Motivational Tip: Divided by strands

Martin Luther King Jr. said in his “I have a dream speech on the 28th August 1963, “All men are created equal.” Before that time even until now, people have been quick to point out the differences in each other that further divide them rather than to see the similarities that bring them closer together. And our hair is the same when it comes to being different in many ways.

Why are women AND men so fascinated over hair, their hair and other people’s hair, fake hair, coloured hair, natural and relaxed hair, short and long hair. We spend millions of dollars getting it styled, cutting and trimming it, adding colour and just to maintain it the way it is. Especially now, there has been a surge in the natural hair community worldwide, women every where spend thousands of dollars every year on a variety of hair products and accessories . It is certainly true that we can sometimes identify a certain ethnicity or group of persons from the way they carry their hair or from its very appearance. Although we do not have any control with the hair we were born with, I agree that our hair is part of our heritage, telling many stories. It is a part of who we are, it forms a portion of us. BUT our hair does NOT define us, it does not define our personality, it does not make us good or bad, but it is merely an accessory that compliments the person we are on the inside.

I can’t tell you how many time over the years, persons have asked me about my ethnicity. If we were to take a journey into our past and take a glimpse into history, we were taught that our ancestors who originated from the African continent were born into slavery and many made the long treacherous voyage to the Caribbean on slave ships where they worked the sugar plantation and picked cotton among other things. To make a long story short, the plantation owners went with the female slaves and these women bore their children. If we want to be technical out race and where we came from, then we are all of a mixed culture and race and nothing is wrong with that. I am pretty sure that if we were to trace our family tree, we would find ancestors of European, Asian and of course African decent and who knows from where else.

While I was studying in University, I was given the title of ‘coloured’ by some of my African colleagues. Before that time I never heard of that term and I did not know the definition of being coloured. I was soon taught that according to them because of the colour of my skin and more importantly the texture of my hair, that I was of a mixed culture, and there is probably some truth to that. As far as I see I am Caribbean, I am Antiguan. My efforts to convince them that we were all cut from the same cloth were in vain. They adamantly stated that I could not be from the same blood line because of my hair texture in particular. Back then I used to get very upset about the whole situation but now I simply smile because it is sad that people no longer take the time to get to know someone and are always quick to judge another person because of their appearance. You see we as Caribbean and black people are special and more so because of our hair. It would make this blog unbearable long if I were to explain in great details about the uniqueness of the curls, kinks and coils of our hair. Our hair is full of so many different textures on one head telling many stories with every twist and curl. We can choose to be curly or straight within hours if we so desire.

The point is not to convince you or even myself of who I am or where I came from because of that I am sure, because I consider myself to be apart of the black race. The point I want to bring across is that I hope that we would not be quick to judge a person because of the colour of their skin or of the texture of their hair.

Matthew chapter 7, verse 1 & 2 states “Do NOT judge, so that you may NOT be judged. For the judgment you make you will be judged and the measure you give, will be the measure you get.”

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream in 1963 for people of every class and creed to live in love and harmony. 50 years later and we are still divided by a single strand, by the colour of our skin and by the texture of our hair. And in the words of Mr King himself “I have a dream that we will not be judged by the colour of our skin [and I would like to add the texture of our hair] but by the content of our character.”

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Motivational Tip: self love

4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13: verses 4-13 (New Revised Standard Version)

How do you expect someone to love you and treat you with respect if you don’t love yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you express that love in the way you dress, talk or walk? Is is expressed in the way you treat you body and mind on a daily basis? Not showing your self love can be a very dangerous path to take as it can be disastrous not only to yourself but family, friends and love ones around you. No you are not selfish to pamper yourself or treat yourself with a little extra tender loving care on occasions. You are simply showing your self love. Loving your self is a good way to attract love, to exude love and to create a stress free atmosphere with positive energy around you, where ever you may go. When others see how you treat yourself, they in turn will treat you in the same manner. Self love is not being full of yourself, it is simply demonstrating acceptance of the way you are and showing self gratitude. Show your self some love today, give your self a hug, a kiss even :-). Love thy self and love will follow, the same love that your creator shows you, unconditional love, selfless love, pure love.

abg

Motivational Tip: Captain of the soul

“Invictus”

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus is a short poem written in 1875 by the English poet and editor William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) after he had a leg ambulated due to a long battle with Tuberculosis that affected his bones in childhood. It had been said that he wrote this poem in protest of possibly having to loose the other leg and that a missing limb was not going to hinder him from being successful in life. Mr Henley’s story is a reminder that anything is possibly and we are only limited by our minds and the goals that we set for ourselves. Do not be discouraged by failures and set backs that you experience but use them as tools and stepping stones to learn from to make you a better you.

I’M A FINALIST in the Alicia James “I am beautiful contest” (CLOSED)

I am one of the top ten finalists in the Alicia James “I am beautiful” contest. Please show your support by going to video shown below on youtube and type my youtube name “antiguabarbudagirl” in the comment section so that I can be one of the top 3 finalist. You can vote everyday until the 23rd June, 2012 when voting ends.

To vote watch the video shown below on youtube

Health Tip: High Cholesterol


Also known as high cholesterol, hypercholesterolemia occurs when the total cholesterol level in the blood is above the normal limits. Similar to High blood pressure, there are no symptoms associated with this disorder. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is by taking a blood test.

Cholesterol Levels:
Normal: less than 200 mg/dL
Moderately high: between 200 to 239 mg/dL
Very High: 240 mg/dL or more

What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an important fat found in the body which is a component of the outer layer of the cells. It is produced naturally by the liver and has many important functions which include acting as a filter determining which set of molecules can pass through the cells in the body and which cannot. It converts sunlight to vitamin D which is essential for bone strength. It is very important in hormone production in the body of both men and women. It helps in the production of bile which is also secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder and aids in the digestion of food in the intestines. It also acts as a cushion for nerve fibers.

Who is at risk:
– Persons with poor eating habits such as a diet high in fat intake.
– Overweight and obese persons.
– Persons who are not very active or mobile.
– Persons with a strong family history of high cholesterol or heart diseases.
– Smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers.
– Persons with chronic illnesses like High Blood pressure and Diabetes.

Possible complications of high cholesterol:
– Atherosclerosis: This is the most common complication of high cholesterol. It is the narrowing of the arteries in the body due to plaque build-up and thickening of the arterial walls. The arteries are those blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.

– Increase of coronary and heart disease risk which could lead to angina or heart attacks. Angina is a type of chest pain that is caused by a lack of blood flow to the heart muscle, generally due to obstruction or muscle spasms. If left untreated it could progress to a heart attack.

A heart attack or myocardial infarction occurs when cells of the heart die due to an obstruction of blood flow to it via the coronary arteries, (the vessels that take blood to the heart.)

– Stroke: Strokes occur when there is either a hemorrhage (bleed) or blood clot in the vessels of the brain reducing the blood or oxygen flow to it.

Reducing your risk or High Cholesterol Level
Like most other diseases the road to recovery or treatment begins with life style changes such as the following:
– Lose weight if you are over weight
– Become more active: create a weekly exercise routine that best suites you and your daily life
– Reduce or eliminate trans fat like fried food from your diet and incorporate more whole grains, fruits and vegetables
– Stop smoking
– Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.
– Control any underlying diseases you may have.

If all of the above fails, your doctor may decide to start you on medication if you have been diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia depending on your age and any underlying illness that you may already have.

Always consult your doctor before starting any type of medication. Be sure to mention any medical condition you may have or medication you may be currently taking.

Hair Tip: High bun for natural or relaxed hair, locs, weave or braids

High bun

A quick and simple protective style great for any occasion and can be done in under 5 minutes, making it a good go to hair style.

The high bun is best achieved on stretched hair like an old twist out or braid out but it can be achieved on freshly washed hair.

High bun is not limited to natural hair but can be created on any type of hair, relaxed, locks, transitioning, weave, braids.

In the tutorial below I demonstrate how to achieve a high bun on my natural hair. You can modify it as needed.

Items used

water

moisturizer sealer of choice (shea butter)

one scrunchy

hair pins

modified denim brush

 Steps

  1. Mist hair with water
  2. Add your favourite product to seal in the moisture
  3. Slick down edges with a denim brush or a soft bristle brush (optional add a little alcohol free gel to keep down fly aways)
  4. Gather hair in a high ponytail
  5. Hold hair together with a scrunchy making sure hair is not too tight (you can also use a hair tie, ouch-less band, old knee high stockings etc)
  6. Take hair from the ponytail in small sections to start creating your bun
  7. Roll under each section and secure with a hair pin forming the bun
  8. Optional (add flower,head band, other hair accessory)