Moving you forward one step at a time


The many faces of Personality

Personality could be described in many ways, some call it charisma, others attitudes and behaviors. Personality in a broad sense is simply those qualities that endure, stand the test of time and lead to a pattern in the way we generally feel, think and operate or behave.

Interestingly enough, eventhough we understand that people have personalities, many of us do get into relationships either hoping or genuinely believing we could change our partners.

Does Personality Change?

From within the womb personality is developing, and that is very real since, our hormones, and genes contributes in some way to our personalities, our natural inclinations. And as we interact the personality is developing. It has been found that the basic structure or basic inclination of our personality, the foundation is formed by about 7 years.

But it does not stop there! Personality is a part of ourselves that is very much alive and constantly being changed in some way by our experiences. 

But what it might help to appreciate though, is that peronality is similar to building a house  its possible to make additions and general changes to the structure 

However eventhough we are able to make those adjustments we are working on a particular house, so some basic foundation aspects of the structure would always remain, also it is easier to make adjustments to some areas of the house than to other areas

but that is not all…another very important thing to recognize is that if the original builders of the house did ‘sloppy work’ that compromised the structure of the house to begin with then the basic structure would be faulty….this is a good way to understand how personality becomes disordered leading to lots of problems in relationships and sometimes the basic sturctural work is truly difficult if not near impossible to fully repair

Generally though for most of us, we are able to embrace our new experiences and sometimes without realizing it make slight or major changes to our personality overtime and/or we can choose to work on adjusting our structure bringing it closer to what we might desire

Therapy often could be a tool to help clear out blocks to making changes to how we would generally think, feel and behave

When coming to foods having different flavors it is not any matter where we ‘spill the beans’

It is a known fact that foods taste differently. So, having our preferred foods or as we might say in the Caribbean, our favourite ‘dish’ is understandable. But how much do we appreciate that culture-cuisine-connection.

Culture Cuisine Connection

Culture, much more than a ‘go-to’ word to highlight trending habits and behaviors, or to identify different locations, culture is expression. This expression shows itself in many ways, some popular ones are music and fashion, but food is a close third. This blend of culture in our food is what we call ‘cuisine’. So we have Italian Cuisine, French Cuisine and when referring to our own space and place, Local Cuisine.

When we become familiar with the particular style of cooking for a certain culture, we come to know its appearance, smell and taste. One popular cuisine, especially for our early morning, is ‘The Continental Breakfast’.

But how did this style of breakfast become so popular? Firstly, when we talk about a ‘continental breakfast’ we are referring to basically ‘European Cuisine’, in this case to their early morning cuisine. The term could be traced all the way back to 1896 when American hotels were working to satisfy the tastebuds of their many European guests. It was a win-win situation since the European tastebuds were accostumed to light morning meals of their cup of coffee with fruit, a croissant/muffin or some other pastry, and this type of breakfast was quick-preparation. Possibly for both reasons, especially the latter it became a popular hotel breakfast option.

Caribbean Cuisine and Food Tourism    

Some might claim that the American hotels ‘buttered up’ their European guests. No matter how we describe it, a main part of tourism is to have our guests feel welcomed. Of course, part of that is to have the stay or visit feel like home. Since the ‘continental breakfast’ was also easy-preparation time, it probably was ‘a piece of cake’.  Another major aspect of being a tourist though is to add flavor to the person’s or people’s life experience. In that way, its not about life being ‘meat and potatoes’, ‘it’s all gravy’, meaning tourists want the luxury of the new. It is here that Caribbean cuisine comes in http://

Bed and Breakfast are especially popular in the Caribbean with the big, made-to-order options for your first meal of the day, or with some gravy filled, highly flavoured luncheon cuisine. But before any more on luncheon cuisine, its important to recognize those regionally recognized breakfast flavors that have crossed shorelines. One thing is for certain the Caribbean is associated with relaxation, beaches and the shade of coconut trees. Similarly ackee, and in particular ackee and saltfish is associated with Jamaica, and ‘doubles’ is considered a must-try Trinidad staple; all have become part of the tourist travel experience.   

While on the topic of breakfast, its also noteworthy that the breakfast coffee for many might actually  

be the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee and that extra flavour for the more adventurous travel could be found in the Trinidadian Scoprion pepper

Future of Food Tourism    

Carnival coming, the Caribbean is again poised to market as a place of ‘freedom’ and fun.

Eventually though the fun must end. For sure though, what goes on and on, is our need to eat, understanding this, many networks have introduced the idea of ‘fun with food’. We have BBC Food, Food Network, Chef’s Table, Nailed It!, Sugar Rush and the Final Table; a global cooking competition.

It remains now for our region to find its future of blending our full flavoured foods and fun. After all our year has 365 days and apart from occassionally fasting, we eat.

We, in the Caribbean, do not greet groundhogs; these giant underground squirrels found in North America. However, we in the Caribbean, do greet the first twelve days of each year, making observations as each day supposedly predicts our weather pattern for each month. In Canada and North America though, it is these fat underground squirrels that predict whether winter goes on for another six weeks or whether spring comes in. Every second day of the second month of the year, February 2, the groundhog supposedly comes looking for its shadow which is only seen in sunny weather. If it sees its shadow, the cold winter goes on for another six weeks.  

Many of us look forward to visitng Magic Kingdom Park in Disney World. There we would hardly find our groundhogs, and these animals definitely would not understand the words from Disney’s Frozen,“the cold never bothered me anyway”

“The cold never bothered me anyway”, sadly words never to be sang again, if ever it was, by two University students who were found frozen Dangerous outcomes for these students came about as they both became “… one with the wind and sky” words from Frozen

Forget Frozen, Remember Gobal Warming

Globally we seem to be living an unrelenting Groundhog Day of extreme floodings, harsh hurricanes and odd weather patterns. In this way, ‘groundhog day’ refers to the series of unwelcome weather patterns that appear to be recurring in exactly the same way; that is worsening over time. How then could we cooly sing “the cold never bothered us anyway”? After all, the University of Iowa student was found frozen during the 51-Degree wind chill of the 8th Polar Vortex. The U.S. Postal Services suspended mail deliveries in ten States during the Polar Vortex

So the cold bothers us for sure! But how do we get this Polar Vortex? A vortex exists at the earth’s poles where a wide expanse of cold air; the jet stream, keeps circulating within a specific region of the pole. If the vortex at the North Pole weakens; gets cooler, then the expanse of circulating cold air changes form, causing part of it to break off and push towards the South causing outbreaks of extreme cold temperatures in the United States. This is when the vortex is called a Polar Vortex.   

“The snow glows white on the mountain tonight, not a footprint to be seen” words from Frozen could well be taken as a warning. A warning for each of us to reduce our carbon footprints and have that reduction felt by our planet. Much has been spoken of the reduction not in carbon footprints but in the Arctic Sea Ice, with reported rates of twelve percent per decade. Some scientists predicting an ice-free Arctic by 2030.  The recent fatalities are  reminders that the cold does in fact ‘bother us’. But more than that, it is the warmth, the extreme warmth that is the real culprit.

Tourists are invited to embrace the Caribbean sun, sea and sand. Nowadays though, we also have to encourage precautions since we might have ‘too much of a good thing’ at least regarding the sun. It is this same sunlight that is managing sea ice levels. During the winter the Arctic Sea Ice grows and melts during Summer. However, as the ocean currents reaching the North Pole become warmer and warmer the amount of Arctic Ice being produced is decreasing greatly.

Some more wisdom in Frozen brings the reminder of being “… one with the wind and sky”. Everything is connected. Arctic sea ice is part of our global climate system since the polar ice caps regulates our global temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. 

Mankind, we all are also part of our global climate system. Unfortunately many of us are that part that is contributing to system imbalances.  The impact of an ice-free Arctic are far-reaching, and could trigger catastrophic climate change in the future. Although it might not readily be appreciated how sea ice decline impacts the region, simple observation of our eratic weather patterns begs our recognition of global warming.

Go Green

We already know some man-made culprits, one being plastic. Good news is the possibility of having plastic-eating bacteria help reduce this waste

Even so there is only so much that science can do. Thankully, we also have those within the region who have started taking action to have footprints be seen.


This article might be poorly timed for we are into the Caribbean Fiesta with the Carnival Season now upon us

Globally and within the Caribbean region sexual abuse of minors continues relatively speaking to remain an ostrich phenomenon. Surely now though with our global, ‘me too’ movement and the idea of ‘time up’ we are now hopeful of bringing this horrifying social phenomenon to light. A while before the ‘me too’ movement, authors such as Adele Jones in her 2013, Understanding Child Sexual Abuse: Perspectives from the Caribbean noted that increasing numbers of reports of child sexual abuse in the media suggest that either a higher proportion of the cases are being reported or that there are increasing instances of such abuse. This is where we want to dive deep on this media highlight of ‘Surviving R Kelly’ which we can hardly separate from the current “me too” context.

Writing this article, reflections of early practical experience as a therapist comes to mind. Female clients would present with a wide range of issues and the weirdest coincidence was that at least ninety percent of the presenting issues were in some way tied to abuse aftermath. So yes, there is an appreciation of the reality of the over-representation of females as survivors (kudos to those who support empowerment) of abuse. But wait, this experience was side by side of having the experience of asking out loud to more experienced psychologists, of searching the research and ‘Mr. Google’ or rather ‘Ms. Google’ in search of the missing link.

The foothold on our Monstrous Male narratives 

The missing link came after learning that many who experience abuse become abusers. In other words, to deliberately be long-winded; if someone experiences emotional abuse, they could also become emotionally abusive to others or abuse others in different ways, such as sexually or physically. If someone experiences sexual abuse, they could also become emotionally abusive or become a sexual predator, sexually abusing others. Now for the million or maybe it has now become a billion dollar questions; “if the abused often becomes the abuser, and there is an over-representation of males as abusers, then are little lads being abused and it going unnoticed?” and “if there is an over-representation of females as survivors of abuse, and much abuse goes unreported, then are many ladies also undetected or unreported abusers?”

R Kelly has a song “Trapped in the Closet” that has at least 19 Chapters In 2019, are we supporting the trapping in the closet of abuse of little lads? In 2019, is the “me too” movement while highlighting the challenges of little ladies and women in general in our patriarchal society, doing so at the expense of guiltily silencing lads who experience abuse?

Why ask such a question? For those who have watched at least the first two Series of ‘Surviving R Kelly’ it would be discovered that the predator might have at one time been the prey.

We never excuse the excusable 

Typical therapy emphasizes one thing to ‘survivors’ “it was not your fault”. So surely even if a male predator was in fact a prey that in no way is an excuse for his behavior. Surely too, the ongoing abuse of little ladies might now have a lot of women being fed up As R Kelly put it in his song ‘When A Woman’s Fed Up’; “when a woman’s fed up there ain’t nothing you can do about it”. So women are fed up and speaking out, no matter how many years later. For when it comes to abuse, it is never too late to speak out.

Domestic Violence has been noted as a main contributor of women reaching emergency rooms, with over one million being seen at doctor’s offices

Sexual abuse of girls and women is so prevalent that some mental-health and medical professionals suggest that screening for a history of abuse be a standard part of client intake

This is especially so since the impact of such can negatively influence intimate relationships, parenting, family life and workplace dynamics.

How then do we benefit in 2019, from a simplistic approach to bringing abuse out of the closet, by emphasizing that many men are abusers and many females have been abused? Is this new news? Many therapists and medical professionals alike, and the survivors themselves would surely say “no!”. So what really then is the intent of the “me too” movement and the focus now on ‘Surviving R Kelly’. Have we now reached to the place where we are commercializing sex in the form of the replayed pain of sexual abuse. In other words are we ‘pimping’ out those who have been preyed upon?

If so, Who profits?  

Could we not be using the “me too” movement to highlight that ‘something’s wrong?’ and exploring what that might be and how we might address it? Could we not be twenty years later with reflections on ‘Surviving R Kelly’ explore what might be creating ‘male monstrous’ behaviors?

Or are we just about guaranteeing that we seem to be pressing forward, while maintaining our head in the sand? In that way we are already assured that we would have another series in the making, as Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox mentioned in a song, a case of same script, different cast

As the saga continues, we all have our opportunity to join in and decide what we would or would not keep on the ‘down low’ which incidentally is the title of another R Kelly song

Possibly, even as we enjoy the Caribbean Carnival season we could display what healthy sexual expressions look like while taking in reflections on ‘Surviving R Kelly’

Who dare give that straightforward feedback of what might be happening in ‘our sport’? Before even going further a few moments to acknowledge all our regional athletes who have done us proud. However we know instinctively by its very title that cricket, ‘West Indian Cricket’ holds great meaning for the Caribbean. Yes, so who dare give that straightforward feedback? The avid cricket fan of course who has been following West Indian Cricket for eons now, who keeps with the game even with its highs and lows, close wins and misses. Who else? May be we reurn to that a bit later. But for now how about we go back to basics.

      Sport Meaning

After the recent 2019 two match win by the West Indies in their successful attempt at The Wisden Trophy, The Guardian noted, the English team feeling of being made to look like “Calypso Cricketers” To any, most ‘Caribbean Calypso peoples’ surely we would wonder at what exactly that could mean. But we did not have to wonder for long as The Guardian guided the way to understanding this phrase. The explanation was given that;    

There was a lazy way of looking at West Indies cricket in those days, and ‘Calypso Cricket’ was a big part of it.” It took Lloyd, Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall and the rest of that generation years to do it. “To show the world, that we were strong, intelligent professional people,” Lloyd writes, “to show the world that we were thinkers, that we had standards, that we could stay the distance, that in adversity we would not capitulate. That we could fight.”

Its clear from the explanation that generations ago the sport of circket in the region had a certain, almost tempted to say different, meaning for its players. Whatever the meaning it is often heard reflected in the comments of the stalwart cricket fans.

We did suggest going back to basics, and so we consider now the meaning of ‘sport’ literally. Sport is defined as active past-time. Generally when we refer to sport at this level its an active past-time that has established rules and guidelines and is played by those with a ceratin level of expertise. But alongside the first definition is also sport as a ‘fun loving person’ and sport as ‘light mockery’.

If we consider, Englands response to the two matches they lost in the Test match Series, would we in any way associate them with all three of the meanings or simply the first. Now let’s consider our cultural ethos, general approach to ‘our sport’ and surely few of us would debate that we easily satisfy all three with the latter, ‘light mockery’ sometimes coming from the transient, slow, irregular and at times in effective support given to or sportsmen.

      Rediscovering Meaning

Some have that love-‘whatever’ relationship with the game to safeguard from ongoing disappointment, so even with the high and hope of the Wisden Trophy win there is a tempered response. Some have simply turned to more ‘modern’ sports. And some again are in the trenches some players and the captain included, searching out that way forward. What a place to start put to agree on the meaning of the sport. Not wanting to be too morbid, about the current state of our sport in any way, but Psychaitrist Vicktor Fankl has highlighted in his book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ that, “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”. Undeniably, there are structural and systemic regional factors that do impede the highest performance. But evenso, there is something called ‘mental coaching’ and sporting psychology that can go a long way to begin to bridge the gap and move us that much nearer to achieving the consistency that we all so desire.

So, to the players out there individually and collectively maybe a moment to ask, what does ‘our sport’ mean to you? And how is this working for or against consistent performance?

Who else dare give some feedback? Just Ma. SOOS. Ma Soos is committed to exposing or is it exploring the psychology behind ‘Some of Our Sports’ (SOOS). Look out next week as we continue to consider how we are making a sport of our sport.    

Marijuana, weed, ‘the herb’, kaya, cannabis however we wish to call it, has been around for ages. So what’s so new about this natural substance being used?

All marijuana is not created equally Some research has declared marijuana to have no link to psychotic behaviors. But the question is at what potency? Marijuana or cannabis is a drug that has a number of substances in it that interact with brain chemistry. In more recent times persons are harvesting strains of marijuana that is almost 10X MORE the potency of the strains of long ago.

Now with marijuana edibles, a person cannot really be sure about;

  1. the potency of the marijuana
  2. how other chemicals in the food would interact with the marijuana or cannabis to create a unique response in his/her biochemistry

All men are not created equally Based on our personality, genetics, family history and early life experiences, we all walk around with a special biological chemistry that makes us more prone to certain things. Over the years as early as the 1970s there has been the debate of cannabis or marijuana use provoking psychotic responses similar to schizophrenia in persons with a vulnerability. Others argue that it is the persons vulnerable to developing schizophrenia who gravitate to marijuana to self-medicate. Either way there is agreement that marijuana worsens the symptoms.

All stages of life are not created equally The brain continues to change in structure even up to late adolescence. So with the exposure of marijuana the adolescent is actually introducing a substance that overtime could permanently alter brain chemistry, and possibly so in more vulnerable persons in a way that provokes psychosis.

All of the marijuana is not created equally It has been shown that the extractions of the CBD oil have medicinal value. But right alongside it within the same marijuana is the TCH which along with other substances have been linked to the psycho behavior response in some persons

As we go through decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis or marijuana we are bound to take the bad and the ugly with the good. Any haste to overemphasize the good and shelf prudence or ignore the bad and the ugly going forward would undoubtedly leave societies with unprecedented social issues.

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Those of us who find job satisfaction and have a passion for what we do, how we spend most of our day, we might be in different fields/areas, but the main part of the story is the same, somehow the Universe kept pointing us in the direction of our passion, simple story of Discovering Chef Barry is another example of PASSION meeting PURPOSE;

Life Coaching can get us to discover our passion and purpose