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How to Practise Self Care and Compassion

Self-care is so important to me. In the last year, I have been tapping into counselling and group therapy. Honestly. It took me a long time to realise that talking to a professional would help me deal with a number of my problems.

In the past, seeking help has been a huge taboo within my family. We know that it has been a huge taboo within the black community, but I like to think in this new generation we are seeking help when we truly need it.  

So how do we you practise self-care? Well, I will tell you that it is not an easy process. I’m even today still learning today.

I am taking baby steps, but I hope these steps can help both of us practise self-care.

How to Practise Self Care

Be gentle with yourself  

As a Virgo, I believe this is quite hard. We are born to be self critics lol. I am sure a number of other star signs can relate.

I don’t get too into star signs, but what I will say is this… I have noticed that it is easier to hard on yourself than be kind to yourself.

This is one thing I have learnt through my therapy, which is if you were someone else and they told you your own story to you. How would you react?

Would you cuddle that person? Would you tell the person to do something nice for themselves? I hope you would be kind to yourself and show them self compassion.

So do it for the most important person in the world. That one person is Yourself.

You a0re enough  

I spent a long time believing that if anyone got so close to me and really saw me for who I really am then they would run. Looking back now, I can see I spent way too much time people-pleasing, doing things for people that couldn’t or wouldn’t ever do the same thing for me if I asked them too. Always apologising for things that really wasn’t my fault. Apologising, just for peace and simply because you were outnumbered and you wanted to remain liked by the people around you. You wanted to be enough. I’m sure many of you can relate. I had to learn that being myself was enough and if he/she didn’t like it then … GOOD RIDDENS!!

Boundaries  

I wish this was something that was taught at school because I only recognised healthy boundaries when I started both counselling and therapy. Boundaries are so important because without them you allow people to walk all over you. I recognised the importance of healthy boundaries and it literally changed my life for the good. It’s sad for me to admit, but I didn’t know anything about boundaries and have to admit that I am still learning about my boundaries now.

Listen to your body 

One thing I’ve learnt in my therapy is if you are tired it is ok to rest. If you are sad it’s ok to just sit down and watch a movie or go on holiday. I’m not saying every-time I go on holiday is because I am sad, but it sure does help with my mental health. People recognise other peoples problems before their own, which is so sad. Listen to your body. Do you feel run down? Do you feel like doing nothing today? Then do nothing you are supposed to react to how your body feels.

Treat Yourself  

Oh my gosh, this one is so important for anyone who has been constantly working and going through stress. I believe you should always have something to look forward too. Are you on a diet? Treat yourself to a cheat meal. Have you just come out of a breakup? Treat yourself. Heck have you been working really hard? Treat Yourself! I think we get bogged down in saving and living within our means. Sometimes treat yourself.

I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to practise self-care. I am of course still learning so if you have any tips, please share them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading.

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Travelling Perceptions & Safety: Why I don’t Allow the Experiences Stop me From Seeing The World?

The social digital world will tell you how unsafe the world is. The media will show you the poor areas of Africa, screening epidemics of Ebola and all types of diseases. They will even go as far as showing documentaries of drug cartels in South America – many that can be found on Netflix. But should you allow the digital world stop you from seeing the world.

They will go so far till you have become so scared of the place. You no longer want to go or have an interest in travelling.

Another thing they do is show black people in a bad light – this is the worst. Why would you wanna go somewhere that doesn’t welcome black people?

The digital world has grown so much more in the last few years. And more people are travelling around the world. However, there are many people in the world that are terrified of seeing the world. Some of these people have a personal choice of not seeing the world. They allow the world to dedicate how they live or how one should live their life, which is a scary feeling.

Let me give you an example. 

I have been to some (not all) places which are considered to be ‘dangerous’ and for a black young woman! In saying that, I’ve also been to real safe countries. Take Singapore for example, it is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Safer than England.

I remember the first time I told people that I was moving to Singapore. Many were, of course, happy for me. There was also the other side which surprised me! Several peoples reactions where – oh my gosh but there are no black people there! This saddened me because I was about to take an adventure of a lifetime, but some just didn’t get it.

Looking back now, I am so glad I didn’t let this get to me. Let people negative reaction get to me. If I did, I wouldn’t have seen all of South East Asia and met worldwide lifetime friends! In all honesty, it’s about finding the time to do your own research of a country and deciding whether it’s safe for you to go!

As I have grown older I have learnt, to taste and see the world for what it really is. After the ordeal, I received while in Greece, Athens. I never imagined writing something like this. It saddens me that people can take time out of their lives and lie on someone and authorities with no evidence can take on such fabrication.

On that day. I faced a harsh reality that I am black and I am female. How I perceive myself is not the same as how people perceive me. Being black can get you into some real shit. You may never understand why people choose to be the way they are. In this circumstance, I can put it down to one thing. People hate themselves and have serious insecurities. And if you let them win you won’t see the world freely.

As I have grown older I have learnt, to taste and see the world for what it really is

Should this stop you from seeing the world?

My immediate answer after what I experienced would be to say yes. However, my next question would be to ask why shouldn’t we travel because people discriminate in the world? There are racists, sexist all types of people and things everywhere! There are people who will try and do anything to ruin an experience. Or your views of the world – only if you let them. The fact of the matter is SHIT HAPPENS. This is the truth; anything can happen to you anywhere you are it’s how you decide to deal with it as an individual.

Travelling the world can be hard when the social world can be constantly placing fear in you. Not to mention family and friends. As a child my mother was always the worst, constantly planting fear in me. Oh no don’t go near the water, don’t go to that country, there are no black people there. Why you would go there? I had to decide as an adult that I wanted to see the world for what it really was.

Living Abroad

While living abroad I was lucky enough to take up a job that would require me to live in China. Again, friends and family showed their disapproval particularly my mother. She stressed the importance of me coming back to London once I had finished my exams. Sadly, I did come back which I am still quite resentful for. I believe there is so much for us in this world. People shouldn’t stop us from chasing our dreams because of a few comments.

Me and four of my friends standing in Hong Kong

Other places such as doing NYSC in Nigeria (a camp in Nigeria to serve your country) I have been hindered from because family or friends have once again got in the way of my decision making. I remember my father going as far as saying if I moved to Nigeria, he wouldn’t speak to me! Since he left Nigeria, he has not ever been able to say one good word about it! Of course, I listened and didn’t go but it’s another thing I wish I did.  

And this is my problem. There are so many perceptions of the world that makes one believe that you can’t go anywhere. This perception can hinder someone in not travelling and it drives me mad! People tell you their negative views of a country because they are so fixated on what the news or the social world tells them. I believe the digital world can be such an exaggerater and anyone that takes everything word for word might live a sheltered life.

Don’t get me wrong there are some countries that I wouldn’t dream of travelling too. Many that I wouldn’t name. But it doesn’t mean that my experiences and what I see on the news should stop me. So why should it stop you? I would never tell anyone not to visit Athens because everyone’s experience is different.

Final thoughts on seeing the world…

Honestly, the world is not scary…

No matter the destination, being informed and using your initiative is the best way to stay safe. I am not saying you will go somewhere, and you will always be safe. A life I’m afraid doesn’t always work like that.

A caption of the castle in Ireland

Tell me what you think do you think the digital/ news world plays a role in where you will and won’t travel?  Have you been anywhere that society considers dangerous? let me know in the comments below.  

Related Reads: Arrested At The Acropolis: What Really Happened & Things You Should Know If You’re Wrongfully Arrested Abroad

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10 Black History Month Events to Attend in 2019

Black History Month was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987. It was organised through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo. He had served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council (GLC) and created a collaboration to get it underway.

Black History Month happens in October every year. Although it started 30 years ago, I never felt like celebrated the month as I should. Which for me has always been a shame. Throughout historyblack people have been discriminated against and treated badly because of the colour of their skin.

This year I wanted to dedicate my blog to Black History Month. I want to shed light on the good things we are doing as a community. I will be posting a blog feature called – Black History Month: 10 Black Bloggers Making Modern Black History

Today I want to share a few Black History Month Events that will be happening across the UK.

10 Black History Month Events in 2019

1. Launch of Civil Service Wide Black History Month Celebration 2019 – London

Interested in Civil Service? The Civil Service Race Forum and the BEIS Faith and Minority Ethnic Network (FAME) are bringing to you the launch event for Black History Month 2019. With a theme of ‘Involve to Evolve’, join us for a day full of keynote speeches and panels. It will address important questions of how we should be tackling race issues. To evolve the Civil Service into a more representative, diverse and inclusive workforce. For more info and tickets.

Cost: Free

Date: 1 October

2. Black History River Cruise 5th October – London

A three-hour cruise along the Thames from Temple to Vauxhall to Greenwich. There will highlights on the hidden African/Caribbean history on display. For more info and tickets.

Cost: £36

Date: 5 October

N.B I will be going to this event myself. If you would like to join me please do let me know.

3. Black History Month African-Caribbean Fusion Festival – Portsmouth

The African-Caribbean Fusion Festival will be held at the University of Portsmouth Eldon Building from 12:00-5:00 pm. It is being organised by the Portsmouth Black History Committee. A day to celebrate the heritage, culture and diversity of the local African-Caribbean community. For more info and tickets.

Cost: Free

Date: 5 October

4. What’s Her Story? A Black History Month Workshop – London

Black Women’s History- What’s Her Story? aims to raise awareness of the key African and Caribbean female figures in British history from the Roman era to the present day. Through discovery and discussion that celebrates these women’s lives and their contributions to our history. For more info and tickets

Cost: Free

Date: 15 October

5. One Africa Networking – Birmingham

One Africa Network (OAN) will be holding an event for like-minded business professionals and entrepreneurs in Birmingham. Attending our monthly events is an excellent way to strengthen relationships, share innovative ideas, insights, career and new business opportunities. Opportunites to speed network with other delegates and share inspiring ideas. For more info and tickets

Cost: Free

Date: 25 October

6. Comedy Shutdown Wolves Wolverhampton

Check out some of the best Urban Comedians in the great settings of the Belgrade Theatre Coventry. On the night you have the ferociously quick-witted Kane Brown. The veteran comedy Host Kat B, Smash Entertainz from Belly Buss Comedy and our favourite Auntie Maureen Younger. For more info and tickets

Cost: £15.00

Date: 26 OctoberWolverhampton, 19 October Leicester and 18 October Coventry

7. ”African Cultural Event 2019” Cambridge

Cambridge African Network, as part of its celebration of Black History Month 2019, is hosting a full day two-part family event. For more info and tickets.

Cost: £0 – £13.52

Date: 12 October

8. Telling Tales: Black History MonthNorthampton

From poets to storytellers, The University of Northampton and the wider Northampton(shire) community is filled with artistic talent.

On October 28, will be celebrating some talent with the latest session of Telling Tales, the Library’s very own Telling Tales: Black History Month. For more info and tickets.

Cost: Free

Date: 29 October

9. Pressure – London

Celebrate Black History Month with our screening of Britain’s first black film. Set in 70s London, Pressure tells the story of Tony, a bright school-leaver and son of West Indian immigrants, who finds himself torn between his parents’ church-going conformity and his brother’s Black Power militancy. A vivid account of the cultural tensions between the Windrush generation and their children, now native to Britain, Pressure is powered by raw, authentic performances and political bite. For more info and tickets.

Cost: £8.50 for under 25s £5.00

Date: 9 October

10. Discussion Panel – Saying it Proud, Saying it in Black – London

50th Anniversary celebrations for Bogle-L’Ouverture. Publication for a radical London-based publishing company founded in 1968 by Guyanese activists Jessica Huntley and Eric Huntley.

Chaired by Beverley Mason, this discussion with guest speakers Eric Huntley and Leila Howe will explore the radical power of Blackness. Black publishing and the role of bookshops in the Black community.

Cost: £10.00

Date: 6 October

A Bonus Event: My Experience With {Pastor Of Comedy} MCOJB – Kent

An award-winning international stand up comedian, event host, Master of ceremony, actor, an entertainer and mentor. Mc OJB is a household name, and humour merchant. He began his comedy career in the university, where he got his name Pastor Of Comedy and has since graced stages with international comedians like Julius Agwu, Senator, Alibaba, Gordons D Berlusconi, AY (Ayo Makun), Comedian Accapella, Bovi to mention a few. For more info and tickets.

Cost: £20.00 VIP £50.00

Date: 13 October

Will you be celebrating Black History Month this year? What will you be doing? Do you have any events that you would like to share?

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Food Photos That Will Inspire You To Travel The World

If you know me well, you will know that I am always searching for a good meal. I love sweets, snacks and anything that involves me eating. After my travels, I would say that food is my next best activity.

Along my travels, I have tried all types of food and would have to so far say that Asian food is my best cuisine. Food should always be an enjoyable part of your travels. Trying out new dishes can be a hit or miss.

I thought I should open my blog to discover new foods! I have spilt around 6 different regions. Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Europe and the Caribbean. See below some food pictures and let me know what your favourite cuisine is and why.

1. Asia

Singapore
Chilli Crapb
Stingray and Fried Rice

2. Africa

Egusi and Pounded Yam

3. North America

New York – Hot Pot
Iceland

4. Europe

London

5. South America

Yet To Travel and Eat

6. Caribbean

Yet To Travel and Eat

I will be updating this post as I experience new countries and new foods! What is your favourite cuisine?

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France Paris: A 3 Day Romantic Trip In Paris

I absolutely love Paris. Like anywhere, I always have a different experience when I visit the known capital of love. Paris is exceptional and is a great romantic getaway. I managed to book a package deal with Secret Escapes for a 3-day trip with flights, hotel and Disneyland tickets for £289pp. I wrote about this recently in ‘Where Dreams Come True: My Experience at Disneyland Paris’. Today I want to focus on my 3 day romantic trip in Paris. See the breakdown below:

3-day trip with flights, hotel and Disneyland tickets for £289pp.

Day 1 – A view of Paris

We landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport very early in the morning. I think we arrived at like 8 am in the morning! I thought this was great because we would have a full day in Paris.
We stayed at the B&B Disneyland Hotel (it wasn’t the most luxurious hotel I’ve stayed in and there are a number of hotel option to stay in), and locating the hotel on google maps wasn’t the easiest.

There were so many options and routes. The first option was to buy a single for the hotel, which cost €38.99 for two people. The second option was to get a travel card which would allow us to travel the whole of Paris for a week at just €22.89 each, (you need a passport photo for this). We decided that it would be smarter to go with the second option.

We managed to get to the hotel at around 10 am!! When we got there, we were told that we had to wait till 3 pm before we could enter our rooms! The was hella long! I think because of the shock on our faces they allowed us to enter the rooms at 1.30 pm. We had a little nap, freshened up and headed back into Paris. Of course, we headed to the Effile Tower and had a photoshoot literally. See the pictures below.

NB: When booking a romantic trip package ask relevant questions like when is check-in at the hotel etc.

We finished the night at a lovely Asian restaurant called Le Point De Sichuan and headed back to our hotel.

Day 2 – My Birthday Disneyland ?

After a lovely day trip to Paris, it was time to be a BIG kid and head over to Disneyland. We first did Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, which was a maze that took forever to go through! Then tried out a few rides. Unfortunately, Walt Disney Studios Park but Disneyland Park was a better option if I do say so myself.

We then headed back to the hotel to have some dinner and catch a nap before the fireworks.

P.S for more photos at Disneyland head over to Where Dreams Come True: My Experience at Disneyland Paris

Day 3 – Another romantic trip to Paris

The final day was also beautiful; we woke up early to have breakfast. Then checked out of our hotel room. We had a late flight so paid to lock our suitcases in their lockers and headed to Paris. We made more time to see more of the sites on Day 3:

  • Louvre Museum
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Place des Vosges
  • Palace of Versailles

We ended the trip at KONG, a lovely restaurant that serves some of the best Asian food I’ve ever tasted.


Hope you enjoyed my break down in Paris Have you ever been? What are your thoughts?

I think a post on a romantic trip is in process. In the meantime, have you had a romantic trip? Name a few below.

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Say my name, say my name: Would You Change Your Name if You Were Asked to At Work?

It’s no surprise to me that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are being asked to change their names at work. I have worked in several sectors and my name has always been an issue for my colleagues. I recall working in a high-end department store, where my then-manager insisted on calling me AID instead of Ade. This is pronounced Ah-day (for those of you that haven’t met someone with a Nigerian name before). This manager called me AID for nearly over a year only to stop when a former colleague corrected him. (Which confuses me because during the countless times I did correct him, he continued to say my it wrong!)   

What’s happening…

The whitewashing of BAME names is still happening despite the surge of diversity on our screens. Billions of pounds have been poured into telling stories from minority perspectives in movies and TV shows; a big chunk of celebrity athletes and musicians are BAME people– there is no avoiding us. 

Yet, people still seem to have difficulties with pronouncing non-western names. According to ITVNews more than a third of employees from an ethnic minority background are being told to change their names to something more English.  

I, on several occasions, have had requests to change my name. When it comes to having a supposedly “unique” name, English people, in my opinion, are the worst at even attempting to say your it correctly. I’ ve had people who willfully ignore how to pronounce my name. Telling me: “I will pronounce your name how it’s spelt, darling!”.

Final Thoughts….

It makes me sick because your it’s your identity; if someone can’t have the respect to even try to pronounce your name correctly. It says more about them than you.   

I’m still learning but I have now learned that my name is who I am, and if you can’t learn to give me the common courtesy to pronounce it properly you don’t deserve to speak to me. You should be proud of your name and don’t change it for anyone.  Read – Don’t TOUCH, Ask Q’s About MY HAIR

Have you ever had to change your name for people? If you have, share your story in the comments below. 

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