Posted in Care, Reading, self care

Self Care – Part 5 – Reading

In this encounter, I will delve into another area which helps you to feel great about yourself. So far I would have encouraged you to eat right, enjoy music, travel for leisure and sport; but this time I want you to explore reading.

There are so many quotes/sayings associated with reading; here are some to chew on:

  • We read to know we are not alone 
  • Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light –Vera Nazarian
  • I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense – Harold Kushner
  • Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers – Charles William Eliot

Reading has a way of taking you into a space which can help you to relax when life is throwing serious challenges at you. Reading takes you away, even temporarily, from the reality of what you confront, to a place where you want to be. Reading also gives you the opportunity to consult over and over without any judgment from anyone – it is that gift you can open over and over again.

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The good thing is, you can read just about anywhere

  • On the train
  • On a plane
  • At the coffee shop
  • In your bed
  • On your couch
  • In class
  • On the beach
  • Even in a meeting

Here are some ways you can start the habit of reading

  • Research the authors you find readable
  • Get their books
  • Find books on topics you find interesting – this makes reading easy
  • Find books on topics you need to learn more on – this can be hard in the beginning, but you will get there
  • Find a source to get the books – online or at a book store
  • Also, determine if you prefer books or on your device/s

Reading is a worthwhile hobby, but can tack up costs very quickly, so find ways and means to get books at the most reasonable costs. Join a book club so you can find folks who may want to exchange ideas and even books. A book club is also a way to be encouraged to read more, the interactivity helps.

The impact of reading on your life should be a positive one and I encourage you to read a book at least once a quarter; that is the recommendation if you are just getting into the habit. At the moment, I read a book a month, sometimes two; but then I have been doing this for a long time.

Whatever you decide to do, read a book soon – Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body – Richard Steele.

#ReadABookToday

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Posted in Care, Caribbean, Cricket, Football, Sport, travel, West Indies

Self Care – Part 4 – Sport Travel

Following from the last guide which advised you to “go somewhere you’ve never been”, this time I am encouraging you to do some sport travel.

When one thinks of sport travel in this context, there are so many events to choose from. You can start from the gigantic World Cup Football, scheduled to start in Russia in less than a month https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/

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Football (Soccer) is the most watched sport in the world and I know some folks would have planned this from as far back as two years ago. Some tips in going to events of this kind:

  • Get the schedule of the event, early
  • Secure tickets (early) to matches you really want to see
  • Ensure you travel in a group of at least four
  • Book hotels/homes closest to the venues; you may choose to walk home sometimes, but it is just enough distance to catch a cab if necessary
  • On the off-day, try the attractions and the eateries – sample the culture and elegance of the location

The experts in travel would say “this is a way to enjoy Russia, while watching football.”  May the best team win!

Now there are other major sporting global events one can choose from, for example, the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, World Championships of every kind – Cricket, Track and Field, Volleyball and any other sport you desire.

There are some other bucket list events one may choose from and these are becoming more attractive to the discerning sport tourist than ever before. The television broadcasts with 23 cameras and replays won’t deter these folks from attending events like:

Wimbledon: – At the start of July, tennis fans will descend on London to watch the greatest tennis professionals in the world compete to win the 2018 Wimbledon title. It is how to enjoy London while at Wimbledon, read more details here https://www.roadtrips.com/blog/experience-london-wimbledon/

Wimbledon
Tennis at its best

With Tiger Woods making a comeback, golf has again become exciting and since last November in Nassau for the Hero Challenge http://tigerwoods.com/schedule-stats/ he has single-handedly brought back old fans and some new fans to the sport. Tiger’s performances, specifically in Valspar, Arnold Palmer and the Masters were enough for you to want to see him up close and personal. The US Open, June 14 – 17 in New York could be a great time to go see him. Start planning, you still have time.

Tiger Woods
Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill, Orlando

WINDIES Women are the defending world champions for the Twenty20. This year, at the first ever stand-alone ICC World T20 Championship, the West Indies will play hosts. St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are the three countries designated.

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The World comes to the West Indies – November 2018

Plan to be there from November 9 – 24. This Championship features ten of the world’s best women’s teams in cricket. The final schedule will be announced in June because there is a qualifier to select the last qualifier and so, while those fixtures aren’t quite ready, you can start looking around for tickets. It can even be a gift for you or for a friend.

In the meantime, plan for World Track and Field Championship 2019, Doha, Qatar, next September  and the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. That said, when you’re on your next sport trip, here’s some advice:

  • When you travel in a group, ensure you all stay together, set time limits for departure from hotel to matches and back (first safety tip)
  • Stay hydrated – there are always long walks involved
  • Leave all the expensive trinkets at home, some item you cherish always gets lost

Sport travel can be fun and exciting, but can also be stressful. Plan!

#OneLove

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Care, Jamaica, Social Agenda, JAMAICA, Youth, Communities

THE SOCIAL AGENDA MUST BE A PRIORITY

In the mid 90s, a program called the Social Agenda was developed and was never implemented. The program at the time had two basic goals

  1. To reduce poverty
  2. To empower two main groups; Youth at Risk; Communities

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The updated program could look at a revised civics curriculum in schools which identifies “the ideal Jamaican” as the main aim. The ideal Jamaican would be someone who epitomizes

  • Courage
  • Discipline
  • Commitment
  • Respect

…as typical behaviors

The program which was initially created as a public education program could add the educational element for schools, and over the next three to five years, could begin to curb some of the social ills we currently face in our society. The Social Agenda, with its renewed thrust, could be a subset of Vision 2030. Go to www.pioj.gov.jm for more details.

2030Vision

The objectives are clear:

  • to communicate Government’s determination to address the social problems of the nation
  • to educate members of the public of the various services available for support for persons considered to be a part of the poverty group
  • to educate the public on practical approaches to promoting health, community development, a wholesome environment and the development of the nation’s children
  • to provide progress reports on the implementation of the program to show trends, growth and the areas that may need to be readdressed

I would therefore like you to consider a Ministry of Education, Youth and Social Development to incorporate the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the National Youth Service (NYS) as the main agencies. Why Education? Because they can continue to focus on the formal process of which Compulsory Education MUST be considered. If we can create a five-year plan with a determined focus on this, we can achieve social growth that will ease the ills we currently face.

There are key roles for Government and Private Sector to offer employment to the skilled set from these groups with an attendant compulsory employment program.

Let’s do this and save Jamaica. #OneLove

Posted in Care, self care, Sport, travel

Self Care – Part 3 – Go somewhere you’ve never been

May 7 – The last time we spoke on Self Care, I recommended that you go somewhere you’ve never been.

So after you have figured out the food, music, TV shows, clothes and exercise routines you would become accustomed to; I have a few more suggestions.

Self Care speaks to a routine, one which requires habitual acts. In the early stages do some of the activities the same time of day and same day each week. This kind of repetition will create a rhythm so the practice becomes a routine.

By now you would have created your playlists. These playlists should be done based on a particular mood. If you are a writer like me, there is a playlist to help you relax, one to boost a new idea, one to refresh the memory among other things.

Go somewhere you’ve never been

Go Somewhere

New places have a way to set one’s soul on fire; it makes one curious and those kinds of missions allow you to see and hear things you’ve never seen before. The trip/journey to the new location allows for a perspective of value that one will never be able to get if you stay home all the time.

Here’s how some see travel

  • A wise man travels to discover himself – James Russell Lowell                                                            
  • All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it. –Samuel Johnson

Travel

This other quote I found speaks to the adventure

  • Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people and look beyond what’s right in front of you. These are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in – Andrew Zimmern

So as the experts recommend, once a year, do something different. The food, music, people, locations and the language of the folks you will experience would be well worth the time spent away. I have a friend who does a blog at this link mytravelstamps.com/ – here you will find tips on travel you will want to take note of before you head off to your first/adventure. The blog clearly speaks to Ways You Can Save; Bucket List; Business Layovers and so many other things. Read it when you have some time.

Mix and match the self care activities

While you are having fun traveling, here are some fun things you can do

  • Try the local spa
  • Hop off to any of the local bars
  • Walk in the park closest to your hotelMoment
  • Go to a local play or music show

Makes notes for a journal if you feel the need and takes loads of pictures

Life is really about enjoying the moments. You can go this alone or tag along with a few friends. Either way – E-N-J-O-Y!

In the next piece, we will talk about Sport Travel.

 

 

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Caribbean, FIlm, JAMPRO, Media, Music, Theatre

Dahlia Harris makes “A Case of the Ex”

Friday, May 4 – Any outing with Dahlia Harris always has some real “punch” to it and this sit down was no different. Since my last blog on Dahlia, she has taken on a few projects whether by design or by association.

She and her team hosted another round of successful Women in Theatre Festival. The Festival was held in three parts. The one-week event looked at showcases, panel discussion and tributes. The Festival also zoomed in on the key roles of actors, writers and directors. The partnerships with the Edna MJWITF 2018 Aanley College of Visual and Performing Arts and JAMPRO were important. The presenters were wide range and the workshop sessions were educational, informative and riveting. That said, Ms Harris rolled right up into the Miss Jamaica World Project and the Pap Smear Lyme. In between that she continued to write, direct, present and volunteer for several activities across the island.

Dahlia sat down with me and we had a chat about her last six months, and what’s to come.

What has been the reaction to Dat a Gwan Jamaica Remix? 

It has been amazing. We have had patrons coming to see the show four and five times and still belting out laughter with every scene. The response has also been obvious through the comments and posts via social media.  When patrons connect with the show so much that they take the experience home it says a lot about the production. DatAGwanJamaica

Some other projects you have been mulling over…want to share what we will see from you in another year?

Definitely more projects for television and I attempt a feature film.  The scripts are ready and waiting, I’m still working on funding.  It’s easier to get overseas investment in Brand Jamaica where creative projects are concerned but then you are boxed into providing what they want.  It’s taking a while for our local investors and companies to believe in the power of what we have to offer, but hopefully they will get there.  

You have recently done two major programs – the Pap Smear Lyme and the MJW board/team – describe the passion you have for programs of this kind 

Well I have a passion for all things that will empower women and children.  Just sitting in that interview with the Jamaica Cancer Society and really appreciating the gravity of the situation, I knew I had to contribute in some way.  An estimated 200 women die from Cervical Cancer in Jamaica each year. That’s mind blowing. Having done the #PapSmearLyme I am even more committed to the effort.  The call was for 50 women.  Close to 3 times that number showed up before we had even reached half of the time scheduled for the event.  Many of them participated because access to the test was made possible through NCB Insurance and the generous spirit of a few Jamaicans.  I want to keep the women coming in for tests.  Who knows how many lives we will save?

As it relates to MJW, I am very excited to be on the planning team.  Jamaica has some of the most beautiful women in the world but we also have some of the most benevolent and altruistic women that I have ever met.  The renewed focus on Beauty with a Purpose means we can highlight those women who have been making a difference in their communities.  That’s a major part of Brand Jamaica…service to our fellow citizen…that’s what we want to showcase to the world. The global crown will allow us to do that.  We are aiming to take it home.   

Come May, you will have something new out, tell us about this – Case of the EX 

It’s a relationship comedy that deals with the hot topic of how you cope with exes. It is really a sensitive issue.  Jealousy for your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s ex can easily turn into suspicion and doubt, but in some cases are these emotions justified?  When faced with your partners ex, what do you do!  

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Case of the EX is centered around DJ Cheetah (Kadeem Wilson), a young reggae producer struggling to reclaim his popularity in the music industry.  His latest love Dymond (Alexandria Gregory), has her sights set on becoming a global star, but Cheetah keeps ignoring her talent and her love for him prevents her from cutting ties and moving on.   When a local station launches a lucrative national song competition, Cheetah seizes the opportunity to bring in his ex, DJ Cyattie (Dahlia Harris),  to help him win that big ‘buss’.  However, Cyattie has other objectives; she wants to move from Cheetah’s past into his present and has no qualms about getting rid of Dymond.  With just one night to make a major hit, things get very heated in the recording studio.  When the sun comes out, someone will wear the title of EX …let the games begin.

It’s a delightful story and I am happy to be working again with screen and stage actor Kadeem Wilson who is still thrilling audiences in Dat A Gwaan Jamaica:Remix.  I am also happy to introduce Alexandra Gregory to a wider commercial theatre audience.  Some would have seen her featured as the school girl in Television Jamaica’s “Inna De Bus”, and she brings a wealth of talent and experience to the show.

You have worked with a number of young people over the last year, what are you most proud of? 

I am proudest when I see the accomplishments that they have made and how mature they are about their careers in the creative industry.  They strategically plan for where they want to go, they put in the work, and they rebound from their challenges.  They are inspiring to watch. I don’t necessarily want to name anyone in particular because I don’t want them to feel like any accomplishment has greater value than the other and there are a lot of young people I could name LOL!  I am just heartened that they are not only talking about success, they are doing what it takes to get there.

What else are you working on to ensure your expertise is passed on to the next generation? 

All my productions are basically managed by young people.  They do the administrative work, they are a major part of production work, and I rotate them on stage as actors.  This way they have an understanding of how all aspects of the business operates.  I have been working on a project that will extend to communities across the island but until I have everything in place I don’t want to say too much about that. That project will however not just be about honing performers; it will pay equal attention to technical and production capacity building.  We can’t progress as an industry if the sum of the parts isn’t all functioning at the same level.

TV is always a great fit for you be it Sport, News or Entertainment, how do you maintain that drive to keep at it? Dahlia Harris

The viewers.  What we do means so much to them that I consider it a privilege to be able to impact lives in this way.  Whether it’s sharing information that will improve their lives, or just providing light moments to brighten their day…it really makes a difference to someone and I take that seriously.  I think the diversity also helps; being able to host various events and interact with people who are dissimilar yet alike in so many ways keeps the work interesting.  Top that all with the fact that I am a entertainment and Sport fan…I’m doing what I love and I am grateful!

Offer some advice to a school leaver who has interest in the business of music/theatre/film as this seems to be a growing option for some. 

Respect the business.  That means getting the necessary skills and knowledge required to make it work.  This holds true at any aspect of the business. If you’re talent, do what it takes to get your skills up to a level that makes you marketable.  If you are production, understand the industry.  Read as much as you can, enroll in workshops; observe others who have been successful.  I’m not suggesting that you duplicate all that you see; I’m saying understanding what works and what doesn’t will help you as you forge your own path.  Too many believe that creative business is easy.   If you fail to respect the business, it won’t respect you. 

Until next time, #OneLove

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Posted in Care, Dance, Music, self care

Self Care – Part 2 – makes you feel fresh

SUNDAY – Today, or any other Sunday, is probably the best day to do so many things you have not done for the week. On the other hand, it is also the day one should take a break – Eat. Pray. Love – to get ready for the week ahead.

Sunday

The recommendation is always to write down the things you want to achieve. You may even want to create a list. Over time, as you go through the list each week or month (which is what I recommend); you will become accustomed to planning and implementing the things that pulls you off the grind and brings you back full center.

In Part 1,  https://carolebeckford.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/self-care-a-new-form-of-energy/ I never really did define Self Care, but I think you get my gist. It is that process that focuses on ensuring you have done anything just to make you feel good/great about yourself. 

I will therefore share some of the easier ways to achieve this so you can ease into making this process one that you grow into and making it a habit. Last time, we never spoke about food, but here we go:

Create a log of food you eat for a week, then determine if over the next week, you will maintain or change that list. We have different reactions to food. We also have different needs where food is concerned, but for self care, we are going to focus on foods that make us feel the best about ourselves. Hope this picture helps with the variety I want to convey. Of course, add some meat along the way or whatever else you eat. Just add water.

Self Care Food

Focus on self care as being essential to you. Never see it as a reward. Over time, it should become part of what you do daily. Here is a chart that should identify the effort you need to put:

self care

I strongly recommend MUSIC as part of any self care plan. Recently on Facebook, friends have asked to tag 10 favorite albums. These albums, though you may not admit, form part of your life. You sing, dance and hum every word, rhythm and rhyme you can remember. Some experts recommend meditation music. While there is need for that too, the songs that made you happiest, dance the best and gave you a good vibe are the ones you should focus on. Now, you can compile a play list; before we had to play each album or just pick the song and play it over and over again. Start working on that list now.

Self care music

This sums up how important self care is – “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn

Self Control

In the next article, we will look at – going somewhere you’ve never been – to create moments you will never forget. Until then #OneLove

 

Posted in Alzarri Joseph, Athletes, Caribbean, Cricket, Rahkeem Cornwall, Sports

Joseph and Cornwall making progress

St John’s, ANTIGUA – WINDIES Senior Team pacer, Alzarri Joseph and WINDIES A team all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall have been in an intensive rehabilitation and fitness program.

Joseph’s program has been geared towards helping him recover and rehabilitate from a stress injury to his back, sustained during the WINDIES tour of New Zealand late last year. Joseph has already completed four weeks of physical training and is currently on his 16 day of “return to bowling” program.

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High-Performance Director, Graeme West is pleased with Alzarri’s progress and reaction to the rehabilitation program. West indicated “The really positive thing so far is that there’s been no negative reaction by his body to bowling. Roddy Estwick has introduced a couple small technical changes that we hope will help his efficiency and take a little bit of stress off his bowling action.”

Cornwall, on the other hand, has had a shorter period since starting the fitness program but is making quick progress. He has played a considerable amount of cricket over the last 6 months. However, CWI has identified a window where he could focus on some physical training and he is currently working six days a week with Strength and Conditioning Coach to complete a three-week program.

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West was also pleased with the progress and determination that Cornwall has shown, “He’s progressing very well and will be putting that to the test soon, with some club cricket in Antigua. The ultimate goal is to have him ready for ongoing tours to include, but not limited to WINDIES A tour of the England, CPL, Super50 and the 4-Day League.”

Both Cornwall and Joseph train at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. Strength and Conditioning Expert, Ronald Rogers is part of the team included in the recovery of both players.

The program is managed by West, along with Dr. Oba Gulston Manager of Sports Medicine and Science, along with Rogers and Bowling Consultant Roddy Estwick.

*CWI Media Release*