Be Creative Everyday.

Each day, strive to do something creative or artistic. Use your imagination! It doesn’t matter if you; dance your own dance in the kitchen, sing your own song in the shower, or make swirling patterns in the air with your fingers. Just do it! It’s important that you do.

Don’t be embarrassed share your ART! you might in spire someone else. With that in mind, I’ll share mine with you.

Today I spent a day in Brighton with a friend I had not seen in a while. Whilst enjoying the absolutely necessary vintage arcade session on the pier, I gained a few prize tickets. I traded these tickets for a packet of ‘play clay’… and I seized the day.

This is today’s little piece of imagination and creativity.

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Your Strength, Your Power. (This one’s for the Ladies.)

I would just like to thank NUIT Magazine for publishing this article, I hope it empowers all women to train smart and love who they are!  

Our world is shifting into a new era, an era where the patterns which previously defined us are changing; we are moving backwards in order to move forwards. We are moving back to the ideologies of small business, local suppliers, and using bicycles.  It’s no different when it comes to our fitness.

As a personal trainer I see a lot of fitness trends come and go, but the ones that seem to stick around are the ones which never really left. Yoga, an ancient philosophy of body and mind.  Met Con, the stimulation of the body’s three energy systems through intermittent, intense, varied exercises. Powerlifting – lifting heavy weights, stimulating the central nervous system, increasing strength, power and shape.  Women have trained with weight for centuries, but for a long time it seemed as if they were afraid of their own power.  Finally we are seeing more and more women picking up those heavy weights as they realise it’s ok to be strong. I invite you to follow this trend and celebrate your body and what it can achieve.

Vanessa-Puma

Your strength, your power!

Strength and power are words rarely used in the conversation of women’s fitness, although they definitely should be. When women train with these goals in mind they are graced with great shape, and great shape is the way of the modern women. No longer are women idolising the size zero, they’re looking back towards our shapely heroines and looking sexier than ever!

Sex sells

By lifting heavy weights these ladies are burning more calories than their treadmill pounding counterparts, and developing more shapely muscles. This means a thinner waste line and flowing curves. Curves are sexy! The sexier you feel, the more confident you will become, and confidence will get you everywhere.

Peace of mind

You could say that power lifting is a form of meditation.  Meditation is the concentration of mind on the now.  When you’re lifting heavy you’re focused on only one thing, the lift, right then and there!

Like a weight off your chest

Not only is lifting meditative, but it is also a great tool for stress relief. Pushing or pulling a weight aggressively will release any built up tension you have accumulated throughout the week. Push yourself, and remember its ok to scream (a little). 

Bring your big moves

Compound exercises will give you the shape of your dreams. Compound exercises are big, multi-joint exercises such as; deadlifts, squats, cleans, and thrusters (speak to your resident gym instructor for help with these).

Have a look at the current weighted exercises you’re doing. Do they mobilise more than one joint? If the answer is no, give it up, as it’s probably not having the effect you desire.

Quality over quantity

Once you’ve rid your routine of the exercises you don’t need, look at how many reps per exercise you’re doing in the rest of your routine, and how well you are doing them. You should be doing less than 8 reps and you should be struggling to complete your final rep.

When you complete a rep, work using your full range of motion. Don’t do half reps! This will shorten the muscle and limit your flexibility. Remember, form is everything.

The incredible bulk

There is a common misconception that lifting heavy weights (as a female) will make you “bulky”.  The truth is, not every women can have the “long lean yogi look”, you have to work with your body type, love yourself and make what you have look fantastic. So if your body type allows you to develop muscle, embrace it, some ladies would kill for those thighs.  And remember, since women do not produce testosterone you will not develop muscles like that of a man.  You will be in a great shape for all to admire.

The verdict

There will be a few ladies who will turn their nose up at this article, proclaiming that it’s nonsense, speaking slurs of “you will get bulky”, or “its impossible to get great shape this way”.  Mostly I imagine these women to be the few who can get a great body from just running or doing yoga. However, this article isn’t for these women. It’s for the women who have been pounding the treadmill and hitting the studio but are seeing no results. Women who are blessed with a different type of body, one that responds to a type of training that they had never considered. So if this is you, if you’re in the struggle, finding it difficult to find what’s right for you, don’t be afraid of lifting, give it a try, after all it’s your strength, and your power!

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Dubai Inc.

Click (Dubai Inc) to see a snippet of the article which brought the emotion behind the following words…

I have never been to Dubai and to be honest I never intend to go. I’ve never really desired to be apart of that social scene, or even contribute (in anyway) to a country which has more wealth than a large percentage of the world nations combined, but still holds no consideration for the people who manufactured it, it’s ‘foreign underclass’. 

I want you to think of Dubai as a large corporation, and its oil as cash facilitating the production of its merchandise, its infrastructure.   At the top you have the sheiks, the “directors” of the company. They own the joint, but (lets face it) they have no idea what’s really going on underneath them. Then you have the foreign investors. They throw a small percentage of cash into the pot and in return receive money at the end of each year. As a stakeholder they also have a small say in the decisions being made at the board of directors meetings. These meetings tackle the important issues such as corporate social responsibility and staff wages, therefore fundamentally undermining the importance of these issues with bias judgments; judgements that are impaired by financial agenda’s.  As you can probably imagine, this doesn’t bode well for the underpaid supply-chain workers, or the Earth to which we are all born. 

[Photo’s by Ben Stirton, illustrating the issue]

After the investors we have the expats. They manage the place and get paid bloody well to do so; after all, they’re experts in their field. These expats can be spilt into two type of manager; the supervising manager (the real expat expert), and the conducting manager (most likely a family member of said supervisor). The ‘supervisors’ oversee the ‘conductors’, and the ‘conductors’ oversee the ‘foreign underclass’;  the labourers, cleaners, street sweepers etc. You know the types, the underpaid minority who’s hard work built the city into (and maintain its position as) the superpower it is today. 

These people are treated like third class citizens and are paid fractionally proportionate wages compared to the conductors. These workers are approached by employment agents commissioned by the UAE, agents who trick these young men and women into immigrating to Dubai from countries such as India and Bangladesh.  They’re promised a better lifestyle with higher wages and a place to live. They (of course) accept the offer with the hope of sending money back to their families.  The harsh reality is that they arrive into situations no more fortunate than there own. If anything the conditions in which they live are worse.*  

In their own country these people are generally farmers and can live on a lower wage because they have the skills and facilities to sustain themselves and their community through agriculture.  Whereas in the wastelands of the deserts (where they now live, not in the glamorous lights of the city) it’s not possible to farm and these people are pushed into a consumerist economy. They’re forced to buy their provisions with the very little money they earn, and with no way of returning home these people are trapped in what is essentially modern day slavery. 

Human welfare is not the only issue that ‘Dubai inc’ is facing.  Per capita Dubai tops the global charts in carbon waste emissions. In 2008 they held an average 9.5 global hectares (GH is a measurement of carbon emissions) against a global average of 2.1 GH’s. That seems like a lot of carbon waste for a city situated in one of the world biggest deserts.  

Think about it, a country with a desert that size, 365 days of sun, and bank balance similar to that of king Midas, could easily provide solar power to the whole of the middle east and beyond indefinitely.  However, investment into socially responsible projects would cause dramatic short term losses for the directors and investors of the company, so there’s no chance this could ever happen. But ask yourself, should long term socially responsible investments really be that far out of the question? 

All in all I guess when your wealth doesn’t come from talent or hard work there’s always an underlying insecurity that it might not last forever, so self gratification and narcissism might just be your only options. There’s a running trend in our modern western culture and it’s the admiration of these valueless entities. For example, if Dubai was a person they’d be best friends with the Kim Kardashian’s and the Steve Aoki’s of this world.  Basically talentless drones dominating the media and our minds, stopping us from focusing on the important issues that surround us**.   

I guess the point of this whole article is to open peoples minds to their options.  Why choose to visit this type of place and contribute to its economy?  These places are endorsing modern-day slavery, whilst recklessly using global resources just because it’s so convenient to do so.  Why not take your money to places that need it? Meet amazing people, people who only have love to give. By doing so you will be rewarded with compassion, spiritually, and learn more than you ever knew you could. 

Compassion

There’s an argument which calls the above suggestion a selfish and unethical display of our own wealth in the countries we visit.  This argument may hold small truths in some cases. However, I know from experience that my presence in countries such as India or Sri Lanka was not resented by its people, and the heightened sense of awareness I came to have whilst visiting these countries meant that I now give more of my time, and direct my more of my thoughts towards the important issues which surround me.***

Visiting these places show us how lucky we really are and help us to find happiness through compassion rather than material possessions, or acts of self gratification; using our memories to guide us on our way.

Try to remember that financial support is not our only option and shouldn’t be our priority. Offering humanitarian and spiritual support is equally (if not more) powerful and can help to change the quality of peoples lives around the world. 

The best place to start is right on our door steps.  We must lead the way and reach out to the people who need us most. We must listen to our heart and let our intuition lead the way. It was Einstein who said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”. When we’re walking the streets, or we are busy at work, look forward, give more, take less, and remember you can make a difference!

#BeReal

“Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion”, Deepak Chopra. 

*For the harsh reality of what they receive, please read the attached article.

**By “surround us” I do not necessarily mean global catastrophes (although these are obviously important), I mean looking into our own minds to see what power we hold within, and how we (as individuals or as a group) can make change.

***Looking around me and being aware of how we can have a positive effect in our local, national and international communities inclusive of earth preservation. 

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Wake Up! Lets talk about what’s important today…

This video is a fine example of western reality. Only when we let our heart do our thinking and remove our ego will we be able create change among ourself and our “leaders”.

#bereal

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Proclamation of Independence!

A friend of mine mentioned to me that she had visited my blog for the first time this weekend.  She said she started reading from the ground up, from the first, to the very last post (she must of had nothing better to do that day!).  She described to me her surprise when, having reached the end of the blog, it was nothing like what she had expected, especially if the bio was anything to go by. My only thought towards this was that she is absolutely right.  I had promised a blog made up of personal posts describing the anguish and delights of a young man pushed into the bright lights of London town. Rather, what she had read comprised a few travel stories, a couple of event reviews and a few YouTube clips. In reality she told me what I needed to hear. She gave me an ultimatum. Set out to write what I intended to write or create a blog which blends into the background of WordPress existence. It’s important to sit back and reflect on the reasons why I haven’t been writing the wrongs (or wronging the rights) of my life here on this stage.  The first is the scrambled egg which I call my mind. I’m a thinker. We thinkers have an ornate ability to think so much that it stops us from doing much else.  This includes writing incoherent sentences to explain these thoughts. The second is that I have been through some personal issues with the closest person I have ever known.  This in itself causes a conflict of issues in my head. Moreover, she is also a follower of this blog and a part of me has been holding back out of respect. I don’t want her to feel like I am expressing to you, what I could not to her. But, is this not why we write? To dive deeper into our consciousness? To buy a vowel and help spell out what we really feel. I, at least, think so. So consider this my proclamation of writing independence!  I solemnly declare that I will stay true to myself and start to write how I originally intended to. This isn’t to say that I won’t still post great tunes, pieces of interest and whatever else I fancy. I will just tackle my own mind in a way which might actually help some people tackle theirs. I also have a few interesting ideas on some themes I hope to develop. So stay tuned. Here’s to the writing that will (hopefully) set us free! tumblr_ml5p5qHtuk1s6jmz9o1_500

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#VoteRussell!

Russell Brand has been receiving excessive media attention right from the start of his career. Whether it be drugs, women, or most recently his political standpoint.

An eloquent fellow, with a lot to say. His ideology is not only valid but supports the interests of the ‘common man’. Is that not how our leader interests should lie? Rather than protecting the corporations and top 1%.

People who dislike russell tend to either not understand him, or have made closed minded judgements based on his past, appearance, or media propaganda. This is all generally before listening to what he has to say; and what he has to say even made the infamous Jeremy Paxton mix up his words. Not many politicians out there can say that!

So give this a watch, and enter with an open mind. Who knows, he might surprise you.

Enjoy.

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#WeOwnTheNight!

Last night I lent a helping hand at Nike’s ‘we own the night’ event.  A ladies only 10k run around Victoria park, near Hackney. I was working for Equinox who had a partnered with Nike for the event.  As partners we were providing sports massage, pre and post run assisted stretching, and some fun and games along the way.

The night was hosted by the 3 G’s, who brought an upbeat, youthful voice to the event. Their onscreen tour of the festival village, interviews with festival staff, and general camaraderie was highly entertaining, and set the pace early on.

With the tone set, strong positive vibrations parted the clouds and we were on our way.  Before racing it’s important to get a solid warm up, so the group fitness team from Equinox pounced on stage and gave a dynamic performance; not before jumping on the opportunity to take a selfie with the more than willing crowd behind them.  In the spirit of the night I jumped at the change to demonstrate the warm up on a podium in the middle of crowd. I didn’t take any selfies but I did catch fellow PT @freaksly taking a video of me mid twerk, jumping up and down to a Beyonce tune.  Not ideal! I’m sure it will come back to haunt me this week.

After the warm up the runners made their way to the gates. Racers are given a choice of time bracket they think they would fall into. They were set off in waves accordingly.  Each wave had their own “pacer” with ghetto blaster backpack (provided by spotify) playing empowering music for the following troops.

The route was two 5k laps around the park with a hand full of inspiring surprises along the way.  My personal favourite was the brass band playing an array of classic pop hits.  As the runners were met with the spice girls, the brass band were met with smiles, cheers and girl power.

As the race came to a close Radio 1’s DJ, Nick Grimshaw, threw down a few beats and the ladies were offered a celebratory glass of bubbly, and of course a deep stretch from our team; myself,  Sly @freaksly, and Jamain @2fit2quit).  We were deeply disappointed we couldn’t provide for all 10,000 runners, although we gave a it a damn good try. Maybe next time.

Stretching out all those ladies was a difficult job (note the sarcasm) but it did give me the opportunity to catch up with many of the girls. The girls running the event were of all abilities, and ran times ranging from 45 mins to 1 hour and 45 minutes. These were girls from all corners of the globe, girls different in many ways.  But no matter how different each girl was, it was obvious they all had something very much in common.  The unmistakeable glow of self satisfaction and accomplishment.

The night then came to a close and as I watched the people make their way I couldn’t help but think that these girls definitely owned this night! Congratulations to all the competitors.

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Hot Flush at the Edition Hotel, London

Tonight started with an unusual bang.  A phone call from a friend.  “We’re on the guest list for a party tonight; get ready!”  Having not partied or received an invitation such as this in a while, I had a hot flush, then quickly obliged.

Equipped with black skinny Levi’s, a Farrah T, a few quid in the back pocket, we set off.  A tube full of friendly banter and the accompaniment of two beautiful others (long time friends from home) we arrived.

The Edition Hotel London, designed by Ian Schrager – co creator of Studio 54, I  was expecting a surprise around the corner.  But my hunch was made to look like mild back pain compared to what came next.

After making our way past the stern, but rather sexy lady controlling the guest list, we made our way down stairs.

Hello mysterious bouncer in dark corridor. “Go through there, take the door on the right” he said.

I couldn’t hear a peep… Then I opened the  bombproof door to reveal a long, dark room; every dimension shielded by thick dark timber.  A regiment of classic disco lighting  scattered a red mist as they all synchronised, moving slowly like the heads of stoned R2D2 robots.

The decor came appropriately dressed with the sound of deep techno, and the opening set of Jack Haighton at the hot flush recordings showcase was a blinder.

A few G&T’s later the room begun to fill up with all the usual suspects. The:

>Abstract girl dancer,

>Uses phone to make requests guy,

>Bez,

>Feels old with these students (me),

>and an anorak or two.

All of which grooved to Jack’s classy performance; the perfect warm up for mr Paul Woolford.

The sound of fresh cut disco was a great first step on the journey, followed by an unusual twist to a more techy sound.  As the crowd livened up so did the beat.  From the old to the new, house music fell until the end of Paul’s set.  Kerry Chandler’s – System, was a personal highlight.  Although the younger crowd didn’t seem to take to well to the house classic.  It was still quite early, and there were no signs that this “Mandy” girl everybody was asking about had arrived at the party.  But still, it’s a classic non the less.

Label owner, Scuba took over next.  His usual arrogant yet charming swagger consumed the room.  He took us on a journey through a modern interpretation of what seemed like every electronic genre with a four to the floor beat, I think I even heard a whisper of psy-trance in there somewhere.

20 minutes in to his set he really let it go.  A bassy little number with a piano riff shook the room.  Apparently Mandy had arrived because everyone seemed really happy, and the party really started rocking!

All in all the tunes were pumping all night, and the venue may even be my new favourite. However, for me there was still a little something missing, but I can’t put my finger on what it was?  A cracking night out non the less.  Although, I never did get to say hello to Mandy.

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“Quote”

Practice any art; music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no how well, or how badly. No to get money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make you soul grow.

A quote from Kurt Vonnegut

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Ani Di Franco

Empowering.

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Meadows in the Mountains

Meadows in the Mountains

A great friend of mine started a movement in Bulgaria four years ago.

Now it has rave reviews, see below, and is turning in to one of Europe’s most talked about events of the summer.

http://words.fluxmusic.net/meadows-in-the-mountains-2013/

MEADOW-IN-THE-MOUNTAINS

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#TeamMetro’s #raceforlife campaign

#TeamMetro’s #raceforlife campaign

Been working with @VickiCossar, the health and fitness editor of @MetroNews on her #raceforlife campaign.

Follow her training and progress here.

pretty-muddy-hay-bales

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A New Me.

A poem. By James Mearns

A simple emotion

Causes this.

This, which is what?

An urge.

An urge to be;

Quiet,

Distracted,

Removed?

Dazed and Confused,

Are you amused?

I’m not.

This is new to me.

In this distraction.

Feeling occupied without purpose.

Being diluted,

Pulled a drift.

But.

Is this the start

The start of new?

Of a person I need,

Long,

Am!

It’s coming you’ll see.

A new me.

You’ll see…

Hopefully

Written to the sounds and vocals of Ghost Poet 

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Pictures I took along the way.

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A leopard can’t change it spots… Neither can a horse, apparently.

Working this weekend at Kelsall Hill Equine 3 day event, took this shot. Image

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Sunday night promises

Bank holiday Sunday wouldn’t be the same with a little uplifter to take you through the night.

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My Travels – Chapter 1 Brazil, part 2.1: Ilha Grande, The Big Island

Anyone who has been traveling before knows that the first time is the last time you will ever plan an itinerary before you go.  You probably also know that after about the first week, this itinerary goes to shit.  Most probably after meeting a group of people to which you proclaim, after the first night of serious drinking, that you “were destined to meet, and spend the rest of your lives partying together”.  

Our first and last scheduled stop was, Ilha Grande – The Big Island. 

3 hours or so down the coast from Rio is a little town called Angra, from here you can cross the water to the illusive Ilha Grande.   Not one of the more difficult spots on the trail to reach, but when it’s your first encounter with foreign public bus etiquette, it seems like it.

We arrived at the the “ferry port”.  Now obviously as a young, and what I see now as,  “pretentious twat”, I heard the word ferry and thought of Dover.  How wrong I was. 

A 3 hour wait and many beers later, a small wooden boat arrives.  Let’s get on it shall we? 

On the boat we had befriended a couple of Aussie lads who had also hit the beer whilst waiting for said boat. Two brothers, on a mission to source the now very famous açai (ass-si-ee) berry.  They had heard it was the next big thing and wanted to be the first in the land of stubby holders and roos to get the stuff.

We crossed over the great sea and arrive at a bustling beach village, still very much unspoiled.  Picture tall palms towering the pastel coloured, old wooden beach shanties.  A busy but tiny fish market next to the waves of sand, basking in the glorious sun.  This was like no place I have ever seen before.

Through a combination of other peoples guide books and a bit of hear say, the four of us made our way over to our hostel of choice.  Im not sure how this decision took so long. There’s only two hostels on the island and they were next to each other!  They are also both owned by the same person, Fred.  Fred’s a bit of a ledge and you will meet him properly in the Part 2.2. But I digress.  We turn left off the jetty and make your way down the beach to gecko’s hostel.  Go there! I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

We arrived at the first hostel and low and behold there was no room at the Inn.  There was however, space for 4 people at the aforementioned ‘Gecko’s’.  3 spaces in 1 room, and a single space in the other.  I volunteered to take the single in the hope that there may be some more magical people to add to our already lively party.  I entered the room to find 4 bunks.  One of which was free.  There were 3 guys, 2 of which were asleep, I lay claim to the fourth bed and was promptly greeted by Jarrad. 

Jarrad (another aussie) gave me the low down to why his 2 sleeping beau-di’s were seeing Z’s so early in the evening. “Power naps.  Big night last night. Another on the way”… Jackpot, time too party!

The boys awoke and I introduced Lew to the gang. Our friends from the boat had “fallen off”, or fallen asleep to be more precise.  Thus, they didn’t make the cut. 

As we (Jarrad, James, Adam, Lew and I) approached the terrace, our eyes were drawn to a table of 10 or so Argentinian girls. An exotic breed of which we had never encountered. Was this heaven?  Our divine thoughts were quickly and almost rudely interrupted by the indigenous call of the Aussie male; “BEER?”. A cold one in hand, I was able to pause and take moment. To absorb my surroundings.

The hostel’s terrace looked over the ocean and as the sun loosened its grasp on the day, the darkness crept in and so did “the feeling”.  I think “the feeling” is one of my favorite parts of the party.  Nerves and excitement interwind. The uplifting sensation of anticipation.  The thoughts of what might be become an endless winding road that twists and turns with what is potentially upon us.  And who could have guessed where this first night would take us? I certain didn’t expecting what was next!

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Melbourne street art & a french guy called Jonny

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May you always…

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Stay in Love.

A little uplifter to take you through to easter weekend.

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