February: Month of Self Love

Hello February !!

So as we have commenced into the new month, I am just in so much high spirit, not because this is the month of Valentines, but because I am challenging myself to Loving myself

Self-love can be defined as a want for your own well-being and happiness

Now this may sound self-centred, but it really isn’t. I think it is essential to have some time to devote all the love and care to yourself for once and to really enjoy your worth and your own company

Taking this in, this month I decided to treat myself to the fullest, whether it be eating my favourite foods, or going to my favourite places. As well as reinforcing happiness into my life by assuring myself of the amazing qualities I possess

Sometimes, we can be so focused on other people’s well being ( which isn’t bad all the time) that we start to neglect ourselves and start to neglect loving ourselves, so since this is the month famously known for love, I challenged myself and I hope to challenge others to really set time aside and to encourage everyone to take this month as a self-devotion month , it can even be done not just in February but in other months too.

Happy Self-love Month !x

Blog Feature

Happy Sunday !!

Hey, So I’ve been asked to feature on a guest blog to talk about the topic of FEAR !!! (Lool scary right?)

Would appreciate if you would kindly check out Cocoon Blogs where you can read my post

Will have posts this week also, got some exciting stuff I want to speak about!

Link : http://cocoonblogs.co.uk/category/faith/

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Top 5 Ways To De-Stress

(Before I even start, apologies for the extremely late uploads, I’ve been drowned in work for the past couple weeks but hopefully I can get back on a roll!)

When life get’s in the way, and you feel like your body has been physically pulled from side to side, up and down with things bombarding you all the time- it can get pretty hectic. However I find these easy steps/ ways have helped me to relax myself and just de-stress as I combat my daily list of problems!

1.Prepare for the morning the night before

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When you’ve a busy day planned ahead of you, with 15 things to remember to get done, you wake up and find you haven’t even prepared for half of them! Doing activities such as preparing lunch the night before, fixing your entire outfit from head to toe and even laying it out on your bed the night before. Packing your essentials in your bag for the next day and organising your schedule for any important meetings or appointments can help you out greatly as it is similar to a checklist. Once the priority is taken care of, you can move onto the next! (saves a lot of time also)

2. Don’t rely on your memory –write it down

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This is a follow up from step 1. Your brain acts as a checklist and along with the other 1000’s of information you have to hold in- there’s only so much it can obtain, making it harder for your brain to function well. Some people are experts in remembering lot’s of info- but for me I’m the complete opposite. Keeping a planner of things to do (to do lists) help a lot as it’s like getting all the clunk and junk out of your head and onto paper. Alternatively, you can find somewhere more reliable and place your important information there, e.g. phone where you have an installed notes app or set reminders.

3. Use time wisely/Organise your time well

This step is one I particularly enjoy, weird fact is that I find it kind of therapeutic to me when I am organising the time I have for the day. But in reality this step really helps especially if you have different things to do in each day. For example, your day can include running errands, answering your emails or files then going for a jog or going to the gym- both completely different activities which can vary through time. However if you begin to calculate how much time you need to spend on each activity, you can stick to your timing and soon everything you need to do for that day will get done ! Try and prioritise your timing to the most important things for example any assignments/essays can have the most time spent on and time for social life and relaxing can yes unfortunately have to be left for the later times- sad I know.

4. Stop saying negative things to yourself

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If you wake up every morning, and look in the mirror and say to yourself ” I am a panda” your more or less going to start believing it aren’t you ! this is the exact same with stressing out about things. Now I had to learn this and apply it to myself as last year I clouded my thoughts with ” I’m not going to do that” or “oh that’ll never get done” or ” I will never find the time to do that”. I realised that the more I was saying these things the more I was doing it and that led me astray from being organised and productive. If you just simply make the small change of pumping positive thoughts of ” I will not be stressed” or even before you leave the house ” I am going to have a stress-free day” it’s most likely that it will happen as your mind-set is in that positive direction

5. Seek support from others/ Prayer

Now of course there are times where life get’s the better of us and we simply can’t always handle things in our control. That’s where the help of close family members and friends help to encourage you along the way of a stressful time. Find someone you can confide in and who will strengthen you to go through a troublesome time. Or , prayer can also help to relieve some stress too. If you vent out to God it’s like a weight lifted off of your soldiers as you are verbally releasing your troubles and stresses onto somebody who can deal with them. Even if you’re not religious, just mediating can help you fall into a relaxed state and relieve you of your stress.

Hope this helped ! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Embracing Your Culture

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“Wouldn’t you just wish you were British” Hmm now me personally I haven’t heard that line or question from anyone in my lifetime and to be quite frantic, a place where over 270 nationalities and 300 different languages remain in London alone, So I wouldn’t be surprised if I never get to hear those words come out of a person’s mouth. So, in this twirl up of immense diversity and multi-cultural city, one may ask – How exactly do you embrace your individual culture?

Well me, I’m Ghanaian. That’s’ all I’ve got in me loool. Of course, I was born here in London and I’ve lived here my entire life. I know that my origins and roots are instilled in Ghana. Both my parents are from Ghana and that’s where they were born and raised. So, I’ve automatically been brought up and surrounded by Ghanaian traditions all my life. To start with, my name is Efe which is Ghanaian, Fante (tribe in Ghana) to be more precise, meaning I’m Friday born. So when people meet me they automatically know I’m from Ghana (or I get the occasionally odd Nigeria…) but overall my name just sets me back to my African roots.

I feel like surrounding yourself with people from your country really helps too. All my life I have been surrounded by Ghanaians in pretty much everything I do. From nursery, even till now I have had Ghanaian or at least African friends, my church is mainly Ghanaian and my area of where I live has a high percentage of Afro-Caribbean members in the community, so I’ve always learnt the ways of people from not just Ghana but Africa alone, honestly I can tell whenever someone is walking past me, if they are Ghanaian or not. They have a certain look to them lool. Obviously, areas of Britain with a low percentage of Africans in the community can make you feel quite remote.

Music and Social Media play a HUGE part in me Embracing my culture, you may think me living in Britain, I’m subjected to listening to Take That and eating Sausages and Mash yeah… Hell No. Africa is literally everywhere in terms of music and lifestyle. UK Afro beats have absolutely taken off and has grown over the years. Before, people would of been embarrassed to listen to the likes of Kwabena Kwabena or Sarkodie when they’re out with their friends. But literally I find listening to them and even the classics a normal thing to me, as I’m learning to embrace my culture in terms of music. With the likes of DJ Abrantee, giving us the sounds of Fuse ODG, Kwamz and Flava, J Hus, Moelogo, Mr Silva, Mr Eazi, Jaij Hollands, Lola Rae etc. the list can go on and on. The point is as well as UK artist and sound that we get to enjoy, we also get to enjoy Africa in our sound as well

Almost all social media platforms incorporate culture in their pages, posts or in their videos. Instagram has thousands of Ghanaian food pages, clothes pages and lifestyle pages that get likes upon likes all the time. This helps in me embracing what my country as well as other countries have to give unto the world. Hashtags and popular sites are nearly impossible to miss if you have a great community of friends having discussions and debates about their own country, especially about who makes the best Jollof rice (obviously, it’s Ghana, but we will leave that for another day)

Overall, I encourage anyone struggling to be proud of their culture, even if you’re not from an African country, may it be Asian or Caribbean, to learn more and have a deeper understanding f were their lives are fixed in. Ask friends and relatives to understand your countries traditions, food, clothing, lifestyle, music etc. and before you know it Embracing your culture will come naturally !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Touch My Hair…

In the words of Solange Knowles herself, hair has become one of the most mentioned and most speculated topics of the past year 2016. Whether it’s about the numerous amount of natural hair gurus that are growing in numbers on YouTube or the amount of flawless transformations of weaves and braids on Instagram or simply the fury one can get over their hair rights in South Africa, leading girls as young as 13 to protest over their right to afro hair in Pretoria. Whatever it is, hair has just become more than a thing that grows out of your scalp. It’s become a symbol of personality, of identity and of self representation.

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Well for me hair has become, a more realised quality of mine as I usually didn’t really care much about it. I was always relaxed as a kid and honestly I had no choice of being to be honest. I guess mum didn’t have the time to detangle and co wash and all the other 1000 things you have to do when it comes to natural hair! On the other hand I guess I also didn’t see a problem with it. It was my hair after all whether straight or kinky and it was coming from my head so it must be mine. Or was it really ?

It wasn’t until 2014-2015 that I discovered girls were going natural. Simply abstaining from relaxers, texturizers, perming creams or whatever you want to call it! and simply letting their fros spring out and live it’s life to its fullest. Why ? I asked why was it such a big and controversial subject for girls to not relax their hair. After all it did help with looking after it. It was easier to comb and more appealing when styled. I then realised that I just wasn’t being me in a sense and was transforming my hair to avoid the tag of being “nappy headed” as they say… When researching more into this fascinating subject ,  I found out that there was a time  where girls wanted to appreciate themselves more and present themselves as black and beautiful human beings with nourishing hair. They saw themselves as having hair that was European looking and saw themselves as trying to  assimilate to the idea of long straight hair being the “beauty” of society or having straight flourishing hair, as that is what ” seemed better looking”. Honestly speaking. That hit me.

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It didn’t affect me that much as I thought what does my hair have to do with my identity? But I certainly did understand the affect it had on girls and not embracing simply the hair that grows out of their head. It’s God given and it’s natural – so why do we have to manipulate it to fit a certain societal standard? I then looked at thousands of youtbers that were going along transitioning and big chopping and thought hmm this is cool, I could do this loool. So there I went transitioned for 2 years and finally big chopped in 2016. It was a pretty good decision simply because I love the way my natural hair grows and my goal for this year is to continue to let it grow whilst inspiring more people who are afraid to wear their natural hair out in its real form.

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Hair has become more than pieces of strands that grow out of your scalp every now and then. Think of it as your child. You clean it, nourish it, make sure its well looked after and I guess you get angry when it disobeys you ha ! But its become a movement and a spiritual walk with ones self. A girl or maybe even a boy  coming to terms with their natural state and accepting themselves for the way that God had created their hair to be is something moving and self satisfying.

Well, that’s my story…

Photo Credit : Lizzie Lauchlan

Stuck.

Stuck.

The heavy Bonds of

Life

Hatred

Stress

Defeat

Failure

Worry

Constantly Leave Me Stuck…

I’m introverted and isolated from what God has clearly put before me

My mind has become strangled with the encapsulating expectations the world puts out before me

” Do well, succeed in life, try to ‘impress’ people “

But that “impression” doesn’t “impress” my mind and my thoughts

As I still miraculously fail to realise that these expectations build up and control me,

Leaving myself in my own shackles of loneliness

Which allows me to stray away from the only one that can set me free-

God.

Yet I still manage to fail to realise

That God’s almighty hold, strength and favour can ease into these steel chains

That are strangled around my bare skin

And release me from this entrapment that leads me to my own pile of tears each night.

Because these chains are tight

And they keep on getting tighter

As I consume what society echoes out into the world

And I immediately follow

As if we are their robots

And they are the master of creation…

But there can be only one master of creation

The one that put me in this generation

To fulfil my expectations

And gain my celebration

Refusing temptations,

Accepting liberation,

I’m longing for that relation

With God

But I’m stuck.

I fail to realise that God

 The one who knew me before I was born has set a plan for me

Set out my destiny

Knows what’s best for me

Refuses to leave me in jeopardy.

So no longer will I be stuck in in these chains of shame and guilt,

but I will be free like the wings of a bird who soar in the sky

I will be free like the air that flows through my body

Like the river stream I will be free

So that I can declare that I will refuse

To be restricted to these bonds and chains that hold me today

But i will be released into a world where God takes hold of my every movement and word

That escapes my mouth

No longer will I be

Stuck.

 

The Art Of Spoken Word

Poetry has always been something that I can call therapeutic to me. The soothing sound of the words escaping from Maya Angelou or the strong stanzas of Keats dedicating his love for Fanny Brawn have me gazed upon how words can be put into paragraphs to have a powerful meaning…

Spoken word however has definitely caught  my eye. This form of creative is writing words based on feeling a topic or anything really and performing it verbally. I once found my amusement in spoken word the day famous spoken word artist Suli Breaks walked into my church to perform a workshop with us. He has been famously known for his spoken word pieces ” Why I Hate School But Love Education” and “I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide My Fate” which has received a combined view of  over 13 million views.

Honestly, when he said that were going to write our own pieces, I literally wanted to laugh as I thought a piece that attracts millions of views worldwide would have had to be written with some good thoughts and imaginative minds. But what I failed to realise was that spoken word is personal. It’s absolutely up to you. It could be about family, sports, religion or passion for a strong subject. As long as you’re able to relate words together and combine them into a verbal saying- you’re  good to go! my first ever spoken word piece written on that day was of a picture of hands who had been chained up, but now had been set free. Automatically I felt my hand could not stop writing. All my thoughts and emotions to do with that picture immediately turned into a page of rhymes and aesthetically pleasing sentences. I absolutely loved it

If you’re not familiar with Spoken Word or would like to have a better understanding of why its so pleasing to hear to me – Check out some of these! :