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  • POLICE KILL WOMAN WALKING HOME FROM CLAPHAM TO BRIXTON

    Police search house and woods in Kent and tow away car after arresting policeman over Sarah Everard disappearance: Marketing executive's family 'shocked' as officer who was off duty at time she vanished is held

     

    • Sarah Everard 'vanished into thin air' after leaving a friend's house in south London last week
    • Metropolitan Police officer was last night arrested in Kent in connection with the disappearance 
    • Woman was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and is detained at a London police station
    • Police looking for missing Sarah Everard were today combing through woodland and the £200,000 house in Deal, Kent belonging to the serving Metropolitan Police officer and woman they arrested.

      Forensic investigators were carefully searching the area as a tent set up to preserve evidence was put up outside the property.

      The arrested pair's £20,000 black Seat Exeo estate car was also collected by a low loader truck and taken away as part of the fast developing missing person's probe.

      Police say the officer arrested was not on duty at the time of her disappearance and had not been involved in the week-long effort to find her.

      Sarah, a 33-year-old marketing executive, 'vanished into thin air' after leaving a friend's house in Clapham, south London at around 9pm on Wednesday, March 3. 

      Her stunned uncle Nicholas told MailOnline: 'It's shocking and very upsetting. We were not expecting a development like this and it's difficult to make sense of it.

      'I found out that a police officer had been arrested through the media last night. I spoke to my brother straight away and he was as shocked as me. The whole family is and all our friends. I spoke to him again this morning and we are waiting for an update from the police.

      'The police are doing everything they can and we are grateful to them. We are expecting an update from them later today. I could never have imagined that the investigation could have taken such an unexpected twist.'

      Sarah Everard, 33, 'vanished into thin air' after leaving a friend's house in Clapham, south London on Wednesday night
       

      Sarah Everard, 33, 'vanished into thin air' after leaving a friend's house in Clapham, south London on Wednesday night

      Officers from the Metropolitan Police looking for Sarah search near to Great Chart Golf and Leisure in Ashford, Kent

      Officers from the Metropolitan Police looking for Sarah search near to Great Chart Golf and Leisure in Ashford, Kent

      A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested in Deal, Kent, in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard

      A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested in Deal, Kent, in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard

      A black SEAT Exeo was lifted off the drive way and forensics officers entered the house where the arrests were made

      A black SEAT Exeo was lifted off the drive way and forensics officers entered the house where the arrests were made

      Sarah Everard: Car removed from house in Kent by police
       
       
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      Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave this morning refused to say what the officer had been arrested on suspicion of, in a departure from usual arrest details disclosed by police forces.

      But he did say outside Scotland Yard: 'Our inquiries suggest that this officer was not on duty at the time of Sarah's disappearance.'

      Mr Ephgrave would not say if the officer was known to Ms Everard. The Metropolitan Police officer, arrested in Kent in connection with the disappearance, today remained in custody at a London police station. 

      A woman was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender at the same location and was also detained at a London police station.  

      Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin said: 'This is a significant development in our inquiry. This is a fast moving investigation and we are doing everything we can to find Sarah.

      'We have seen an overwhelming response from the public and I repeat my request for anyone with information that may be relevant to come forward, no matter how insignificant it may seem.'

      Police officers conduct a fingertip search of Poynders Road outside Poynders Court on the junction with Rodenhurst Road as they continue the search for Sarah Everard

      Police officers conduct a fingertip search of Poynders Road outside Poynders Court on the junction with Rodenhurst Road as they continue the search for Sarah Everard

      Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave added: 'The arrest this evening is a serious and significant development. 

      'We will continue to work with all speed on this investigation but the fact that the arrested man is a serving Metropolitan Police officer is both shocking and deeply disturbing.

      'I understand there will be significant public concern but it is essential that the investigative team are given the time and space to continue their work.' 

      The Metropolitan Police added the Directorate of Professional Standards is aware of the arrests and Sarah's family has been notified of the developments. 

      Miss Everard vanished after leaving a friend's home in Leathwaite Road, Clapham to walk home to Brixton at around 9pm last Wednesday.

      She was last seen wearing a green rain jacket, navy blue trousers with a white diamond pattern and turquoise and orange trainers. It is also believed she was wearing green earphones and a white beanie hat.  

      Sarah's boyfriend Josh Lowth, 33
      Missing People have urged anyone that knows anything to help
       

      Josh Lowth, 33, is the boyfriend of missing Sarah Everard, the woman seen walking between Clapham Junction and Brixton. The couple spoke for around 15 minutes on the phone before Sarah's disappearance

      Last night, a Metropolitan Police officer was arrested in Kent in connection with the disappearance. Pictured: The search outside Poynders Court

      A woman was also arrested at the same address on suspicion of assisting an offender
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      A woman was also arrested at the same address on suspicion of assisting an offender

      Footage from a doorbell camera last captured images of Miss Everand as she walked along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at around 9.30pm. 

      Officers yesterday sealed off a block of flats as they began a forensic investigation close to where the Durham University graduate was last seen.     

      A short stretch of the South Circular was closed along Poynders Road, where the block of flats are, between Cavendish Road and Rodenhurst Road. 

      Forensic officers were seen looking through hedges and along the street as they searched for any evidence that could aid them in their search.

      The Met also yesterday released two new images of the missing woman. 

       Met Police tweeted on Tuesday: 'Were you driving in the Poynders Road area after 9.30pm on Wednesday 3rd March? 

      'PLEASE check and double check your dash and door cams for footage.' 

      The search continued after it was revealed Miss Everard spent a quarter of an hour on the phone making plans to see her boyfriend Josh Lowth the following day, before her mobile was either switched off or ran out of battery. 

      Mr Lowth, 33, whose LinkedIn says he is Marketing Director at MA Exhibitions, later raised the alarm to police when she failed to meet him as she had arranged, her aunt confirmed. 

      Speaking at Mr Lowth's family home in Sidcup, Kent, his father Chris told MailOnline: 'We are concerned, like everybody is. We really, really want to see her back.'

      'The whole family is obviously very worried about her and just wants her home safely.

      'We're all pulling together and praying that this awful situation is quickly resolved. We want to thank the media for all their help.' 

      Forensic teams from Met Police were outside Poynders Court along the South Circular this evening after Met Police raised a 100-metre cordon during the search for missing Sarah Everard

      Forensic teams from Met Police were outside Poynders Court along the South Circular this evening after Met Police raised a 100-metre cordon during the search for missing Sarah Everard

      Her family and friends released a plea for her return, saying: 'Sarah, we are here for whenever you are ready'

      Her family and friends released a plea for her return, saying: 'Sarah, we are here for whenever you are ready'

      Teams were seen looking through bushes outside the block of flats as locals looked on. Met Police has urged anyone who was in Poynders Road at around 9.30pm last Wednesday to get in touch

      Teams were seen looking through bushes outside the block of flats as locals looked on. Met Police has urged anyone who was in Poynders Road at around 9.30pm last Wednesday to get in touch

      Forensic officers could been taking pictures of marked areas outside Poynders Court on Tuesday evening, as the search continues

      Forensic officers could been taking pictures of marked areas outside Poynders Court on Tuesday evening, as the search continues

      Forensic officers were outside a block of flats in Poynders Road this evening, six days after Ms Everard disappeared last week

      Forensic officers were outside a block of flats in Poynders Road this evening, six days after Ms Everard disappeared last week

      Mr Lowth shared a Facebook post appealing for anyone who knows where Miss Everand is to get in touch with police.  

      He wrote: 'Sarah is still missing. Please share this post to help us to find her. Today, more than ever, we miss our strong, beautiful friend.' 

      The 33-year-old is understood to have left her friend's house through a back gate onto the A205 South Circular at around 9pm on March 3.

      She then began walking to her home address in Brixton, and should have returned home 50 minutes later.  

      Miss Everard was last seen on CCTV at around 9.30pm last Wednesday.

      Her father Jeremy, 67, a professor of electronics at York University, and mother Sue, 64, a charity worker, are understood to have travelled to London from their home in York. They are being helped in the search by her sister Katie and brother James.

      In a statement, the family said: 'With every day that goes by we are getting more worried about Sarah. 

      A poster is seen as police search teams work their way through the reeds in Mount Pond on Clapham Common

      A poster is seen as police search teams work their way through the reeds in Mount Pond on Clapham Common

      An appeal poster in Brixton, south London, for information on missing Sarah Everard, 33

      An appeal poster in Brixton, south London, for information on missing Sarah Everard, 33

      Officers were carrying out door-to-door enquiries as they searched outside homes in Brixton for any trace of the missing marketing executive

      Officers were carrying out door-to-door enquiries as they searched outside homes in Brixton for any trace of the missing marketing executive 

      Investigators believe Sarah walked across Clapham Common towards her home in Brixton, and was last seen on CCTV in Poynders Road before disappearing. Officers are searching outside homes in Brixton yesterday

      Investigators believe Sarah walked across Clapham Common towards her home in Brixton, and was last seen on CCTV in Poynders Road before disappearing. Officers are searching outside homes in Brixton yesterday

      Family say they are getting 'getting more worried about Sarah,' with each passing day, as officers were seen combing through hedges to spot for evidence yesterday

      Family say they are getting 'getting more worried about Sarah,' with each passing day, as officers were seen combing through hedges to spot for evidence yesterday 

      'She is always in regular contact with us and with her friends and it is totally out of character for her to disappear like this.

      'We long to see her and want nothing more than for her to be found safe and well.

      'We are so grateful to the police and all our friends for all they are doing.

      'We are desperate for news and if anyone knows anything about what has happened to her, we would urge you to please come forward and speak to the police. No piece of information is too insignificant.' 

      Ahead of the arrests on Tuesday, Ms Goodwin, who is leading the investigation, said there was no information to suggest Ms Everard had 'come to any harm'.

      She added: 'We've released two new images of Sarah as we continue to search for her.

      'Please take a look at them and consider if you saw her on the night she went missing. I am interested in hearing from people who may have been in the area from 9.30pm onward.

      'I want to remain clear that at this time we have no information to suggest that Sarah has come to any harm and we retain an open mind as to the circumstances.

      'We share the wish of her family and friends to have her back safely with her loved ones.'

      Police said they had received more than 120 calls from the public and visited 750 homes as part of their investigation into Miss Everard's disappearance.

      While searches were carried out in Brixton earlier yesterday , officers in nearby Clapham have set up a 100-metre cordon outside a block of flats

      While searches were carried out in Brixton earlier yesterday , officers in nearby Clapham have set up a 100-metre cordon outside a block of flats

      Mr Lowth, 33, raised the alarm to police when his partner failed to meet him the following day as they had arranged. Officers have continued their desperate search for the missing woman, looking through bins outside homes in Brixton for any evidence that could help find her

      Mr Lowth, 33, raised the alarm to police when his partner failed to meet him the following day as they had arranged. Officers have continued their desperate search for the missing woman, looking through bins outside homes in Brixton for any evidence that could help find her

      In a statement, Sarah's family said: ''We are desperate for news and if anyone knows anything about what has happened to her, we would urge you to please come forward and speak to the police. No piece of information is too insignificant'

      In a statement, Sarah's family said: ''We are desperate for news and if anyone knows anything about what has happened to her, we would urge you to please come forward and speak to the police. No piece of information is too insignificant'

      Ms Goodwin added: 'We have seized a number of CCTV recordings but we know that there are likely to be many more out there.

      'Please, even if you're not sure, check your doorbell or CCTV footage just in case it holds a clue.

      'I'm also asking delivery drivers or anyone with dashcam footage who would have been in the Poynders Road area at approximately 9.30pm on Wednesday to come forward.'

      The investigation is being treated as a missing person's enquiry, but due to its complex nature it is being led by the Met's Specialist Crime Command. 

      Superintendent Kris Wright, from the Met's Central South Area Command Unit which covers Clapham, said on Tuesday: 'I know that Sarah's disappearance is weighing on people's minds and the local community is, of course, concerned about her and may even feel worried.

      'I want them to know that they should expect to see more police officers on patrol in the area as we continue to search for Sarah and talk with the community. If you want to approach them about any concerns you have, please do so. 

      'We are here to support the community and we genuinely want to help in any way we can.'

      Anyone who has seen Sarah or who has information that may assist the investigation should call the Incident Room on 0208 785 8244.

      Information can also be provided to detectives using the Major Incident Portal or by calling Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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  • Depression and anxiety during lockdown. I get it too.

    There was a three-fold increase in the number of people reporting significant depression and anxiety problems during lockdown.

    If isolation, anxiety, economic uncertainty, and the daily onslaught of bad news generated by the coronavirus pandemic are taking a heavy toll on your mood, you’re not alone.  The stress of social isolation, the worry about jobs, money, and health, and the profound feelings of loss that many of us are experiencing at the moment can trigger depression for the first time or exacerbate symptoms if you’ve already been diagnosed. When you’re suffering from depression, life can seem overwhelmingly bleak and hopeless. It can interfere with your ability to think straight, drain your energy, and make it difficult to get through the day.  This is a distressing, uncertain time. Even as some places start to open up again after months of lockdown, the end may still seem a long way off. You may have lost your job, be struggling financially, and worried about if and when the economy will pick up. You could be grieving the loss of loved ones or the life you knew before the pandemic, or feeling frustrated and cut off by continued social distancing. Living in the age of coronavirus can have a profound effect on your mood.

    Isolation and loneliness fuels depression. Human beings are social creatures. Being cut off from the love, support, and close contact of family and friends can trigger depression or make existing symptoms worse. Months of social distancing and sheltering at home can leave you feeling isolated and lonely, having to face your problems alone.

    A troubled relationship may be even worse than loneliness. While strong and supportive relationships are crucial for your mental wellbeing, being forced to spend months quarantined in a troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationship can be even more damaging to your mood than being alone.

    Anxiety can lead to depression. All the fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 means it’s natural to worry. When your worries spiral out of control, though, they can cause panic and anxiety. Since anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability, one can often lead to the other.

    Stress levels are soaring. Experiencing a major change in your life, such the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, being diagnosed with a serious illness, or financial or relationship difficulties, can bring overwhelming levels of stress. As a result of this pandemic, you may be experiencing several of these major stressors at once, making you more vulnerable to depression.

    We’re turning to unhealthy ways of coping. The boredom, loneliness and stress of being in lockdown, struggling financially, or having to juggle a job and home school your kids, can prompt unhealthy ways of coping. Maybe you’re drinking too much, abusing drugs, or overeating junk food in an attempt to self-medicate your mood and deal with stress. While these methods may provide a brief respite, in the long-run they’ll make your depression symptoms much worse. Instead, you can use the following healthy strategies to boost your mood and ease your depression.

    Change your focus

    There’s no easy fix for recovering from depression, and finding the energy and motivation to take the first step can be tough. But you have more control over your mood than you may realize.

    It’s true that these are painful and worrying times, and few people have much to be cheerful about at the moment. But at the same time, depression can make things seem even worse than they really are. When you’re depressed, everything is filtered through a lens of negativity. By simply recognizing that, you can start to change your focus and take the first step to feeling more optimistic.

    Distract yourself. When you’re depressed, out of work, and isolated from your social network, the negative thoughts running over and over in your head can seem never ending. But you can break the cycle by focusing on something that adds meaning and purpose to your life. Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, like a new language or a musical instrument? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to write a novel, take up cooking, or grow your own vegetables? Focusing on a project or goal, even a small one, can give you a welcome break from negative thoughts and worries—and add a sense of meaning to your days.

    Find simple sources of joy. While you can’t force yourself to have fun, you can push yourself to do things that will boost your mood throughout day. Try listening to uplifting music (even getting up and dancing around if you can) or finding a reason to laugh by watching funny videos on YouTube or episodes of your favorite sitcom. Spending time in nature—whether it’s walking in the park, paddling on the beach, or going for a hike—can ease stress and put a smile on your face, even if you’re alone. Or try playing with your kids or a pet—they’ll benefit as much as you will.

    Limit your consumption of news. Yes, you want to stay informed, but overconsuming sensationalistic news or unreliable social media coverage will only fuel your negativity and fear. Limit how often you check news or social media and confine yourself to reputable sources.

    Maintain a routine. Sleeping too much or too little, skipping meals or exercise, and neglecting your personal care only feeds into your depression. Establishing and maintaining a daily routine, on the other hand, adds structure to your day, even if you’re alone and out of work. Try to include set times for exercising, spending time outside, and communicating with friends each day.

    Express gratitude. When you’re depressed, especially at this awful time, it can seem that everything in life is bleak and hopeless. But even in the darkest days, it’s usually possible to find one thing you can be grateful about—the beauty of a sunset or a phone call from a friend, for example. It sounds cheesy but acknowledging your gratitude can provide a respite from negative thinking and really boost your mood. For a meditation to help you develop this habit, click here.

    Find new ways to engage with others

    Meeting friends and family in person is still difficult for many of us at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to feeling isolated and alone. While nothing beats the mood-boosting power of face-to-face contact, chatting over a video link, on the phone, or via text can still help you feel more connected. Reach out to close friends and family, take this opportunity to look up old friends, or schedule online get-togethers with groups of people. Even if your depression symptoms make you want to retreat into your shell, it’s vital you regularly stay in contact with people.

    How to really CONNECT with others

    Whether you’re talking with a friend or loved one at a social distance, via video, or on the phone, it’s important to strive for more than just a surface connection. The deeper the connection you establish, the more you’ll both benefit.

    Move beyond small talk. To really establish a connection that will ease your loneliness and depression, you need to take a risk and open up. Sticking to small talk and limiting yourself to a surface connection with others can actually make you feel even lonelier.

    Share about yourself. Open up about what you’re going through, the feelings you’re experiencing. It won’t make you a burden to the other person. Rather, your friend or loved one will most likely be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only deepen the bond between you.

    Nothing needs to get “fixed”. Depression relief comes from making a connection and being heard by someone. The person you talk to doesn’t need to come up with solutions, they just listen to you without judging or criticizing. And the same is true when you’re listening to them.

    Adopt healthy daily habits

    Your daily habits can play a big role in helping you to overcome depression. During this health crisis, it’s tempting to slip into bad habits, especially if you’re stuck at home and not able to work. You may sleep irregular hours, overeat to relieve the stress and boredom, or drink too much to fill the lonely evenings. But by adopting a healthier daily routine, you can bolster your mood, feel more energized, and relieve symptoms of depression.

    Get moving. Exercising is one of the last things you feel like doing when you’re depressed—but it’s also one of the most effective ways of boosting your mood. In fact, regular exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant medication in relieving depression. Even if you’re still under lockdown or a stay-at-home order, there are creative ways to fit movement into your daily routine.

    Practice relaxation techniques. Incorporating a relaxation technique such as meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or a breathing exercise into your daily schedule can provide a welcome break from the cycle of negative thinking, as well as relieve tension and anxiety.

    Eat a mood-boosting diet. In times of stress, we of often turn to “comfort foods” packed with unhealthy fats, sugar, and refined carbs. But these foods, along with too much caffeine and alcohol, can adversely impact your mood. Instead, focus on fresh, wholesome foods whenever possible and increase your intake of mood-enhancing nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.

    Sleep well. Just as depression can impact your quality of sleep, poor sleep can also contribute to depression. When you’re well rested, it’s easier to maintain your emotional balance and have more energy and focus to tackle your other depression symptoms. Changing your daytime habits and bedtime routines can help improve how well you sleep at night.

    Use reminders to keep yourself on track. When you’re depressed, it’s easy to forget the small steps that can help to lift your mood and improve your outlook. Keep reminders of the tips that work for you on your phone or on sticky notes around your home.

    Read more
  • Changes You Can Make for 2021 while in Lockdown

    Changes You Can Make for 2021 while in Lockdown

    “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
    —Hans Hofmann

     

    Have incredible stories to tell by the end of 2021, not incredible clutter stuffed in your closets.  I sincerely wish this for my family, and yours, in the year ahead.

    So, let me start off here by asking you…

     

    • Does your home serve you—or do you serve your home?
    • Will your home afford you the necessary space to create happy, healthy memories and stories in the year ahead?

       

      These are not questions most of us ask ourselves, but we should.  After all, our homes are meant to serve a distinct purpose in our lives—to be both the space we come back to, and the space we go out from each day.  Our homes are, in essence, the foundation of our daily lives. And this has been especially true over the past year, as we’ve lived through COVID-19.

      As we enter the New Year, it’s a great time to check in with yourself…

      If your home is serving you well, it is a safe harbor from the storms of life—a space to relax, rest, and connect in meaningful ways with loved ones and friends.  And it’s a secure port of departure when you’re ready to brave the choppy seas of life again.  A home serves you best when it provides both of these benefits.

      A home doesn’t serve you when it complicates your life and takes more than it gives.  When possessing your home (and maintaining the possessions within it) becomes your focus, you end up spending your limited and valuable resources (time, energy, money) taking care of it.  That’s when you know you’re serving your home.  You’re spending less time living the life you want, because you’re spending more time cleaning, maintaining, and repairing—and perhaps also paying a hefty mortgage or rent for the privilege.

      The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way.  It’s possible to live more by owning less.  It’s a purpose-based guide to a simpler, decluttered, refocused life—one that makes sure your home is serving you, and not the other way around.  It recognizes that each of us can love the house—the home or flat—we live in.

      Here are 18 changes to help create a home that better serves you while in lockdown:

      1. Get your head straight about what matters, and what in your home is distracting you from what matters.  For most of us, our excessive physical possessions are not making us happy.  Even worse, they are taking us away from the things that do.  Once we let go of the things that don’t matter, we are free to pursue all the things that really do matter.  And sometimes, minimizing physical possessions means an old dream must die.  But this is not always a bad thing.  Because sometimes, it takes (mentally and emotionally) giving up the person we wanted to be in order to fully appreciate the person we can actually become.
      2. Remove decorations that no longer inspire you. Just because something made you happy in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever.  Your life has moved on—maybe it’s time for the decoration to do the same.  Remove the pictures that no longer inspire you.  Or the decoration you bought that one time because it was on clearance.  Keeping just the items that mean the most to you will help them to shine.
      3. Reject the convenience fallacy.  There are certain places in our homes we tend to leave items out for convenience—a stack of favorite DVDs in the corner, appliances on the counters in the kitchen, toiletries beside the bathroom sink.  By leaving these things out, we think we’re saving time and simplifying our lives.  That’s the convenience fallacy.  Sure, we might save a couple of seconds, but the other 99.9 percent of the time, those items just sit there creating a visual distraction.  If you’re not using your convenience items at least 50 percent of the time they’re out, keep them in a cabinet or drawer and out of sight.
      4. Distinguish between simplifying (or minimizing) and tidying up.  Just because a room is tidy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s uncluttered or serves its purpose.  Well-organized clutter is still clutter.  Never organize what you don’t even use and can easily donate to someone who will.
      5. Count the “clutter cost.”  It can be hard to get rid of things you spent a lot of money on.  But keeping things you no longer wear, use, or love also has a cost—every object carries a burden as well as a benefit.  The burden or “clutter cost” is the money, time, energy, and space an object demands of you.  If you’re having trouble letting go of a pricey item you don’t use—or any item for that matter—remember to consider the benefit-to-burden ratio before you decide to keep it.
      6. Free up closet space.  One of the biggest complaints people have about their homes is that the closets are too small.  If you’ve been thinking that you need bigger closets, maybe all you need to do is right-size your wardrobe—and your closet will feel bigger overnight.
      7. Donate clothes you don’t love.  After decluttering your closet, you’ll find more space and peace each morning when you get ready, rather than facing stress and indecision.  Plus, donating unused clothing to a local charity is a simple but meaningful way to help others.
      8. Declutter duplicates. I call this a minimizing accelerator because it’s one of the easiest things you can do to make quick progress.  Open your closet, for example.  How many extra pillows, sheets, and towels do you really need?  Other good candidates for eliminating duplicates include cleaning supplies, gardening tools, fashion accessories, home office supplies, toys, books, and kitchen items.  Keep your favorite in each category—the ones you actually use—and get rid of the rest.
      9. Clear your dining room table.  Is your dining room table a depository for mail, backpacks, keys, and other things that are in the process of going from one place to another?  If so, chances are that using it for a meal may seem like more work than it’s worth.  Put the items away where they belong.  Make your tabletop a clean, open and inviting space.
      10. Invite the right people to gather at your dining room table, often.  These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways.  They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be.  The bottom line is that your decluttering efforts have given you more space to share stories, experiences, hugs and laughs with family, good friends, and close neighbors.  Don’t forget to make it count.
      11. Practice gratitude, in your home, daily. At least once a day, it’s good to pause in your pursuit of a simpler and more organized life, look around, and simply appreciate the life you’re presently living.  “Look around, and be thankful right now.  For your health, your family, your friends, and your home.  Nothing lasts forever.”
      12. Take down signs that don’t sincerely vibe with your present values. I know a woman with a sign in her house  that says, “It’s tough living in the fast lane when you’re married to a speed bump.”  I get the humor, but I wonder how reading that sign every day might affect her approach to her marriage, even in small ways.  If you’re going to put words up on your walls, don’t you want them to inspire you and call you higher instead?
      13. Calm a space for reading and being at peace. Even if you aren’t up for decluttering an entire room, you can “calm” a space.  You calm a space when you minimize distractions.  Choose a favorite chair and declutter everything around it.  Remove anything from the floor that isn’t furniture.  Clear the surface of side tables  by removing or storing remotes, pet toys, kid toys, hobby items, old newspapers/magazines, mail, books, etc.
      14. Clean out your entertainment center. These large pieces of furniture often harbor lots of small items we no longer need.  Take out old electronic components, cords you don’t need, and dvds games cds nobody uses.  Get rid of them by recycling responsibly, arrange the devices you do use in an eye-pleasing display, and hide their cords as much as possible.
      15. Tackle a junk drawer.  Most of us have one.  It’s the default resting place for small items that have no better place to be.  Or for things we think might have some use but we can no longer remember what it is.  Chances are good you can toss out most of what’s in there and never miss it.
      16. Set physical boundaries for your kids. Give your kids a certain amount of space and allow them to manage it how they want.   When things begin to overflow, we ask them to make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of.  The same principle applies to a bedroom or a toy basket.
      17. Let go of mental clutter too.   Life is just too darn short.  Do your best to let go of all the purposeless drama, aimless time-wasters and mental clutter that keeps getting in your way.  Again, it’s time to focus more on what matters in the year ahead, and let go of what does NOT.
      18. Be less “busy” and more purposeful in 2021. HAPPY NEW YEAR
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  • Mantra to get you ready for 2021....L.O.V.E

    I challenge you to remind yourself

    Mantra #1: You are not alone.

    Don’t be scared to let someone special in when you’re in a dark place. You know who this person is. Don’t expect them to solve your problems; just allow them to face your problems with you. Give them permission to stand beside you (even if it’s virtually via FaceTime or Zoom). They won’t necessarily be able to pull you out of the dark place you’re in, but the light that spills in when they enter will at least show you which way the door is.

    Above all, the important thing to remember is that you don’t have to face hard times by yourself. No matter how bizarre or embarrassed or pathetic you feel about our own situation, there is someone in your life who has dealt with similar emotions and who wants to help you. When you hear yourself say, “I am alone,” it’s just your mind trying to sell you a lie. Don’t believe it! You are NOT alone.

     

    Mantra #2: Be here now, and breathe.

    Life often leads us on journeys we would never go on if it were up to us. Don’t be afraid. Have faith. Believe. Believe in yourself through hard times. Believe in your capacity to heal. Believe that the answers are out there waiting. Believe that life will surprise you again and again. Believe that the journey is the destination. Believe that it’s all worth your while.

    Yes, you’ve been hurt. You’ve gone through numerous ups and downs that have made you who you are today. So many things have happened—things that have changed your perspective, taught you lessons, and forced your spirit and soul to grow. See the beauty in this. Appreciate your progress. Give yourself credit for your resilience and how far you’ve come . . .

    You’ve lived.

    You’ve learned.

    You’ve survived all your bad days.

    And you’re still here growing.

    So, just remind yourself right now: You are not your bad days. You are not your mistakes. You are not your scars. You are not your past. Be here now, and breathe.

    Mantra #3: This is the beginning.

    Everything in life—every situation and every relationship has to come to an end eventually. It’s important to appreciate and accept the end of an era to walk away sensibly when something has reached its inevitable conclusion. Letting go, turning the page, moving forward, etc. It doesn’t matter what you call it, what matters is that you leave the past where it belongs so you can make the best of the life that’s presently available to be lived. This ending is not THE END, it’s just your life beginning again in a new way. It’s a point in your story where one chapter fades into the next.

    To a great extent, this happens to us constantly. It’s happening right now.

    Every single day we have to accept the fact that things will never go back to how they used to be, and that this ending is really the beginning. This concept might be tough to accept sometimes, but it’s always the truth. Life is endless impermanence. And it’s beautiful. It means nothing is really behind you. It means life always begins now—right now—not tomorrow or the next day or the next. And it means you can have the fresh start you want whenever you want.

    So be humble. Be teachable. The world is always bigger than your momentary view of the world. Right now there’s plenty of room for a new idea, a new step . . . a new beginning.

    Mantra #4: In your response is your power.

    The goal isn’t to get rid of all your negative thoughts, feelings, and life situations from this past year. That’s impossible. The goal is to change your response to them.

    The first step?

    Anchoring yourself in the present. Because no matter what, you can always fight the battles of today. It’s only when you add the infinite battles of yesterday and tomorrow that life gets overly complicated.

    The easiest way to find presence, and change your immediate response, is to start by evaluating the tension in your body and posture. In fact, I bet you can find some kind of tension in your body at this very moment. For me, it’s often in my neck, but sometimes it’s in my back and shoulders.

    Where does this tension we feel come from? We’re resisting life in some way, perhaps we’re disheartened by the truth, frustrated at our circumstances, or overwhelmed by the road ahead. And our mental resistance generates a tension in our bodies and unhappiness in our lives. 

    • Locate the tension in your body right now.
    • Notice what you’re resisting and tensing up against—it might be a situation or person you’re dealing with or avoiding.
    • Relax the tense area of your body—deep breath and a quick stretch often helps.
    • Face the same situation or person, but with a relaxed body and mind.

    Repeat this practice as often as needed—make it a small daily ritual. Face the day with less tension and more presence. Change your mode of response from one of struggle and resistance to one of peace and acceptance. And see how doing so changes your life.

    Mantra #5: You have enough to move forward.

    What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were thankful for today?

    Seriously, look around, and be thankful right now. For your health, your family, your friends, and your home. Nothing lasts forever.

    And even in times of uncertainty—even when life seems far from perfect—it’s always important to keep the simple things in perspective.

    • You are alive.
    • You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
    • You didn’t go to sleep outside.
    • You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.
    • You haven’t spent a minute in fear for your life.
    • You know someone who loves you.
    • You have access to clean drinking water.
    • You have access to the Internet.
    • You can read.

    Some might say you are incredibly wealthy and privileged. So remember to be thankful for all the things you do have. Let your enthusiasm rise from the doldrums by seizing the very real and present opportunity you have to be appreciative. Breathe it in. And then do your best to take the next smallest step forward into 2021.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR......I hope you can feel the love. 

     

     

     

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  • MASTER P & FORMER NBA ALL-STAR BARON DAVIS IN PROCESS OF PURCHASING REEBOK

    MASTER P & FORMER NBA ALL-STAR BARON DAVIS IN PROCESS OF PURCHASING REEBOK

    Master P is a jack of all trades and he has his sights set on his next monumental business move. According to Forbes, Master P and 2x NBA All-Star Baron Davis are leading an investment group to purchase Reebok from adidas. Forbes estimates that the deal for the sports apparel giant could be worth around $2.4 billion.

    “These companies have been benefiting off us, this could be history for this company going Black-owned,” Master P — born Percy Miller — relayed to ESPN. “Imagine if Michael Jordan owned Reebok? That’s what I’m talking about making history.”

     

     

    Reebok is no stranger to delving into the Hip Hop world. In 2003, the brand teamed with JAY-Z on the S. Carter sneaker line, which helped Reebok’s footwear sales rise by 17 percent in 2004.

    The No Limit boss and Davis plan on combining their expertise and decades of experience in the Hip Hop, sports, tech and business lanes to bring Reebok back to prominence. They will have their work cut out for them, as Reebok’s sales dropped 44 percent in 2020’s second quarter while accounting for just eight percent of adidas’ total sales in the first half of the year.

    Davis, who last appeared in an NBA game in 2012 with the New York Knicks, previously signed a sneaker deal with Reebok in 2002 as a member of the Charlotte Hornets.

    The New Orleans icon is already in the sneaker game with his MoneYatti brand. As a welcome to New Orleans, Master P offered Pelicans star Zion Williamson $20 million for an exclusive deal to wear his kicks off the floor.

     

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