URBANE HUMANE

Sandown,Johannesburg

Basking in the sun, pool and company the title of today’s blog struck, “Urbane Humane”. Well sort of anyway. After researching synonyms for sophisticated I stumbled onto the dapper word, ‘urbane’. To give you an inside glimpse of just how shallow I can be, my original title: ‘Sophisticated Dreams’ didn’t fit neatly into a single line, which I wanted, so out with that, in traipsed urbane. Eventually, ‘Urbane Humane’ emerged.

But before I go on, this following Mixcloud Mix has me going all giddy from pure delight. I strongly suggest that you, the reader, click on it and let it create the exact right feeling for this blog.

Click ⬇️

DEEP EMOTIONAL VOCAL #6

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An angle that caught my eye. I love the continuity of colour and the echo in the patterns)

What, amusingly, stuck me about the definition of sophisticated was 'involving a great deal of worldly experience'. Immediately the analyst in my head was, "Wow, how is that for paradoxical?" Such a broad term that certainly conjures up memories of 'worldly' which in my failed moral compass I would hardly call sophisticated behavior. You know what I mean right? The other revelation of this definition begs a question, "If one leads an impoverished life and 'worldly' experience is low, does it mean one cannot be refined/sophisticated?" See what I am saying? This neatly brings me to my title, 'URBANE HUMANE'. Although urbane is steeped in the masculine, sophisticated society has evolved to the point of extending the right to identify oneself by ones own choosing. If you want to be silver-platinum, be one. The truth is, anyone can be platinum but the tone, style, styling and expression of that style must be, individually, designed. I don't want to go into that 'worldly' topic suffice as to say; if it is our right to choose does it mean that it is the right choice to choose?

As an example:

Is it cool to chop a tree down to manufacture matches? The very thing that can destroy many trees, a lit match, and potentially destroy the oxygen/carbon dioxide converters that give us air to breathe?

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(Pic I took that, almost pervertedly, makes the eye beg to see beyond the trail of light….such a tease)

On that note; the EFF/H&M debacle gave my friend/ neighbor and I some great juice to use regarding the racist/not racist debates that filled social media in ZA for days on end. Let me not get into the unsophistication of much of those days….lol. For a truly ZA take on a world crises regarding the question of what is or is not racist click on the link below.

SWEET SUNDAY PERVE

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💋💋💋💋💋

Haibo, and now?

Although a side-angle the quote above nails it eloquently, excuse the pun. In short, the urbane description of a guy who got laid, put into a delightful play on words and metaphor, paints the exact picture of this blog.

So what is an 'URBANE HUMANE?'

In South Africa the war of free-education is a heated topic. The wealthy feel that they shouldn't subsidize the poor, the poor feel they have the right to education, the government is yet to come up with a great strategy to sort the question, and the sophisticated arguments continue. But what if we zoom out and think about a urbane humane system of 'how to?'.

So banks profit largely out of student loans. Right? So what if we cut the bank out? What if we approach corporate society to cough up some funds, or get Swiss banks to hand over hidden Apartheid Arms money towards the cause of building basic but free universities that live -stream lectures from varsities that are funded by more private entities. This way educational standards can be raised as all get access to the same standard of information. Obviously translated into all official languages. By potentially offering jobs to pensioners, or youth needing jobs, who I am sure will love the engagement, we can uplift the living standards of impoverished peeps…. why not? We then insist on a system where successful graduates have the responsibility of having 1% of their incomes separated from state taxes, that are exclusively used to sustain free tertiary institutions. A system like this takes us neatly into an urbane tribal system. The elders lend wisdom and experience to a younger working generation who pave the way for those they give birth too. This way accountability, purpose, validation of humans is effectively implemented in a responsible manner in which no one person feels negated as not worthy. Certainly as time goes on and then live-stream can be replaced by actual people creating more jobs as populations swell, hopefully the funds are used wisely and grow in careful investments so that the divide between private educator salaries and government educator salaries be brought closer to validate the life changing roles of the teacher. This system can ultimately give an urbane society the 'feel good' jolt it needs to bring people together for the cause of living for something beyond ourselves…. the next generation. Also by having vested interest and human ego being what it is, a balancing of all points of view will be attained because we all like dat: 'You want my money honey, you treat me nice, real nice….lol'

On the subject of the way we treat others, Melusi Tshabalala, a guy you should follow on FB, shared a story of how a childhood memory spoke him out of running. Melusi is hysterical and educational as he is teaching his followers African languages through his witty humour. With permission, I am sharing a part of his story that I relate to so much.

"And then there was Zulu church, ezayoni. It ruined my youth. Half the neighbourhood were Godless heathens and the kids would stand on the side of the road, waiting for us to go to church. As soon as we came out of the yard, they'd start singing: "Isonto lama zayoni, yisonto lamagwala. Wake wayibonaphi indoda esonta iphethe induku. Ishaye is-come around, uguqe ngamadolo…" Then I'd start crying and my mom would klaap me for paying attention to heathens and I'd cry some more. Now it's a mess. My green uniforn is wet, with tears, I'm dragging my staff, my face is covered in tears, snort and vaseline. Isphandla (Zulu Rolex) is making me itch ngapha."

As a kid, I had similar experiences regarding itchy stuff and preened for the world to behold in my Sunday best. The point of sharing this story is simply that when we look beyond the borders of our self-made understandings, suburbs, countries and hang-ups we discover that humane is found in every urbane setting.

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(Pic of the iconic Ponte building, JHB, ZA, from the backseat of the Taxify cab on our way to Shakers in Maboneng.)

For a while I have been on a mission to experience how others in ZA live, play and get on in life. The idea was sparked by a guy who, rightly, said that unless I had lived in a shack, limited sanitation, no electricity and walked or caught a minibus taxi as a means of transport, I could not truly understand the disparity between elitism and survival. Profoundly put into context it is both raw and startling. So back to the story of urbane humane integration.

Weeks ago JJ had told me about Shakers. I have been dying to get away from a slippery ‘mostly white stomping ground’ for a while. As an addict in recovery I came across a concept. It went along the lines of this…. for every 1 bad memory, one needs to replace it with 10 different good memories. The idea is to stop our brains from holding onto the largely ‘bad’ memories (our brains latch onto negatives better than positives, apparently), which are strong. We need to reinforce +’s by creating more numbers of fun things to remember. Because most areas in the northern suburbs of JHB are strong memories of many poor choices, to avoid the barrage of thoughts/triggers that follow I am searching for new places to experience myself as a sober human. It is timed well. As I explore my cleaner self, integrate myself into a multiracial social structure and share my journey, publicly for various reasons, I find myself being in a unique global movement of inclusivity.

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(Shakers, Maboneng)

Shakers is a gender mixed, race mixed, and sexual preference mixed venue. With fresh meat one can choose your ‘inyama’ and have it cooked on the spot, VIP area, chill out lounges and African-centered music the cultural experience is delightful. I spent hours taking in the hairstyles, trends, and various dress styles of people. The thing that stood out most for me in this predominantly black patron establishment was the sheer camaraderie between various people. Something I often missed in my predominantly white patron venues. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. The textiles, attitudes, tastes, and expressions of these urbane humans is a pure delight to the eye in a world saturated by conformity.

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(Racing past an extraordinary colored building and colorful cement pillars, has created this excited and intriguing pic)

SO WHAT DO THESE VARIOUS STREAMS OF THOUGHT TEACH US ABOUT BEING AN URBANE HUMANE?

The answer is really simple, clear and cliched. The world does not revolve around us, individually. We are all totally necessary in this world, thus our mindsets need to change from being: MY WORLD to OUR WORLD. It is in this moment where we think plural, we open ourselves to the possibilities of a life beyond understanding. Beyond understanding because each of us do not live in each others heads. So by dropping the protection mechanism of MY to the inclusive OUR, we open the door to a world our brain cannot imagine.

The brain can only have a memory of what has been put into it. So if we dunno, we simply dunno until we do.

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(ending this blog with this pic is such a great shot of an urbane humane experience, transcribed into art, made functional in a situation that creates many uncomfortable urbane humane moments for all of us)

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

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MORE THAN SPEAKING PIXELS

(pls forgive the weird upload. I have tried editing the mistakes but to no avail)

A friend, no an incredible human I call friend, posted an invitation on Facebook today. He spoke about something I try do in the salon too. He declared his home a safe space away from an often harsh society. In the salon I have long been the naughty, loud and ‘status-quo’ boundary pushing stylist. The reason for this is that there are so few people, places and spaces where we can just ‘be’ without fear. The great thing is this interaction gives me great things to think about and to figure out my truth from the truths of others. This is how the title of this weeks blog evolved. My response to the FB post was: “Always prefer human than speaking pixels. I am intrigued to see how this theme runs through my week. I promise to share as I learn and understand it.

Being Thursday today, I was starting to panic. The hours were ticking on and the ideas have been a bit low on the Richter scale. Bam! The above text turned a nearly binned blog around. We can all identify.

In the ‘TED TALKS’ link below, the discussion of perspective and understanding comes up. Being in a financial position where the means for a basic living: rent, food, travel (work/home) are where it is at right now means that I spend a lot of time at home, oft alone. I love my home so it’s not a problem. The thing that I crave is human connection, outside of work, more than speaking pixels. I am always fascinated by the agenda behind a text, video call, and online post.

Click ⬇️

TED: HOW TO MAGICALLY CONNECT WITH ANYONE

Think about it for a second.

2 people can do, dress, talk, act the same thing. The agenda/motivation behind the ‘sameness’ will determine whether it is an authentically + or -. Our lives have become so entrenched by tech that we seem to have forgotten the phenomena of human. I mean we have even created sex-bots for crying out loud. Like really?😢😢

Click ⬇️

MALE SEX-BOTS

In the article below, a great point of view is discussed. Through creative exploratory practices, kids can better define, understand and accept themselves hereby being more adjusted and self-sufficient.

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GQ (UK): TEACH CHILDREN TO DREAM

me through in my conversation with the cab driver on Thursday. The consciousness of us humans is the need for personal and intimate contact with others. Something magical happens when we are face-2-face, human to human, that technology cannot replace.

(Skin is just skin….what makes it valuable is that it houses the parts that make us identically human)

Click ⬇️

THURSDAY: TITTLE-TATTLE: CIAC 2018 #2

I would like to ask you the same question: “What, in your opinion, do we as humans need to do to take negative perceptions about eachother and turn it into positive actions that benefit you me and all of us equally?”

Click ⬇️

SUSTAINABLE HUMAN

(AB, my neighbor and I creating a stir wearing the doek)

WHY HUMAN?

I felt that perhaps the best way to describe the companionship, the compassion, the love we have for eachother, although often denied due to whatever, was to add this little video clip to remind ourselves that we are more than sex-bot bangers, cruel mammals, more than greedy hoarders, and certainly more than speaking pixels. Our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies thrive on caring for eachother. We know that this is true by the sheer enjoyable memory of that moment we gave something deeply sentimental and personal to some we value of high-esteem. Remember?

Click ⬇️

HUMAN HEREOS

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

Getting Game

I started listening to affirmations Thursday last week. I noticed my inner ‘voice of reason’ kicking in on some of the affirmations. As I listened, repeatedly, I noticed that the nit-picker, in me, didn’t even pick the same things to argue…..lol. I have decided to follow the rule of listening to this You-tube video for 30 days whilst doing my walk. Try it with me.

It feels good!

I feel a bit silly listening to the affirmations but heck who doesn’t like a bit of a child-like giggle. The simple fact remains: I am less fit at acknowledging myself than tearing myself down. You? Repeating the affirmations, more are beginning to make perfect sense to me and speak to my heart directly.

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

(View from my patio, watching the birds getting busy…..if they can I can…..aaaaaargh…….lol)

Obviously as the year starts we all scramble to get our ‘A’s into G’s’. Although I am, generally, on top of it and tidy I can let things slide. Taking cognizance of 2017, reviewing myself, gathering information and compiling a list of what I can do to build forwards and upwards from 2017 has been awesome. I put together a streamlined action plan for my social-media engagement. It is challenging to keep content relevant, creative and interesting if one is flying solo and at ad hoc. Look I am pretty proud of myself as an inexperienced blogger, online marketer and content creator. I obviously can’t compete with the ‘in-the-knows’ and designers; for an amateur, I think that the sincerity and diversity of my shenanigans is uber cool. In my humble opinion anyway.

We learn!!!!

Starting 2018 with a keen sense of self-improvement being necessary has been educational. I am not a New Years resolution kinda guy; not at all. It just so happens that it is and I have clarity on certain things. I think that it is most likely due to the fact that rest was afforded me after a year of hellish ‘rat racing.’ The theme for the week seems to be dispelling my negative thoughts and adopting positive action. It has come through from my Tuesday NA meeting to my morning Headspace meditation. You should download Headspace. The British male voice is actually nice to listen to and if like me 3 minutes is a stretch to do a focused meditation you are going to love the un-guru-like approach to centering ourselves.

It’s fabulous darlin’.

Choosing to read my faith book from beginning to end, this year after a long time, I am struck with the thought of the first evening and next morning. In my personal interpretation it seems to suggest that, considering that we are all the same chemical makeup of the entire universe, light breaks shadow and misunderstandings can only last for so long until clarity is found. The question I get from this is: “In the clarity, what will we DO differently?” So as I get up and go for my morning walk I leave this cool quote to ponder on.

After a walk listening to the affirmations I got back and designed the theme campaign for my online marketing. Creativity seemed to be buzzing out of me.

SHOOSH!

B GORGEOUS WITH ME.

This cutesy little catch phrase with just the right amount of lit on it’s on fleek message is the underbelly of an idea I have of uplifting my own psyche and others through the mediums I use. Setting the stage for 2018 starts somewhere.

The ‘SHOOSH! B GORGEOUS WITH ME’ campaign is a fun and quirky reminder that stilling our doubts, letting go and having fun is essential for personal growth. Shoosh! B gorgeous with me and let’s create a fun, expressive and glam SLIPTOVER Makeover for you.

Book now.

(063) 7716016

✌🏽

#sliptbyajb

Something that stood out, philosophically, in my morning quiet time reading were the words expanse, seas and land. I couldn’t help but nod in agreement to the fact that we all know what that feels like. There are times where we feel as if we are swimming endlessly in the expanse of our lives and dry land seems unattainable. Other times the dry land expanse seems so vast we could just die for a bit of water to quench an insatiable thirst. For me personally it seems that my desire to attain financial freedom is a never ending ocean whilst finding love to enjoy it with the unquenchable insatiable thirst. You know what I mean right? The thing that struck me next was that life went on. This stark reminder is that I cannot allow myself to be so consumed by my unfulfilled desires that I drive myself to depression and invariably ‘act out’ in harmful ways.

LIFE GOES ON. SO MUST WE!

On I go.

I eventually tackled a cupboard that I dared not to show another human. It was filled with all sorts of random bits that I was saving to potentially use oneday. That day never came. Finally I have more space for storage. The upside is that I can find things easier and I don’t have to guard that door from nosy guests. By clearing some nonsense I have opened my home to a more natural flow of energy that is easy and joyful. This random exercise has cleared my mind too. By eliminating a stress I am more relaxed to let people enjoy my home, with me, without the fear of my mess being found….lol.

USE IT OR LOSE IT!

(This picture of my living room seems to reflect the lightness in my psyche. I love my little space; colourful, glamorous, expressive, easy flowing and kind….. things I love most about myself too.)

Handling my online marketing, running my little business and home, focusing on being ‘self-full’, responding to the needs of others and connecting to my spirituality takes up time. Using time wisely and creatively requires that I start by clearing out and making space for better, by being clear, open to receive goodness displayed by my actions and practicing affirming myself and others lovingly.

I found this quote from my Saturday morning meditation. It is a great pointer at where the source of creative inspiration comes from. Juxtaposed to the creation story, as I look around at the birds in the garden, the branches that hold their nests, the traffic rushing by, the sun in the sky, the smell of fresh coffee, toast, listen to my favorite Dj and practice being centered I realize that creativity is the seat of the entire universe.

I wish you all, my blog readers throughout the world, a wonderfully creative week. Let’s rock it because we rock!

For some seriously hot music, from Mixcloud, by Tony Fuentes, with great feel good lyrics and shoulder-shaking beats, click ⬇️. I recommend listening in from 00:18:00 minutes, sit back and allow the words to raise your energy.

TONY FUENTES-LIFESTYLE Remember:

Shoosh! B Gorgeous with Me as we put Love into Action, Together.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

Deionised

As solutions can have a non-zero electrical charge called ions, I too have been in limbo for a while. After a much anionic (negative charge) slump it feels good to be doing cationic (positive charge) things. In this creative way of using science and its terminology I am grinning all silly like. What I am getting to is that I walked today and forced myself to tackle the laundry at home, concluding the day at an NA meeting. It was a rather strange observation for me about myself, being in the group. I have changed!

Let me explain.

One of my personal frustrations with groups is well….other people are in it. And I simply have to consider another’s experience and interpretation of things as they must mine as personal. Herein lies the frustration…..lol….my ‘Mr Fixit’ kicks in so valiantly. I opened up about my needing to be in a group of like-minded people as I was finding it depressing doing recovery alone. I need social interaction that is non threatening. Loneliness can push a person to the brink of relapse. After-all a big part of my being is a people’s person.

Sharing was cool.

What was interesting about my being there was that I have changed so much over the last year. The usual feelings of being intimidated and insecure were hardly traceable. Gladly the topic of the negative voice in ones mind and people-pleasing came up. I shared how over the last year my pendulum has swung from extreme loneliness to people-pleasing by such degrees that some times I felt like a prisoner in my own home because I would put up with behavior that negated me and my space. What I am saying, in short, is that I over-compensated my feelings of loneliness by putting up with another’s disrespectful behavior just so that I had company.

Dumb right?

When put into words it is; when one is caught up in it it is less obvious and if it is such, even less the inclination to change it. Most of us don’t want to bust ourselves and to top it with admitting our inability to course correct….lol….right? I would be frustrated and be angry at the world at large because I didn’t get the ‘love’ I craved. Well sugarplum, I made it easy to be disrespected because I didn’t know what I wanted in the damn first place darlin’! I guess in each of us this tug of war between being authentic vs accepted pulls on our heart strings. As much as I have done 80% of the right things over the last year it has meant that as I built up my ability to stand on my own two feet, and trust me I have done well, and not depend on others to be my co-dependent crutch I have been lonely. It is the natural order of things. Many a professional athlete might tell the same story of sacrifice for the sake of goals.

Often people will say to me that I shouldn’t isolate myself from the world who may not have the life crushing issues of addiction as I do. They are correct. Where the danger comes in is that a drunk friend soon forgets that another cannot drink and the pressure to have a, “just one shot….look how small this glass is….come on….just one….stop being a ball-breaker,” and the resolution to be strong is attacked until all resistance crumbles. Years gone by many the resistance oft has dissipated on the way home and via where no-one is watching, behind drawn curtains and locked doors.

Pride can be a good thing in public as it can be the mast by which pretension hides a wavering mind.

It felt good yesterday to be able to drop my guard and speak freely; be freely and not be carrying the baggage named ‘not-good-enough’. Wow I have changed a shit load this year. Incredible!

With my independence hanging on by an absolute thread, my hope in my Higher Power, my little action plan in place and my slow but steadfast stepping in the right directions I am reminded, unfortunately, that ‘Rome isn’t built in a day’. Unless of course someone dies and one inherits a fortune or a lucky Lotto has ones name on it. For the rest of us we each need to do what we can and must. The rest will be. To those that lent a financial hand in a time when I struggled to even get out of bed… THANK YOU!

Click ⬇️

STEPS TOWARD SUCCESS

As I gear my own mindset towards doing and being better than 2017 remembering that my life, their lives, your life is a personal journey that will take us to death to fight for.

I wish you a fabulous year ahead with sensational victories. God knows I need more good news than last year.

So if like me one feels somewhat ionic (non-zero charge) then that is a wonderful place to start. It takes just a teeny-weeny bit of cationic action to raise the energy levels to game ready.

On your marks!

Get set!

Go!

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

A bit of Turkey stuffing

A bit of funky on Mixcloud quips this tongue-in-cheek blog with just the right flavour. Enjoy!

Click ⬇️

DJ DIMSA- LIVING LOUNGE

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Catching a bit of vitamin d baking my stuffing and stuffing the stuff that stuffs up the stuff…..lol….at least mentally anyway)

With Christmas and New Year kitsch behind us, the messages, guilt, and phony platitudes spewed beyond ad nauseam gone; reflux tastes better. Before you get all uppity about my opening remarks and whatever else will follow know I also succumbed to sending messages. God I hate it. I tried my best to say something quirky and sincere but because it is so commercialized that what is a daily, normal sincerity for many smacks of bullshit because of the number of randoms, completely misplaced. Saying, being, doing nice things should not be forced upon anyone because of a season but should be a natural order of how we live! No, I don't have a heart of stone but the gallant of the holiday season is so trite that I cannot bear it. Perhaps one day, God willing and best he does, I might be able, when money is a minor consideration, to do a true anonymous random act of kindness that means something to someone. I am so grateful for the help I got over the festive season as I really needed it and the minimal fuss was truly gifted. I cannot say thank you enough. Gosh, I really wish that I had had strength to endure the year a bit more than I did, the start of 2018 might not have reached it's inevitable sprint. Alas I just couldn't. Too much, too little and just too too. From my faith perspective I simply cannot buy into the absolute horror of a season dedicated to the birth of my said faith group and the pomp at which we unashamedly tint the tinsel to match. I just can't. I have worked fastidiously at avoiding this season as I cannot bear the falsities and worst yet the manner in which yearly applaud given for a job well done. It has to be my absolute worst character defect…. I don't brown-nose well. It makes me feel like a whore and if I want to feel that way, well hun there are far more satisfying methods that can be deployed. With this having being said, a wry smile turns to the glint in my eye as I hear the thoughts rush past my lips: "Wonder who is going to be offended by this piece of my mind now?" "Speak your truth," they say, "Be yourself." What an absolute crock of blah blah blah. Lately every time I open my mouth, try discuss things that really matter to me somebody somewhere is offended. I just can't take the paradoxical irony. Us people tend to like the truth as long as is it not our own. Right?

(A personal prayer….Dear God I beg you, please can I make enough money this year to go somewhere on holiday for the entire festive season that I don't have to face any of it. Where true, genuine and human connection is untainted by overrated & overpriced marketing induced seasonal psychosis….. please.)

Now that I have regurgitated that out of my system after a long season political niceties I can breathe again.

I am not a miserable kinda guy at all. In fact I am so up, usually, that I am too much for people. Fact! But this year end trivia gives me a hernia, constipation and dizzy spells all at once. Sadly I missed a really fabulous Christmas lunch invite due to stuff…damn it! Stuuuuuuuuuuuuufffff?!?!

I just cannot understand how people think it is is cool to rip people off, con them, lie, cheat and or steal throughout the year and then think a bit of gift wrap will hide the atrocities of what us humans are being. But in the face of being the second day of 2018 by 35 minutes, let me not get started on humanity……lol. Myself included, just in-case you are flippantly muttering, "who does this bitch think it is….lol?"

What I really want to get to is the gift that would have truly made my day, season and perhaps a couple of years. Beyond the stuffing stuff!

The movie, 'Home Again', with Reece Witherspoon really revved up my motor. It happens in the end, around the dinner table and the movie concludes with a satisfying gulp of romanticism. It leaves me with the thought, "When will I get to a point with others, where beyond the stuff happens?" You know what I mean right? That place of you are you, I am I and together the we is a special place without the stuff stuffing us up individually!

I would like a season where the sex, the power struggles, the fake politeness, the can't stand eachother, and the spite is worked through enough to get to where the amusing appreciation without expectations of another lay. You know the stuff that gets in the way before genuine and authentic mayhem lay and awaits the brave who venture beyond the humanity we all fall privy to? Yes, that place. Each relationship of whatever kind has this stuff. Perhaps my idealistic persona has kicked in but I want this place where 'it-is-what-it-is' is a harmonious flow of human interaction that respects the 'it-is' instinctively. I know it exists as I have that kind of relationship with my Higher Power and have kissed this nirvana with a few humans in my 43 years on this planet. I know that I am loved flaws and all. And my understanding of these relationships is that there is a connection. And connectivity is what we all crave, I think? I mean why else sugarplums would the world of cyber connectivity be such a competitive and multi-billion income industry? But is cyber connectivity any actual connection at all? Mmmmmmmm?

So having cleared the verbal/mental phlegm clogger out of my brain, I don walking shoes deciding that this blog will fall where it will and those that take offense must simply do so! I mean let's get offended by world hunger for crying out loud.

So end this mind clearing blog I sincerely do wish; for you and myself:

Your truth whatever it may be, may you get beyond the stuff that holds you back. May your relationships be richer and colourful; your experiences more deeply satisfying. May kindness pave your way and joy drive you as the sun, moon and stars kiss your eyes looking forward to the blessing of life in hands/heart and mind. May 2018 find wisdom in action as purpose unfolds clearly with minimal doubt.

Be blessed and the blessing.

Happy New Year!

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

HOLLA

SANDOWN, JOHANNESBURG, ZA 12:04pm

(reminded of the fun from my new year celebration with friends who cared for me that I would not stray, I smile that a little fun can cure an overwhelmed heart)

KICKING RIGHT OFF!

Click ⬇️

TONY FUENTES from Barcelona <<
is the first hours of what each of us hope will be a better year but since waking today and wracking my brain as to what I can do to turn a ripple effect event into a positive. Not to bring the past baggage into 2018, but for the sake of context, a scam months ago has almost crushed my independence as a baby entrepreneur. Rightly or wrongly I reached out on social-media out of sheer desperation. Although some kindness was extended which got me through the December slump, thank God, much more still needs to be done to pull my independence from the quicksand.

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watching the Koi from the dinner table on the deck at a friends house, I realized how much beauty I have missed out on beating myself up for being scammed and near destroyed…. time to swim and get on with it!)

So I flipped my despondency onto itself and after much ongoing continuous prayer, frustrated wallowing and introspection I have put a mental game plan into action.

1) Extending a call to mentorship to a more experienced businessperson in my field, which I hope will be positively received, I accepted that I genuinely need guidance to improve my business game plan.

2) As much as I hate it, I am missioning myself to make sober friends at NA. I hate big groups but I guess for the sake of not being lonely and limited funds this free and like-minded group is a must for my mental wellness.

3) Doing some form of exercise: I can walk and do push-ups and sit-ups etc at home that won't cost money.

With this very basic proactive list the lease of life seems a little brighter. Years ago when I first moved into my own home again after a long long time, there were days that the only thing I could do to distract myself from going nuts was to clean my home. I would constantly repeat to myself: "God thinks that I am worth it."

So as I get my home back into order after a long period of depressing frustration I get back onto my little pony and try to fight my way back to a more hopeful future. Each of us may have for different reasons been bullied by circumstances from 2017, but I commit to get into the bloodied ring and try again.

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In the uber…. the metaphor is a simple but startling one… eyes forward)

Will you?

Watching the Anna Nicole Smith story yesterday I was struck with the fighter she was when she was young and how circumstances lead her to a place where choosing a destructive path seemed to be her only option. I don't want to be another stat.

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•

INCALCULABLE

Setting the record straight is rough and tough simultaneously. Inspiring me to write this blog, ‘A Christmas Cruise’, the standout lesson is about having fun whilst betting on oneself. Being me, argumentative, I find myself both perplexed and frustrated simultaneously. Although I know that schmaltzy Hollywood stories are not real life but the tug for it to be so is real enough that I just cry. Now before you roll your eyes in your head at me let me at least try clarify. Living an online life has afforded me the ability to be exposed, thus a great amount of critical examination from people at large is inevitable. It helps push me to keep getting up when everything in me just wants a break from it all. The crossover is the hard part. Going from online to actually engaging others in the flesh all my inadequacies flair up. It is for this that more often than not I retreat. My Christmas invitations were passed up by a catastrophic event where I ended up being saddled with an utter stranger. What should have been an easy thing to fix turned out to be a two day stint of me playing host. The crazy thing is that I couldn’t stand this person’s guts. I am not being judgmental. Because of an unfortunate crises I was put into the position to nurture this person while alternative arrangements, slow to be made, eventually got done. The constant demand to be catered to drove me insane. But a wonderful spotlight has been shone and like an actor on center stage I am compelled to ask myself why I find it so hard to gamble on me. I know this seems quite hypocritical as I run my own little business but the truth is that I do what I do for others and secondary is myself. This explains why I get so exhausted trying to keep people happy that eventually I feel depleted and angry simultaneously.

Simultaneously? So much of my life is contradiction. Not deliberately, naturally. I hate that I love others more than me. I feel bad when I laugh at the innocent expense of another. I enjoy my own space but hate being lonely. I thrive on attention but crave anonymity. The lists go on. Work this one out, I like surprises but want to know they are coming. Either I am a totally dependable or completely elusive. All these contradictions run through me and I don’t know from moment to moment which side of the coin will kick in.

So my indirect Christmas gift has turned out to be a great one. I need to change some things.

As I look back on 2017 I am grateful that I survived, barely but survived. I moved homes and started my rent-a-chair, lost my car, lost a relationship and a best friend, lost friends to suicide, got bitten by a spider that ended up with me needing physiotherapy as I pulled muscles in my back, relapsed, got scammed, got robbed, moved my working space and got my heart stomped on again. A work colleague said, “Shit, you are like a magnet.” It has bugged me the whole day. Clients have said I need to become selfish or self-full and perhaps a little mean. I need to start having some fun whilst betting on myself. My kindness is costing me more than I should be willing to share…. I am coming up short.

AND COMING UP SHORT CREATES PRESSURES THAT RECOVERING ADDICTS, LIKE MYSELF, NEED TO AVOID AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

Let me explain the incalculable cost of calculable choices.

Although sometimes devastating, as people can actually die in relapse, relapse is not the end of the world. I am not condoning relapse. I am saying that picking oneself up and facing the music is even more important than beating oneself up for letting ones sobriety slide. The consequence is that one loses cred and trust is hard to earn back again. Financially, the strain means making tough choices to survive which in turn creates pressure. A recovering addict needs to observe good health, good relationships, good lifestyle choices, good rest. But I have done ok and I am proud that I survived.

Claiming my independence by taking responsibility for myself through my rent-a-chair business has been tough. But I am getting better at it and I am proud of that. I am becoming conscious of money. Or lack thereof. The part that needs to change, and this is where others come in and I have no control over, is I need to get busier and fast. Scratching a very basic living is both emotionally draining and exhausting. So please book. I really am damn good at what I do.

My kindness to a fault sees me sacrificing things to help others and although a great characteristic it is easily taken advantage of. My faith teaches me to share freely but my humanity needs a bit of comfort. People like Mother Thereza are huge inspirations for me. Somewhere in the middle, I guess, lies an acceptable solution. I need to find the middle.

This last year has been an excellent year of overcoming obstacles. No matter what others might say or assume, I am darn proud of myself. So I have gotten to thinking about what lies ahead. I need to have fun whilst betting on me. In other words I need to socialize on platforms that are non-threatening and safe. Herein lies the the incalculable cost of calculable choices.

As an example: to join a running club I need good running shoes, the fees to pay the club, races, extra uber fare and all extras that go along with that. So this is the current situation, that will pass, I simply don’t have the resources to do more than I am at the present moment. When will it change? I wish I knew. All I do know is that my contradictions flip-flop from extremities because I need to have fun so when I can’t and have to stay home to pay bills the ‘too much free time’ pushes my frustrations to levels of despair. The cycle is both amusing and disconcerting.

The relevance of having resources to spare goes like such.

Grappling, lifelong, with being a bear (I have body hair) vs being smooth as I am lean in shape is still unanswered. To my contradictory mind, in order to remain natural I need muscle as a counterbalance to the burliness of being hairy….kinda like a Viking. To get a body is going to take money and by the simple fact that I have a high-metabolism lots of money to see the ‘body’ project through to completion. This applies to shaving my balding hair off too. I know that it is funny but, to my mind, lean and hairy are not a great visual combination. I got an offer for ‘fun’ again today. Although the invitation was tempting when I answered that I want to have a day of being more than a piece of meat to be relieved on the conversation came to an abrupt halt. Sad…. the online chat was rather nice for change.

To join an art class or to study new things…. and so the eternal unresolved issues continue. It is like today; having to give up meeting someone for a coffee. The uber fare to meet at the halfway mark + a coffee + an uber to work on Friday + pack of R27 ciggies meant staying at home was necessary as there just was not enough moola to go that far. Nevermind the fact in 2 days I am supposed to pay R16500 towards rentals. I get so annoyed when people flippantly offer solutions to the cyclical low screams of despondency that I share openly. The simple rule of thumb remains that in order to achieve anything in a society where money is the manner in which we trade…. money is necessary. Worse yet are the well-meaning but far deluded label-yielding semi-informed soothsayers who believe that yesteryear is an identity from which to suck a commentary from. Worse yet when they haggle a discount for a null-and-void exchange of potential business. But it is enough already.

Sitting in my bed wishing that I was at work making money to pay the bills that never stop I am enjoying the peace but a piece needs to be made. It is a strange time of year and things are slow. It is my favorite time in Johannesburg as the roads are less congested, people slightly more relaxed and I feel like I am in a village environment again. You know what I mean, right? That sense that life happens organically and not forced. God knows that Johannesburg is aggressive; and how?

I have been asked of late, “How are you feeling these days?” “Mmmmmmm,” I respond because feeling is not as important as the fact that action needs to happen and action is in limbo. Even the response to giving everything up to potentially become a Buddhist full time is a slow process and yet unanswered idea. You see spirituality is the be all and end all thing for me. When my spirit is broken my reality is incalculable. Why on earth am I like this and why I chose to live this life is another contradiction yet remaining to be seen. It is a bizarre thing knowing that ones value is so much more than the circumstantial results of that chosen life. Holding ones head up, online,in real life or in ones own private thoughts is a forgone action that must be lived if living is a must.

So what am I saying?

JUST SHOOSH IT.

Get your butts into my chair, let me use my 23 years and award-winning experience to use my instinctive love language being ‘acts of service’ to create looks for you as an individual, just suck it up and pay the price in all regards and trust the fact that I do what I do because I genuinely want the world to be in awe of of your hair and know that the most cost-effective and personalized considerations are accounted for. And for goodness sake stop asking the world around you to approve your hair because they are neither you or I. The constant harassment to do something that often is emotionally based as opposed to REAL YOU based is sucking the very lifeblood out of something that should be a simple experience of expressing yourself. God knows we don’t need anymore sheep in the world that make individuals like myself such a scarce commodity that we seem crazy when in fact the crazy lies in thinking that others live in you; so can choose your authentic you. And DO NOT bring your friend/hubby or child to sit in on a consultation. The alternative is that the contradictory rebel in me kicks in and I simply want to head to the hills as far from the onslaught of bullying into professional subservience that gets my back up and creativity at a low. Some people, like myself, are desperately trying to hold onto a ‘win-win’ life philosophy because no one human is more important than any other. That philosophy is applicable to whether one is a creationist, evolutionist, atheist, or whatever other ‘ist’ man-made concept label we identify ourselves to. You see in my mind care has less to do with words as much as they have to do with how we action ourselves. My instinctive reaction to a world obsessed with thinking they have the answers to everything is to withdraw from it as a sign of non-participation. I don’t want to play when the game is loaded with antiquated rules that marginalize other humans, like ourselves, by categorized and inflated levels of status that is applauded by materialistic viewpoints as opposed to a global love perspective. Everybody in the world has the equal right to strive for their dreams. I am sick to death of being judged for being GWM, a recovering addict, a creative, a faith believer, humanitarian and a guy who just wants a simple life filled with wonderful memories more than trying to fit the defunct cookie cutter mould that I have never fit into. Let me be the teacher/ student. Let me be expressive. Let me be intellectual. Let me be humanitarian. Let me be. I don’t go around judging you for being conformist. It kills me and frustrates the hell out of me, but at the end of the day your consequences will yours alone to face…. not your friends, not your children, not your hubby/ wife and not your whoever else…. yours alone. We each only have this life to live. The next is the next. It is unknown. The past is gone. Now is now.

With my art works on sale perhaps 2018 might start in a pleasant way as opposed to the continuation of being a guy trying find a way to reach for his dreams because he believes in himself. He believes even when simultaneous contradiction is an incalculable cost to calculable choices that seem set to flavour 2018.

So to conclude this vulnerable blog I leave this thought…

You say: “It is my hair, my life, my choice.”

I say: ” You are right…. are they?”

The they’s are just you’s saying/doing/ being the same thing. Why would what they think be more important than what you think?

CHOOSE ❤️

Stay your amazing self!

✌🏽

•AJB•