SHANI'S RANDOM NEWS AND VIEWS
|Posted on May 1, 2013 at 1:00 AM||comments (0)|
Discernment of spirits is the interpretation of what St. Ignatius Loyola called the "motions of the soul." These interior movements consist of thoughts, imaginings, emotions, inclinations, desires, feelings, repulsions, and attractions. Spiritual discernment of spirits involves becoming sensitive to these movements, reflecting on them, and understanding where they come from and where they lead us. (Taken from IgnationSpirituality.com)
There have been times in life when I have not tapped in to my spirit of discernment and each of those times left me with bumps, bruises, and lots of whiplash memories to remind me not to ever do that particular thing again. It's like being a child and touching the stove. Once you touch the stove the first time and get burned, no one has to tell you the second time that it is hot. It doesn't matter if the stove is off, if someone tries to put your hand close to it you holler, "no!" That's not so much discernment as it is learning from your past lessons, but then again discernment and growth go hand in hand.
Whenever we step out on faith to do something bigger than we can see, think, or feel. Whenever we finally find out what it is that we are supposed to be doing and decide to walk that walk, we will be faced with conflicts, decisions, and quite frankly crabby people. There is no way around it, unfortunately, but one thing that we all are equipped with whether we use it or not is the spirit of discernment.
|Posted on January 28, 2013 at 11:25 PM||comments (2)|
What Does Valentine's Day Make You Think Of?
Is it a day where you anticipate getting lots of good presents from your sweetie? Is it a day that makes you sad you are single? Do you not really care about the day at all? Or is it an opportunity for you to show your man how much you love him?
Here are several different views that make Valentine's Day a special day for lovers and singles.
A Day for Presents
Let's face it, whether giving or receiving, we all love presents! I would, however, like to point out that maybe this isn't the best thing for a relationship. Sure it's nice to get a little acknowledgement by being showered with gifts or receiving something small and symbolic, but expecting gifts can turn this day into a disaster.
It's great to give and receive tokens of your affection. Let's be real anyway, who doesn't love a nice diamond necklace, flowers or chocolates?! However, if you are placing demands on your man to buy you a nice Valentine's gift, are you really able to soak in what this day is about? A day for lovers to take time and acknowledge all that they mean to each other.
Single's Awareness Day
If you aren't in a relationship, Valentine's Day sure is a day to make you aware of it. It might not bother you in the least the other 364 days of the year, but on Valentine's Day, you might find yourself longing for love, or at least someone to spend the day with.
I charge you to look where you already have it. In your dear friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, church members…wherever you have love. Also, if you are feeling a little lonely, take the opportunity to really love on you. Treat yourself to some chocolate, jewelry or whatever it is you feel like you might be missing out on.
Enjoy a movie that you've been wanting to see with another friend who is single, or make it a girl's night out! To really be selfless and spread a little love, a trip to a local nursing home with a gift basket for a lucky resident would not only warm their hearts, but it could set your heart on fire.
A Day for Rekindling Love
Whether you "believe" in Valentine's Day as a holiday or not, it is a good time to be reminded of the people we love and those who love us.
The point of Valentine's Day shouldn't be on commercial goods but on rekindling our love lives. Broaden the day past significant others to include mothers, fathers, grandparents, children. This is a great time to have a small gathering at your home or give random love calls to family members.
Whatever you do, savor every moment.
What does Valentine's Day mean to you? How do you celebrate?
|Posted on January 22, 2013 at 12:50 AM||comments (0)|
When it comes to relationships, things can sometimes get a little complicated. Romance that may have once come naturally becomes a struggle…or even worse, it could be nonexistent. Let's face it, in this day and age, many couples go through trials, but if you are worried there could be something a little more going on in your relationship, or that your special someone may be cheating on you here are five signs your lover may be cheating on you.
1. He needs a lot of private time.
We all have our moments and certain times when we just need to be alone. A level of "me" time is surely healthy for both parties in a relationship. But, if your mate is suddenly needing a lot of extra time to himself, this could be a reason for suspicion that something is being done in the dark.
2. He keeps his communication a secret.
When your guy's phone rings does he leave the room? Does he hide his text messages from you or delete his history? Does he answer vaguely when you ask him who he's talking to? Even consider his behavior when he's on the computer. Does he hide the screen from you or has he changed his passwords lately (if you knew them in the first place)? These could all be signs that there's someone else in the picture (or on the screen).
3. His physical appearance changes drastically.
Some guys go through mid-life crises, and it causes them to change a few things about themselves. However, take note of this. Is your lover who never works out suddenly an active gym goer? Is he changing his clothes, scent, or facial hair? Even take note of how he smells. Is he coming home with a different scent than he left with? This could be a sign he is showering at someone else's house.
4. Your intimate life has been fading.
There could be several reasons for this, but if your man is not trying to get intimate with you, there's a good chance he's getting his physical needs met somewhere else.
5. Your gut tells you something's wrong.
This is important. You know your man, and while you may be doubting yourself, afraid to jump to conclusions or just scared to admit it to yourself, your own intuition will tell you a lot. This is the best weapon a woman has.Trust this!
|Posted on January 13, 2013 at 10:15 PM||comments (0)|
Have you ever dated someone and there was something about him that was awkward, but you just couldn't quite put your finger on it? Maybe this is even the situation you find yourself in now. You want to be an optimist and think the best, but your gut instinct tells you that this person has a darker side. Always listen to the voice within, because every woman was given gut instincts.
One of the problems is that some women tend to gravitate toward men who have a dark side or are "hard" or thugs. While some women like their men a little “rough around the edges,” we all have to be sure our safety isn’t compromised.
Here are five signs a potential boyfriend might be abusive.
1. He acts different in front of others than he does when you are alone. I’m not just talking about him being a little more of a sweet talker when you two are one-on-one. I’m talking about being a much different person when you are out in public than he is in private. That's a sign of instability, and even if it’s not bad yet, it could be leading to something worse. This person has a face for the world and a totally different face for you.
2. He tries to build a relationship too fast. You've just had your first date and he is already trying to screen your calls. It could be a fluke sign, but this is one to watch, regardless of if he’s actually violent. It could just be that he has low self-esteem and confidence and that never fares well in a relationship.
3. He gets jealous easily. If your new man has jealous tendencies, especially when you don’t give him a reason to, this is something to be leery of. For example, say you’ve been dating a man for a month and he walks up and sees you talking to another man. Once the other man leaves and you two are out of the sight of others, he grabs your arm really hard and starts talking to you in a very ugly way.
4. Things turn ugly when you argue. There’s a healthy amount of disagreement that happens in every relationship, but if his anger escalates a little too quickly, this is something to watch for. Obviously if there is any physical signs of violence to go with this anger, then walk away fast. Even he isn’t physical, a hot temper at the beginning of the relationship, when you haven’t even faced your most difficult issues, is a bad sign.
5. He talks down to you. If he is disrespectful to you in any way, get out of there. He may not be physically abusive, but emotional abuse is just as real. Don’t let any man, especially not one who is trying to win your heart, talk to you like you are not a queen!
At the first sign of aggressiveness, especially unprovoked, you should leave. No relationship is worth taking the chance on your life or safety.
|Posted on January 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM|
With more than 90 books and novellas written and 3 million books in print, Mrs. Brenda Jackson is one writing mama, and she’s today’s featured drama queen on my blog! Her career is an inspiration for anyone who writes or aspiring to be a writer. I always say if you want to be successful watch the best. She began her writing career in 1994 when she signed with Kensington Arabesque and since then she has written page-turning series aboutthe Madaris family, the Bennetts, the Westmorelands, the Montgomerys, the Masters, the Savoys, and the Steeles.
Over the years she has achieved many awards being the first African-American author to have a book published under Halequin/Silhouette Desire line of books and the first African American romance author to make the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists for the series romance genre. She has now been graced with the 2012 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. I want to thank Brenda Jackson for blazing a trail (and the trail is piping hot) for writers like myself.
Write on sistah!
Image borrowed from novelsalive.tv
|Posted on January 6, 2013 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
As 2013 rolls in, it brings with it a lot of promise—a chance to start fresh.
You may have come up with a few New Year's Resolutions, you may still be narrowing them down, or you might just choose not to have any. Whichever boat you are in, I've come up with three things you can do right now to make 2013 better for you than 2012.
1. Slow Down.
If you are the type of person who needs permission to do this, then here it is. You may be missing out on important moments because you are moving too fast, so in 2013, slow down a little.
Take the time to reflect on each day, and sometimes maybe even more than once a day. Soak in the little details of life. Think about them and learn from them in your reflections. Take the time also, to stop and make a plan.
The person who said, "Failure to plan is planning to fail," said it for a reason. If you don't take the time to plan things, all that busyness that you put yourself through to advance forward may be in vain.
Finally, an old friend of mine gave some great advice on this slowing down the other day. "Don't be in a rush to make the same mistakes." You've probably heard something like that before, as I have, but his words have resonated with me since our conversation. I’ve been guilty of rushing through our day -to -day life goals so fast I don't even realize why I am making the same mistakes.
2. Change Your Disposition.
How many times do we blame others when things go wrong in our lives? I’ll wait while you count them…
Finished? Okay, if you were honest, you probably had quite a few situations where this has happened.
While we often think that other people are the reason for when things going wrong, we should keep this in mind: the common denominator in everything we are involved in is spelled M-E. If you are constantly facing failures or disappointments, perhaps it's time to change your disposition.
What do I mean by this exactly? First of all, work on changing your attitude about certain situations. Ever heard the saying, "Fake it till you make it?" Start there and see if things don't start improving for you. Even further though, really take the time to reflect on your habits. We always want to get a little better than where we were when we first started. If the world is like a game of Monopoly and you keep finding yourself at Go or Get out of Jail, it is time to make a change.
3. Keep it Real With Yourself.
Who are you kidding? After steps 1 and 2, can you honestly say you are where you want to be? If so, then you are on the right track to making 2013 the greatest year ever. However, even if things are looking great for you, there is always room for improvement in life.
Whether you want to learn, or not, class is in session for us all. Taking the time for genuine evaluation will reveal a lot of truths to you. Spending time sitting and meditating on life will reveal a lot about the real to you. Don't try to hide from yourself. Instead, become acquainted with the person that you are when no one else is looking.
Writing this blog has me feeling better about 2013 already! Let's make 2013 better than 2012. Who's with me?
Leave a comment, stating one tangible way that you will make this year better than last year!
|Posted on August 9, 2012 at 4:35 AM||comments (0)|
As a young girl, I loved hearing this song at church. I thought the words were "way" in the water. Even though I didn't exactly know what the words were, I always felt a spiritual connection when I heard or sang this song. As an adult, I know all too well the meaning of wading the waters of life. We have to wade through the muddy waters in order to get to the clear vision of the God in us all.
Wade in the water.
Wade in the water, children.
Wade in the water.
God's gonna trouble the water.
Well, who are these children all dressed in red?
God's a-gonna trouble the water
Must be the children that Moses led
God's a-gonna trouble the water.
Who's that young girl dressed in white
Wade in the Water
Must be the Children of Israelites
God's gonna trouble the Water.
Jordan's water is chilly and cold.
God's gonna trouble the water.
It chills the body, but not the soul.
God's gonna trouble the water.
If you get there before I do.
God's gonna trouble the water.
Tell all of my friends I'm coming too.
God's gonna trouble the water.
|Posted on July 6, 2012 at 3:05 AM||comments (0)|
It was an absolute wonder how time and a whole lot of trials and tribulations had changed my outlook on life and my beautiful relationship with Titus. As it turned out, I didn’t open my practice and become a clinical psychologist helping others like I’d set out to, and my relationship with Titus was far from perfect.
What was the use of having the world when you had no one to share it with? was a question that I struggled with too often for my taste. After six long years of marriage it was becoming all to cliché. As I paused to take a moment to digest the sensual and alluring ambience I’d set for the evening, the question pounded into my head like a meat cleaver. The strongest thud pulsating against my temple sent a pain from my head throughout my body and that beating pain took up residence in my heart. My mind raced pondering a million questions.
“How could he do me like this...again, but more importantly how could I let him? What had our marriage come to? Where was it going?” I asked the questions aloud, to no one in particular. I was all alone. Again. “Why do I love so hard that I can’t let go?” My mind was full of questions. I was beginning to question my entire existence.
I couldn’t pin down the moment in time that the insatiable joy left our relationship, but that joy had slipped away from our beautiful home into a faint trace of existence. Positioned in the middle of the jumbo gazebo in the backyard, the Jacuzzi had flowed with warm bubbly water scented with a touch of jasmine oil. Dim post lighting outlined the gazebo creating a glowing allure that could take a lover’s breath away. Pink floating candles shone brightly at the four corners of the gazebo and an assortment of designer candles meticulously placed around the Jacuzzi added just the right effect. E-lec-tri-city was in the air and I was proud to have successfully turned my backyard into a lover’s paradise. I anticipated a beautiful night full of wonderful memories.
Well, that was all the way up until the chilled champagne got hot, the gourmet shrimp fettuccini made to perfection got cold, and every bubble in the Jacuzzi fizzled down to faint traces of soap scum. What was supposed to be a night of fiery unyielding passion with my husband had turned into a night of me, myself and I. I could have screamed when I realized all of the work that I put in to make this night magical was in vain. Instead of screaming I decided to call my best friend, Rhonda, the only person that I could vent with at the moment.
“Ronnie, this negro has done it again!” I said as soon as she said hello.
“Huh? What is it now?” she asked sounding agitated that I was calling her so late.
“He stood me up, a-gain. That’s what.”
“Really?” she let out a deep breath as if she was trying to collect her thoughts.
“Just straight up forgot about our plans. He is not even answering his cell, now.” As I spoke the words to Ronnie, my sister from another mother, I fought back a lone tear that kept threatening to breakout of its prideful prison in the corner of my eye.
If I wasn’t wearing his platinum and diamond ring on my ring finger, I would think that I was just some sideline ho vying for his attention. Aside from the ring and living in his home, that was exactly how I felt. The simple thought of being played to the left by the man that held my heart cut deep to the core. He hadn’t been home in weeks, we hadn’t made love in over a month, and I hadn’t had a meaningful conversation with him in just as many days. It had been three days ago when he called to make tonight’s broken promise.
"I can't believe I let myself fall for his lies again, Ronnie. He doesn’t even respect me enough to show up when he makes plans with me.” My gaze dropped slightly and my spirit dampened more. “I mean, who am I kidding? He rarely comes home and when he does it’s for less than an hour or two at a time. I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”
“Hang in there sis,” Ronnie encouraged. "I'm sure you will get through this."
“I love him, but I can’t continue like this. I will not sit around here waiting for him night after night while my clock ticks out. I’m twenty eight years old and I am not getting any younger. Before you know it, I'll be in my thirties, miserable and bitter.”
Rhonda gave a valiant, though unsuccessful, attempt at cheering me up. With a smile in her voice she said, “Well, look at the bright side girl. Thirty is the new twenty.”
“Ha! Thirty is not the new twenty, hun? Even if it is, I feel like I'm thirty five going on forty.” Just the mention of my age made me feel worse. I was not getting any younger. I knew to some thirty was young, but having spent so many years with a man that didn’t know how precious time was and the fact that I was not happy added at least five years to my age.
At that point, I was unable to fight back that tear any longer. It drizzled down my right cheek and fell onto the carpeted floor, alongside my pride and self respect. If my father could see me now, he would be so disappointed. Being married to Titus and “the streets” had me at the lowest point of my life. I couldn’t believe how far gone I was over a man who somehow managed to inspire me to reach for the stars and then shot my rising star down as time went by. I rearranged all of my goals and dreams to match his. He stole my heart and then, just like a thief in the night, left without a trace. Since marrying him, I managed to break off nearly every tie I had to the outside world and put anything that I might have wanted to do with my life on hold. The only connections that I had from my life before becoming Mrs. Wilson were my sisters from another mother, Rhonda and Gladys.
My dream of being a clinical psychologist was shelved as I helped Titus strategize and grow his illegitimate business, which broke my mother's heart. When he made his first million, he said “no wife of mine should be working,” so at his persistence I reluctantly settled into the idea of being a housewife. My father worked two jobs to send me to college so that I could "be somebody" and I was a housewife to a deadbeat husband. I held out hope that when Titus' money was clean we would revisit my dream and open the psych office. At least, that was my plan.
I rarely visited my family anymore because my mother didn’t like the hold she felt Titus had on me. When mother didn’t like a person, the rest of the family despised them. I married Titus without her approval, so she treated me like an outcast. At first, it hurt, but as the years have passed by I knew that she had the presence of mind to know that Titus would put me through more than she was willing to watch as a bystander.
When my father suffered a heart attack four years ago, mother was distraught. She was persistent in letting me know that life was too short and that I could do better for myself. She didn’t want to see stress eat me alive as it had done daddy for years as he worked to provide for our family.
A glance into the glass mirror hanging on the kitchen wall revealed what I wasn’t prepared to see. With grief in my eyes, I saw a reflection of my father. Mama was right.
My petite frame was devoid of the beautiful spirit that once dwelled within it. My eyes were cold and unreadable. My lips were pouty, pale, and puffy. My hair, though healthy and glowing from the best care money could buy, was disheveled. The pretty caramel skin that covered my flawless face was flush red from anguish. Not only had Titus stop loving me. I had stopped loving myself. It was time to take my life back.
Secrets of a Kept Woman is available at www.amazon.com
|Posted on September 15, 2011 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
A Whole Year of Perfect Happiness?
There is a reason why God said, no man is created perfect in Romans 3:10, because no matter how hard we try to seek perfection, we always fall short. That is why it is even hard to just think of spending an entire year of perfect happiness. For this blog carnival Mashawn Mickels asked, “If you could spend one year in Perfect Happiness and afterwards remember nothing of the experience, what would you do and why?”
Well, after making sure that my kids and everyone would survive without me around, I would drive cross-country to Seattle, Washington and purchase a nice and quant rental home close to the shore for six months with the intentions of renting my own little corner of peace. When I traveled there before, the place was absolutely beautiful, especially near the water, and the thought of being in a city where I can experience something new everyday and no one knows my name (heck I do not even have to remember my name for this year of perfect happiness) is enticing.
Why would I seek six months of peace first? At the age of 16, I was a teenage mother and by the age of 19, I had married, practically right out of high school. Therefore, this would definitely be a year of “me” time; yes, a stolen year to concentrate on....well me. In my beautiful cottage on the shore, I would spend countless hours writing, walking, and exploring things that make me happy like dancing and reading. Even though I wouldn’t remember it all, I will reenergize my mind, body, and soul so that I will be more able to handle my life once I’m zapped out of this perfect place. I’d enjoy meditation, exercise, calm and tranquil moments. There will be No Internet Allowed.
What would make this migration so perfect is the fact that I will have no worries there. No bills, no deadlines, no production requirements, and definitely no stress. In these moments of solitude, writing, dancing (oh, yeah I’m going dancing every week :), and reflecting, I think this is where I would find myself without a care in the world, thus Perfect Happiness.
Alas, during the last six months, I'd see the world. After I found myself fully rejuvenated, physically at the top of my game,mentally at the top of my game, and ready for anything, the next six months I'd traveling the world making stops in Paris, Venice, Beijing, and Ghana.While traveling the world, I would be like a sponge experiencing and soaking up all of the information and culture that I could get, even knowing that once the year of perfect happiness was over that I would not remember a thing.
Therefore, each month I will mail myself pictures and letters detailing all of my experiences, the people I met, what we talked about, what we saw. On the last day of this year, I'd mail my journal, so that I could remind myself that once upon a time in this world full of stress, pressure, and war, you experienced a nurturing of the mind body and soul with no interruptions. There was perfect peace, perfect people, and thus perfect happiness.
With my writings and pictures, I would relive this experience over and over again.
This post was done as a part of Mashawn Mickel's blog carnival. Read more stories from other authors at www.mashawn.com.
In the comment section, name a few things you would do if you had one year of Perfect Happiness.
|Posted on August 6, 2011 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
Thank God for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances. Be blessed family xoxo