Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Winter Sads

So you take vitamin D and eat more fruits but is that enough to avoid the winter blues? My doctor always reminds me before November sets in to stock up on my vitamin D because once we get less and less sunshine, my mood withers. Its natural.

But other than playing your favourite tunes, stacking up great movies to watch during hibernation and tackling hearty and fun recipes in the kitchen there comes a feeling of being stuck. Of just utter no sun having endless days of snow where is my life going blah. This usually is heightened by late Jan all into Feb when we’re in the final stretches of winter and hope for spring is dismal.

I was reading up on one of my favourite love life coaches, Shelly Bullard, about this exact topic and she said that this is also related to our ‘limiting belief’ – A limiting belief is simply a message within you that tells you you cannot be, do or have what you want. Many times our limiting beliefs are unconscious – they’re below the surface of your awareness. 

Maybe there’s a new team at work you’d like to join, a trip you want to take, a creative en devour you’ve been dreaming of starting. The winter hibernation has us thinking, mostly overthinking, a lot more. And with the leaves and birds all gone for the season, the silence and dreariness can be a downer but that doesn’t mean that painting project you wanted to start can’t happen.

So, instead of defining yourself and what you can and cannot accomplish by these ‘limiting beliefs’, I’m challenging you and myself to change this way of thinking.

As Shelley Bullard points out-

Anyone who accomplished anything will tell you that they FIRST believed in the goal, and then it happened. The belief precedes the goal.  The dream, the vision, and the conviction in a belief is what causes the necessary inspiration and forces to make it happen.

If you don’t believe in it, it cannot come true. Therefore, in order to shift your own limiting beliefs, you have to believe in an alternative possibility before it becomes realty. I like to call these “higher beliefs.” 

Sure, you’ve heard it before. Probably a thousand times. But it’s because it’s true. It’s all in your outlook, the perspective you choose to have each and everyday. Will you put your goals ahead of your doubts, fear, insecurities? It’s up to you. How you spend each and every moment of this precious life is all up to you. Aim for ‘higher beliefs’.

Dave Chappelle – The Long Awaited Comeback

I remember buying season one of Chappelle’s Show on DVD and devouring every minute of it. I was at a friend’s basement apartment and was so excited to play the DVD for them. But imagine my disappointment as I watched my friends stare at the screen blankly. How did they not find this man as hilarious as I did? I had not only watched the DVD upteen times, but could recite full skits word for word by now. Needless to say, they have come around but Dave Chappelle’s comedic genius was never unnoticed by me. Also, let the record show that Chappelle’s Show still holds the record for most DVDs sold for a TV show.

But it has been almost 10 years since he walked away from his famous Comedy Central TV show. His show broke records and he was seen as the funniest stand-up out at the time, with comparisons to the late great Richard Pryor. So, many wondered how he could have left a show he created, that made him famous and had earned him millions that many black comedians would have killed for? But what made me respect him was that despite what folks wanted him to do, or thought he aught to do, he stood by his beliefs and did whatever he needed to do to maintain his sanity. Can’t be easy to do in Hollywood, especially with so many zeros on your pay cheque. But as the old adage goes, ‘if you don’t stand for anything you’ll fall for anything’. Dave, albeit having been out of the public eye, has earned a lot of respect for standing.

That level of respect and adoration was proven when he sold out 10 shows at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall this year. And to boost, he had musical guests Nas, Busta Rhymes, Mos Def and Kanye join him on stage through out those 10 dates. What comedian can almost disappear for years then come back to sell out shows and have chart topping musical guests join him/her on stage?

So imagine my joy seeing Dave on the cover of GQ as the leader of their Men Of The Year issue. Bravo Dave. Bravo! I’ve read the article and I have to say it was well done. Often interviews can either come across contrived or that the writer is an over zealous fan that is more excited by the illusion than the person. This was full of candid conversation showcasing Dave’s authenticity.

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Some of my favourite parts:

On Chappelle’s Show, you came into contact with a lot of guys who later became famous. Like Kanye. One of his first TV performances was on Chappelle’s Show?
Yeah! And no one was more surprised than me when he did the surprise performance during my Radio City show. It was weird. You know what he said after the fact, which I thought was funny? He said, “Why wasn’t I on the show in the first place? Like, why wasn’t I booked?” So I don’t know what happened via the machinery. It also could be that Kanye’s like a girl that’s so pretty, nobody asks her to the dance. You know what I mean? I knew the day before that he was coming to see the show. Then, as I was walking onstage, right before I went on, Kanye was there and was like, “Yo, can I rock with y’all?” And I thought he meant in general—like, “Yeah, man, always! We all cool for life! Blah blah blah.” Talking all that shit. And then afterwards, when I say good night, I looked up. Kanye is actually onstage, standing there with a microphone in his hand. I was like, “This is nuts.”

Holy shit. Rob Ford?
Seriously, you can Google it. I was in Toronto for a few shows, and they told me I couldn’t smoke onstage. And I was like, “Well, can’t you just waive the rule tonight?” And they’re like, “It’s a citywide ordinance.” So I got up the next morning and went to the mayor’s office. This is before all that shit about him came out.

You’re a student of stand-up. You’ve been performing on stages, telling jokes, since you were 14. It seems like it’s difficult to hurt most comics’ feelings, but looking at Hartford [where Dave was heckled and refused to do his act] and the similar incident in Florida, you seem to be different.
Yeah, but it depends. Sometimes there’s something I really want to convey, and I get a little obsessive about it. So there’s that. It’s not that they’re not listening, but it’s like I’m trying to say this thing to them and they can’t hear me. Like, there were times when I was famous for things that became cumbersome. Half Baked was like that, where I had grown personally, and when I would go onstage, people would scream out shit from that movie. Or like, “I’m Rick James, bitch!” And I’d just be like, “Listen to what I’m saying, listen to what I’m saying.” It was frustrating—like I was being victimized by my work. I think it’s a Miles Davis quote where he says you spend the early part of your career trying to chase your influences, and the second half trying to get away from ’em.

Read the full article on GQ’s site. Hoping this resurgence leads to more appearances. I’ve yet to see him live and that is definitely on my bucket list.

 

Do You Take Time Daily To Affirm Yourself?

From the minute you wake up and check your phone, you get bombarded with messages that can impact your perception of your self worth. Whether it’s unanswered messages, spiteful comments on social media or heartbreaking news headlines, we constantly encounter moments that slowly chip away at our core happiness daily.

That’s why its so valuable to take a break from the noise and give back to your spirit by affirming who you are, where you’ve been, the journey you are on and the love around you. Just like any muscle in our body that needs exercise, food and water to grow – the mental image we have of ourself needs daily nurture to grow and sustain itself.

Some folks find solace in daily prayer, others in yoga but the commonality is finding tranquility to clear your head of all the negativity from the day or day before.

I’ve found that along with prayer, repeating simple words of affirmation have empowered me to tackle my daily stresses with a clearer heart and mind. Here are a few that have helped me:

I love and accept myself exactly as I am.

I am worthy of love.

I compare myself only to my highest self.

God has amazing things planned for me.

I am grateful for the people that I have in my life.

There are so many sources to find affirmations that work for you. Heck, there’s a whole slew of apps dedicated to sending you daily affirmations.

Especially as we enter the winter blues, I hope you look to find some ray of sunshine everyday.

New Favourite Restaurant – Maha’s

Every good meal shares one universal ingredient – love. And at Maha’s Brunch that is exactly what every meal is prepared with.

I had plans for an overdue brunch with a dear friend and I found a hidden gem of a restaurant on Instagram. Someone had taken a picture of their meal at Maha’s and I was drooling over my phone already. FYI their page is mahasbrunch.

Located at 226 Greenwood Ave. (between Danforth and Gerrard) in Toronto, Maha’s is a cute restaurant that smells of great coffee and spices as soon as you walk in. Specializing in Egyptian cuisine, they were packed as I got there for 1pm on a Sunday. A handsome waiter (whom I learned later is named Marc) told me that it’d be an approximate 45 mins wait to be seated but I was already hooked as I saw the food and drinks at each table. And before I knew it, there was a table ready.

We started with two glasses of their house latte which is made with honey and cardamom. Heaven! I wanted to lick the glass after I had finished. And I know my coffee so this was already a great start.

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I ordered the Cairo classic which consisted of foole (a dish made of fava beans, cumin, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs and a sesame seed drizzled falafeel in the middle) along with charred balady bread. My friend ordered the Egyptian falafeels and lentil soup. The falafeels had a unique twist as they had hard boiled eggs inside them. Our plates became shared meals as we used the bread to scoop pieces off each other’s plate.

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Good. Sumptuous. Mouth watering. Are all under statements to describe the food. We wiped our plates clean, that’s how amazing the food was.

At this point my friend and I had made ourselves comfortable and after devouring our food, settled in to enjoy a pot of mint tea.

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But what made this place so special to me that I needed to write about it was Maha herself. We were soon joined at our table by owner and chef Maha along with her daughter Monica. They opened up about how the restaurant was a labour of love for them. Maha started off catering from home, teaching cooking classes with Loblaws then as a family they all decided to open Maha’s together. It’s quite apparent how much Monica and her brother Marc (handsome waiter from the beginning) love their mom and how much Maha loves to cook, by just tasting how incredible the food is. That love translates into each meal.

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If you’re looking to go to a place that feels like being at a friend’s warm home, then go to Maha’s. You will not be disappointed.

 

**Photo credit shoutout to my beautiful friend @mzmahoganysun ***

BANKS – Drowning

‘Take it from the girl you claimed to love, you’re going to get some bad karma.

I’m the one who had to learn to build a heart made of armor.”

I’ve heard this song so many times and those lines haunt me long after the song has ended.