Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Manson Nuptials!

Charles Manson can find Love but I’m single….WTH! According to Good Morning America’s Dan Good, (2014), Mass murderer Charles Manson, 80 years old, is set to tie the knot with a 26-year-old woman who has spent years trying to set him free and convince others he is innocent of the murders of seven people and leading the Manson Family, whose members have murdered several other people and different times and locations. Manson is a convicted mass murder and faces a LIFE SENTENCE with no change of parole until 2027. Although no date has been set by the couple, a marriage license was issued in Kings County, CA on 11.07.2014. His fiancĂ©, who goes by the name of “Star”, says that she loves Manson and at the age of 19 years old she moved to be closer to Corcoran State prison in California where Manson is serving his time. Along with conspiring to murder, he has a criminal history that dates back to 1951 including sodomy while being held at knife point, grand theft auto, and human sex trafficking of girls 16 years old and younger. Charles Manson has never actually been convicted of killing anyone; however, he was convicted with conspiring to kill. He had a following of men and women who believed in the way of life he set forth for them which included being secluded form day to day society, living as a family system, where everyone had their jobs, cooking, cleaning, stealing cars or whatever was needed. The women made themselves sexually available to the men in the family and children were born without medical treatment. In 1968, Charles Manson’s family of 12 strangers, mostly women, moved in with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and cost him nearly $100,00 most of which was to treat the outbreak of gonorrhea amongst them. Do you believe Charles Manson is capable of rekindling the Manson Family values which led the multiple murders? Do you believe he’s using this young lady or is he truly in love with her? Is she Crazy for even considering his innocence and marrying this 80 year old convicted murder?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Recovery Post!

Hello All! I haven't published on my blog since 2012! That's why this is a recovery post. I love when I get the notion to write and I love it even more when I share my life experiences with you =) So many new and exciting things have happen to me over the past 2 years and I have grown so much in that time. I continue to reside in the sunny state of Florida and I recently adopted my beautiful daughter, Brook-Lynn. She's an energetic one year old and has embraced my love more than anyone I've ever met. I continue to work as a Social Worker and love the children and families that I continue to help. It gives me a chance to continue my work with orphans and vulnerable children as I did when I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer! What is recovery? According to the Free Dictionary, Farlex (2014), Recovery is: 1. The act, process, duration, or an instance of recovering. 2. A return to a normal condition. 3. Something gained or restored in recovering. 4. The act of obtaining usable substances from unusable sources. I am truly in the process of a life recovery. I am being restored to my original condition, sorta like pressing the button on your phone that sets it back to factory settings. I am loving the process and slowly accepting the different stages of myself that I have uncovered. There are layers to recovery, layers to regaining one's original version of self. I've seen the vulnerable me, the happy me, the angry me, the insecure me, the helpful me and the loving me. Seeing myself in the eyes of others is nothing compared to who I've been able to view myself. I now truly understand that how others see you is not important at all and how you view yourself means everything. From the inside out we are our own worse critics and that can be the key to our recovery. My recovery began from loving others who didn't love me and I continue on in my process. I'm very thankful for the persons who helped in my recovery process, even those that didn't realize they were a part of my recovery. As you know I love for my blogs to be interactive, so.... Have you ever been in recovery? If so, what were you recovering from? Who are some of the persons that helped you with recovering yourself? Do you have any good tips for the recovery process? Love you Lots and until next time..... Sunshine and Rainbows!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not Very Political.....Really?

Hello Folks!

I know it may not appear as such but I’m really not that political. I like to stay informed on the important issues; including the government's financial woes. I also like to know how much it’s going to cost me to fill up my tank for the weekend and why my stocks may not be doing so well this month. All in All I like to know how the major decisions effect Lil ‘Ol Me. With this being said; I am surprised to say I will be traveling to Sanford, Fl this evening to join the peaceful protest on behalf of the late teenager, Trayvon Martin, and the controversy that surrounds his death. Whether we want to admit it or not; this is a very political event and the results of it will affect a community, county, city and the state of Florida.

Now lets get this straight....I’m not going to the protest to “Fight the Power” and stand behind “My People”. I’m going to support a community that is seeking answers and to encourage Law Enforcement to actually open an active investigation and at least ensure community members and the family and friends of the Trayvon that this will be handled in a fair and appropriate manner. There is always a certain way of doing things also known as protocol; was the investigation handled in this manner? What are the objectives and protocols in place for someone in Mr. Zimmerman’s position as a neighborhood watch leader?, Were there any other witnesses or issues that may have prompted the shooting? These are questions that I have and would hope to find answers to amongst the crowd in Sanford.

I’m not agreeing that this shooting was inappropriate and without cause. I’m also not agreeing that Zimmerman was doing his “job” as neighborhood watch leader; by the way is that something you list on your resume? I’m simply stating that before I jump on anyone’s bandwagon; I like to know the FACTS. The who, what, when, and whys. The heart of the matter is that a child lost his life; and a family lost a loved one. No matter what happens people want to know how this happened and why there have been no further public actions against the alleged perpetrator. The public needs to be pacified with an arrest or even a scheduled date for a trial. A year from now when the trial is held; the community may not even remember Trayvon; however for now they need to feel as if their voices are being heard and they have a chance at equality no matter what the color of their skin or household income. So yes; I will be in the crowd (not wearing a hoodie) listening to the Reverend Al Sharpton give words of determination for equality revving up for crowd for battle. I hope to get answers and more specifically facts to carry out my own investigation.

Peace and Love

Shani =)

Friday, January 27, 2012

You're Just A Big Meanie

You’re Just a Big Meanie

Hello All…..
Over the last few days I’ve noticed some things that have been a little disturbing to me. Maybe I’ve been living in a fantasy world with Unicorns and Rainbows, but lately I’ve noticed that people are “Mean!” I’ve noticed people pass each other in the hallways at work without as much as a “hello.” I’ve seen a little old lady standing up on a crowded bus, while onlookers clench their coach bags and sip their lattes. Marriages, if they take place, end in divorce quicker than the seasons change these days. We’ve become so cautious of one another that even when a total strange speaks to us, instead of saying hello we wonder what the heck their motive really is. The younger generation has become so disconnected from the simple things in life; such as reading a book or riding a bike. When I drive through my neighborhood I get so excited to see children playing outside; but then I become worried when I don’t see any adults around to ensure their safety. I’ve observed someone else’s demise be the source of other’s laughter ……When did this become Okay?

Did it ever dawn on us that Humans need other Humans to survive? Have we lost sight of the most common things in life such as Love and Support? Our thoughts, actions and feelings automatically affect one another; on some level we are all connected. We may not like to face it but every thing we do in life has the ability to be a positive or negative link for another human being. When I tell people my life’s motto is “Sunshine & Rainbows” they look at me crazy, but then they smile. No matter what happened before I talked with them or happens next; for one moment in time I connected positively with another human being. Have you ever found yourself explaining your happiness; who questions why someone is happy? When asked “Why are you so happy?”, I respond, “Why aren’t you so happy?” Maybe it’s the way the world has been for centuries, eons, and maybe it will always be this way and possibly get worse, but there is one thing you can always count on and that’s my Sunshine & Rainbows!

Today’s Swahili Lesson:
Siafu (see-a-foo)= Ant

Love Always,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

day 1 who fails pe?

Day 1.

I chose #13 to start with on my 30 day challenge for change….Let’s just say I’ve already been defeated. #13 says that I should try not to tell a single lie for 30 days! I work with children of all ages who come from different backgrounds. Some of them have behavioral issues and some of them have developmental issues. My favorite child on my caseload “thinks” he’s the smartest person in the world and knows EVERYTHING! I had an opportunity to prove this 10 year old wrong; it was for his own good of course. During my home visit with him last evening he decided to not disclose to me the grades from his report card which came out last week. We were talking and laughing, he was telling me alllll about the fun he had this weekend and everything else under the sun, except his grades. So I proceeded to have a separate conversation, very loudly, with his grandmother about how Disney is giving away free trips for families with children whose grades are not so good. I mean everyone knows that Disney gives away thousands of trips to families with children who are failing most of their classes, right? All of a sudden I see my smart little 10 year old walk to his room and get this crumbled up report card from under his bed….he proceeds to unravel the wrinkled and balled up piece of paper and hands it to me. “Ms. Shani!!! Look…I’m failing math and PE, do you think we can go do Disney?” I respond very seriously, “No…not even Walt Disney would understand how you can fail PE!”

Let me know how the challenge is going for you….

Swahili lesson for today:

Bustani (boo-stawni) Garden

Love and as always, Sunshine & Rainbows!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcome Back, The Challenge Edition

WOW! I cant believe it's been over a year since my last blog. I guess I've officially settled back into the hustle and bustle of Life In America....and it's been a busy one and a half years since I left village life in Tanzania. I miss my villagers, my work, my Peace Corps Buddies and of course the "No Worries (Hamna Shida)" of Life there. I remember waking up to the wonderful sounds of children screaming, cows mooing, and chickens crowing....LOL I can laugh now but my first mornings in the village weren't so wonderful. I am still speaking the language of Swahili daily with a coworker from Kenya and I am maintaining the 3rd Goal of Peace Corps by sharing my stories of Life an the Village and my experiences as a Community Development Volunteer. I've managed to maintain a lot things I learned from Tanzanians such as; Never rushing, no matter how late I am; Finding a bug in your food is "really" not that big of a deal, and celebrating everything moment in life with a "big" meal and "lots" of people. What I have managed to slowly stop doing is writing in my journal daily, enjoying the peace within silence, and greeting my friends; verbally. Do you realize you can go for days and never actually hold a verbal conversation on the phone...That's crazy! I mean how hard is it to unlock your phone, scroll the the contact screen, select a name, select send, place the phone on speaker, and make a left turn while holding a cup of coffee...geesh!

Well with this being said I decided to challenge myself with the help of another RPCV, Stephanie Kimber, and Marc and Angel. Upon perusing Facebook as I do every morning I viewed a link in Stephanie's wall:

This link leads to a page which focuses on 30 challenges to be accomplished over the course of 30 days. According to Marc and Angel, if carried out diligently each of these 30 actions has the potential to create a new positive habit in your life. Now before you start mumbling under your breath while clicking on the "X" to close your browser just hear me out. What would happen if you pick 2 to 5 actions to commit to over the next 30 days, wholeheartedly? Would it really be so bad if you saw a small change in yourself, your mindset, your way of thinking, your physical appearance, Love Life or maybe even your finances....Would that be the end of the world? No!
Ive decided to chose 4 from the list and blog my progress (or lack there of) with each of you. This way you can respond and let me know how it's going for you too. If you have any other ideas or actions that could be added to Marc and Angel's list respond to the blog.

Alright, Let's Do This!.....The 30 Actions are listed below in case you are having problems opening the link above!

1.Use words that encourage happiness. – Typically, when I ask someone “How are you?” they reply, “I’m fine” or “I’m okay.” But one lazy Monday afternoon last month a new colleague of mine replied, “Oh, I am fabulous!” It made me smile, so I asked him what was making him feel so fabulous and he said, “I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and we live in a free country. So I don’t have any reason not to be happy.” The difference was simply his attitude and his choice of words. He wasn’t necessarily any better off than anyone else, but he seemed twenty times happier. Spend the next 30 days using words that encourage a smile.

2. Try one new thing every day. – Variety truly is the spice of life. You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once. As a result, first time experiences often leave reflective marks in our minds for the rest of our lives. Make an effort to try something new every day for the next 30 days. It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger. Once you get the ball rolling many of these new experiences will open doors to life changing opportunities.

3. Perform one selfless act every day. – In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else be happy or suffer less. I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience. One you’ll likely remember forever. Obviously your options here are limitless, but if you’re looking to assist an ordinary person in need without leaving your chair, check out GoFundMe.

4. Learn and practice one new skill every day. – Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one. And besides, learning new skills is fun. Check out this article, this article, and this book.

5. Teach someone something new every day. – We all have natural strengths and talents that can dramatically help those around us. What comes easy for you is no doubt challenging for others. We tend to take these gifts for granted, often hardly noticing what we have to offer, and thus we rarely share them with others. Inner happiness and zeal come from using these inherent gifts on a routine basis. What do people thank you for? What do people routinely ask for your help with? Most people’s passions and talents help others in one way or another. Perhaps for you it’s painting, teaching math, cooking a good meal or leading an exercise class. For the next 30 days devote some time each day to sharing your talents and expertise.

6. Dedicate an hour a day to something you’re passionate about. – Take part in something you passionately believe in. This could be anything. Some people take an active role in their city council, some find refuge in religious faith, some join social clubs supporting causes they believe in and others find passion in their hobbies. In each case the psychological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

7. Treat everyone nicely, even those who are rude to you. – Being nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake. It means you’re mature enough to control your emotions. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they’re nice, but because you are. Do this for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll see the rudeness around you dissipate.

8. Concentrate on being positive at all times. – The real winners in life cultivate optimism. They have the ability to manufacture their own happiness and drive. No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it. She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times. Try to spend the next 30 days looking at the bright side of things.

9. Address and acknowledge the lesson in inconvenient situations. – It’s important to remember that everything is a life lesson. Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc. They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’ Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way. If you don’t get a job you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step toward it. Over the next 30 days keep a written log of all the lessons life taught you.

10. Pay attention and enjoy your life as it happens. – When I watched the Academy Awards a few months ago I realized that most of the speeches actors and actresses make when they accept an award go something like this: “This means so much so me. My whole life has been leading up to this moment.” But the truth is, our whole lives have been leading up to every moment. Think about that for a second. Every single thing you’ve gone through in life, every high, every low and everything in between, it has led you to this moment right now. Ask yourself this: How much of life are you actually living? If you’re like most people, the answer is likely: “Not enough.” The key is to concentrate on a little less on doing and a little more on being. Remember, right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Spend the next 30 days living in the now, for real.

11. Get rid of one thing a day for 30 days. – We have so much clutter surrounding us at any given moment (at the office, in our cars, in our homes) and we’ve become so accustomed to it that we no longer notice how it affects us. If you start cleaning up some of this external clutter, a lot of internal clutter will disappear as well. Choose one needless item each and every day and get rid of it. It’s that simple. It might be difficult at first, so expect some resistance. But after some time you will begin to learn to let go of your packrat tendencies, and your mind will thank you for your efforts.

12. Create something brand new in 30 days or less. – Creation is a process like none other. Putting to use your innovative faculties and constructing something with your own two hands will leave you with an indescribable sense of wholeness. There is no substitute for it. The only caveat is that it must be related to something you actually care about. If you are creating financial plans for clients all day and you hate it, that doesn’t really count. But if you can find something you love, and create something related to it, it will make all the difference in your life. If you haven’t created something in a while just for the sake of creating, do so. Take the next 30 days and let your creativity run wild.

13. Don’t tell a single lie for 30 days. – With all the seemingly innocent, white lies that trickle out of us, this is way harder than it sounds. But you can do it. Stop deceiving yourself and others, speak from the heart, speak the whole truth.

14. Wake up 30 minutes early every morning. – Get up 30 minutes earlier than usual so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man. That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches. Give it a legitimate try for 30 days straight and see how it impacts your life.

15. Ditch 3 bad habits for 30 days. – Do you eat too much fast food? Do you play too many video games? Do you argue with your siblings? You know some of your bad habits. Pick 3 and quit doing them for 30 days. Period.

16. Watch less than 30 minutes of TV every day. – Entertain yourself with real-world experiences. Great memories are the product of interesting life experiences. So turn off the television (or the computer if that’s how you watch your TV programs) and get outdoors. Interact with the world, appreciate nature, take notice of the simple pleasures life has to offer, and just watch as life unfolds in front of you.

17. Define one long-term goal and work on it for an hour every day. – Break your goal down into bite-sized pieces and focus on achieving each one piece at a time. It really is all about taking baby steps, and taking the first step is often the hardest. Spend an hour every day for the next 30 days working toward something you’ve always wanted to accomplish. Take a small dream and make it a reality. Read Getting Things Done.

18. Read one chapter of a good book every day. – With the Web’s endless stream of informative, easy-to-skim textual snippets and collaborative written works, people are spending more and more time reading online. Nevertheless, the Web cannot replace the authoritative wisdom from certain classic books that have delivered (or will deliver) profound ideas around the globe for generations. Books open doors, in your mind and in your life. Read an online book list and find a good book to grab at the library today. Then spend the next 30 days reading at least one chapter a day until you reach the end. Here’s another book list. And another. And another.

19. Every morning, watch or read something that inspires you. – Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk. For the next 30 days, before you eat breakfast, or leave the house, watch a motivational video or read something (quotation, blog post, short story, etc.) that inspires you.

20. Do something every day after lunch that makes you laugh. – Watch a funny video clip on YouTube, read your favorite comic strip, or find a good joke online. A good chuckle stimulates the mind and can give you a renewed level on energy. The best time for this laugh is during the lull in the mid-afternoon, when you need it most.

21. Go alcohol and drug free for 30 days. – This challenge depends on your individual circumstance. If you are a heavy user of alcohol or a particular drug it is not recommended that you quit cold turkey. You need to see a physician and ease off of the substance slowly. But if you are a casual user, quit right now for 30 days. If you’re looking for a natural energy boosting alternative to a substance, check out 50 Natural Ways To Boost Your Energy.

22. Exercise for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. – Your health is your life. Don’t let it go. Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up. The 4-Hour Body is an insightful and entertaining read on this topic.

23. Get uncomfortable and face a fear every day. – With a strategy of continuous small steps into uncomfortable territory we are often able to sidestep the biggest barrier to positive change: Fear. Sometimes we’re afraid we’ll fail. Sometimes we’re subconsciously afraid we’ll succeed and then we’d have to deal with all the disruption (growth) and change that follows success. And other times it’s our fear of rejection or simply our fear of looking like a fool. The best way to defeat fear is to stare it down. Connect to your fear, feel it in your body, realize it and steadily address it. Greet it by name if you have to: “Welcome, fear.” Fear can be a guiding friend if you learn how to swallow it, and listen to it only when it serves its true purpose of warning you when you are in danger. Spend an hour every day for the next 30 day’s addressing a fear that is holding you back.

24. Cook one brand new, healthy recipe every day. – Cooking is fun, challenges your mind, and if done correctly, provides vital nutrients to your body. Win-Win-Win. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman is great tool for this challenge. Packed with 900 pages of simple instructions on how to cook everything you could ever dream of eating, it’s pretty much the greatest cookbook ever written. Prepare one new, healthy recipe every day for the next 30 days.

25. Spend 10 minutes every evening reflecting on what went well. – For the next 30 days spend 10 minutes every evening pondering the small successes that occurred during the course of the day. This process of positive reflection will remind you of all the tiny blessings in your life, and help you to celebrate your personal growth.

26. Have a conversation every day with someone you rarely speak to. – People are interesting creatures, and no two people are exactly alike. Interacting with different people will open your mind to fascinating ideas and perspectives. So for the next 30 days strike up a conversation daily with someone you rarely speak to, or someone you’ve never met before. Find out what makes them tick.

27. Pay down debt and don’t create any new debt for 30 days. – Live well below your means. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Sleep on big purchases. Create a budget and savings plan and stick to them. For the next 30 days pay for things in cash and micro-manage every cent you make and spend. Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

28. Let go of one relationship that constantly hurts you. – Keep people in your life who truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, enhance you, and make you happy. If you know people who do none of these things, let them go and make room for new positive relationships. Over the next 30 days, if relevant to your situation, gradually let go of one person in your life who has been continuously hurting you and holding you back.

29. Publicly forgive someone who deserves another chance. – Sometimes good relationships end abruptly because of big egos and arguments based on isolated incidents. If there’s someone in your life who truly deserves another chance, give it to them. If you need to apologize too, do it. Over the next 30 days give your story together a new chapter.

30. Document every day with one photograph and one paragraph. – For 30 days bring a camera with you wherever you go. Do your best to take one photograph that represents a standout experience from each day. Then, before you go to bed each night, write one paragraph in a notebook or journal that highlights your day. If do it all digitally you can unite your daily photograph and paragraph in one digital space (like a personal blog), which can be easily reviewed in the future. Many moons from now these old photos and journal entries will ignite your recollection of interesting memories you would have otherwise forgotten.

WooHoo...and as Always, Love and Sunshine & Rainbows!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's a home Run?

Hey Guys,

It’s a new year and I’m ready! It’s only 7 days into 2010 but things are going great. As you know with the new year comes new changes and goals that people often set for themselves, and I am no different. So one of my new year’s goals is to be more health savvy and exercise more. I’ve decided to run at least three times a week and I started today. Yes, I am aware that I’m 7 days late but better late than never ok! So I woke early this morning around 7am, as soon as I heard the cows moooing next door. I drank a hot cup of instant Africafe`, which is as close to coffee as I’m going to get while living in the village, and ate 2 bananas….OK, I’m ready! I strap on my, pumas, old navy yoga pants and ipod and I start pumping Jay Z’s new album….There’s no stopping me now, I’m out the house and on the dirt road to a new me…Woo Hoo! Hmmm, it must have rained last night, “but that’s no excuse not to run this morning Shani”, I tell myself in a nice firm voice. First I walk expeditiously to get my legs stretched and my heart rate going and then I break out into a full run. This is great, I feel great, I am actually running, outside, in the open with trees and cows, and goats, and kids yelling my name, and…..BAM! I hit the ground like I just stole third base and I began to slide in for a home run! No really, I slid about 2 feet, down hill in the mud with my ipod going in one direction, one of my shoes came off, and my gray yoga pants are now a nice shade of muddy brown. Oh, remember those kids that were cheering me on, they are now laughing hysterically at the American girl on her ass in the mud. Damn Kids! All I could do is sit there for a minute, covered in mud, trying to figure out where I went wrong. One of my students passes by and helps me up, while trying not to laugh he asks, “Are you?”. I walk towards where my shoe landed and say “yes, I’m fine, just a little sore”. My student suggests that I wait until the road dries before running, as a matter of fact they don’t even play soccer after it rains for fear of….Falling…..and then he cant help himself and just laughs. By this time, I am laughing along with everyone else and I grab my items and my pride from the mud and “limp” with the kids back to my home. So the moral of this story is, if you don’t have real coffee to drink before running, just don’t go…! :-)

Love as Always and Sunshine & Rainbows,
Shani C.