May 8, 2013

And This Month's Interviewee Is...

The main objective of my blog is to inspire and be inspired.  I love searching and finding inspiration in the simplest of things, in places unexpected and then writing stories about them provoking a chain reaction of inspiration, self-awareness, love, acceptance, spiritual awakening and empowerment!   Sometimes those stories can be our very own, that is why I also love sharing my personal stories, experiences, triumphs, challenges, tears and laughter in hope to touching and enriching someone's life for the better.

I believe that something magical and miraculous happens when we share our light with others. It just may very well brighten someone's darkness.   I love the way spiritual activist and author Marianne Williamson puts it better.  She states that "as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  It is through this personal belief that my monthly feature of And This Month's Interviewee is....emerged!  My goal is to feature, every month, an interview in hopes that the underlying story behind it touches and enriches someone's life for the better.  We are not alone people, we all intertwine in the mysterious and magical energy of life!

Without further ado, this month's beautiful, gorgeous, talented and spunky interviewee is...

What is your name & age?   Zulaima Estrella Rafael (Morales) my family knows me better  by Shasha and I am 30 years young! 

Are you married? Children?   Yes I am married and I have 3 children that I love soooooo much! 
Where did you grow up?  En la cuidad de progreso! LOL, In English translation...Hialeah, a very cultural town near Miami, Florida. 

What is the extent of your family? Parents? Any siblings?  I have both parents alive thankfully. My father isn't in the picture but my Mother manages to be a permanent pinch in my petunia! ^_^  And I have two younger sisters.

As a little girl, what did you dream/aspire to be?  As a little girl I always knew I wanted to be SOMEONE BIG! Someone that had a lot of influence on others and someone that was always heard. I remember wanting to be a judge/ lawyer or even into politics! Speaking passionately in debates, etc...

What were you like when you were a kid?  As a kid I was always spunky and outgoing. I love to talk so I made and had many friends in school that I would entertain with my humor! I was also shy too, but was also determined! 

What was your favorite toy, game or pass-time as a child?  Favorite toy...hmmmmm I don't really remember a toy, although I am going to say I had  a baby luya. I had my thumb, oops did I say that aloud! I loved music and remember sitting in the bath tub with my boom box as I listened to 80's music. I remember riding bike a lot and playing with childhood friend/neighbor outside.  I still like to play....
How would you describe your childhood memories?  ahhhhhh sighs. My childhood memories are filled with good and bad. When I think of answering this question I know my memories were mostly of bad but I do remember my disposition to always be happy and smile even through the tough times. I can remember the fundamental base of love and morals in my home, but it was rough for me growing up. The way I would describe my life growing up it always seemed like a very dark LOOOOOOONG tunnel with a light on the other end hundred and thousands of miles away. But hey, there was a light.... 

Ever had an imaginary friend as a child?  If yes, please tell a little about it.  No although I pretended too once after seeing the movie Drop Dead Fred, LOL 

Did you enjoy your high school years?  WOW!!! Ummmm.... Truthfully NO. I mean I made the best of it but NO I didn't enjoy my high school years. I feel I was robbed of them. High School for me was a BLUR. I just remember wanting time to pass so I can be all grown up. 

Did your dream/aspiration as a child changed in high school?  If yes, how so?  No it didn't change. If my situation would have allowed me mentally, I always had a passion for what I mentioned above and probably would've pursued it. I just think that having the circumstances in my life that I had in high school just kind of made me want to not deal with school and work so that I can take care of myself.

Although there are still some good men out there that step out to the plate at being a good father to their children, it is still true and unfortunate that many girls are still growing up without a father figure in their lives.  How would you say having had an absent father in your life affected you?  I will start off by saying that for a long time in my past I thought that I was an exception to the rule and that having an absent father figure in my life would not affect me and I was prepared to take on whatever I had to, to make up for any of his loss. It wasn't until some time ago that I really started soul searching and meditating that I considered the affects and toll it took on me. When I look back and analyze certain decisions I have made and well having daughters now that I had to choose a father for makes me think. I remember vivid feelings of my father being my hero and the strongest man in my whole world. I remember comparing him to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone and any other muscled man actor that my mom would go crazy over!  An Idol!  Then right around when I was 9 it all started falling down hill. 
To make a long story short he was GONE and well never really came back for a long long time. That's where the sealed bond broke and trust was ruined. Now as I look back I remember in my adolescent years I was already planning what I wanted for my own family. How many children I wanted, what kind of man I wanted, etc., rather than participating in pep rally's or hanging out with girlfriends and playing basketball. I remember having lots of male friends and well lets just say I am a natural flirt at heart and you can blame it on my MOMMA!!!  LOL, or well in this case to be honest, on my FATHER!!! 

So I did! I searched and searched until I left my home at a very young age to pursue what I thought would be my perfect family. Went into the arms of an abusive dominant BOY at the time and lived the married life and had my first born Britney at the age of 19. I guess I just wish someone could have explained to me and helped me sort out my feelings about my father because my "fruits" show what his absence in my life has caused me.  We do look up to our fathers and we do tend to find traits in our life partners that some how portray our fathers in some way. There is also the lack of example. I mean how do you know what a man is suppose to treat a woman like when you haven't had the example set. So you kind of live out what you see and you spend time trying to compensate for all the wrong things at all the wrong times. Now that I have not one but two daughters and a good growing father/husband but not perfect one I can't help but to wonder if I had a prestigious loving present father in my life what standards would I have had now? What choices would I have made. I know they would have been better guided ones than the ones I have made. 

In life, we all go through childhood trials both good and bad developing behavioral patterns that we may carry into adulthood. You expressed that although you remember your memories to be mostly bad, you took the disposition to be happy and smile through the tough times.  Looking back would you say this is perhaps a pattern carried into adulthood?  If so, how do you feel it impacted your life as a child and your life now as an adult?   I always see the glass half full.  Yes it can be a behavior I developed and still carry on from child to adulthood. Possibly as a defense mechanism. Life isn't about the action but the reaction.  It is part of what helps me carry on.  It can be called positivity, GOD, love, faith, many of things.  While as a child it was mostly good to me and this way helped me to carry along those tough teen acceptance times, as an adult woman trying to become more aware I can now see where it could have blinded me at many times.  I guess sometimes you get so caught up in wanting to smile and be desperately happy when you really aren't that it could kind of be taken for "masking". It's like a thin line between the two.  I have learned through time and trial and error that you have to accept your feelings and let them marinate.  Take what good you need out of it as well what bad you must learn from it to know not to make the same mistake again and be able to move on. OH MOON CHILD this is sooooo hard to do but as long as I am willing to make more conscious decisions for myself I have faith it will all fall into place. (monkey bars)
You mention your dreams or aspirations as a child did not change in high school but because of circumstances were put on hold.  Are you pursuing the passion you feel you were not able to pursue during your high school years?  Or have they changed during the course of adulthood?   This one is a tricky one. I feel that the answer that led to this questions was a mixture of #13's tendencies in me.  I know that I am very happy with what I am currently doing with my business and myself and what I see in my future. I love many things and because of my positive go getting attitude I feel its not going to be late for me to pursue it all. Therefore leaving some things on hold til I can make a better circumstance for myself and make it happen! I am taking the steps towards this and leave the rest in Jesus loving hands. 

You ended one of your answers with "monkey bars" in parenthesis.  May you please elaborate on what you mean by this?  Ah yes! Monkey Bars! How I remember that hot sunny day I was OH so determined at the age of 5 to complete the adult monkey bars without falling off. My hands were swelled and filled with blisters after hours and hours of countless tries but, I DID IT!!! The trait of determination is in my veins running through my blood. You tell me I can't and I will show you how I did!!! I am a very curious being at nature so challenges are very good friends of mine. But the way I see it, without some unsuccessful results, you may never know any better or which way works best for you. There is no mastering it. Every time I am confronted with a situation and find myself saying: "What the HECK?!?!? o_O which is all the time, I tell myself Monkey Bars and I know that there is nothing I can't accomplish!!! There are only limits when we set them up ourselves.

How did you start blogging and why?  Well, my Mother of Pearl created one for me and gifted me with it. She thought it would be a great way of connecting more with my inner self as well as promote spiritual growth and BOY was she right!!!   At first I wasn't as into it and to be honest I am not as disciplined to it as I would like to be but have grown very fond of it!  I have all kinds of ideas and love the sharing and networking with others all over the world! I think everyone should BLOG!!!  Oh, and in case you did not know already, my Mother of Pearl is the author of this here blog, PonderWonders.

Shashack seems to be a very unique name for a blog.  Why Shashack?   Well Shashack's origins come from my intimate family nick name known as SHASHA! (short version for Spanish translation to "muchacha" which means girl in English) I wanted to use Shasha because its a name that only my family calls me. Only the people that are really close and know me very well know this. So I want whoever comes to my blog to really know me for me who I really am and I thought that Shasha such an intimate name would be perfect to reflect just that. 

The Shack part I associate with the book the Shack written by: WM Paul Young. It has been by far the best book I have ever come to read. I have read it 4 times and might read a 5th. I even have a lady bug tattoo as a significant reminder of the impact the contents of the book had in my personal life. It helped me change my perspective to lots of things and ways! The story was amazing and answered so many questions I have had since my younger years pertaining to faith, God, Jesus, religion, life and the misery that comes with painful incidents, situations out of our control and the choices we are sometimes forced to make and endure from it. THE WHY'S?!? So I wanted my blog to offer just that! Information that can help inspire or clarify any uncertainties. To share as much as I can, what my experiences have helped me gain and learn and share this with people from all over the world. You know like Shasha's Shack!!! A place to share, promoting growth in all ways! Spiritually  Fundamentally, Knowledgeably, etc... you get it! LOL
If you just close your eyes and allow yourself NOT to think, what would you say is what you most would want out of life for yourself?  To be in connection with my heart again! It is locked up somewhere inside of me down in the depths of my soul. I locked it up a long long time ago in hopes it would never be let down, hurt or bruised. I have been searching for the DARN path back to it but have steered off into the subconscious behavioral pattern route and still trying to find my way. If I am in connection with my heart then I would know the answers I need to know to move gracefully through LIFE without uncertainty, but rather with PEACE! 

So you're a professional make-up artist and hairstylist as well as a photographer.  How do you balance your career with 3 children, a husband and time for yourself?
Ahhhhh!!!! This question is a tough one! I want to be completely honest with you all but mostly honest with myself. So after erasing and rewriting this answer going on 4 times now (talk about the controlling trait huh?!?) I am going to say that I try to look for balance to make it work. I know that the main thing missing from the equation is making time for myself. But I do manage to make it for my children, husband, my family mostly. I was actually in the hospital recently. This being the second time for severe stomach issues. While Dr.'s say bacteria, peptic ulcer disease and even sludge in my gallbladder, I know that the core issue of my tummy derives from my stress. The stress of controlling and wanting to do it all and having perfect results!! It drives me nuts. Anyway, the way I have been making it work is that I just give into the schedule I have at this particular time in my life due to my children. Obviously they come first to me! 

Being a business owner also allows me to create any kind of schedule I need to accommodate what goes on in my daily routine. My son Brenden has autism and a Monday - Thursday schedule of therapies to help him progress. My girls of course are in school. Luckily they both go in at the same time, so drop off in the mornings are easy. But, the middle one gets out at 1:50 and the oldest at 3:05. Talk about uneven timing right? LOL Logically after that it's snack, homework, shower and then eventually dinner time. My husband usually comes home around 5:30, 6:00 and has been recently helping me out more so things can result smoothly giving us enough time to spend in the evening together really relaxing.

I try not to schedule anything business related in between those times unless IF NEED BE or I am responding to a couple emails or texts, things of those sorts. Sometimes while I am waiting for Chumbi (Brenden) to get out of his sessions I catch up on whatever work I can at that moment. The weekends is when I really have the time and opportunity to really dedicate to work. I have a great family that believes in me and they partake in helping me out with the kids so that I can build my Empire! I make the best with what situation I am in at the particular moment. I do not fight the time and use it as wisely as possible. 

Now, here is the bonus question I ask all my interviewees:  If we lived in a world where money was non-existent and all our commodities and personal necessities were provided to live a healthy and happy life, how would you spend the rest of your living days?  OMG!!! Doing what I still do! I love being a photographer, make-up artist and hair stylist. I would probably be a lawyer or maybe some sort of politician just so I can be of a great influence to this world. BUT!!! I would definitely be traveling with my children and hubby all over the world. I love GREECE especially. Maybe even China or Thailand. Shoot lets not forget Hawaii or the Island of Caicos and OMG just everywhere!!! Even Australia and Alaska!!! Follow tribes. Study the ancient history philosophy. Visit Egypt and Israel for fundamental knowledge. I would hope to learn culture and be inspired as well as inspire others towards spiritual growth as I experience LIFE.

Thank you again for allowing me to participate in these questions! It was great being open with you and sharing with others in hopes to make a change for the better! 
There you have it folks, the beautiful, gorgeous, talented and spunky soul of my daughter whom we lovingly know as Shasha.  If you want to know more about her or simply just want to show some love and support, she is a newbie blogger over at Shashack!

Shasha, I wish you the best in your endeavors and hope ALL your dreams come true.  Keeping dreaming big as you conquer your Empire!   Thank you for your kind and loving willingness to open up your heart and share a little of your world in hopes of inspiring others.  I admire your strength and courage.  I am so very proud of you.  Siempre contigo!  ~Mom



  1. I really like to read where other people have come from and understand what they have gone through. It is especially touching to hear when someone like your remarkable daughter can be objective and clear minded about her past and know where she wanted her future to go..She looked at her past hurts and did not let it own her but chose to grow from it. Wow and you as a mother encouraged her and helped her put her honest experience and thoughts out there as a way of support. You didn't try to quiet her experience to save your own pride and image. I know my own mother flinched with hurt to hear how my father's behavior towards her impacted my life. Now she can only tell me how relieved that my sister and I gained knowledge and strength from our childhood. No matter how close we are with our mothers, our mother's pride in us can really take us far and fuel our greatness.

    Thanks to you and your daughter for the difficult gesture of exposing yourselves a is not easy to divulge where we have come from...

    1. Hola Ms Mac!
      Your words touched me and I thank you for that. It is difficult to expose oneself especially if it involves trials and challenges one tends to hide. But, I am a firm believer that the truth sets you free. I believe in honoring the soul, loving and accepting oneself completely...flaws and all. And if in doing so it touches someone's life, then it is worth it. In this case it is extraordinarily special and inspiring to me because it is my daughter who also benefits by sharing her truth! I love the way spiritual activist and author Marianne Williamson puts it better. She states that "as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing of yourself as well!

      ~SimplyyMayra :)

  2. Awesome post! I'm a new follower from ACLC Hope you will visit my blog and hopefully follow me also. I have a hop today also if you'd like to join us and link up we'd love to have you.

    1. Hola Angel!
      Thanks for stopping by, on my way to yours to reciprocate the love and support. Looking forward to getting to know more about ya. Tootles!

      ~SimplyyMayra :)

  3. My beautiful Mother of Pearl! Once again you put this together so beautifully!!! I can't THANK YOU enough for helping me soul search some and answer questions that let me be true to who I am. To share it in hope to better. I am also grateful for what you instilled in me that long glorious day of the monkey bars... Lord knows that's why I know how to soar. Thank you! - Love you, Pruitti

    1. Hola mi amorcito!
      Thank you, that's what I'm here love you unconditionally and provide you with insight on the important things in life. Love you,

      Siempre Contigo
      ~Mom :)


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