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The Art of Disruption by Magid Magid

The Art of Disruption; a manifesto for real change is a book by Sheffield legend Magid Magid. “A Somali born, working class black muslim immigrant” who became the youngest ever Lord Mayor of Sheffield. A man who banned Donald Trump from the city and famously called him a wasteman… This book shares his commandments for living the best life and making the change in society you want to see.

The Art of Disruption book Magid Magid

Meeting Magid

When I first heard about Magid, I couldn’t help but smile. Seeing him as the Lord Mayor of Sheffield felt like a real change and an amazing representation of Sheffield, the city of Sanctuary.

I met Magid a few times, mainly through Tramlines, the festival that my husband was director for. The cover of his book was a huge billboard that was displayed in the festival site. It was such a clear and brilliant message that was so far away from the usual work of past Lord Mayors and I watched hundreds, if not thousands of festival goers get their selfie with the poster and heard so many stories of personal connections to Magid. That he had attended their events, met him in the street, that people had been inspired by him and the difference he had made to their lives, and I knew this was someone special.

Sam Timm Cleasby Magid Magid Tramlines

I bought the book as soon as I saw it was on pre-order (this isn’t a sponsored post, I bought the book and wasn’t asked to review it) and devoured it in a couple of days. Each of Magid’s commandments starts a chapter in the book where he goes into an explanation of his thoughts along with anecdotes of his life. From stories of hanging out on buses with elderly ladies in Doc Martin boots, to battles with council members, Magid shares intimate details of his life and how Sheffield has shaped him as a man.

Magid’s commandments

His commandments are;

  • Be kind
  • Don’t be a prick
  • Do epic shit
  • See the good
  • Don’t lose hope
  • Do it differently
  • Always buy your round
  • Don’t kiss a tory
  • Tell your ma you love her
  • You’ve got this!

It is a book filled with positivity, heart and a desire to change things for the good. I cried by page 20, felt sheer anger at the racism and hate filled messages that he received during his term as Lord Mayor and laughed till my belly hurt at some hilarious commentary (“People accuse me of tearing up tradition, but what is tradition, apart from peer pressure from dead people?”

But mainly, I finished the book feeling hope.

2020 is a year like no other, it is easy to feel that everything has gone to shit and that we are doomed. Between the news and social media, we are bombarded by negativity, fear and division. Yet Magid’s book brought out a hopeful and brighter side of me, it made me remember that there is so much good out there and the good need to work together for change through kindness.

He shares this quote.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King

Kindness

And in reading about the discrimination and outright racism he has faced and the way he dealt with this was a moment that made me sit back and take a moment. It is easy to react to bad situations with an equal force of anger or hurt, but Magid’s words of hope reminded me of the importance of compassion. Of how a positive reaction to the bad can change not only other people’s mindsets but changes how we unpack and deal with that difficult time.

He says

Kindness is bold, brave and politically radical; in both small gestures and wider structural policies, it has the power to change someone’s life – and to change the world.

Magid Magid

I have a couple of sayings here on my blog, I say ‘be kind, yo’ and sign off with the phrase ‘peace and love’. I truly believe that kindness will be the thing that changes the world. And it has been a journey to get here and a journey I still travel. I grew up believing you had to be the toughest, you had to show your worth through shouting the loudest and winning the argument. My go to state is often anger and the desire to show I am not weak. But I have learnt through my life that this isn’t the person I want to be. I don’t want to be the toughest or the alpha, I want to be the kindest, I want to be the person who others know is loyal and caring, I want to be someone who helps others, who makes a difference, who is open and warm and loving. This book reminded me that being the best isn’t about being the toughest, it is about being the kindest.

Sam Cleasby Timm Cleasby Magid Magid Glastonbury

Seeing the good

It is fair to say that I loved this book. This is a book that is about community, change and making a difference, no matter how small. It isn’t too wordy or pretentious, it is written in a gentle, first person voice of a man who has done some extraordinary things yet feels like he could be your best mate. The Art of Disruption is inspiring and exciting and makes you want to be a better person.

He says

Seeing the good encourages others to do the same – optimism is contagious, after all. You may even start a chain reaction of positivity and kindness, and who knows how far this will go or which mind you might spark.

Magid Magid

‘The Art of Disruption, A manifesto for real change’ is widely available now. If you can, have a search of your local, independent book stores. If you are in Sheffield, I recommend La Biblioteka. Or you can buy it from Hive here. Hive supports independent book stores and is a British tax paying company. If you would like to find out more about Magid Magid, you can follow him on facebook, twitter and find his website here.

Magid Magid is in conversation with Sile Sibanda for Off the Shelf festival in Sheffield on 24 October at 7.30pm where he “presents a guide to hope, doing better, and being courageous, and shows how it’s possible to think differently about power and life.”

Peace and love

Sam xx

If the Kardashians are your role models, then you have problems

I do not watch the Kardashian telly programme, I saw it once and Kanye West was ordering the Kim one to lose weight and only to wear clothes approved by him.  I thought it was a parody of an abusive relationship but apparently it is all for reals…

I try to avoid these Karkrashians as much as I can, but my twitter, Facebook and newsfeed is filled with their boring stories of how much they weigh, how big their arses and lips are, who they are dating and what tat they are promoting.

And they are Karkrashians… that car crash TV that you know you should look away from but your eyes are drawn towards the drama and chaos that surrounds them.  I bet they are actually nice women, but we don’t ‘know’ any of them, all we see is the brand that they push into the limelight.

A story popped up today about the Khloe one who has posted a photograph of her weight on Instagram and how she is promoting dangerous ideals to the kids who look up to her as a role model.  There are two things about this story, one… no shit!!! Is anyone surprised that these women whose ‘talent’ is their looks are promoting unhealthy body issues?  Secondly, if you or your child have a Kardashian as your role model then your problems run deeper than her weight.

The family’s fame comes from the fact that one of them made a sex tape.  Let that sink in.  Your child’s role model is a woman whose notoriety comes from her having sex on camera.  Or even worse, her sisters who are using their sibling’s sex tape to promote themselves.  Their commodity is their looks and their family wealth and they have used these things to promote themselves into ‘business’.  Fair enough, but that doesn’t make them good role models.

If you must watch the show then I suppose that is up to you, though I can name a million ways that are a better use of your time.  But having them as role models for yourself or your kids? Fuck that!

Want to idolise some amazing women?

What about Emma Watson? UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and kick ass feminist, she is an actress who earned more before her 18th birthday than the rest of us will in a hundred lifetimes yet she strives to make a difference and use her stature for good.

inspiring women uk emma watson

Jennie Price is the CEO of Sport England and brought us the This Girl Can campaign inspiring women to get exercising and take control of their health.

Camila Batmanghelidjh has an awesome name… But she also founded Kids Company providing practical, emotional and educational support to the most vulnerable and deprived children in the UK.  (Note to add: I would rather dress like Camila than any of the Kardashian women… totally going to start wearing turbans!)

Camila Batmanghelidjh inspiring women uk

Baroness Doreen Lawrence took the most painful experience anyone can imagine, losing a child and used it to make a positive difference in the UK. She founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and received an OBE for “services to community relations”.

I know people say that these shows are light entertainment and that people like me shouldn’t get so wound up about them, but when they are filled with really damaging messages and their stars are becoming role models then it does concern me.  We are a famous for nothing generation with so many ‘stars’ who have never done anything worth applauding.  I am not a huge fan of some pop stars but at least I respect that they work really hard and have a talent.  Footballers may be overpaid (in my opinion) but their role model status is based on skill, training and years of dedication.

I know this is a bit ranty but seriously people, there are so many people doing beautiful, amazing and wonderful things to make the world happier, kinder and more filled with awesome.  This kind of mind numbing telly filler is wasting your amazing life.  Go read a book, watch a ton of TED talks, go to local events, spend a night playing cards with your favourite person, take a walk, hang out with your besties, play board games with the kids…

We are here once and for a very brief time.  Live hard, love a lot and laugh every day, fill your life with wonder and brilliant things.

 

Sam xxx

 

My favourite IBD websites

When I started this blog last year, I did so because I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to read, which was a personal account of real people with IBD, I wanted to know I wasn’t alone, to feel supported and learn more about the illness, recovery and life with Ulcerative Colitis or Crohns.

I came across Inflamed and Untamed run by the marvellous Sara Ringer and was blown away, I was massively inspired and for the first time, felt like there was a community of people out there who were like me! It is an American site though and so I thought why not start something like this here in the UK.

I love running So Bad Ass and I am thrilled that every day I receive so many wonderful messages from people all over the world and every week  I have thousands of views! I wanted to make a difference and I really hope that through my writing and public speaking I am doing that.

I saw yesterday that Bethany Townsend was voted in the 100 most influential people in the UK promoting disabilities for the image of her in a bikini showing her ILEOSTOMY* bag that went viral.  Hooray for more media coverage about IBD and Ostomies but I was wondering if she’d done anything else apart from share her holiday pic?

No offence to her at all, but it seems a shame that the bloggers/writers/public speakers/activists who write/speak/blog every day don’t get more recognition.   If you want to be properly inspired go check out the people who inspire, support, raise money and are so bad ass!!!

woman showing ileostomy colostomy bag

There are lots of IBD blogs now and there are more and more people speaking out and sharing their stories with the world and I think it is amazing.  The more we talk, the better it is for the millions of sufferers worldwide.

And so I thought I would compile a list of some of ten of my favourite and most inspirational IBD blogs, please take a look at them and get involved.

Big up the everyday IBD warriors who don’t get the recognition they should!!!

 

INFLAMED AND UNTAMED 

THAILA SKYE

BLAKE BECKFORD

COLITIS AND ME (Founder of #GetYourBellyOut)

UNCOVER OSTOMY

THE CROHNS COLITIS EFFECT

VEGAN OSTOMY

COLITIS NINJA

ADVENTURES OF A BAG LADY

THE CHRONIC ADVENTURER

 

There are so many that I just couldn’t name them all and so had to limit myself to my very favourites.  All these people take a lot of time and effort to talk about Inflammatory Bowel Disease, they join me in my quest to #stoppoobeingtaboo and make a difference to people all over the world.  If you are reading this and have crohns or colitis I hope you can see that you are part of an amazing set of people! Get reading, get commenting, get involved.

We all have the ability to act as advocates for IBD.  Let’s make the IBD community proud.
Love Sam x

 

*Can we all please teach the media that not all bags are COLOSTOMY bags??!!!!

Turia Pitt on Womens Weekly Australia cover – Inspirational!

I saw this story this morning and was struck by the idea of having inspirational real women on magazine covers rather than air brushed celebrities.  Australian Women’s Weekly have Turia Pitt, a burns survivor who was injured in bush fires on the cover and it makes for a striking and beautiful image.

turia pitt burns survivor womens weekly australiaPhoto via Womens Weekly Aus

Editor in Chief Helen McCabe said

“For eighty years the Women’s Weekly has been celebrating inspirational Australian women, when Turia was photographed as part of our Women of the Future judging panel among a group of similarly impressive Australian women, it was clear from the moment she sat in front of the camera that the July cover had to belong to her.”

“Any attempt to describe the magic and beauty of Turia seems to get lost in platitudes or clichés. Yet I have never met a more remarkable person.”

Seeing images like this accompanying an inspirational and positive story just make my heart soar.  This isn’t about feeling sorry for her, its not a poor me story.  I LOVE her headline of “Im the luckiest woman in the world” – this woman is my hero! She isn’t complaining, there is no martyrdom.

Turia was caught in a bushfire whilst running a marathon in Western Australia, suffering burns to 64 per cent of her body.  Doctors gave her a slim chance of recovery yet she defied that expectation and recovered amazingly. 

She said “For me, it sends the message that confidence equals beauty. There are a lot of women out there who are so beautiful but don’t have the confidence, and that’s what gets you over the line.”

I believe that 100% – Confidence equals beauty

Well done Womens Weekly – this cover is just a start and hopefully other magazines will follow suit.  Women aren’t stupid, we aren’t just drawn in by seeing yet another picture of a perfect celebrity.  I for one would be much more likely to buy a magazine whose cover was showing true beauty and inspiration rather than a celeb who I have seen a million times before!

I would love to see a women with a stoma or scars being portrayed in magazines more, the more we see images of people who have physical scars the less taboo it becomes.  For many women who have an ostomy bag or large scars thy can feel that these things take away their femininity and sexuality, thats the reason I decided to do my photoshoots with my ileostomy bag. I wanted to put out there some positive images that show my bag and scars as just a small part of me, that they do not make me less of a woman.

I think the media could be a great tool for promoting positive images of women who have faced illness, surgery or modifications and I hope that this Women’s Weekly cover is just the start of something brilliant.

For more information on Turia’s story, see the Women’s Weekly website