Paws For The Cause by G. R. Hambley (BLW Contributor)

I’ve been trying to write pretty. I like writing pretty because of how it makes me feel. I’ve gotten some out and got some in the works.

I was working on something I believe will be pretty epic. Haven’t decided yet if the piece is going to end exhilarated or tragic. Where it is I can go either way. The certainty of the piece is that there is going to be a hell of a lot of pain.

The world keeps showing up and I find myself obligated to look and read and participate. What else anyone does or doesn’t do, their own volition. Me, I do what I can. What I can do is use my weapons of mass persuasion and drop in to the conscience of those that read me the things that blew me out of my pretty mode.

Yesterday (January 14, 2016) my notification bubble came up as I was writing. I could see who it was from and the subject. The email came from someone close and the subject was, “Upsetting”. The sender gets responses from me quickly. The person is on my you aren’t a disturbance list and always will be.

The note came from a friend on the Dark Continent. I read and looked at what I was given and things including my mood got a whole lot darker real fast.

What I read was disturbing enough. What I saw was, I can’t even find a damn word to describe what I felt when I saw. Thing is, from where it came from I knew it was real. What I saw wasn’t a prop for some horror film. I am so angry. Writing in to here I am still so angry. This isn’t the worst trip I’ve been on but is right fucking up there.

It was real. It is real. This and more are real. I am compelled to have you share the reality with me.

Sangoma, the believed culprit.
Sangoma, traditional healer.
Sangoma, Witch Doctor.

You see the thin rope tied around the paw. The belief is that the paw was used by Sangoma in a ritual that has to do with someone having financial difficulties, bankruptcy or poverty.

Someone pays the Witch Doctor to change their fortunes. You just saw what price the animal pays.

How’s that for reality? This is not gleaned information to create a tug on your heart strings piece.

My friend tells me what you just saw is a very common thing over there. Africans paying Sangomas to cast spells.

What you’ve seen isn’t even as disgusting and sickening as this tale is going to get.

I keep finding myself having to go back and edit far more than I usually do. I’m having a difficult time with composition. Telling a story well takes a certain amount of detachment no matter how attached you are personally. This shit does get my anger meter rising fast.

I’m big time attached. I’m big time angry and I’m big time questioning why the 1st World continues to help the 3rdWorld when they simply refuse to clean up their shit. They want our money. They want our expertise. They want our help removing their despots. Yet the shit that angers the 1st word goes on without what appears to be any consideration for the ways of the 1st world.

There is some sense of entitlement and I’ve been told about it. Told about it in the sense of 2 friends having a conversation. Me with 1st world perspectives and my friend with 3rd world perspectives.

I’m fully aware that the 1st world isn’t lily white in our dealings and some will grease the skids for easier access. We in the 1st world will also bring ours involved in corruption to task when we catch them. The 3rd world is more understanding, lenient, an acceptable cost of doing business.

The rest of this story gets even more gruesome. Nothing like a little human harvest to set the nightmare scene is there. Not a question.

Maybe a lighter mood? A joke to put you in the giggle groove?

So a wife walks in to the kitchen to make dinner, opens up the fridge and looks inside. Much to her surprise all there is to make are human hearts and other human organs. Quite the dream scream.

True story and yes I do know how and why those body parts got in the fridge. The upside if there is an upside, those body parts weren’t taken from anyone who was using them at the time. The harvesting of organs for sale to Sangomas.

Sangomas use body parts to make the traditional healing and it is in many cases deadly. They don’t tell you that part.

Many Africans hate the Sangoma while others believe. Ignorance doesn’t seem to be an issue. They’ve been told and shown different and the practice goes on. There are many of all colours that believe there should be no mercy shown to those that commit the barbarian acts.

I’ve used words and feelings from my friend in this narrative. It would have been an injustice to not use what was gifted to me.

Children. You didn’t think this witchy wonder was going to end with just body parts of the dead did you? Not my style to just stick it in without twisting it. So here’s the twist.

I’m told I wouldn’t believe the number of times children disappear only to be found dead with body parts and organs removed. I was told sometime back that children are raped by those with AIDS who believe that sex with a virgin will cure them.

My friend also tells me that the Sangoma are like drug dealers, take one down and there is always another showing up to take their place.

Recently the Government of my country committed 2.4 Billion dollars to Africa for climate control. I’m sure you’ll excuse me for believing they are worrying about the wrong fucking climate.

Check out other great articles from G. R. Hambley

Emotional Intelligence by Primrose Path (BLW Contributor)

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This evening my friend and I attended an emotional intelligence seminar hosted at the university. First, in case some are not familiar with the idea of emotional intelligence, I will explain the basic concept. Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ – emotional quotient) is essentially recognizing your own emotions as well as others . The ability to differentiate between them an act accordingly. While this may sound like a very basic concept, it’s surprising to learn how many people are not emotionally intelligent or even conscious of trying to be so. A lot of our every day conflicts with others is simply based on the fact that we are not acting emotionally intelligent. It became apparent to me very quickly in my therapy sessions that I was confusing emotions very often in relationships, whether it was friendships, work environments or intimate relationships. EI or EQ is becoming aware of yourself, self realization. When experiencing a conflict, I was taught how to – instead of reacting to situations – to respond to them. I was shown how to identify emotions properly, and in turn approach conflict properly. Instead of becoming defensive, apprehensive or aggressive in a situation, I began to explain to myself what I was actually feeling and where it was stemming from. Again, in turn, I was able to explain these feelings and ideas to the people involved, thus finding a resolution efficiently and calmly. No more of this “arguments going no where” feeling. I can tell you right now, that a lot of it came directly from fear. Fear turned into anger. It wasn’t long before I realized that my angry persona was just fear protecting itself. The emotional intelligence seminar this evening reiterated the fact that I realized just last week, that I need to become more conscious of my emotions again and practice what I learned during my therapy sessions once more.

To move onto the act of becoming more emotionally intelligent, these are some things I took away from the seminar:

  1. Become socially aware. Be involved in events or things in your environment and community.  Think of how it makes you feel.
  2. Manage your stress by acknowledging that it exists. No one is perfect and stress will get the better of us all at times, but try to actively be aware of triggers and ways to cope with stressful situations.
  3. If you are someone who needs new connections, go out there and make them.
  4. If you are someone who needs alone time, make time for you.
  5. Have courage. Courage can be big or small, some days are more courageous than others.
  6. Do the right thing. Most times, you’ll feel it in your gut.
  7. Move forward. Don’t stay stagnant, or your situations will too.
  8. Care about something bigger than yourself.
  9. Look at the big picture. Sometimes we tend to focus in on small points of the picture and can get somewhat lost, take a step back and find what is ultimately important to you.
  10. Be aware of how you come across to others, be approachable but don’t be a door mat.
  11. Listen to hear – not to reply.
  12. Find your best qualities and strengths.
  13. Be authentically you.
  14. Grow by experiencing new things.
  15. Love yourself, but stay humble. No one respects arrogance.
  16. Don’t be defensive. If you’ve encountered a difficult situation with someone or something, identify the situation, address the problem without simply pointing fingers, find out what your common goal is and work towards that common goal.
  17. Lastly, give yourself permission to not take it all on at once.

The  concept of emotional intelligence is to use this every day to communicate with the world around you.  Communication is so vital, but so many of us are doing it wrong. We may not know this, and it is not always malicious, but it’s true. So if you are struggling with emotions, mental illness or relationships of any kind, please take into consideration exploring your own emotional intelligence. It may just open more doors and make your life a lot easier.

Talk tomorrow, friends.

– A

Check out other great articles from Primrose Path

A Psalm Of Life by Le’Meinspireu (BLW Contributor)

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A poem by H.W Longfellow, that has unknowingly inspired me since class 9th.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Check out other great articles from LE’MEINSPIREU

What a Rodent Taught Me About Habits by This Life Map (BLW Contributor)

A few weeks ago I opened the glass slider that leads to our back yard to preheat the BBQ. I pulled the cover off, turned on the propane and turned the burners to get the fire going. I turned to go inside and grab the plate of chicken but decided I should make sure there was nothing on the grill.

I opened the grill and couldn’t believe my eyes…

When I opened the grill I found a hot and anxious rat ready to escape and escape it did. Fortunately, I checked before the BBQ got too hot and cooked the rat! It quickly jumped over the edge of the grill and down to the ground where it hid under the cover of the BBQ.

To make sure I wasn’t crazy, I lifted the BBQ cover and there he was again. This time, he ran toward the edge of the house and under some bushes, never to be seen again.

I went back to turn off the grill and when I looked inside the grill again, I noticed the rat had built a nest and had hijacked my BBQ, he was taking over. As a result of this experience, I haven’t grilled for over a month and I miss my steak and burgers.

Don’t Let Your Habits Be Hijacked

With habits or BBQs that we neglect to take care of and use, even for a  for a week or two, we discover something else has taken the place of our healthy habits. The replacement habit may be laziness, entertainment, food, or in my case, a rat!

Sometimes a broken habit can set us back for a little while and it takes some effort to get back on track. Other times, we let bad habits creep in and stop us completely from doing the good habits we were doing before. When we allow this to happen in our lives, we are missing out on great opportunities for growth and learning.

What good habits have been hijacked in your life and slowed your growth? What are the “rats” that have hijacked habits in your life or even stopped you? What do you need to do to start again?

Check out other great articles from This Life Map

Smoking Past – Smoking Present by Spearfruit (BLW Contributor)

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Sometimes I will write a post and not finish it for different reasons.  I started this post last year and I do not remember why I did not finish it – but decided now was a good time.

The following words were written on May 17, 2015 –

On social media, I recently read about a person’s encounter with people who smoke.  This person observed a smoker who had no teeth, was coughing and had a ‘smoker’s voice’.  This person wrote that is was clear to them that this was cancer waiting to happen.

I remember a time when employees could smoke at their job in their cubicles.  Many changes have occurred referring to smoking and smokers.  I understand that smoking is bad and can cause illness and death.  I understand smoking affects those people that do not smoke.  I understand the laws that prevent smoking in public buildings and certain areas within a city.  What I do not understand is why those that do not smoke think they can diagnose cancer.  Why is this?

Ok, I get it – I am ranting some because as a smoker I do get a little irritated that nonsmokers seem to know more than I about the outcomes of smoking.  I am a courteous smoker; I do not smoke in my own home, when somewhere else I go hide to smoke as to not bother anyone else and I do not like the smell of smoke – I hate the smell of smoke in clothes, in rooms, etc.

My point is I know smoking kills and I choose to smoke.  I know smoking can kill others and I choose not to smoke around them.  I know smoking can shorten my life span and I am ok with that.

The following words I am writing today –

I have smoked off and on since I was 15 years old – 40 years now! I have quit smoking on several occasions cold turkey with the longest non-smoking period of 4 years.  Why do I quit then to go back to start again?

In my postAddictions or Habits or Routines‘, I concluded with the following –

My point to this post is I have a habit of being drawn to addictions and routinely have quit addictions and started the same addictions again time after time.  So are addictions an issue or is it the routinely stopping and starting the habits of addictions the issue, or is it the habits that cause the routines of addictions the issue?

On my recent visit to my urologist Dr. F., he told me I needed to quit smoking.  He said the tumor on my bladder will have to be surgically removed, and continuing to smoke, the next time the whole bladder may need to be removed.

Today I am still smoking, and tomorrow I will smoke, but the next day is the day I will once again quit – hopefully for the last time.

Check out other great articles from Spearfruit

 

Nearly there…no idea what lies ahead! by Mubeenazam (BLW Contributor)

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So here it is, my first ever blog, very excited as I have no idea what I am really doing but hope that it will be lots of fun and games along the way!   It is for family, friends, people who like me and those who don’t and those who simply want to know what other human beings are getting up to in their life!

My hope is that this blog will interest people, inspire others to ‘Be the change that you what to see in the world’ (Gandhi) and allow some to look at life in a  different way and not be afraid to break from the norm and the ‘system’ we are in.

So here is the overview of what we are setting out to do…hopefully!

For those who do not know me my name is Mubeen Azam and in May of this year I resigned from my job as a teacher after seven amazing, challenging and fruitful years in Cornwall, UK.  A change was needed to reevaluate and refocus our perspective on what life is, so we decided to travel to Canada for a break, a holiday, well an extended holiday…for a year!

I will be travelling with my beautiful, supportive, caring, loving, intelligent and rock of a wife, Nour, who literally has been my guiding light since we first met in January 2001 and who I could not live without as I believe I am of her and she is of me and whatever has happened so far in our life and what will happen in our future is simply meant to be.

By the grace of God we have been blessed with three a beautiful daughters, Fatimah (8, going on 18), Maryam (4, going on 14) and the one who rules, Sara (2, who has been here forever)!

I certainly don’t feel it and many, many, many people tell me I don’t look it  :)but I will be 40 this August and I wanted to give my own personal meaning to the saying ‘life begins at 40’…so we are nearly there as we travel in less than 36 hours, hope you enjoy the journey too and remember, chill it’s just Mubeen!!!

Check out other great articles from Mubeenazam

I Pen Life by Being a Woman (BLW Contributor)

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Over the weekend when I went for my Zumba class, a man walking behind me, held the door open for me. I smiled acknowledging his chivalry and rushed inside so not to keep him waiting. If you are reading between lines, I would like to elucidate that I do not take chivalry (originated from knighthood) as a portrayal of being a damsel in distress, but I accept it graciously as a symbol of courtesy and respect which sparks a positive note in the everyday monotony. I read that chivalry in today’s world is surviving on a life support, as most women of today treat it as symbol of weakness. Not me though, for I enjoy being treated like a queen, and to have someone pull out my chair for me or open the door is pleasing.

The same night I was reading to my boys, and then I skipped a dialogue intentionally where the brother says to her sister, “It’s not a girls job to put off the fire!” I was agitated to say the least, as no one has the right to define what a girl ought to do. And I am sure that I do not want my boys to grow up with a predefined biased thinking that stereotypes a woman’s role. 

Call the above two scenarios as my double standards or two sides of the same coin, wherein I enjoy chivalry, but at the same time I do not want anyone to dictate my role and responsibilities. I am not a feminist or for that matter I do not like my views to be labelled. I am not in competition with men or participate in the argument of fairer sex. In my perspective, men and women are gifted with different qualities, and serve different roles on earth and this does not make one inferior over the other. The genders exist to complement each other and thus grow together. The problem arises when one thinks the other has a subservient role, which ignites the fight for equality.

In my current avatar, I am blessed with multiple roles- I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a niece, and also an aunt. I am a wife, and a daughter-in-law. I am a mother. I am a friend. Above all, I am a woman.

I spawned pretty much like everybody else-as a seed inside another woman – my mother. And as part of growing up, somewhere I realized that people around me had a more gentle demeanor towards me than my boy cousins. That was the first difference that struck my lady soul.

As much as I enjoy the freedom of wide selection of dress styles and accompanying shoes, I am also the target of criticism about my looks and hair than the men around me. I became conscious early on about the fact that I could get the attention, if I dress up in a certain way. Also, not often does someone compliments the appearance of men….but women are often graded for the looks and the have nots.

But it requires a lot more than appearance and body strength to live a life, and a woman is empowered with all these instincts and life energy. As I was raised by a strong independent woman, my mom, I did not consider my gender as a limitation to be me. I was raised to become professionally and emotionally independent. I learnt early on that a woman has much more to her than what society has laid out. I was not pigeonholed into doing the household work that is typically expected of a women, which is cooking, cleaning and knitting.  My mother believed that these are the skills that will be learnt when put to test as a wife and a mother, and she was so right. A woman has an uncanny art of performing these vital chores in her pajamas and flip flops, and still be at an office or to a party looking sharp.

It is a beautiful truth that a woman has the power to nurture a life inside her body, as well as have an influence over the children and the family in her world. She has the strength to keep the family together or otherwise, she is an epitome of courage that a man taps into when he needs support.  A woman is an enigma, hiding a mystical contrast of traits from being an emotional reck to being placid like a lake.

My women friends, you are a full circle and you do not need someone else’s validation tomove ahead in life. 

Even when the society does not seem welcoming of your ambitions, remind yourself that you have all the qualities within you to follow your calling with full throttle….and the world will eventually respect your views. The path to your destination is not easy, it has never been! But I want to be assured my lady friends, that you have made your own choice of destination without any outside influence. And making your own choices and going after it, makes you responsible, independent and a happy you! Be what you want to be! Be you! Be the woman you are meant to be!

Check out other great articles from Being a Woman

 

This is you Chance to Post on BLW!!! – Share your Thoughts, Stories & Ideas with us, we will post it on all our social media sites

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WE AT BE LIKE WATER BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL PART OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE, SO WE WANTED TO REACH OUT TO OUR FRIENDS & FANS TO SAY WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT

AND WE WANT TO GIVE BACK BY SHARING YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, STORIES OR IDEAS ON OUR SITE.

SO, IF YOU HAVE A STORY OR TOPIC YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US, JUST LEAVE IT IN THE COMMENT SECTION WITH A LINK TO YOUR TOPIC AND WE WILL POST IT ON BLW,

 OF COURSE THE TOPIC HAS TO BE SHARED WITH OUR OWN PHILOSOPHIES. THANK YOU AGAIN!

TO MAXIMIZE YOUR POSTING TO BEEN SEEN BY A LOT OF PEOPLE, WE WILL ALSO POST YOUR STORIES TO ALL OUR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES TO BE SEEN BY THOUSANDS OF FANS!!!

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Real drugs by innocent bastards (BLW Contributor)

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we drink tv
smoke porn
sniff sex
inhale adverts
that makes us lazier and weaker 
but what's inside you?

Ona

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I’m here for the Shavasana by Lady Dickson (BLW Contributor)

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I have been doing yoga on and off for about 5 years. In September, I joined an actual studio, Sattva School of Yoga, instead of going to the yoga classes at the gym. Which I quit. Who needs a gym membership when your own condominium has a free gym! The yoga studio I joined is warm and friendly and insanely popular. Good, I like to fall on my face in front of an audience. From September to mid-November, I was going a lot. Mid-November hits and I couldn’t go anymore due to some health reasons. But now that that’s all cleared up, I’m back.

You know what’s not “like riding a bike”? Yoga. For the most part anyways. Before the monthish hiatus, I was bending and doing yoga-y things with somewhat ease. My first class back to yoga at the beginning of January was a fucking nightmare. The practice changes every month so there’s variety, which is awesome. But apparently they decided January should be Hey You’re Fat From Christmas, Let’s Get Goddamn Real Up In Here month. Which, fair.

My ability to flow through the freaking 5 sun salutations we do at the beginning of class, was lost. I can still get through them, but instead of looking like a graceful swan, I am now a drunk flamingo with spaghetti for arms.

I praise the lord every time the instructor ends this portion of the class. After this, we do the basic warrior poses, which are my favourite poses. Hello legs, feel the goddamn BURN. Warrior poses are never taken out of the monthly practices. They are constant because they murder and sculpt your legs into things of beauty.

We move on through the class and I turn into a sweaty monster. I have all the leg strength in the world and can hold poses for a long ass time, but if my spaghetti bullshit arms are involved at all when holding a pose, it’s basically a joke.

Which brings us to the new move that was inserted into January’s class.
Motherfucking Peacock.

Peacockyeah I’ll just file this under Nope.

To be fair, a lot of people couldn’t do it. Which, thank god. I didn’t want to be the only one sitting on my mat, laughing like an idiot. I mean, I was able to put my arms down on the mat like that. But….no. That’s it. That’s all I attempted round one.

The second class, my arms are all backwards and I managed to put my forehead on the ground in front of me. Lifting the legs is a major LOL. Maybe by the end of this month, I will be able to…..um…..watch everyone else…succeed. Yeah. That’ll do.

I know there’s always one pose I cannot do in this class. They always put in an advanced pose, which is cool because GOALS. But instead of just putting the one advanced pose in this month, they decided two would be ideal as hell.

Half Lotus Son of a Bitch Crow.

Half Lotus Crowwhy is your foot…up there.

I like crow pose. It’s fun and tough. But THIS. This is also…fun and tough. The first class, I sucked a bag of dicks. I was able to get Lotus all up in my grill, bending over was fine, but that’s as far as girlfriend got.

The second class, I tried to put my knee on my forearm and lean forward but Spaghetti Arm was like “WAT R U DOING” and I promptly fell to the ground. Life is great and not at all embarrassing.

Here’s the best part about this yoga studio, my yoga studio: Ain’t nobody there to laugh at you falling on your face. The class is filled with beginners, intermediates, and advanced homies. And everyone at some point has probably fallen on their faces in front of people. And no one cares. Everyone is too focused on their own shit to probably even notice you falling over.

Even though I shit on myself for not being able to do these poses yet, I’ve only done them twice. For 5 years, I could not do a headstand. Well the time has come, everyone. I can do one now. I can finally stand on my fucking head without the support of a wall.

I WILL MAKE CROW AND PEACOCK AND ALL THE OTHER BIRDS MY BITCH.

To the people out there who think yoga is bullshit and not a real work out, I would love to see you take a class and not break out into a serious sweat and feel the burn the next day. It’s such a good way to learn about your body and see what needs work. It’s not about getting to the final stage of an epic pose (even though that is an awesome feeling), it’s what you learned on the way to it. Which muscles you need to use, discovering new muscles you didn’t know you had, how to balance perfectly, how to breathe properly. It’s something I will never give up ~~aNd NeItHeR sHoUlD yOu~~

GO TRY IT NOW.

Check out other great articles from Lady Dickson