The Right Bite

A dream in my hands and the hope of a better life in the midst of political and social insanity; I struggle to find the meaning of it all. For the last, nearly 10 months, I have taken myself, a group of strangers, clients and friends on a birds eye view of a little life scratching for better. Now I know that my little is more than the most, statistically speaking. If one considers that roughly 15% controls 85% of the wealth in the world, it’s ludicrous. But what does it take to get one’s hands onto a greater portion of that wealth in order to stand in the authenticity of one’s life. It is such a privileged right, as I am lucky enough this morning, to be able to go to. IT IS A DRESS UP EVENT! A privilege because life requires money to build something and it’s a right as we are all equally created with a purpose to build. So many purposes become diamanté for diamonds. So many diamanté; blood at that.

I am not grovelling, at least not too much, and am trying hard to not let the negative words of stressed dismay pass beyond my thoughts. I want more life, more client’s to play on, more opportunities to decorate my home, more expendable income to get that gym body I deeply crave, more money to greater support the charities that I do support and perhaps enough to fix my nose, teeth and go to a holiday destination. Somewhere like Turkey, Morocco, London New York, Paris….just 1X to see what the actual fuss is all about.

Addiction has never afforded me the chance to experience that. That is my consequence. Yet I cannot shake off what a brat I sound like when I see the numbers of people who die from malnutrition everyday.

The point is mega. It’s a later season in my life, although not too late. Lessons ARE being learnt. The roller coaster of relapse and disrupted meds created such upheaval in my sleep and general well being for too long.  Yes; I take a pill everyday that keeps me alive and well. It is a miracle that I live at all; I guess!

The point is this… yesterday in response to another’s post on social media about bills coming and money being scarce, I likewise showed solidarity by concurring with a similar post. Truthfully; this week has been the worst week since I started hairdressing as a qualified stylist. 

BUT!!!!

Secret Sunrise, a yoga and dance event, came like still water after a bitter espresso. It was fabulous and frenetic. I wish all of SA had been there to experience the complete comfort of multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-ages, multi-sizes & multi-everything all playing with dress up and imaginative scenarios. With a theme like Fantastic Beasts one can only imagine the array of colourful gear.

With headsets blaring, Rosebank rooftop became a fantasy land of love and acceptance. YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THE NEXT ONE!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/secretsunrisejohannesburg/

Sometimes a little ‘letting our hair down’ is required when the dreams we hold dear seem to be challenged either by ourselves or the world around us!

In stark contrast to the fun, walking through the empty ‘closing down sale’  rows of a SA retail store giant Stuttafords in Sandton City,  the reality of difficult times felt like that icy tingle when one narrowly escapes being hit by oncoming traffic. Dear God please let SA not become another roadside tragedy.

I am not sure whether to accept offers to get involved in other money generating schemes, stick to my guns and or to drop my prices to mid-range. I am scared! Gosh I have tried every possible promo idea to generate new business that I can think of, with moderate success.

At Pronto on Jan Smuts for a spectacular lunch today the discussion of nasty people, entitlement and bulk people came up. Isn’t it funny how those with the money feel that the price they pay demands brilliant service whilst often the said same people are rude, unreasonable and dismissive of other people. Hun,  money doesn’t buy great service ones attitude does. The money is the value…the ‘attitude’ shows the appreciation of the value giver. It seems that often bulk people are so busy collecting that the need for more becomes insatiable and the value of others diminishes. 

This weekend has thrown into highlight the right bite. When we do our best to moderate our ego it is amazing how opportunities to discover authenticity pop up. I have found a cooking school called The Cookery I would like to try if the dream in hand is allowed to thrive and the hope of a life yet lived granted it’s chance too. As I took this pic <⤵> I was reminded of who I was before the addiction,  before recovery, before disappointment, before my false self tried to eat my Fantastic Beast. 

BUT THE REAL ARION, THE ONE NOBODY YET IN JHB HAS REALLY COME TO KNOW IS BACK. THAT YOUNG MAN THAT ALMOST GOT EATEN UP THAT ACTUALLY MAKES FRIENDS EASILY, THAT GOES BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, THAT IS HONOURABLE AND KIND, GENTLE AND STRONG, HONEST AND LOVING IS BACK. THE ARION THAT PERHAPS I KNEW WAS ALWAYS THERE BUT TOO SCARED TO SHOW HIM AS HE IS RARE. THE GUY THAT THINKS REAL IS BETTER USED RATHER THAN BEING A SHOWCASE MANTLE PIECE TO BE HAULED OUT AT STRATEGIC  MOMENTS.

NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY, DO OR HOW THEY JUDGE YOU THERE IS A LOVE SO DEEP THAT WILL HELP YOU RISE….IF YOU TAKE THE JOURNEY!! OPEN THE DOOR…A FANTASTIC BEAST WITH JUST THE RIGHT BITE WILL DANCE YOUR SUNRISE SECRET GLORIOUSLY EVERYDAY…NO MATTER WHAT…EVEN WHEN IT’S TOUGH!

STAY YOUR AMAZING SELF!

❤ 

•AJB•

Invitation’s

Something magical happened tonight!

Besides Ella and I both dressing in stripes and dots, totally coincidentally, we walked out of the Pierneef Theatre stunned. 

A two man show starring Deandre Reiners and Vianney Henry Farmer who co-wrote PASS (ings) with director and designer Quintin Wils left us reeling in the fact that we had just witnessed a seriously brilliant moment in theatre. WE WERE CLOSE ENOUGH THAT I FELT EVERY PAINSTAKING ANGST OF THE PERFORMANCE RIP THROUGH ME AS IF ROLES WERE REVERSED. From the striking stark set, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching script through to the gripping acting made the trek to Pretoria worth every second. INVOLUNTARILY THE TEARS STREAMED DOWN MY FAN-FACE. 

YIP; IF YOU MISSED IT, YOU REALLY MISSED.

If you get the opportunity to see this production you MUST NOT pass it up!

Deandre Reiners is mesmerising as a deeply conflicted Liam with an intensity that was impossible to say goodbye to at the end. So much of both Liam’s and Jayden’s character echo the crises of many adults; conformity vs authenticity. Watching Jayden’s tears I could have died right there….the pain of identity and belonging. Breathtaking!!!!

Dinner at Parea on Corlett Drive Illovo was the perfect compliment to a great night with stunning traditional dancers providing delightful traditional  entertainment to the fab meals.

People I adore, increasingly, are beginning to show their vulnerability in response to my blog which openly chats about some struggles I and many others face. I am seeing that often the invitation to be a ‘CONFIDANT’ begins with extending the invitation to oneself by dropping the FAKE. My friend Ella is such a brilliant mirror for me to not discount myself on behalf of others. It’s hard for me to not want to ALWAYS be the good guy and I really try hard.

Tonight typified the magnificence of humanity in glorious realness. Life is too short to waste time on idle games that only generate more pain for ourselves and others. So often we are polite to “not hurt another’s feelings”, and I am hugely guilty of this, when the very game hurts so much more.

What I mean is this: 

Our feelings are nothing as they change moods more often than we possibly could change lingerie, daaaaarling . We ALL get vibes about others and as much as the other knows that something is up, so do we. From experience I have seen that when I play the game of people-pleaser, invariably, someone or both get put out; usually with a loss of mutual respect thrown in. NOW I AM NOT SAYING THAT ONE HAS TO BE A COMPLETE JERK AND BE BELITTLING TO OTHERS AND OURSELVES  BUT BEING HONEST, NICELY, IS PROBABLY THE MOST DIFFICULT  YET DECENT ROAD. (and I get it wrong a lot…..aaaargh)

Life in its raw form is delightfully beautiful and cruelly divine. It needs no LED’s to make its colours show. It certainly does not need our help to play itself out either. I learnt years ago that time will continue loooooooong after each of us has come and gone.

Life is as time is….. its own journey. At best we make with it what we can. The choice is…. do we willingly accept the invitation to learn to be our best humane selves or do we accept the invitation to learn to be our best self-serving selves. Either way we will have karma.

I don’t know what I did right to be privileged enough to experience a moment of Magic last night but bring it on….’please sir may I have some more?’

(such a fun memory….playing model model with security….I appreciate these guys so much who daily take strides with me as ordinary working people holding our heads up high trying to do the right thing in a country so torn apart by some extraordinary self-server’s; past and present.)

LIFE IS!

STAY YOUR AMAZING SELF!

❤ 

• AJB • 

Being schooled

《THIS BLOG HAS A SPIRITUAL CONTEXT. PLEASE READ ENTIRELY BEFORE YOU JUDGE IT OR OVERLOOK IT.》

It’s hard sometimes to take it on the chin! 

Imagine, for a minute how the runner up feels? In an honest contest the winner and runner up would have given their all, but somehow the winner had something extra. Oft the bitterness of a second place is heard on the sidelines after the dust has settled.

In my life striving to win the Twincare SA Hairstylist of the Year, many times, has seen me place anywhere but first. Sometimes I knew why and other times I was slighted. Last year, winning this coveted award, however, I had a feeling that I was doing well. I slaved like a dog to manufacture all the bits I needed complete the vision in my head. The interesting thing is that the year before I also slaved but in my heart I knew that it was a test. I knew that I wasn’t going to win but the victory for me was passing the test of perseverance with the knowledge that I was being tested on discipline and not victory. 

Thank you for asking? How did I know? Like today I woke up with a pressing urge to read something. Today it was my Bible. Last year’s competition, held at the end of 2015, a quote stood out like a sore thumb. “Courage is not in facing your battles, courage is facing your battles knowing that you may lose.”

Even though I lost, hopelessly, I won an amazing characteristic. I learnt that I am brave.

FAST  FORWARD 2017….

Today I woke up. It’s dark outside and the nip of winter sends shivers down my spine. The cream in my coffee is a delightful treat. I have been busting my chops for 4 months to keep my dream alive of being my own boss with a nasty wobble that has put my dream at severe risk. I have been praying like nuts to come out of this self-induced crises. LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

The point of today’s blog is about right and wrong. I woke up with the need for caffeine…just kidding. I had to read James 4. Listening to my audio bible the last sentence has bowled me over. I have read my Bible many times but missed this COMPLETELY!!!!

As I understand it….for you/ me/ whoever (the individual) who KNOWS what is ✔ for them (the individual) to do but doesn’t DO it is ❌.

So obvious. But profoundly appropriate. Each of us is an individual. Each of us has a particular purpose. Each of us counts. Each of us has the job to fulfill our particular purpose in this life. Each of us has a global and unique set of rules that apply to our particular purpose. 

Donna said something yesterday which rocked,” When my husband or Phillip give that wierd look about what I am wearing, I know it rocks.” What she is saying is that others misunderstand our individuality and try conform us to their personal tastes. So how do we decifer, accurately, the particular that is crucial to our purpose? I found a quote which I think sums it up nicely! SO OFTEN THE ADVICE WE ARE GIVEN BY OTHERS HAS MORE TO DO WITH THEIR PURPOSE MORE THAN OUR OWN.

From experience I have seen that honest and true goodness sticks around whilst the nature of ❌ is to flee. Boy, have I tried to flee from myself MANY times when I have let my insecurities get the better of me. My insecurities always drive me to promiscuity, substance abuse and self-loathing!

BUT!!!!!!!!!!

As I was , rightly, taught that the next ✔ thing we can do when we choose ❌ is to take it on the chin by confessing and making amends.

I am learning to value myself over and above my ego. Like I knew that I had to go through the trial of Hairstylist of the Year at the end of 2015 was the ✔ thing to do, even though I wouldn’t win, the ego in me was that little more taken to task.

Whatever your crises, as my own personal one is of making my business a success and to stay clean so that I can build a life that is uniquely mine to live, remember to look for the things that remain after the consequences have been dealt.

Oft it doesn’t look like it, taste like it, feel like it but it IS ALWAYS JUST ENOUGH PEACE TO BRING US THROUGH IT.

STAY YOUR AMAZING SELF! 

❤ 

• AJB • 

The fearful step

Have you ever felt frightfully inadequate?

I remember the first time I ever went into a ‘fancy-schmancy’ restuarant. Things were so wierd. My imagination was vomiting inside of me. Snails…fungi….soil….rabbit….liver! How could people eat this stuff? So many forks, and what kind of knife is this? And bibs for grownups? 

As strange as this all was to a kid of 17 I learnt that what is in my head was not as powerful as the experiences of giving it a go. 

Function must follow Form or visa versa!

In other words an idea not tried is vapour. 

For years the disgust of pornography has bothered me. Like eating snails, I had to understand why people who watch it love it. In my inadequacies I believed that if others do so must I. I wanted to be everyone else but dorky me.  Although I have an understanding these days of snails and pornography neither are goto things for me. Both are yucky and boring. Give me an Oxtail stew and kissing any day and I am Lord Muck.

There are plenty of journeys I wish I had never taken but they at least taught me about who I don’t want to be.

This month has been a magnificent time of many 1st’s. Graciously accepting the hand of friendship and tonight joining a Hip Hop dance class to name a few. 

3 things remain true for me:

*keeping it real

*I love people 

*I know God is love

Most of my life has been done scared but I did it.

It has taken me 43 years to get a handle on my irrational fears and have some self-esteem that is allowing me to venture into the life I believe is meant for me. Not a schmaltzy, wannabe and pretentious life but a life filled with adventures to come. 

I am adjusting my point of view!

So remember that what we, falsely, believe about ourselves will always cloud our lives from being the KINGS AND QUEENS we actually are born to be. It is not easy fighting our shadow but it beats fitting in whilst dying inside.

Love is designed to win. Perhaps not exactly how we imagine and often we must go through it scared but the step must be actioned.

I have to find the most decent track and T to wear to dance class tonight. I don’t want to look like a complete eyesore….lol.

STAY YOUR AMAZING SELF! 

❤ 

• AJB • 

ICONIC

HAVE YOU EVER, LIKE ME, WONDERED WHAT YOU, ONLY ICONIC, WOULD REALLY BE?

I think I might just be. No, I don’t mean that arrogantly or even self-patronisingly….if that is even a word….it is now….lol. 

It’s Sunday 1:40 am. It’s freeeeeeeeezing in Johannesburg. Well freezing for us. I guess compared to the UK or Antarctica it is a summers night. With my favourite blankie, a cuppa and the damn too bright kitchen light blasting my ‘wanna-sleep-but-can’t’ eyeballs I toss this word ‘iconic’ into the mix.

What makes someone or something iconic? Is it the amount of likes they get on their social-media pages, or the good they do in the world that so easily is forgotten, or the amount of art/ records or sportmanship they leave behind to remember them by, or the fact that perhaps they are born that way. I don’t know. Perhaps it is all or none of it.

‘The No Kiss List’ on Netflix rocked me this morning. Obviously the tears are a given and the awakening of my spirit has gotten me trying to figure out, the albeit a fictional story, why I am so deeply moved.

With the remnants of my ok but delish supper stocked up in the kitchen sink and my debt repayment plan looking good but both staring at me calling for attention, I force myself to just be with me.

‘The No Kiss List’ reflects on change, acceptance and growing up. The world is often hard and childhood dreams are forced to change for clearer perspectives to grab hold of us as adults.

I work next to a ‘new age exercise’ gym. I don’t know what one calls a place that puts electrodes on you that tense the muscles as one does certain movements. I am a bit old school regarding this but highly intrigued.

Which brings me to my point.

I am trying new things. Not revolutionary new things but things that I simply have not given myself the gap to really try. Like forging friendships that are honestly good for me. Look I have been incredibly lucky in that many people have come into my life that I will always love, deeply care for and hope to become a true friend of oneday but I haven’t let people in close. I feel sorry for my ex. The time with me must have been tough. I loved him so much that I wanted every bit of my being to be dedicated and absorbed into the him & I scenario. Which perhaps is not really possible for anyone. I think this is because I haven’t really allowed myself the opportunity to grow platonic friendships to a level that I can call them besties; so I immerse myself in love. IT IS CHANGING! My friend Ella is proving herself quite the force to be reckoned with. It’s both daunting and stunning as my fears are being challenged and being put into perspective. If you ever get to meet her you will understand why she is an iconic human. I am only now, at 43, beginning to get a handle on who I really am, what I like, don’t like, believe or not, desire and don’t and want to change or let go of both in me and around me. Rather late than never I guess.

Perhaps I may be remembered as iconic for all the mistakes I have made. Perhaps I am starting to walk in the shoes of iconic and will yet discover what it is still to be. But the most essential thing is being iconic to myself.

It has been a week of intense but thought provoking conversation in the salon. Clients/friends have opened up about their lives and I have been moved, surprised and have fallen that bit more in love with each of them. Yup. I am one of THOSE stylists. I don’t want to do hair for people who are superficial. I want to go to work everyday excited to do what I do for people I treasure. And yes when I hurt them I want to care that I have. Come now let’s not pretend that we haven’t  hurt some people, directly or indirectly,  and actually it didn’t bother us too much. As a kid I tried hitting my dad with a broom to stop him beating up my mom. I was glad that the wooden handle left a red welt on his back…..happier that it forced his attention onto me and got him chasing me down the street and off my mom. So you see sometimes we hurt others, like I did, intentionally and I was thrilled with it. Look, I am not advocating violence. I hate violence and am scared of it but the argument is a blurred line of many factors necessary for context before judgement is effectively made.

This week I have finally, after 13 years of guilt, decided to no longer go to church. Not because I don’t want to be a Christian, I do. But the constant pointing out of my personal shortcomings keeps me focused on guilt and not on the love I have for a God that is both God and iconic to me. I mean how does one mimic a love that still loves when we destroy eachother everyday. For now, it may change, I am happy to let my spirituality become a more exclusive affair without the constant negative vomit that gets flung at me in the mask of following a bible-based teaching. I have a bible. I read it. I pray and everyday I hope to be a bit more iconic like this God that has rescued my butt from myself many times.

So too have I decided to dance….actually dance. For years the guilt of ‘boys don’t dance’ coupled to ‘drug-induced-dancing-for-days-as-a-means-of-belonging’ has had me in a noose for too long. The short and of long of this rope is….I love to dance. It frees me and I am in my ordinary way iconic at it.

PERHAPS THE WORD ICONIC IS MERELY A DESCRIPTION OF HOW WE SHOULD SEE OURSELVES, INSTINCTIVELY, RATHER THAN THE CRITICAL EYE WE JUDGE OURSELVES AND OTHERS BY.

PERHAPS IF WE WALK IN OUR ICONIC SHOES REALISING THAT WE ACTUALLY ARE ALL ICONIC,AS THERE IS ONLY 1 OF EACH OF US, WE MAY NOT NEED TO DESTROY OURSELVES, OTHERS,  OUR PLANET AND EVERYTHING AROUND US.

Perhaps as we let go of the childhood ideas of wanting what we want exclusively for ourselves we may as adults raise our thumb and allow the dancers to dance, the singers to sing, money makers to make money, runners to run and lovers to love as passionately for ourselves and others alike.

Perhaps then, ‘ love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Perhaps then we cut  the noose that strangles  the dreams of a world in despair. Perhaps then dreams can come true for the many and not only the ones whom opportunities are granted.

PERHAPS!!!!

STAY YOUR AMAZING SELF! 

❤ 

• AJB • 

Monday Mood

It’s warm and Dora is just not in the mood to blitz goddess-like. The mundane cleaning rituals are needless to say a thankless difficultly. So; instead he feeds the birds and lays prostrate soaking in some much desired vitamin D, whilst beyond the organza wall lay the aftermath of an incarcerated but necessary discipline. It’s warm……

The camouflaged wild birds dance, chat and groom between the perfectly haphazard leafless twigs. It’s been a while since I just watched the world go by. It’s a luxury that most, I think, miss as the ever increasing costs of trying to live are a taxing toll on our limited clocks.

The faded black Loerie gallops; blundering elegantly through the branches.

Balance? What is it and how does one actually achieve it? Theoretically I know the answer we all know. Practically I fear most of us stare intrigued but dismayed at the pie chart illustration. I do! Perhaps balance is more of a societal ideology….u work, they play, they save, they spend. Oh gosh I have tried the envelope budget idea too and well there just ain’t no envelop deep enough. My lists are strong. And I feel the onset of a dress up gay musical sing-a-long coming on. “I do too love dress up,” I mutter so British to myself.

Truthfully, as I was told sincerely, that my best bet is to completely have the bare minimum access to getting  my hands onto money. I am one of those that get so bewildered by a moment that all sensibilities fly much like the blundering Loerie galloping out the door. It does, however, make for exciting times requiring me to be on high alert thinking on points often. It will change.

Is there not an effective class that can teach one the necessary skills to undo a life of wanton mediocre success. Ironically,  at those elected entrepreneurial programs that are implemented at high school level I fared brilliantly. I never got to see it through. Sometimes, kids just have to do as they are told by a parent, particularly the big looming male.

It’s warm.

With a melted herb cheese, tomato, mustard and smoked chorizo sarta brioche well placed, the wicked inevitability of getting out the Domestic Goddess frock shrieks ‘it’s time’ to the ‘oh-god-oh-god-oh-god-please-no’ slamming of grinding brakes at a ‘saw-it-too-late’ red traffic light. 

Tranquil bliss effectively disturbed! 

Whatever it takes to carry through the surrendering of our wills to achieve the dreams that WILL make a difference, not only to ourselves but potentially the world around us……DO THAT! 

As a new potential friend said yesterday, ” DO REAL,” and a glancing read of a Richard Branson online article slogan quips, “SUPPORT DON’T PUNISH”

STAY YOUR AMAZING SELF! 

❤ 

• AJB • 

Pink Stiffed Velarium

It’s Sat 3 June 16:40…..

The winter chill is ever so present, but I can sit on the stoep comfortably sipping tea over peanut toast banting bread. The Orchids are slurping up their ‘for long life’ recommended ice-blocks. It’s been 6 weeks and they are flourishing resplendently. My ‘Peace in the Home’ ground cover, too, seems to have adjusted to its new Morningside patio residence. 

I watch the cars scurry along Rivonia road and sigh that it’s the end of a fabulous but gruelling week. It hasn’t been easy coping with a tired body unwilling to jump out of the cake until it is ready. So too, has it been tough putting into place boundaries that are necessary for positive healing to happen.

YES…I HAVE DONE WHAT IS NECESSARY AND IT’S FLIPPING EINA.

I have, just 4 months ago, begun to taste the freedom of being self-employed. It’s hard to hand over my bank card so as to limit my access to money. Until I have caught my mess up it is both wise and responsible. I don’t want people to think that I don’t sweat trying to be honourable even in my failings. In truth I have to turn a month of work into paying for 2 months expenses.

It’s both doable and still moderately easily. But it does mean I have to practice extreme vigilance and sacrifice. Both concepts of which do not come easily for a guy who feels that he has paid for every indiscretion many times over. Some people seem to float by getting away with much. Like buying a garment, wearing it for a night and then returning it the next day for a refund. I just can’t.  I am the sucker who will buy it and rather give it away than blatantly cheat a system. WHICH MEANS, THAT MANY TIMES I HAVE TAKEN BOTH SELF-INFLICTED AND NON ON THE CHIN.

I saw the pink balloon pressing a way out of the opalescent cover today and immediately related. 

I know right? Sometimes I just think the universe likes to poke fun at me; even metaphorically.

☆pink…favorite colour

☆ceiling…sense of being stuck/hurdle

☆opaque….can see further but struggling to reach beyond

☆balloon….potential to rise

Many conversations later filtering through my mind as the gold dusk filters the ambience of this afternoon, I can only acknowledge that being an adult is not for the faint-hearted. My payment plans are actioned. My self-contained freedom actioned. Getting back to basics actioned.

It’s easy to make mistakes but gosh is it a stretch to drag my inner brat towards the starting line to enter the race. A race I should’ve, could’ve and would’ve if I wasn’t such a stubborn brat who fell in love. A race I needed to start 5 years ago. A race that is about beating into submission the happy-go-lucky in me and creating a space for the achiever in me to create the platform to go lucky.

AS A STYLIST I HAVE LEARNT THAT IN ORDER TO BEND THE RULES EFFECTIVELY ONE FIRST NEEDS TO KNOW THE RULES.

so one day at a time…one client at a time and a bit of luck on my side I may just make it to fix the consequences of a luck that brings blessing at the end of its lesson.

Stay your amazing self!

❤ 

• AJB •