Sunday, 30 August 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 32- Thanks for our Colleagues!


I GIVE THANKS FOR OUR COLLEAGUES

I’m sure some of you are saying YES whilst others are pulling faces and saying- Jaz you don’t know what I have to put up with, believe me! We all have experienced working with difficult colleagues at times and there have been occasions when I’d rather have stayed home than face a difficult day, but teams are the real deal and personalities are part of the package.

Fortunately most of us meet many great people and I am including the self-employed here who have the job of forming their own networks as we all need other professionals to work with if we wish to progress. Working within a team gives us so many opportunities to learn new skills within a relatively safe environment. When new skills are required most work places provide free training and with new skills often come new responsibilities and increased pay- at least, that’s the idea. Even if you do not undergo official training courses you may well pick up tips that make your job easier as we all have different ways of doing things and new procedures and technology are often implemented- bring on Windows 10!

Work is what you make it and our attitude towards our colleagues can make or break our day. When there is a good atmosphere at work people tend to put energy and enthusiasm into their jobs and in this situation teams can come up with exciting new ideas. Even in fairly mundane jobs some people have a really upbeat, caring attitude and clearly have a natural ability to provide excellent customer service. I love the programme, ‘Undercover Boss,’ and this gives owners a great insight into their company with the opportunity to make changes so that people’s work is easier for them to undertake. The people on the shop floor so often have excellent ideas that if implemented make life simpler for their colleagues.

Colleagues often become friends, especially as they spend so many hours together. These friendships can provide a great support network for people both inside and outside the workplace. We need to be sensitive to the needs of our colleagues and hopefully are aware when they appear unwell or troubled. A little understanding goes a long way so when someone is not pulling their weight, ask yourself why before entering the blame culture. Although we do not require the details of our colleagues personal lives we do need to be sensitive towards their needs and be as supportive as possible. Obviously some people have a genuinely poor attitude to work and little consideration towards their colleagues but this is something that needs to be addressed by management or, if you are self-employed, you may choose to take your business elsewhere.

Yesterday I went along to a London Achievers seminar which was celebrating entrepreneurs. I just loved the interview we watched with Richard Branson. It had been recorded several years ago but Richard’s values remain true. Work should be fun and when you think about it laughter starts within. If people in the workplace are cheerful the work gets done and time flies by. The other really interesting point Richard made is to lavish the praise and hold back criticism. His view is that people are aware of their performance and there are other ways of dealing with things. Richard takes a similar approach to dishonesty and believes in discussions rather than admonishment, saying that this approach often generates more loyalty for the person concerned. If the man at the top can take a sensitive approach to his employees, we as colleagues should be able to deal sensitively with our workmates. Steve Jobs is also an inspired team leader and encourages the best from his team, always keeping them on target.

How do you feel when you go into work? I find that when I go into work expecting a great day and having some objectives to achieve it usually runs smoothly. We are all familiar with the expression, ‘life is what we make it,’ but how often do we apply that to our daily jobs? If you do not like your job, that is no excuse to be miserable at work. You chose your job and are paid for the work you do therefore, despite your feelings, you should be giving it 100% until you find an alternative. Maybe there are ways of making your present work more interesting. If nothing else be grateful you have a job and give thanks for your colleagues. As always, attitude of mind dictates results so stay thankful and positive, expecting great opportunities to unfold and guaranteed they will.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/Word Magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK31 True Humility as characterised by Nesbeth

I GIVE THANKS FOR TRUE HUMILITY AS CHARACTERISED BY NESBETH!
It has become very commonplace these days to describe people as humble. We hear this term often but what does it actually mean? I think the term humble tends to be applied to people who go about their work quietly without blowing their own trumpet which is a worthy description, but for the first time in a long time I have come across someone who takes humility to a far greater depth that many of us might aspire to but haven’t achieved. I will mention my sister and her husband who have worked with refugees for years, undertake prison visiting and never turn anyone away from their door even when they are totally exhausted. Today, I am focusing on Internationally renowned Reggae Artist Nesbeth, currently over in London from Jamaica.


I met Nesbeth for the first time over a week ago at the event, ‘Andrew Sloley and Friends.’ Having seen Nesbeth’s poster around Facebook I introduced myself and was instantly surprised when he asked Eccentrik, his manager, to photograph us. After chatting for a few minutes Nesbeth agreed to an INTERVIEW (Includes contact info) which went ahead last Thursday. As I no longer present The Chill Out Zone on Buffaloo Radio Nesbeth agreed to a written interview and the pair happily travelled for an hour and a half to get to Wandsworth followed by a long journey to their next engagement- on top of that they dropped me home which was a lovely gesture that I certainly hadn’t expected; and fits the theme, ‘ humility.’

I discovered during the interview that Nesbeth is a very quiet, deep thinking person. I cannot put into words the way he made me feel during the conversation although I know Eccentrik understands as she became his manager following her interview with him in Jamaica. The only way to put it is that Nesbeth emits a vibration of true humility through his concern for mankind, extending way beyond his native Jamaica. Nesbeth’s mission in life is ultimately to help others improve their lives and he uses music as the tool to tend his workshop. Having helped countless individuals over the years and organised a festival to inspire isolated communities, Nesbeth is currently setting up the Nesbeth Foundation to ensure that help will be available consistently to the people who need it regardless of where in the world he is- travelling becoming more abundant as his popularity and public profile are rapidly expanding.

Nesbeth’s big dream is to take his music to the four corners of the earth and contained in his music are vibrant messages of hope combined with a deep understanding of social circumstance. I will be posting my review of his Victory EP shortly and suggest you check out Nesbeth on Youtube to get a real feel for this remarkable artist.

Humility is basically about keeping the ego in check and having genuine love for all people. Nesbeth is working from the heart; and is genuinely not interested in making heaps of money for himself, understanding that true riches do not lie in money but in the good that money can accomplish.
My dream for Nesbeth is that people will feel compelled to share his work and true universal vision, seeing the similarities between communities and aiming to make a difference.- It would be great to see the Hootananny packed this Thursday!

See Nesbeth Live this Thursday 27th August!!!

I hold Nesbeth and Eccentrik in high esteem, and pray that the ultimate dream for global peace will come to be- everything is possible.

Jaz McKenzie

Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Friday, 21 August 2015

Meet the real NESBETH~ 'I want the world to be my workshop!' In-Depth interview

I was thrilled to meet internationally renowned and incredibly humble Reggae Artist Nesbeth who kindly agreed to an interview with Its Braap. I was very struck by the extent to which Nesbeth empathises with people’s situations worldwide. He really deserves his status as one who gives and keeps on giving without the aim of fame or fortune. And I believe we have captured this in our in-depth interview.

Summing up your bio I would say that you’re a whirlwind of musical inspiration instilling the power of positive and joyful beliefs into different global communities. Do you think that’s an accurate reflection of you?
Yes, I’m a man who uses my Reggae platform to spread peace and love across the globe.

When you were very young you used music to comfort yourself and take yourself forwards, what actually led to that?
There is a style of music which is Trenchtown and this music is embedded in you. If you’re in a bad mood or a good mood there’s a song to fit that mood. I’m from humble beginnings and we never necessarily have we want, we just have what we can afford and sometimes it’s nothing at all- other than a drink of water going to bed. Music was always there in the midst of it, keeping the soul calm, while we’re hoping and praying that one day it will be what we want it to be and not just continue.

Were your parents and your family very positive people?
Yes, they had their differences but I would definitely say positive up to the T and down to the dot. They have their times when they’re at each other and when they tell you this is right and this is wrong, which is human.

Was it easy for you to steer away from the bad side of life in Kingston?
No it wasn’t easy- as you know people live what they learn and you will automatically be a part of your environment if you’re not that strong: so the next question would be: what is it that steers me away from participating in such things? I would definitely say the Most High because I couldn’t have done it by myself, there’s too many temptations available and to see me navigate through all that the Most High was in the midst.

You have had quite a long musical journey as opposed to an overnight success. How have you managed the slow growing pace and have you ever felt like giving up, or just kept on target?
I have always been a focused person and known what I want: so tunnel vision to get where I want. But there are times when it gets rough and times when it gets tough. There are moments when you really want what you want but it’s just not there. During those times, what really kept Nesbeth going was definitely the passion for music- and then I started to think about music in the same way one looked on farming. You have to take the time to till the soil and make sure it is properly prepared so you can plant the seed. When I look on it from that angle I am focused but if I look on it from another angle I’d be miserable. (Laughs)

You created a festival-‘A Nuh Suh Mi Waan Live,’- how did you come by the idea for it?
‘A Nuh Suh Mi Waan Live,’ is the title of one of my songs and as you hear it’s a Patois, Jamaican. In your language it says, ‘I don’t want to live like this.’ This song is really saying I deserve more, I’m human like anyone else and I know my worth. With the concert I was thinking of the kids in the region I live in and I know for a fact that most of the kids don’t want to live like that. They grow seeing a particular life thinking that’s the only way. I am privileged enough to get my knowledge and understanding to know that there’s more instead of just myself where that’s concerned. So I’m keeping this concert not just representing Nesbeth but representing the community. I know a lot of them just gravitate towards seeing the artist on the stage but don’t know the in-depth reason for the name: but I came up with that name.
With Nesbeth post interview
I love the fact that you are reaching out to your community in a way that relates to people. Is this festival something you will repeat?
Most definitely. I really wanted it to be an annual concert but I just got busier than before. My team now- we’re in the process of putting together the Nesbeth Foundation, and it won’t just be a Nesbeth thing; so it will be active whether I am in the island or not so it will definitely be the Nesbeth charity.

What’s the aim of the charity?
The aim of the charity is to be there for the less fortunate in whatever way possible. If there’s music I will do whatever I can do where music is concerned, and with education, I will definitely do it. It’s just to better the lives of the people from the inner city from the kids to the elderly folks.

You clearly have younger artists looking up to you now as you have travelled round the world and had a lot of success with your music and on-line videos. Do you get feedback from younger artists?
Yes most definitely because I hear them say time after time. Ah Nesbeth, I really want to be like you. I admire your words they’re inspirational. You have sung certain songs that touch us to the point of pushing us to be like you. I’ve always encouraged them-don’t try to be like me, be you and be the best of you. I understand that they’re just emulating me based on what they’re seeing and it’s a good feeling, so I will continue to do what I can do to empower the minds of the less fortunate and hopeless people because once you have hope you have a lot.

I’m very impressed with the honorary award you won- ‘Music Industry Achievers Award. ‘How did that come about?
It’s the result of a number of things put together because I’ve always been doing stuff for the community even though the organisation wasn’t properly formed. I have done countless charity events to help the blind, the sick, the homeless you name it, across the board- local and international. I have done so much it’s a part of Nesbeth, so they decided I’m the man for the award.

Who forms your personal support network- being an artist you have a lot to face?
Mankind as a whole keeps me going because sometimes I come across people I don’t know and I’m inspired by what they’re saying so I can’t really list them. It’s just mankind because when I see you in a sick position I will see how I can assist you in whatever way. If I can’t assist you, sometimes I will feel bad within myself but I understand that if I can’t do it in this moment there will be some day when it will come about. I’m inspired by people and it doesn’t matter where they’re from, it just gives me the drive to go forwards as much as is possible in this life.

Nesbeth with Eccentrik
I was very interested to see you have signed up to a London record company, how did that come about?
That was a day in Jamaica when I got a phone call for me to do an interview. My manager Eccentrik was working for a London based television programme called Reggae Showcase on Sky TV. She was actually doing interviews in Jamaica and I was one of the artists on her list; in fact the first artist- it was mystical. When I met Eccentrik she said she had never come across my name before. When we were reasoning she was touched and was wondering how she had never come across an artist like me. She was moved by a couple of the songs I was singing in the interview and told me she was going to do as much as she could possibly do to make the world know about me. I smiled when I was hearing that because I said, ‘you know what, I have always been the type of person who connects with people from a natural spiritual vibe and it is beyond Nesbeth that they are seeing; it is more spiritual. She flew back to England and gave me a call a month or two down the line and the rest is history.

You’ve done a lot of touring now. Are there any countries that you really want to take your music to and haven’t yet?
I want to take my music to the four corners of the earth. I want to take my music to countries that I don’t even know the name of. I want to take my music to places that have people that are living the life. I really want to connect the world in one word which is ‘Peace.’

Do you think it’s fair to say that although everywhere has its problems we all have the same kinds of people?
Problems spell problems whichever language you come across and we do understand the dynamics of life. We have certain problems that will always be an on-going thing whether it’s from the East, the West, the North or the South- domestic affairs and poverty are always about everywhere; people deceiving people everywhere. It might be higher in some regions but it’s going on. It’s the basics of life that Nesbeth sing about so I definitely can spread the message throughout the world. You asked before and I said the four corners meaning that I’m not crossing out any country. I’ve been to America, about 13 states, I’ve been to Canada- probably about four provinces and  6-7 Caribbean islands. I definitely want the world to be my workshop.

You’ve had a lot of success with your EP, what’s the next recording project?
The next recording project is actually in the studio at the present moment and we have so much good material to choose from we’re very confused. I’m not trying to toot my own horn but the type of album and production that Entertainment Soul is putting out there is something I definitely know that the world is going to love. It’s not far off!

I love the fact that you’re putting out serious messages on joyful riddims – a great concept. Where do you get your riddims- are they built for you or do you use existing ones?
Some of the riddims are built for me like the EP where the Riddim is built around the songs, but some of the songs like ‘Joy in the Morning,’ are on a Riddim that was handed to me- it’s an NBR production and you just feel that natural vibration from the Riddim and put whatever you’re feeling on it.

What’s good right now?
I can tell you I have a song, ‘Ole Ganga Lee’ that is doing tremendously well climbing charts and has been well received by the people. My Victory EP is distributed by Zojak Worldwide and I am feeling victorious as my EP is named Victory because there’s no such thing as one feeling sad and putting out a Victory EP! It is about what is actually happening in Nesbeth life at the present moment. I am really and truly happy encouraging people that really love reggae and can’t find that much reggae to help them. I will ask them if they can just go online and find my 5 track EP. It’s a CD that if you love reggae that much you will have it in your collection. I’m feeling that victorious and really good feeling- it helps me remember my experience in Europe- my first really good festival in Germany and my second one Reggae Geel in Belgium; and I have been to Hamburg. The people are musically connected and I am really happy to have played my part in keeping them together. My part at first was planting the seed and whenever they call me I will go and water the seed to make sure that the tree of love keeps flourishing.

Any final comments?
Yes, I’ve come across so many journalists and their personalities so I must take the time out to say a big thank you to all of you because, as you know, you’re opening doors that artists and management may not be able to. We all have a responsibility, it’s a collective unit and we definitely put what is needed out there-out there. Whatever time you have taken out of your busy schedule I am honoured and I am thankful that you select Nesbeth as an artist to spend such a time with, and I will always remember this moment in London, England 20th August 2015.
One Love to every race, creed and colour- Selassie-I.~ Nesbeth

A huge thank you to Nesbeth and manager Eccentrik for blessing us with this wonderful interview.

Contact information!
For more information on the Artist email or visit:! !
www.nesbethreggae.com!
Manager Eccentrik!
sd@entertainmentsoul.net!
+44 750 888 2797

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk



Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Childcare Expo~ Read all about it!


Six Years Strong
This autumn marks the 6th year for Childcare Expo at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.  The event that has become a staple within early years professionals calendars, once again invites all those working within the childcare and nursery sector on the 25 & 26 September. The exhibition creates the perfect opportunity for attendees to source new products and services for their settings whilst making the most of their day out with additional features including educational seminars and interactive workshops. See my review here from 2014!
 For those looking to update their knowledge, this September’s seminars will be covering a wide variety of topics to enthuse all those working within childcare. Pre-school Learning Alliance’s Michael Freeston will look at the key changes to inspections for early years providers from September 2015 and considers what the implications are for practitioners in his session ‘Preparing for Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework’.  Jo Baranek from the NDNA’s seminar ‘Brave Boys’ will explore the gender gap in achievement and why we may need to support boys; while Jeremy Clark from Montessori Centre International will explore the ideas behind children as leaders of their own learning on the Friday afternoon.  
New to the event this year, the Snap and Share Zone will prompt visitors to strike a pose and share their thoughts and ideas on the early years sector via social media using their smart phones.  With entertaining props and message boards, attendees can have some fun while sharing tips and opinions via their favourite social platforms. 
 For the third year running, there will also be an exclusive VIP Early Years Breakfast Summit taking place on the Friday morning before the show opens.  The summit brings together nursery chain owners, executives and directors to discuss hot topics they are currently facing within their settings and share ideas for future development of the sector.
To find out more information about Childcare Expo, including the full seminar and workshop programme and to register for your free tickets to the exhibition visit www.childcareexpo.co.uk
Press release provided by Childcare Expo.

As a qualified NNEB and Nursery Manager I am very pleased to share information about this years Childcare Expo which is going to be a highly informative event! ~ Jaz McKenzie

Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Give Thanks~ Feel Joyful WK30- Freedom of Thought


I GIVE THANKS FOR FREEDOM OF THOUGHT

Here in the UK and many other countries we are given freedom of speech. Personally I don’t think we’re as free to speak as we might imagine. For example, in many jobs- not necessarily high profile positions, you simply cannot go around talking off the top of your head. People have been known to get carried away and make politically incorrect statements or even come out with slanderous comments, putting an end to a promising or established career. We really do have to think before we speak even on an everyday level so that we can work with other people and generally maintain an harmonious life.

We have freedom to think what we like and the only person who censors thoughts is the thinker! Hopefully most of our thoughts are universally acceptable- scary thought LOL! Whatever may be perceived as wrongful thinking, often stated as such within religious or moral contexts, will sometimes occur and it is up to the thinker to accept or reject their thoughts. The reason I say this is because we all experience unwelcome, random thoughts or images that enter our minds and occasionally they can shock us.

Brain training is very important if we wish to take control of our minds. We do well to keep enjoyable thoughts lingering for a while because they create great sensations and feelings of happiness which attract more of the same. Our minds are basically magnets and draw similar, not opposite, energies towards us.  If we want more good feelings we may choose to try and make positive changes to our thinking. This is a very challenging and rewarding step to take and gradually improves the quality of our lives. Happiness is preferable!

I have made it a mission to expand my positive and pleasurable thinking. In fact, I am undertaking the role of, ‘thought assassin.’ By giving this practise of over-riding disturbing, unsettling or clearly ‘wrong’ thoughts a name, I believe I have discovered a way to increases the profile of thought control. I want to blast out the bad and make space for the good.

Let’s look at what occurs when there is an outpouring of negative thinking. When someone around you is constantly miserable or complaining it becomes very wearing as these type of people invariably drain energy from others. Complaining about other people is even worse than complaining about general situations because friends or colleagues are invariably drawn in and may feel pressurised to take sides- sometimes without realising how they are being monopolised. This is a very derisive situation that can ruin friendships and leave uninvolved people feeling highly uncomfortable. Joining in with these kinds of conversations is easy to do if you have not thought this through, are not self confident or long to make friends. You may need to think of some tactics to steer clear of these situations without offending people. One of the easiest things is to physically stay out of the way when you don’t like what you are hearing and if your find yourself directly involved do not offer opinions or judgements. Remember, there are two or more sides to every story.

Let’s embrace our wonderful thoughts! I have just stuck a flyer to the front of this laptop that was given to me by Reggae artist Nesbeth. Before I open it ready to work I see Nesbeth chillaxing and can imagine myself relaxing in the Caribbean which helps to put my mind in neutral ready to focus on the task in hand. Along with bringing to mind Nesbeth’s welcoming, friendly and humble manner, the additional benefit is that the picture has cheered up my laptop and makes me smile. Are there items in your surroundings which make you feel happy, peaceful, excited or joyful? Have you had any recent great experiences? If you are having trouble thinking great thoughts you can turn to these and feel the vibe. I really would urge you to take control of your mind and make it a fertile place for happiness.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Friday, 14 August 2015

'BILLBOARD PERFECT'- Poem based on actor Paul Van Beaumont, inspired by German Zwanik's portrait.

Actor Paul Van Beaumont~ Portrait painted by German Zwanik

BILLBOARD PERFECT
I’m a star in the making
Destiny dictates: 'celebrity status awaits'
Think I’ll go ahead and make a start!
Grab a few spray cans and impart the message
LOUD AND CLEAR
Create my own billboard with urbanized art
‘PAUL VAN BEAUMONT IS HERE’

This drab garage door will have to do
Reckon I can paint myself five feet two
And meet the passer-by- direct in the eye
Uh huh that’s pretty cool
Eye to eye contact- yes, the golden rule!
Let’s start the campaign
Jump on the train to fame
Done the groundwork so it’s time
For the newest star in town to reign

I dictate my fate
I will rein it in
Vampire slayer
Gladiator
Marshall Arts King-
Whichever way you look at it
I was born to win!

‘PAUL VAN BEAUMONT IS HERE’
In my mind I have arrived!
Standing beside the very best
On wall to wall billboards worldwide
For realI’m living the dream
Blockbusters, box office smash
Iconic actor of the silver screen
Overloaded with cash
So I’ve pimped my rides
But I don’t do bling
My award cabinet groans
And that’s the greatest thing!
...
So just to be sure you’re all perfectly clear
I’ll say it one last time
‘PAUL VAN BEAUMONT IS HERE-
And you know I’m worth it
I’m billboard perfect!’
Photo!

Signing off:  ’Actor of the Year.’

Jaz McKenzie ©2015 

I have come across some amazing people in my life and here two come together via a very artistic connection. Having admired German Zwanik's artwork for quite some time, I was pleased to meet him recently at his exhibition in Hoxton, where I also had the pleasure of meeting actor Paul Van Beaumont. I discovered that Paul had modelled for German and at that point German was being very evasive as to how he would portray Paul having 'a few ideas.' Once I saw this fantastic and incredibly realistic portrait depicting German's interpretation, I realised it was a canvas harbouring seeds of poetic intent!

Having spent a day with Paul on the set of Battle Creek Hackney and seeing him in action I am aware that he has great potential to do extremely well in the challenging acting arena. Paul is experienced in martial arts and good at staging fights, not just following directions. He is also versatile and I will soon share a short film Paul appeared in where he plays a primary role primarily based on dialogue. Definitely need to blog that as a separate feature due to its complexity!

Clearly German's portrait sparked the style of poem I have written which is full of bravado. I visualised the garage door as a billboard (hence 5ft 2") so ran with the idea of his impending success based on Paul's genuine qualities-hard work, maintaining self belief and having faith that fame will happen. 'Portrait Perfect' is very cocky and tongue-in-cheek, taking a flamboyant humorous approach to the subject 'success'. Thankfully Paul is actually very down to earth and has a humble attitude, working methodically from one project to the next whilst believing he will achieve his goals.


A few action movie images with more to come later!


Jaz McKenzie

Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Coaching Academy Weekend~ an Essential Experience!

Ann Skidmore

For those of you wanting a truly inspirational and motivating experience your answer lies in attending a weekend at a genuinely free event: The Coaching Academy Weekend.

We humans are complex, multi-layered beings with many different skills and aspirations. Maybe you know who you are and what you want from life in the next few years, or you might think you’re pretty clueless! Either way, by following skilful guidance of proven coaching techniques we were encouraged to work through our thoughts in a logical manner to identify not only our true goals but also initial steps towards the next rung of the ladder- yes we did touch on a smidgen of psychological theory including the four steps of the learning ladder and Tannenbaum & Schmidt’s 1973 model of leadership behaviour!

Course manager Beth Fox was around all weekend, chatting with people and playing her part as required. Renowned coach Ann Skidmore introduced the two day timetable. Ann has been described as inspirational, enthusiastic, energetic, warm and funny- which I will happily testify to as these personal qualities were evident in her passionate approach and ability to instantly enable a large group of strangers to relax quickly into the programme. Ann clearly explained the differences between coaching, mentoring, counselling and therapists, emphasising that coaches are facilitators who are experienced at using different techniques which allow people to think for themselves,  ‘a catalyst,’ as one attendee wrote in his definition. We were provided with workbooks and we learnt through examples of personal experiences, tuition, video, games and a series of useful exercises. The other trainers this weekend were Adrian Webb, specializing in retail and small business development and Pam Lidford who enjoys a passion for changing limiting beliefs and is a Master NLP Practitioner. It is worth noting The Coaching Academy offers a whole range of courses including NLP and supplementary specialist training days with some bursaries available. (Brochure)

We were taught specifically about The Grow Model (goals, reality, options, will/way forwards) as an introductory model using counselling techniques, and The Wheel of Life- which we started working on in relation to ourselves by identifying areas of life, how we rated them and what we wanted to achieve- health, wealth, family, leisure etc. We quickly learnt that one of the greatest disciplines a counsellor needs is to refrain from giving suggestions and opinions- which we all found difficult initially as we’re all used to giving advice- remember, we have two ears and one mouth as Adrian pointed out! 

The session on limiting beliefs was very interesting as we all have barriers and are inclined to listen to others rather than following our Gut Instincts (Link), often when pursuing our own dreams. Obviously fear of failure contributes to stunted personal progress as does the inability to set and work towards measured goals.

For me, the weekend proved valuable and I have decided I would like to add Small Business Coaching to my existing Life Coaching Certificate commencing next year- no I’m not procrastinating! If you love working with people or even would like to undertake a little personal development, I would definitely recommend this course as a great starting point.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


 Gut Instinst

Monday, 10 August 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 29- for Today's Young People

I GIVE THANKS FOR TODAY’S YOUNG PEOPLE

‘Young people today....’ quite a common expression and sadly society tends to aim more criticism than praise towards the youth. It isn’t that we forget what it was like to be young but more a case of failure to understand generational differences. In reality, generations have always criticised the young and believe themselves to be in the right. We see what we want to see and our memories can be extremely short. Many years ago it was a dreadful thing to steal an apple from a tree and if you weren’t careful the farmer would have your ‘guts for garters,’ as the age old expression goes- bet loads of you have never heard that before (it was on my Gran’s list of well-used phrases!)

There are so many stereotypes in society and the youth are often clubbed together as being disruptive, 'no-hoper’s' and so on. My reality is that I come across happy, polite, ambitious hard-working young people on a regular basis, some of whom have a fantastic aura about them making me feel happy and energized in their presence.

Of course there is a disruptive element enjoying great focus thanks to the media. No one will deny the number of wasted lives or permanent injuries resulting from gun and knife crimes, drugs and other subversive activities- but to be fair, this is an element of society unrestricted by age although much of the focus is bound to be on young people; we are all disturbed by the waste of young lives and the subsequent obliteration of the individual's potential.

On the upside, many young people apply for university each year to better their education- universities are over-subscribed and apprenticeships on the up. Many youngsters make positive contributions to society in other ways- if they didn’t, society would eventually grind to a halt- strip out the next generation of doctor’s politicians, traders, innovators and what are we left with?

Youth has the advantage of aspiration without disillusionment- they know they CAN and they WILL achieve, possibly being naive of potential barriers. As adults we try to forewarn but is this really to their advantage? We have the experience – but this is our experience. I believe nature has created us all with an invisible barrier preventing us from automatically absorbing other people’s advice. Maybe taking on board comments exempts us from exploring alternative courses of action when faced with red lights during our journey. The more inner resolve a person has, the better their chance of success despite the knock backs, and young people are often good at employing determination. To gain an insight into determination you can think of Thomas Edison’s ten thousand attempts to create the light bulb and his incredible resolve: ‘Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time,’- and we should encourage this mind-set within the young.

Youngsters can often be shining examples of achievement for us all. We have young sporting heros, pop stars, the youth council and most of us have young people we are proud to be associated with. Let’s help them to live the dream and give as much support as we can, after all, we know many people think of it as a cold hard world, leaving drastic change ultimately in the hands of the youth.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Poem: 'Warrior For Love'- Blessings to my beautiful friend Wize-Dome


Phillip Peters aka Wize-Dome has been my friend for many years and whilst suffering greatly with Sickle Cell Anaemia, is living a courageous life. Being highly artistic he engages in writing, drawing, gardening and even cake decorating. On top of this Wize-Dome is first and foremost a family man. When working as a presenter for Buffaloo Radio I wrote this poem and was surprised to find that despite reciting it repeatedly, I have not previously shared it on Its Braap . As Wize Dome is extremely unwell today it's a great opportunity to expose his amazing qualities. I'll send him some mega vibrations of love and blessings and whenever you read this poem, please do the same.

Warrior for love
Poem dedicated to my friend Philip Peters aka Wize Dome The Lyricist

Sickle cell warrior
Lone star amongst  5000 Facebook friends
Heart beating strongly in protest
Whilst electrifying pain tells the thinking brain
I don’t want to take the strain
But everytime in crisis your answer’s the same
‘Live Life-Love Life’
And every ounce of pain you counteract with love
Full love and appreciation of your nearest and dearest
A clear inspiration standing tall
As tall as the flowers in your garden
Head held high so your spirit can fly
With a heart as pure and wholesome as the fruit and veg you tend
Shining example promoting faith, wisdom and understanding
Wize-Dome, I am privileged to call you ‘Friend’


Jaz McKenzie © 2014
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 28- The joy of Poetry

I GIVE THANKS FOR POETRY

I love to write poetry and have been doing so for many years. It’s a gift I didn’t know I had until a baby at our nursery, Zachary, died of meningitis one Christmas Holiday which was a total shock to us all. We were asked to write down our thoughts and I was in the bath pondering this when a poem started to flow- so I jumped out and wrote it down. Sadly I cannot find any copies of it and guess they were lost when the computer blacked out permanently. I did send a copy to Zachary’s parents and they were very appreciative of the way their young baby was portrayed. Since then the quality of my poems has progressed and I am currently immersed in editing and re-editing ready for publication.

Poems require imagination so in a way I’m following on from last week’s topic. You have to employ imagination to write a poem otherwise the hard facts would be indigestible. The way we use words in poetry are the same as the ingredients in a great recipe. You can have the basics however it’s the use of herbs and spices that make a dish distinctive. This applies to writing where skilfully used words can conjour up great images:  that is why I have coined the phrase, ‘Word Magician.’

Where does imagination come from? Usually when I am writing a poem it’s either totally spontaneous- actual example, ‘What shall I write a poem about today as I need a new poem on the blog- I know, it’s Thursday so I’ll do one about Thursday (Link)- or they can be pre-meditated. With pre-meditated poems I only ever have a sketchy idea or first line. For instance, soon to be shared, ‘Billboard Perfect,’ a poem inspired by German Zwanik’s portrait of actor Paul Van Beaumont, sprung from the graffiti Paul was depicted painting – why else would a ‘soon to be great actor’ pick up a spray can? Imagination generally springs from associations within the mind but very often we don’t know which direction the poem will take. Once upon a lunch break I saw a tow-truck on one side of the roundabout with a car attached to the severed rope on the other side. This resulted in a poem about domestic violence entitled ‘Who broke the tow rope?’ which studied the dynamics in a violent relationship. I had no idea how it would turn out: Actually I thought it would be about mental abuse but it went down the route of physical abuse and whilst I thought the victim would free herself, she failed to do so.

Poetry is granted what we call ‘artistic license.’ You can bend the rules so I bend my rules, using occasional profanities if called for- hence I’m not sharing ‘Who broke the tow rope?’ I love it when people discuss the rules of poetry- I wrote a poem about the fact that there are no rules- another one that bit the dust! In my mind a poem is what you make it and doesn’t have to rhyme or have a fixed number of lines to a verse. I have probably written sonnets but unless I Google it I can’t recall what a sonnet is- now, let me go and revise that so I’m no longer ignorant. 

What’s my understanding of poetry? There are many different types and languages used and it’s all a matter of personal taste. Poems can be quite amazing and so often comes from a place beyond ourselves. This is why I sometimes look at my work and think, ‘daaaaam how on earth did I write something this complex?’ The depths of our minds are unfathomable and we do not know what experiences lie within the subconscious or what ideas are planted by forces outside ourselves.

How would I define poetry? The true art of lexiconism, juggling and conjouring words until thoughts are processed into a piece of written or verbal art for either private or public appreciation.


Jaz McKenzie

Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 27- Thanks for Imagination!


I GIVE THANKS FOR IMAGINATION

Imagination- what a spectacular word!! Resonating intrigue and the embodiment of power- guess that’s the ‘tion,’ completing many a great word. How in touch are you with your imagination? As small children our imaginations are quite forceful and central to both learning and life experience. Children love role play from home corners to fairytales- with superhero suits forever adorning shopping malls. As we grow, imagination is often shelved in favour of more traditional learning methods and is not usually actively encouraged. This does not mean imagination is discouraged; usually it simply suffers from neglect. Sadly the ‘facts of life’ as we know take priority, but without imagination our world would be years behind- no wheel, someone thought about transportation and imagined a better way, no light bulb and so forth.

Imagination is often twinned with creative outlets and resurrected once children show passion or talent within the arts arena. Storytelling, dance, drama, painting are the most obvious outlets and widely acceptable however imagination can be applied to many areas of life. Within the arts imagination truly flourishes and fulfils many a need. There is great solace and energy to be sought in music and dance, hidden elements within great works of art that only the thinking mind will connect with and an escape from pain or the monotony of life: alternatively all can be used as expressions of enjoyment and fulfilment.

Stretching the imagination, often used in the same sentence as ‘the mind boggles,’ tends to refer to unacceptable or extravagant uses of imagination in relation to deviance from the norm. Wearing imaginative attire often instigates trend setting, especially if done by the celebrity of the moment- otherwise it may be perceived a total disaster! Even Barbie Dolls have caused some women to literally alter their appearance and become a life-sized walking, talking Barbie- perish the thought or should I say, ‘whatever floats your boat?’

Sometimes we use our imaginations quite deliberately to take us away from unpleasant situations. This is a useful tool provided people remain in the real world and aren’t under so much stress that they become ill, in which case their entire perspective of reality can shift sometimes leaving them to exist on an alternative mental plain. I once met a guy who told me we are all living in a parallel world and where we were standing was not the reality- apparently the nurses and consultants did not understand this but I did-?? I will say, as I am open minded regarding the existence of aliens, alternate worlds and re-incarnation, that there must be many truths beyond our imagination that we cannot possibly understand even in these days of enlightenment.

Understanding how your imagination can serve you will prove beneficial. Imagination is extremely important if you wish to create a particular lifestyle. This is something that has been known by the upper echelons of society for many years and has recently been revealed to us lesser mortals since ‘The Secret’ came into print- and possibly before that.  There are countless resources available that educate as to how we can tap into our imagination; masses of on-line video’s are available, books, seminars and more. It amazes me how many times on-line readings of Angel Cards prove accurate but once again we can use our imaginations to stretch the facts to fit.

Where does imagination come from? Now that is the million dollar question and I’ll leave the answer to your imagination! Think I'll share my views in the next blog in this series where I speak about my favourite subject, poetry.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes CV’s, Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk