The Invitation

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.



If by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Don’t Quit

By: John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

How to Get Rid of the Belly Bulge

How to Get Rid of the Belly


Prolonged periods of inactivity and a diet high in saturated fat and high sugar lead to visceral fat storage, fat in our midsection that surrounds our internal organs. Some of the fat from the fat cells in that area can end up in our bloodstream raising our cholesterol levels. Belly fat can cause a variety of health issues like increased blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance which then leads to type 2 diabetes.

The belly is often the last one to go because the body sees it as a reserve needed to ensure our survival if times are tough and food is scarce.

The bad news is that we can’t target any of these reserves specifically, there is no way to pick where we are going to lose fat from. We can’t target it with exercise or dieting, our bodies always lose overall body fat and only when they are done shedding it everywhere else will they access the fat they have reserved in problem areas like our bellies.

Exercise for belly fat loss

Since we can’t target our bellies specifically no amount of crunches or other ab specific exercises will help us burn reserves there faster. It doesn’t matter how much muscle we put on in a specific part of the body, we burn body fat in an overall way.

This means that in order to get rid of the belly you have to do exactly the same training you would do if you wanted to lose weight in general, once you are low or out of other extra fat reserves to burn you will begin to burn visceral fat in your midsection and every other problem area you have.

The best way to dig into those stubborn fat reserves is through a combination of cardio, high burn and high intensity interval training.

The belly bulge

Exercise helps you burn fat all over your body but it does build muscle in a particular area, depending on the exercise. If you ignore cardio and concentrate on the ab work exclusively instead of burning the fat you need to burn you will end up with a belly bulge. The amount of energy ab exercises burn is not enough to make a larger impact.

That’s why it’s recommended that you concentrate on cardio instead of ab work in general. Cardio and staying active throughout the day – the more you move the more you burn.
Slow and steady for permanent results

Adopting an active lifestyle and cutting out high sugar high saturated fat foods will eventually lead to a flat and healthy stomach. It takes patience and patience is vital in this case. If you rush it and force your body to lose fat faster than it’s comfortable with it will not have time to adjust. Sudden changes to your lifestyle, extreme physical and dietary conditions will also make your body panic and switch to emergency mode lowering your metabolism and conserving anything extra you may eat reserving everything and anything it can to ensure, from its point of view, your survival.

Fast weight loss is temporary weight loss exactly because of that. The only way to get permanent results is to introduce conditions you can then maintain for the rest of your life. Small changes introduced gradually in your lifestyle will make a big difference in the long run. Do anything too extreme and you’ll end up with more weight than you started off with the moment you relapse or stop your training and dieting regimen.

Plan of Action

Do cardio and high burn workouts
Reduce portion sizes
Take mental breaks and take time off

Take home message

Getting rid of a belly takes patience and regular work, better choices on a daily basis and keeping cool at all times. It takes work, sadly, there are no shortcuts that will give you permanent results but it’s worth the trouble.

Motivational Tip: “Let Me Be What I Am”

Let me be what I am

by Sharlene Samuel

Let me be what I am

Not what you wish for me.

I cannot fit into your plan;

That’s not the life for me.

The pomp and pride of yesterday

Have vanished in the air;

The honest human being today

Must be free from inward fear.

I’ll do the things I want to,

Whene’er I feel the need;

Not stifle my feelings as you do

By trying to keep a creed.

I’ll talk, I’ll sing, I’ll dance, I’ll shout,

I’ll run, I’ll skip, I’ll play;

I must be free as I move about

Not be burdened with each day.

I thank You Lord, for nature’s gifts

So plenteous an free;

The rising sun behind the cliffs,

The earth, the sky, the sea.

Why then should I not happy be?

Why live as if in pain?

Why waste the gifts God gives to me

By living life in vain?

Material wealth is not for me;

Its price is much too high.

Nature’s gifts are pure and free,

I’ll enjoy them till I die.

Book Launch

Book Launch

Love is Love


Do you believe

The words escaped

Her lips in a whisper

Almost as though

She had exhaled

The words like spent air

Technically, carbon dioxide

My grandmother

Was not prone

To speaking at length

Actually, I knew her

Not to talk at all

As she died

Long before I was

A twinkle in my parent’s eyes

And yet her she sat

On the corner of my bed

This was a dream

Or so I kept

Repeating to myself

Still, I did not

Pinch myself, thinking

It would be a tad


Then she repeated

Her question

This time louder

This time with an object

As well as a subject and verb

Do you believe in love?

I looked away

How do you explain

To your grandmother

That you had closed your heart

And chose not to love

Chose not to seek it

Chose not to let it in

Coolness touched my chin

Turning my head

So that I met her gaze

She waited

She would have waited

From now to forever

I had no choice

But to be honest

She listened

As I emptied my soul

Into the night

She listened as the moon

Traveled west

And the stars watched

Then she whispered again

Love is love

Love is not a missing pen

That you have to look

High and low for

Love is out in the open

And if you continue

To look for it in

Nooks and crannies

You will never find it

Love is not for one

Who hides their heart

Afraid that it would

Be abused

That it would

Be broken

If you do not

Can not love

How can you be loved?

This night

As the full, shiny moon

Traversed west

A dead grandmother

Taught her granddaughter

How to love again

And as the weight

Of the Sandman’s

Sands closed my eyes

I felt coolness

On my forehead

Where my grandmother

Kissed me goodnight

I saw her twice more

In my lifetime

Once, on the eve

Of my wedding day

She taught me

How to love my husband

The second time

Was when my newborn child

Slept in the cot beside me

She taught me

How to love my child

Every time I saw her

She whispered

Love is love

By Kimolisa Mings

From “She Wanted A Love Poem”

Cricket lovely cricket!

 Cricket lovely cricket by Saran P King


“How is that?!”

The greatest game of ALL time “cricket”. You have not seen a ‘real’ cricket match until you have experienced one in the West Indies. I’m sure some of you can attest to that, those of you who watch the game at least. The song writer says “there’s nothing sweeter than salt fish,” but I disagree. There is nothing sweeter than a cricket match.

For those who are not familiar with the game and its rules, let me shed a little light, so you can better understand the game and how it is played. Cricket is a team sport that is played with a bat and ball between 2 teams, 11 players on each side, made up of a captain, bats men, bowlers, a wicket keeper and fielders. The game is played on a field also called a ground. In the middle of the field is a rectangular space of 22 yards called a pitch with 2 wickets placed on the farthest ends. Each wicket comprises of 3 stumps (vertical stakes) and 2 bails (horizontal stakes) that sits on top of the stumps. After a coin toss, the captain of the team that wins the toss, decides whether he or she wants to bat or field. The game may be 50 or 20 overs for each team for a days play, 6 balls per over. Some games however can run as long as 5 days in the case of a test match. The objective of the game is for the batting team to make as many runs in the allotted time with 2 bats men at a time while the fielding or bowling team attempts to dismiss the bats men in the same time given, using all 11 players on the field. There are 3 umpires in all who oversea the games play, 2 on the field and a 3rd umpire or video umpire who is situated off the field and adjudicates the game. I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone with all the positions on the field like the gulley, 3rd man, 2nd slip, mid off, fine leg, deep backward point, silly point, cover, extra cover, anybody confused yet? I still am at times!

But a true West Indian knows that all of that is not what is really important. Anyone who has ever been to a cricket match in the Caribbean knows that it’s all about the atmosphere of the game. It’s all about the entertainment, it’s about the personalities and characters that you see and meet. It’s about the people you greet and the bonding experience with other West Indians and persons around the world. Certainly we want our team to win but we all enjoy the music that ‘chickies hifi’ (a local musical DJ) plays when a West Indian hits that new ball over and out of the stadium. We know it’s about the bar-b-que chicken that is hot and sizzling and local drinks readily available for purchase from any of the many vendors selling both inside and outside of the grounds. It’s about jumping for joy and screaming at the top of your lungs when a bats man hits a 4 or 6 or when the wicket keeper gets that crucial stumping just when the bats man looses concentration and steps out his crease. It’s about watching gravy (local entertainer) entertain the crowd as he displays his acrobatic skills on the stands during the breaks.

I can remember going to the school boys stand with my brother when we were in primary school. I would always get excited as we settled in with our lunch and snacks in our nap sack, water and juice on hand. Of course it was more exciting if West Indies was winning but if they weren’t, it was still ok because we were enjoying the atmosphere. I don’t remember knowing too much about the rules back then, neither was I ever keeping score. Good thing there was a score board, unless I would have been completely lost with who was winning and who was losing. Even without the score board you would be gently reminded of the winning team by the crowd’s reaction. If there was a lot of noise, laughing, happy faces and smiles, you know we were winning for sure. But if you heard more than your share of choice words, gloomy faces and arguing, then you know we were on the losing side.

But it’s not all fun and games for everyone, there are the die-hard fans, those persons who are very serious about the game and not interested in frolicking or chit chatting. These are the persons who would have their eyes fixed on the field, watching the players every move and criticizing or commenting every stroke of the ball and every over bowled. You would definitely know these fans as they sport off their small fm radios, that would constantly blast in their ears as they hang on to the commentators every descriptive words as the game progressed.

As the players take the tea break, the kiddy cricketers appropriately and smartly dressed for the occasion would take center stage as they mimic the adults they just saw with their tiny bats in hands, hopping and skipping around the field until it was time to resume the real game.

Definitely, no real game would be complete without seeing a visitor prance across the field dressed in nothing but their birthday suit, dodging the police officer with their many twist and turns, until they are eventually caught.

So you see, you can appreciate that watching a game of cricket is not limited to just watching the game but it’s about enjoying everything that surrounds it, from the entertainment on and off the field, from those in the party stand to the serious fans. It’s about the mouth watering food, great music and company. Watching cricket in the West Indies is a well rounded experience packed with a little of everything for everyone. Cricket lovely cricket!

The calypso below was written after the West Indies won the

 test match in 1950 against England at Lords

VICTORY CALYPSO – Egbert Moore (“Lord Beginner”)

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Yardley tried his best

But Goddard won the test.

They gave the crowd plenty fun;

Second Test and West Indies won.


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


The King was there well attired,

So they started with Rae and Stollmeyer;

Stolly was hitting balls around the boundary;

But Wardle stopped him at twenty.

Rae had confidence,

So he put up a strong defence;

He saw the King was waiting to see,

So he gave him a century.


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


West Indies first innings total was three-twenty-six

Just as usual

When Bedser bowled Christiani

The whole thing collapsed quite easily;

England then went on,

And made one-hundred-fifty-one;

West Indies then had two-twenty lead

And Goddard said, “That’s nice indeed.”


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


Yardley wasn’t broken-hearted

When the second innings started;

Jenkins was like a target

Getting the first five in his basket.

But Gomez broke him down,

While Walcott licked them around;

He was not out for one-hundred and sixty-eight,

Leaving Yardley to contemplate.


Chorus:The bowling was superfine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


West Indies was feeling homely,

Their audience had them happy.

When Washbrook’s century had ended,

West Indies voices all blended.

Hats went in the air.

They jumped and shouted without fear;

So at Lord’s was the scenery

Bound to go down in history.


Chorus:After all was said and done

Second Test and the West Indies won!

 Want to know more about the game, click the links below to find more details

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