Sunday, July 14, 2019

My 7 Guiding Principles

Every year I acknowledge my birthday as being my own personal new year. This time of year often represents a fresh start, and another chance for me to actualize my wildest dreams. As each birthday approaches, I am reminded of the lessons I've learned thus far, as well as taking inventory of the spaces where growth and healing are still needed. Although I continue to change and develop on my life journey, there are certain principles that have stuck with me, and have helped guide me to victory in each situation. So today, as I celebrate my birthday, I'd like to share these principles with you in the hope that they may resonate with you at the right time. 

Photographer: Jenny Desrosiers
  1. Be brave enough to say "No". Your personal well-being must be paramount. Ultimately, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
  2. Think outside the boundaries you have placed on yourself, as well as the ones others have tried to place around you. 
  3. Be your own hero. Realize that no one is on their way to save your life and turn it into something that makes you happy. You have to do that for yourself. 
  4. Keep God involved in all that you do, through prayer, faith, and hard work. 
  5. Be willing to let go of people and situations that no longer serve you. This especially goes for people who don't value you in the way that you feel you deserve. 
  6. Plan, execute, repeat. 
  7. Make time for the people who matter to you most. 

All  Power & Love To The People,
Shani 
 7/14/19

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Where You'd Rather Be

Nichole sat at her desk anxiously watching the clock. How much longer until 5? She could feel her freedom approaching with every passing second. Her boss had been riding her back all week about deadlines, and how she could be doing more for the company. So much so, Nichole contemplated calling out 4 out of 5 days this week. Needless to say, she could not wait for her weekend festivities to commence. She could picture it now, twirling around on the dance floor, meeting lovely strangers, and living for the thrill of it just one more time. When Nichole finally got home from work, the only motivation she had left was to pour her favorite glass of wine and binge watch "Scandal" for the rest of the night. With a deviant smile on her face, she turned her phone off in order to avoid the, "Girl, WYA? You still pullin up?" texts that she knew were inevitable. Nevertheless, she was thoroughly content with just being home, in her safe space, where she controlled her own time and actions. She was slowly becoming "one of those people". The kind of person who spends all week daydreaming about the weekend, but then spends their weekends literally doing nothing, in an attempt to mentally recover from their work week.. As Nichole sat in front of the TV, waiting for the commercials to end, she wondered what life would be like if she spent her week days doing the kind of work she didn't feel the need to mentally recover from. What would life be like if she was the captain of her own ship? And at that moment, it hit her. She had never attempted to "be the captain" because she had no idea where her destination was. So how could she possibly trust herself to steer? She would remain stuck in this cycle until she decided where she would rather be. Clearly...It was time for Nichole to do some soul searching.
Photographer: Jenny Desrosiers
Like Nichole, many of us find ourselves living life in a way that allows us to simply "get by". We work to pay bills, and if we're lucky, we are allowed to take a vacation once a year. We believe that if we just work hard, and show our dedication, our employers will recognize our efforts, and eventually we will be promoted to a position of authority.After that, we'll have enough money and status to live our best lives until it's time for an early retirement. The good news is, it does work this way for a few people. The bad news is, it doesn't work this way for most people, and instead of "movin on up" a lot of us are just moving in place. Living in this way, although comfortable for some, creates a situation where we are merely letting life happen TO us, instead of FOR us. Unless you are doing the kind of work that you are absolutely passionate about, and using that passion to truly make a difference, you're essentially dedicating precious and irreplaceable hours of your life to further someone else's vision and dreams. Now for some, the check they receive for doing so feels like a fair trade off. But for others, the money they earn simply serves as the bait that keeps trapping them in the rat race. Nevertheless, today I implore you to take a moment to be honest with yourself about whether or not you are genuinely fulfilled in the life you are leading. If not, take some time to reflect on where you'd rather be. Lastly, take a moment to consider what it would realistically take to get there, all the while keeping in mind that vision without action, is just a dream.

Hasta la victoria siempre,
Shani