Negativity Diet II: Positive Thinking.

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Following a piece that I wrote about going on a negativity diet, I thought let me share the power of positive thinking.

One of the most important keys to living a great life is to always stay positive no matter what happens in life. This is especially important if you are seeking higher success, you cannot move forward and go on to achieve your goals if you stay in a negative state. Negativity will drag you down and stop you from moving to a higher ground.

Positive thinking sounds useful on the surface. (Most of us would prefer to be positive rather than negative) but then again, positive thinking is also a soft and fluffy term that is easy to dismiss. In the real world, it rarely carries the same weight as words like “work ethic” or “persistence” but those views may be changing.

Positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile. The benefits of positive emotions don’t stop after a few minutes of good feelings subside. In fact the biggest benefit that positive emotions provide is an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life. In other words, when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that proved that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open up your mind to more various options.

In conclusion, seek joy, play often and pursue adventure. Your brain will do the rest.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane.

Hidden In The Womb.

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I have sung to the stars, the moon and the earth. Shed a tear for a wretched love lost in the fire of pride. Hidden in the shadows of if’s and maybe. Let the umbilical cord be ripped off my heart. In hopes that forever and a day will for the first time be real.

Nine months of broken glass promises wrapped in a smile. Fragile hearts lost in the search for “I love you”. Listening to the broken tune of backseat drivers  “We told you he ain’t shit’” Yapping in the background ‘as if your words will erase. The nine months of the lullaby my own cries have now become.

Nappies and pre-school, dresses and prom, books and graduation. An unwanted nightmare, a princess dress and a slayed dragon. I have become a slave from a missed bloodshed to the first breath of labour. Because I have been biologically programmed to fertilize corpses and birth life. In all, praying my womb carries more than a bastard. Because nine months of “I wish he had stayed”.

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But maybe, just maybe, like others who have breastfed a hungry homeless child. Hiding from the thunder in a makeshift shelter of torn boxes and cans. Loving the supposed successful child from the slums who never questioned naught. Raising more than destroyed temples their daughters might be. Just maybe, Nine months of phoenix rising from the ashes that is my womb.

I have waited for the applaud from the universe. For a life it will spit out as if it is not its own. That my creased dress vomiting flowers. Will be the resting place for my princess on a winter night. That maybe the unsung hero. Is the tainted reflection of my broken heart in the mirror? Maybe my womb was not meant to be an alternate grave after all. Because heaven clings to my side…never letting go.

Alone, I did it.

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Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Kea Mooka.

Reflections of Me.

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Appreciate yourself.

Women’s perceptions of themselves and how they manage their self-identity is often conflicted for a multitude of reasons, and the media often takes the blame, and perhaps for a good reason. I think media has played a crucial role into why women often have distorted perceptions of themselves and that’s not only just through magazines and all movies we are exposed in our adolescence years, but it is well ingrained through our childhoods too.

This got me to a place of critical thought regarding “being you” versus “being happy”. It is hard when I point out the things I dislike about myself. These thoughts often run unconsciously and turns to self-hatred often leads to feeling embarrassed of oneself when pitted against societal standards.

Why should I feel like this? Who told me that having this chin was wrong, and having broad shoulders looks horrible? Of course, there is never one singular person to blame for public opinion so we often blame ourselves. That can be true, since we are responsible for our own lives and our own choices, but if one wants to ‘change’, how does one change for the betterment of society?

You don’t, if you want to ‘change’, you need to want to ‘change’ for yourself.
Changing your own thought patterns, appreciating yourself and how you are, there is only one of you and there will only ever be one of you. You are an individual. Once you overcome the notion that society won’t change yourself for you and stop comparing yourself to other women who are prettier or perhaps have longer hair and perfect eyebrows you gain little more freedom in your mind.

To be able to appreciate yourself you need to be happy with who you are. Worrying less about what you’re not and carring more about who you are will have a positive impact not only on your self-esteem but your life in general.

You are born into this world as beautiful as any other can be. All you have to do is see. See yourself, see yourself beyond and above all that this world can be.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane

Photography by Bellah Mohitlhi

Internal Motivation.

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Motivate Yourself.

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Clap For Yourself.

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Mold Yourself.

To wish that you were someone else, is to waste the person that you are. Everyone is different and perfect as they are, yet we constantly compare ourselves to others. I would encourage all of us to truly embrace our own character and validate ourselves.

Lately I’ve been holding back in doing things that I enjoy doing, like writing. I sometimes think I have run out of words, but something has been holding me back. I have been saying that I need some inspiration or perhaps some motivation, forgetting that I can actually be my own motivation and do all that I Intend to do. I recently felt the need and embraced the importance of positivity and taking time to introspect, especially now that I am on school recess. Being home has been introspective and brought me a lot of Ideas and positive energy. I think it is vital to cultivate this at all costs. In this way I got to realize the qualities that I possess that others do not.

We all came into this world with a blueprint & each person’s greatly differs. We all need to do the things we love to the best of our abilities. Once you know your potential, you are on your way to greatness. Mold yourself to your own standard. Motive yourself. Learn to clap for yourself before the world knows how to do so.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane

#StopViolenceAgainstWomen.

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We are tired

We are tired of being raped, attacked, sexually harassed, abducted and killed, these are some of the recent actions that South African women are subjected to. For most people human trafficking evokes dramatic images from thrillers or TV series and not something happening right under their noses. Yet in South Africa human trafficking is a terrible fate for thousands of victims.

Many people will be shocked to learn that it is happening daily along the busiest routes in our country. Vulnerable youth from poor communities in different parts of the country often fall prey to traffickers who lure them with promises of a better life in big cities. Many labour and sex trafficking victims don’t even know they are victims of a crime.

The past few days, social media was buzzing with #MenAreTrash in defence of gender based violence. In May of 2017, Karabo Mokoena of Joburg was buried after her boyfriend allegedly beat her to death before burning her. This story has since had the country gripped by awful tales of violence against young women and children.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few days and here is my conclusion, it started with me reading up on the Courtney case when I couldn’t sleep one night. To tell how disgusted I was would be an understatement. I just can’t get my head around the idea of a grown ass man raping a Three year old. In the same breath, I came across the story of Karabo, goodness! This whole process of finding more articles on women and kids who were abused carries on and it is EXHAUSTING!!

Yes, my anger at everything I was reading reached that point where the hashtag #MenAreTrash made perfect sense. Forget the good guys out there. Forget all the good people, I personally know. Without doubt, collectively I felt ok saying to myself, men have failed women and children. Well, not all men are trash as a whole, are all men abusers? Are all men predators? I got a straight forward answer for that, not all men.

I hope that the male counterparts use this opportunity to show women in their lives that they are not trash and put their ego, pride and insecurities aside for just a moment and acknowledge that something is wrong and stand in solidarity with women fighting against this societal issue.

Written by Jeanette Tshakane

Watch Video -> #StopViolenceAgainstWomen

Disseminating Knowledge.

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By Jus_luc

The mere fact that we are living in an age where information flows in society an unprecedented rate should be a golden key to spreading knowledge, but in most cases this is not true in various degrees. Reason being the internet itself requires certain tools and skills to navigate the vast space of information. This leads one to arrive at a type of information which is not biased, and the subject in itself has being studied extensively by experts in the field. A perfect analogue to the idea I have introduced above is a ‘captain of ship or plane’.

The captain has to bring certain skills, tools, life experiences and human resources to be able to move from point A to B. But to only attribute the internet as the main challenge to the spreading of knowledge would be limiting and flawed. One has to also consider other elements involved such as, the different ideologies that we are born into. Which in themselves carry certain types of histories, memories and pressures. Resulting in the formation of the self and the other. From a social psychologist perspective, the moment one starts identifying with a group, an outer group is formed in the process. Resulting in the manifestation of stereotypes, prejudice and attitudes that limit interaction in various degrees.

Interaction is at the core of disseminating knowledge. In the process of interaction, there has to be a common language between the source of information and the receiver. Examples of sources include a mobile phone, tablet, computer, the internet and people. Regardless at the core from my perspective, meaningful interaction is key to disseminating of knowledge.  

Written by Lehlogonolo Modise

Nonsensical Storytelling.

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By Jus_luc

The stories we hear while growing up shape how we see and interact with the world. Stories educate, embody moral values, record human histories and provide us with various forms of entertainment. One of the things all cultures have in common is storytelling. The medium a story is delivered in, is where cultures tend to differ. In some African tribes a man and woman were not allowed to marry until they could tell more than a thousand stories. As powerful as storytelling is we find that sometimes stories are packed with stereotypes, prejudice and hatred, which are all limiting to the human experience.

We live in a ‘world’ of plurality where nothing is absolute. To start with no one really knows where we are, or who we are. Our identities are only derived from the things we have done in the past which led to our present states of being. We know what we are by identifying what we are not. This is what I call evolution, I don’t know where I am but relativity relieves my anxiety by locating me in space and providing me with narratives and shadows to follow. This however, is no longer sufficient of me since it traps me in the past ‘memory’.

I want to be in the present moment in this state everything becomes synchronized with my desires. Presenting me with the gift to control time and even bend space to cultivate my development to the highest degree in that particular moment. Opportunities are infinitely the way the world unfolds, it belongs to those who are willing to pay attention resulting and formation of stories. This may seem nonsensical but if we interact with the world in the physical form. Our creative energies tend to be reduced drastically. Stories are created through an alchemical process, the people they attract depends on the attention we pay as creative. Outside the barriers of stories it is difficult to reach REASON. Since there is no meaning outside our constructed reality.

Written by Lehlogonolo Modise.