Sunday, November 16, 2014

How well do you know your own Psychology

and how well do you know your own body.?
After many years of observing (or simply after experiencing it year in year out it became obvious) I realize that during the cold periods I am more or less in a constant state of colds and flus. I now realize that I can have infection after infection after infection. It means I have now adapted my daily strategy to recognizing this reality for me. Previously I would be less careful about catching a cold after I had had a bout of it believing myself to be somewhat immune, now I simply make sure I am constantly defending against another infection. 

What are the little things you have discovered about the way your body works or your mind thinks that you can compile and read over again and again. I do my best mental work in the early mornings, I guess like most of humanity however it bears noting now that I am attempting to pursue some IT studies.

One of the positives of having some years behind you is that you have an understanding of yourself and of the world around you that can be converted into an advantage in how you organize and manage yourself or compete for resources with others that have less of this understanding. In a world that worships youth this advantage can sometimes be forgotten.

Tracy Ellis Ross and Father Robert Silberstein

As women we also learn to accommodate for or control our up and down moods throughout the month. As a teenage episodic sadness almost seemed like the end of the world or that there was something not right with us. I am indeed a sensitive soul but I have learnt to make peace with that reality of my personality instead of wondering why I tear up for the silliest things!

Here is a list I have recently come up with. See if you can begin to observe and note for yourself things that will help you in making yourself more efficient, saving time and preventing waste:

  • If I wash my hair with Sulfur products I get an extra frizz free day
  • Taking my folder of paper cuttings and reading them on my Monday train commute is the best way compile the important information that could get lost at the bottom of my draw for months
  • Taking a picture of a well put together ensemble helps give me ideas on days I am searching for what to wear. I just go to my picture folders and I can suddenly put together a good outfit from seeing what I did in the past
  • If I want to make it in to work on time, then I have to be out of bed and straight to the shower (not switching on my computer)
  • Surfing celebrity sites before 11pm means a wasted day 
  • If I east any sweets before 12pm it will mess up my food discipline for the day
  • Cows milk and products made with this makes me bloated. Goat milk is a better alternative
  • Waking up at 5am each day guarantees I will have a very productive day meeting my personal goals of reading, studying and self improvement
  • I need to exercise for at least 2 hours a day for mental clarity and balanced emotions and a feeling of wellbeing  
Make lists (as broad as you can), about things you observe about yourself , how you feel how your body behaves and responds in various situations, and when you have compiled these take time to read it at intervals e.g once a month (when ideas occur to me I write it in the note book I carry around everyday and transfer these to my 'jotter of personal observations' at the weekend). Include various philosophies of life (and of winning), that have meaning for you or that work for you e.g 'If I take care of the little things, the big things tend to sort themselves out for me.'

Identify Goals for 2015
It's that time of year again to look at a program for the new year. What do you want to do better, shoot for or be involved in? It can be big (and thus broken then into building blocks), or it can be small and ready to launch. I was so inspired last Monday when I got on a train and there was this well made up black lady. Her makeup was dewy and blended and her eye makeup and blusher where right on! She caught the eye of many on the train. I was bleary eyed still wiping the sleep from the corners, no dearly needed foundation! I vowed then that I would spend an extra 15 mins in the morning (by waking earlier that is), to get my face done up before I leave the house. I haven't quite managed it this past week, but I am scheduling to have it sorted by Jan 1st 2015! If you have fitness goals for the new year I would suggest start them now (the beginning of advent is a good place to start) so that you will be well into them by January 1st 2015.

Next post available 30 November 2014

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Monday, November 03, 2014

Do you feel like you are outside the relationship know-how loop?


What do you know about how men and women get together in your local area or your society as a whole. In the USA or UK or France but also in Wisconsin, San Francisco, Perth. In many a western country its a closed and stitched up loop from a very early stage. That is to say that men from good families and worthwhile men are usually stitched up by school age, in other words the network from which they will find a bride has already been formed by late teens. I am not saying that these men will be married by teens or twenties only that the networks from which they are likely to pick partners has mostly been formed by then. Men and women meet at college or through the extended networks of friends made at college or their friends and networks (once or twice removed). So no matter who they end up you are likely to see it drawn from this broad ingroup. By the age of 30 it seems almost like a closed loop to the outsider, yet marriage break downs, death occurs, life takes people in various directions. In addition luminous out group people (cultural creators) can gain entry into these closed and exclusive groups or gaps open up at points in these closed circles admitting anyone in especially anyone who recognises what and where the gaps are (So that answers one question of how to break into the loop of already established social circles).

What are the prevailing Zeitgeists that will aid your breaking into exclusive circles? A certain change in political atmosphere for instance could mean there is now a market for black conservatives for instance...

Also think about the members of these circles and what they could want in terms of adventure, and variety etc after all their well-ordered socially fenced off life might no longer provide them with the inspiration and excitement they seek out of life. Indeed even while others fully embrace life within the circle, some men want something different to what they are surrounded by and the predetermined path.


Philosophies of relating

What are the dominant philosophies that drive relationship formation in your area/society that could hold sway or even aid your search. In the Western world many minorities are seen as the downtrodden or the done wrong by the big bad westerner. For many of us this condescending attitude might provide us our foot into powerful social circles, and while some black women and men are happy to play and replay this role, it is not everyone’s cup of tea especially if at the end you cannot live up to a fantasy creation and play the part of the aggrieved minority on demand because you don’t feel in anyway oppressed.

There are certain philosophies that have a huge impact on how the dating game is played for instance in many parts of the western world the drive to take out all the guess work in men and women coming together, even to flatten male and female differences (This one is big when it comes to 'the approach') means that women are now expected to be as up and doing for the relationship to happen and in visible ways as men. A dominant school of thought out there suggests that we should no longer adhere to male female gender roles in getting together, thus there is way more relaxed attitude to women initiating a date with a man (after all women are liberated and say what they want and if they are not saying to men then they don't want).  
 
There are those who argue that rules of modern feminism have and seek to burst the gender-tensions that made for more exciting romantic interactions between men and women. Traditionalist women are having a hard time in this current state of affairs. For instance they complain that men make compliments and hint at a date or relationship (a role traditionally played by women) waiting for the woman herself to make the move or close the deal (a role traditionally reserved for men). As a single woman how do you survive and thrive under this new relationship regime. Can you deal? If not what is your strategy for getting what you want in a society in which these new rules hold sway?

Next post available 16th Nov 2014

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to Naturally Staple (Shrink) your Stomach

Self improvement blog alert!

Before I tell you how to do this stomach shrinking thingy, lets talk about why the FASTING Diet (or FAST Diet or 5:2 Diet) might be good for you.

I have just met a friend who has lost so much weight it's unbelievable. She was into aerobics and water weights and all that before and she had a measure of success but she has been on the fast Diet for maybe 2 months and she is looking like a new person.

She is for me another testament to the success of the Fast Diet. If you haven't heard about this diet then, where have you been? I posted about it a while back and now I am back to it so you know it really is a good 'un. I am not one to post before and after pictures (maybe because I forgot to take the 'before' ones and also I am still on this journey of slow and steady race winning) but I am giving this one a thumbs up because of all the benefits -not just weight loss- that come with doing the Fast (5:2) diet.

The name might sound scary but it is not a scary diet.

As the name implies you do two days of low calorie eating on about 550 calories and then eat normally for the rest (5 days) of the week. It is good to do a block of two days though you can split it and do the second day after a couple of days between (there are certain physiological advantages of two consecutive days). Even if you eat excess on the five days you will be in a better place than if you ate to excess every day of the week. I have also found that your eating on the rest of the days (none-fast days), gradually falls off over the months until you are not eating as much generally as before. 

What I like about it is that it reintroduces discipline into your eating gradually, and unlike replacement diets, the short cycles of the Fast diet means that you are always optimistic because the period of low intake comes to an end very quickly and you can restart eating normally. Gradually though from my personal experience, the diet breaks down the hold of overeating over months until you cant even imagine binging on the excess of food that you would ordinarily have been comfortable with eating in the past. This is indeed where the stomach stapling action comes in but more on that later...  

I think I have unravelled the core principle of success inherent in this diet at least for me and a few other people out there. This principle is that for many of us, we need to know how little we can exist on, in order to know how little we should eat. Before I started this diet which has become a lifestyle (almost 2 years), I couldn't quite conceptualize how the human body could survive on the little amount of food (or so I saw it) that gave 2000 calories (using my images of modern food dishes etc). I used to really get shocked to see and hear people talk about or design menus for lunch or dinner for meal portions containing 450 - 550 calories. It was just too small in my eyes. I just didn't know how one could possibly exist on such small portions or so I thought. 

Fast Diet, is a slow and steady worker no doubt but I believe it beats out so many other 'faster' and more popular regimes because of a few facts which I will detail. 

Let me state this plainly, controlling your eating is the MAIN way to loose weight. Exercise helps but trashing about in the gym will go just so far (look around, some folk never exercise but are lean, but on the other hand it is rare to do the level of exercise needed to burn off binge eating weight unless you are a professional athlete or body builder. Intense exercise on a very overweight body can also damage joints and ligaments etc trust me I have been there and done it!).

No method is easy, loosing weight and overcoming the bad habits that took you to the 18 stone will be hard, or put in other words will take some effort and sacrifice, never believe anyone or any method that promises a walk in the park, often what happens for those who claim it was easy, was that they found a method for themselves that just gelled with their ways of life and rhythms and other psychological makeup so much so it seemed like a breeze to them. So you will have to do something different, sacrifice and even feel deprived (Often my fast day falls on my cinema days and there is a lot of self-pity when I notice the folk around me with large portions of ice creams, snacks, popcorns etc etc). So my advice is, embrace the sacrifice, the self-denial aspect of any dieting and weight loss option you choose because there will definitely be that aspect in fact go ahead and turn it into a spiritual exercises if you need to!

Never say, 'I am now 50, 40 etc, I should have sorted my weigh out ages ago' and start regreting what you might have missed by being overweight. Put self pity and regret aside and don't let it rob you of one more day of possibility.

The benefits I found:
  • After the fist hunger pangs (have your main meal or drink loads of water at this point) have settled, your body goes into a natural high so you are in a very positive and happy state of mind, often with loads of energy (I know it's kind of unbelievable but true!). It is thought that the depletion of your insulin stores as the body burns these for energy is the reason (ketosis) for the heightened state you experience
  • Your body soon gets into a rhythm and naturally anticipates your days of fasting, in other words your body starts to cooperate with your fast dieting and you start not to feel so hungry on the fast days or you don't wake up thinking about food or breakfast etc etc little ways the body helps you go through the days of low eating. It helps if you do your fast days at the same times in the week e.g on Saturday and Sunday (or better still when you are so busy in the week so you don't really have space to think about food) for instance 
  • The heightened state and energy can lead to a spiritual like perspective on the fast day (no wonder yogis and other spiritual folk incorporate a lot of fasting and restrictive diets into their lifestyles). 
  • It might seem drastic and you may fear for your life but, I have done more extreme weight loss systems that restrict calories for longer periods and know that you don't just starve or collapse after a day or two of low calorie eating as long as you remain hydrated (the body can go without food for weeks as long as you have water), and the ability to live life in a heightened state for a couple of hours or days (smell, taste, sight and sound), is something to be experienced.
  • Knowing that you can eat after two-three days of rationing teaches you the appreciation of what you put in your mouth after
  • It might take 6 months or more but you learn discipline in food eating (I think because gradually the process of eating and stopping, eating and stopping, gradually wears down your the hold of the binge eating habits formed in the past). Once you know how little you can eat and convince yourself you dont need all that food, you can easily retrain yourself to eat well because you know intimately that humans don't need that much food, despite feeding habits in the society in general
  • Your stomach shrinks- trust me on this one! Once you have done this regime for a couple of months, you will not need a third party to remind you not to not cram food down the day after the fast...
  • Your food bill drops significantly and those food treats you bought will hang around in your fridge for weeks before you find the space on your daily eating pattern to eat them. Cutting two days out from your normal eating block is really significant. I like chicken and fries but have not had the 'space' to insert them in the last month (and no I don't crave it uncontrollably, I just would like to eat it, and know that one of these days I will go into the KFC store down the road and ask for a big meal!)
  • Write things down that you crave when you are fasting, and see how few of them you actually do get round to eatting when you are not on fast days
and etc etc etc I could write pages.

I strongly suggest: try this diet for yourself for a week or two and see how it goes, what have you got to lose. Remember nothing worth having is ever easy to achieve, this might be the easiest one in the bunch for you. Don't be indolent!

How to get a stapled stomach naturally
Folks pay loads of money to control food intake through stomach bypass or stomach band surgery and it is on the whole very successful in curbing overeating because you feel full pretty easily and of course binging is discouraged due to discomfort you get when you binge eat on a 'stapled' stomach. I have recommended the bariatric procedure to family members myself because I know it can be a life saver for those who cannot control/lose their weight. The Fast Diet naturally reduces your stomach size and you do get a good deal of discomfort a few days after if you dare overdo it! However nothing beats three day in a row fast in shrinking your stomach to almost half its capacity. I did three days fasting in august for about three weeks in a row and I can tell you that I honestly cannot overeat (even a bit) without a whole lot of discomfort and regretting having that extra helping. It is training my food eating habits like nothing in the past could! 

Know however that self sabotage is possible also with this diet as with all others and as with a stomach bypass etc alcohol and calorie dense liquid food taken to excess can nullify the effects of a shrunk stomach. 
 
Next post available 1st Nov 2014

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Monday, September 29, 2014

A Man in Love, a wonder to behold!

It's good to see a man in Love!

A woman in love is great but to behold a man giddy in his infatuation is really a wonder to behold!

And so it has been for Mr George Clooney in these past few days up to his wedding to Amal Alamuddin. Watching it restores the idea of how love and being in love ought to be; it's suppose to 'idyllic' and euphoric.  I wanted to write about something else for this entry but I just thought I'll write something about the couple while the marriage and all are still fresh in the mind and while it speaks to me strongly.

So they had a whirlwind romance and then the wedding.
Love struck couple (Courtesy Getty)

It was pleasing to the soul watch him confess his love for Amal publicly, this eligible marriage-wary forever bachelor say how he couldn't wait to be married to her while given a speech a few weeks back. This woman bewitched him and he was so entranced that he went back on a vow not to marry again after the breakdown of his first marriage. It was good to watch it all, to see George so inspired and bursting with love and happiness -heck just watching him inspired me too lol- but I think more importantly it was good for George himself. It is good for men (despite talk to the contrary) to be heady in love. Who watching George could not but agree that he looked alive, looked healthier and happier than we have ever seen him, and a more optimistic person being so in love. Yet to hear some people talk you would think that men 'loosing themselves in love' should be avoided at all costs!
 
I don't want to idealize Amal and the circumstances around their romance but I guess it was her combination of attributes that clicked for him and was an offer he couldn't let go whereas with other women there just wasn't that final piece who knows. But one cannot doubt her intelligence(Oxford and NYU), talent and ambition in addition to femininity and beauty.
 
I am sure if you had told George last year 'George look, you have too many women at your beck and call, its not good for you. Lets change things a bit and give you a woman who you must work to get and work to impress. She wont fall into your lap, she will be as brainy as she is classy, distinctively stylish as opposed to classically doll looking,' I think George might have said, folks you are just making this thing damn complicated, give me a dolled up woman, any woman that appeals to me on sight, I just love women and enjoy like feminine company.'
 
Its not just men I suppose, many of us are quick to reach for fast foods to dull our hunger, we can be unimaginative and impatient and maybe closed off to more transcendent living and heightened being. In the area of love in particular we often don't know what's good for us and what will satisfy our souls, with our raft of prejudices and prerequisites and preferences for love to happen.
 
So like I said, it is good for men to be in heady in love -I wanted to say crazy in love but I think that phrase means something than what I think it means; I think it means psycho in love lol - to be so inspired that 'I am not good at marriage' becomes 'I damn well am gonna be so bloody good at this marriage thing because I want this woman, what else but married would I want to be'.    
 
Sadly today's dating environment breeds men who just want it in their lap like yesterday. If a woman doesn't jump to a man's call, he is off to the next. So many lazy men looking for the easy catch. Men feel personally affronted if they are made to exert some effort to 'court' a woman. Sadly I believe this attitude will mean that many will never get the opportunity to experience the heady and soaring feelings of those who have won through to love.
 
Many happy years to the happy couple!


Next post available 13th October 2014

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

We are rooting for you!

I received a lovely gift from one of my fellow Bloggers and readers, and I felt truly blessed. I can only say to S THANK YOU!
 
My last blog entry was something from my personal circumstances and you know it got me thinking about falling short on all those goals and promises we made about how we would do A or achieve B by a given deadline. Indeed sometimes when you read the writing of BWE bloggers, you can be left with the impression that the changes we require from black women are just a short walk away, but the truth is that most of the changes required to 'live well' will take anything upwards from 18 months.
 
Think about it for a second. Say you are overweight, it is possible to loose all the weight in a couple of months, but realistically anyone who has weight to loose and not just the odd flab (and that by the way is the category that most of us weight losers fall into!) will require on average a year and a few months, to sort themselves out if they are consistent that is. If they are not as consistent as they should be, the years can pretty much stretch out ahead. I know, I speak from experience (I must add here that it is important to start the journey no matter how long it will take and don't delay, make a start or a year will quickly pass by and you are still without any kind of progress no matter how little on your situation).
 
I will be writing an entry soon on the 5:2 diet which I think has so many benefits particularly for black women but for now, back to the point I am making, which is that you need to give yourself time and be patient as you steer towards your overall goal. Lets think about other things like getting yourself a good career; you might have to go back to school or start a business. It might take you two years to retrain and a good part of five years to start seeing a profit from your business. What about marriage and getting a good mate. Unless you fall into a very very lucky category of humans, from finding a man to marriage should take you on average upwards of 18 months!
 
As a modern woman use all the modern short cuts and modern 'ways and means' for speeding up your journey.
Drudgery is out! 
I am saying all this to say, don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t achieved all those lovely things you pledged you would after reading our blogs years ago now. As long as you are on the journey, keep at it and don’t loose hope. Don’t quit and you will get there. Keep striving to leave that neighborhood, to get a good job/business etc husband etc etc don’t think that you have let us and BWE down because a couple of years have past and you haven't achieved the goal you said you would at the end of that year. What lessons is life teaching you? Don't be too bitter to note the life lessons along the journey that seems unending. Remember the saying, 'Don't forget to smell the roses.' Life is really in the journey and not really the goal. You are on your own special journey different from everyone else.
 
There are some of us who preach who are also at probably the same points on the journey as you our readers. You would be very surprised to learn!
 
Next post available 30th September 2014

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Monday, September 01, 2014

Lessons from the Neighborhood


Hope you all had a good summer!


A little story for a teaching lesson:
 
My neighbor and I had called in some estate officials to bear witness to another noisy neighbor. We were thinking that we had a good case because he was in full flow at the time when we had them come on a Friday night. However when they the officials sat down to tell us what kind of noise was now classed in the unacceptable range, I almost lost it! The threshold is now so high, that to meet the noisy level range, this neighbor would probably have had to be using a pneumatic drill in his house. I am very noise sensitive and I believe I have written about other noisy neighbors in the past on this blog. This time again my worst nightmare has moved even closer to my house. 
 
Let me say that the area I live in has rapidly deteriorated from a nice lush area only 3 years ago because it was targeted by government to house social 'misfits' who were being housed in much more expensive inner London. When the price difference became just too great the government started to move 'problem folk' -which it had a duty to house- to the area. I know I will need to move but if you know anything about the way Britain is going, the South-east of England is being taken over by rich Russian Oligarchs who have a couple of millions to spare which I don't-one of the reasons we preach for black women to have wealth is for such situations where you have to move and move and move again if necessary.
Jourdan Dunn - credits to styleblazer

An article that should be celebrating the best of black womanhood becomes one emphasizing how we just love to make wrong choices, love single motherhood are always aggressive and hardship-seeking as a habit!

Anyway in my anger and upset I forgot a key message which I often and constantly preach especially to black women and that is that they should stop being taken for a ride by all this chit chat they hear about our fair societies and feeling that we will be protected by all these nice sounding government leaflets etc etc. Indeed I thought that the law and policies would protect my rights to not be disturbed at weekends by overgrown children, but what I didn’t realize (well I know but it was being painfully brought home to me really and truly in this instance) was that these 'laws' are written by an elite group of citizens to appeal to their interests and most importantly their sympathies and weird biases.
 
What am I talking about? In truth, if you are unaware, we now live in a society where the rich effectively remove themselves from the 'dregs' of society, at the same time they champion the rights of these dregs over the rest because they are in their worldview 'poor little folk who have been 'failed' by the system in some way!'-however they do not move these dregs anywhere in striking distance of them and their children. Prioritizing the underclasses particularly over honest, hard-working citizens in society has become a favorite pastime of the British elite, that it now 'pays' to be 'kept' by government than put in a honest days work for a paycheck at the bottom end of the skills market. It also means the hard working and honest pay the price (sometimes the ultimate price) for the 'indulgence' of these feral and destructive sections. I am a recovering lefty myself and used to champion the idea of 'care in the community' until a couple of folk going about their everyday business got their heads cut open by axe-men who had been 'released' into the community from mental institutions. And if you haven’t heard the latest about the rape and trafficking of over 1400 young British girls while the elite turned a blind eye because they were 'white trash' and their favorite minority class (British Muslims) was implicated in the abuse, please read a good summary here

The bible says that the rich rule over the poor, how could I have forgotten. No matter what left wingers tell you, the world is very unfair and works in favor of the rich/er and their particular interests and strange emotional attachments to folk who make life unpleasant for the rest - as long as these ones are nowhere near them of course. So no matter what people say try to get yourself to the side where you control your wealth because it is so F)&^ unfair and I felt like stamping my feet at the unfairness of it all. I started to speak up in my resentfulness of the whole unfairness of having to meet unreasonable standards of noise making proof, but from my peripheral view I noticed that my neighbor had started to 'act' to get her way, even flirted with the officers and (as she told me later), dragged her son out of bed to say how he was being kept awake because of the noise. After a while I kept my mouth shut and let her play the game she was playing. I had started speaking in my anger at the unfairness and I kind of sensed that this approach was putting the officers on the defensive (having to defend the way the policy was written regardless of how senseless it was) but this woman realized that she needed to get her way and went for the best strategy. It was her strategy that seemed to make the officials begin to see it our way and see that it was just unfair to say that we should put up with the noise because it wasn't 'high enough' - imagine that!

Folks, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and what you gotta do sometimes is not rely on the laws and statutes being anything more than a let down. This episode was a reminder that it pays to play the best strategy than whine about the unfairness of the situation. We all have just about 657,000 hours (give or take) on this planet and we need to live most of it in peace and comfort!



Next post available 15th September 2014

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Painstaking is how it must be sometimes

Certain journeys in life will involve you building brick by brick. It can be discouraging and off putting but only by laying one brick on top of another can you get to the end goal. I am learning the need for patience with myself in a number of these situations.


Goodbye and Goodnight Karlheinz
 
 
 
Karlheinz the Actor
 
Some of you might have seen this play out in your search for the right diet for you. Because of your own particular psychology calorie counting might not have worked. You might have tried dozens of methods, approaches and each tried 10 times before discarding. At the end you realise one particular method with a strange individual twist will give you the results you desire, and then you plateau and have to start the discovery process all over again. The idea is never to give up. If you are a single woman you might have got to a point where you realize that you have to discard everything you know or have been told about settling down, and painstakingly map out a new strategy by trial and error. Some of us realized that we had to start from scratch with how to put ourselves together, diet and fitness and then putting ourselves in prime locations to meet guys. You might have come to this realization after years of thinking it would just happen, or those precious years sitting up in church praying and thinking one of the few brothers would take notice. But realising there is a journey ahead can require you gathering yourself and purposefully setting out.

I went to watch the film 'Edge of Tomorrow' with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.
I don’t want to give too much away however one thing I really dug about the film was the pain-staking way they followed and tested each strategy until they arrived at the successful method to their goal of destroying the enemy. At one point the character played by Tom Cruise admitted that they had tested just one little section of the process a dizzying 300 times! It requires watching to understand but suffice it to say that sometimes you have to build your strategy to success by painstaking trail and error, noting down what works and what doesn’t, testing your theories in real life circumstances until you can say, 'I know the way.' Then you become an expert with a deeper insight. And you know that you know, that you know how to get there!

 
Halima is out for the Summer. See you Aug 30!

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