take her near-waist length hair from darkest brown to Silver platinum blonde. After thoroughly consulting, quoting and explaining the timeframe and maintenance, her expectations were dashed. She wanted the end result in 3 weeks for a year end function. This was an impossibility as she had colour on her hair. With these criteria, a more realistic expectation would have been 6 months and a mini-remortgage on her house. Think 4-5 hours per session, 1x a month over a period of 6 months, home care, in-salon treatments and mega liters of product to achieve the look. That is not even to say that we would have got there if the hair couldn’t handle the procedure.

Which brings me, neatly, to my point.

What can changing our look teach us about change?

1) Accepting that things will not stay the same opens the door to adventure.

2) Change requires effort, dedication and investment.

3) What happens after the change is determined by our embracing the outcome

4) See the opportunities that change provides as a vehicle for deeper understanding of ourselves.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

#❤️🇿🇦🌈

✌🏽

AJB•

Ps: BOOK YOUR SLIPTOVER MAKOVER

SHAKE IT OFF

Johannesburg, South Africa

06:09

The year is racing to an ever dramatic close!

The bated breath of ZA is catapulting towards the looming ANC Congress and the rumors about town are that self-confessed racist Cyril Ramaphosa is the probable winner of the Presidency. Let’s see. China is moving in on Zimbabwe.

What happens if Russia , China and India become the new super powers of the world? Will the benefactors of previous supremacies be able to adjust to barking orders from different regimes?

Anyhow, what will be will be. Flooding markets with more competitive objects that make the greedy dependent on increased profit margins by ‘sweat box’ industries has obviously left an indelible mark on the world at large. A world where gangster tactics seem to be becoming increasingly evident. It has always been there but I guess with techno-communication we are invaded by information that exposes it as such. It really is interesting times.

Where does that leave the good guy? A biblical scripture pops into mind that states, “There is no law against kindness.” Miss India has won Miss World 2017. The celebrated Q&A answer of Miss India is an authentic celebration of old school values where Mom is the applauded matron of society. Rightly so. Well in the natural order of things, that is. What I mean is that when us men show the correct respect to the women of the world we allow the nurturing instinct to prosper. However, when we play this ruthless game of man on top we tend to crush everything in our paths. The male ego is long winded on the tales of history as a devouring monster. In a life lesson I was privy to once, the main purpose of masculinity is the preservation of life and not the self-serving ‘Me First’ agenda that has been put forth and force fed to the authors and recipients of history repeated.

One of the most humbling expressions of Higher Power is the ability to endure pain. Pain dished out, daily, by our poor execution of choosing personal agenda over world vision. An agenda that makes women objects and children the witness of gender imbalance.

BUT ANYWAY!

What comes after?

Although the whispered rumors and public laments of our failing humanity grows daily, we as a species, have come this far. Hope always remains that we may turn all things for the good. This requires a maturing of our ego and sacrifice of our opinions and comforts. In other words a mentality of inclusiveness. I mean let’s not forget, bro’s and dudettes, that we are all on this 1 planet called Earth after-all.

Come what may, we each will be left with the choice between good, bad or indifferent. The consequences/ karma/reactions to that choice will be determined by the very same actions we take. Our very lives will be determined by our abilities to love regardless, forgive deeply and to educate honestly.

OUR TOMORROW IS DEPENDENT ON WHAT WE, JOINTLY, DO TODAY!

A lesson from my own Mom, that has led my life always.

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MOM’S MISSION

The question is, will we as a world choose to continually cause harm by narrowed world vision?

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CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•

Blessed

NOT LIKE THAT!

In my Conversations in a Cab 31 the topic of change came up and is the driver behind today’s blog.

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CONVERSATIONS IN A CAB 31

It has taken its toll and the energy to lift myself up has been excruciatingly tough. A pitch fork digs deep into my psyche. Having to take on another’s debt to be honorable, relocating and starting my rent-a-chair from next-to-scratch again and dealing with a bust up heart might do that to one. For weeks my humble apartment resembled a pigsty and I didn’t really care. But get up and go I have. The insane thing is that I still love the human who betrayed and near devastated me. But my small saga is none compared to Zim. Wow! Talk about the tides of change. Never mind the disappointment of the announcement of France getting 2023. Rightly so. Why would any foreigner want to chance their luck on a greedy ANC led state capture mafia government? I had to stop reading Jacque Pauw’s book for a while as it was beyond hectic. One cannot read this brilliantly documented historical book without being overwhelmed by the levels of human inconsideration and greed. But all of this blah blah blah is not the nah-nanana-nah of today’s blog. These are mere reactions to poor actions and in the end should not define our outlooks in lives. Stuff happens and so it must so that the bullshit can walk.

Monday I got stuck into being Dora the domestic Goddess again and whipped my undesirable into livable. I find it weirdly awesome that this week is turning into a better financial week too. I think it comes back to the basic principle of acting in gratitude yields positive results in our lives. Yes, it does mean eating humble pie and laughing at the rhythms our lives take. Sometimes it is our choices that spin our wheels and sometimes it is those of others. The point is that when we do find ourselves back to basics it gives us ample to reflect on.

The new DJ Stevie B mix on Mixcloud is cool and hits a welcome spot of orgasmic yet comfortable pleasure. In times of high impact stress I guess the familiar is the trampoline that pushes us through the burning loop.

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DJ STEVIE B

As a side note I deeply thank my clients and friends who support my little business and humbly ask for the increased and continuation of such. Yes with increasing measure I hope my client base grows considerably. Damn I am flipping great at my career and quite frankly deserve a bit honey on my Swiss rye bread toast. Like seriously already.

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VIDEO: A FEW REASONS YO MAKE ME YOUR HAIR GURU

These ‘SLIPTOVER’ makeovers are recent; the last week in fact. I hope that they inspire you to express yourself differently for a bit. The most wonderful thing is that behind each of these stunning looks is a magnificent human with amazing stories of bravery to tell. We all do in fact! Sometimes even changing ones look requires leaning on the bravery of the stylist you choose.

CHOOSE ❤️!

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

AJB•