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Shine On Sierra Leone: A Woman, Her Passion, & Her Power

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 When I spoke to Tiffany Persons, I got goose bumps. I could literally feel an energy rushing through my body affirming everything she was saying.

Tiffany Persons is the wonder-woman behind Shine On Sierra Leone, an organization that is invested in developing the social capital of Sierra Leone through various projects in the areas of education, arts, female entrepreneurship and micro-lending​, maternal and child ​healthcare, computer and adult ​literacy, sustainable ​infrastructure, eco-tourism, ​and agriculture.

In case you don’t know, here are some hard facts on Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone suffered 11 years of civil war, associated with the blood diamond crisis, which created mass displacement and trauma. The average age of life expectancy in Sierra Leone is under 45 years old. The country ranks last in healthcare globally. Sierra Leone is the 7th poorest country in the world.

​Undoubtedly, the Shine on Sierra Leone ​project is ​much-needed and rightfully multifaceted​​. With the demands of international logistics and fundraising, the organization’s level of success, led by the determination of one single woman, is awe-inspiring.

​But, the “wonder-woman-ness” of Tiffany Person’s doesn’t quite stop there… ​

She also runs Tiffany Company Casting – a commercial casting company based in Los Angeles that has a LONG list of super-high-profile clients. On the home front, ​she’s a single mother to a daughter by the name of November Skyy.
If you don’t think Tiffany is inspiring yet, when you get a taste of her inner-mind-workings you are sure to be mesmerized by ​this beauty.

Tiffany admits, not too long ​ago her then poverty mindset had her stuck​. Even though she had managed to open her company and even ​start ​Shine of Sierra Leone, she still struggled to keep it all together and take care of her daughter.

“My greatest obstacle was not being able to provide for my daughter and living a life that was beneath my desires”, she notes. “Business was trickling in, and at that time I was committed to being overwhelmed – not having enough time and money.”Through reading many books, studying life, and transcendental meditation, Tiffany says she began the process of resetting her mind and ultimately changing her life.”Any change happens from the inside out”, she reasons​. Tiffany empowered herself by developing a razor-sharp focus on her goals, letting go of negativity, and transforming her thoughts from scarcity-based to abundance-filled.

For example – Tiffany’s first Sierra Leone project was a documentary that highlighted the atrocities connected to the ​diamond mining industry​. She had visited Sierra Leone and was devastated and angered by the suffering the industry had caused the people. “It took me years to find financing for that documentary, and it’s because I was so angry about what was happening”, she recalls. “But once I changed that negativity and let go of the anger, we got funding immediately.”

It wasn’t always that easy, of course. Tiffany says that changing your mindset requires constant work. Her business, for instance, flourished over time, building alongside her experience and confidence.
Tiffany practices transcendental meditation twice per day to keep herself balanced. She is also conscious of her diet, sticking to organic whole foods, morning green juices, bullet proof coffees (yes, the butter-infused coffee – which she says makes her feel fully alive without the jitteriness that coffee usually gives), and lots of herbs. At work she says she (​and her whole office for that matter)​ listen​s​ to brainwave entrainment music – music that optimizes mental clarity. Essentially, Tiffany believes that ‘feeding’ the brain can help us tap into our best selves. Her daily practices around food, meditation, and even music, are all reflections of her quest to optimize her brain function.Powerful, right? Well, we’re not quite done yet…
Shine on Sierra Leone is a manifestation of Tiffany’s desire to share with the world these very same lessons in self-mastery. “You can’t teach what you don’t know”, Tiffany says. The organization’s mission is to transform the lives of the people of Sierra Leone and achieves this by teaching people how to use their minds to create a better future. The school program, for example, follows a holistic education curriculum, which among other things, has the students recite affirmations morning and afternoon. “They love doing the affirmation​s​”, Tiffany beams. “They now sing and dance them​.”

The results of empowering people by teaching mind-power, have been astounding. The Shine on Sierra Leone list of accomplishments include: the financing of about 70​00 women’s small businesses; guiding more than 20​,000 individuals towards computer literacy​; providing superior education ​to 400 ​elementary school students; teaching 600 ​adults how to read and write; and the construction of three major community buildings.

Shine on Sierra Leone also pulled on the heart strings of several celebrities (such as model Selita Ebanks and actress Rosario Dawson) who have in turned dedicated themselves to helping the organization’s mission in any way they can.

All hail to Tiffany and her team at Shine on Sierra Leone!

Want to have a better shot of being all YOU dream of? Here’s Tiffany’s advice:

​​1. The most powerful tool that you have to pave the pathway to your dreams is your mind. ​S​pend 2-5 minutes each day visualizing and feeling what it will feel like for you to be in your ideal position in life. Picture your friendships, career, confidence, experiences…

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. ​Use your mental time and energy to focus solely on the positive aspects of your desires and ignore the things that are examples of what you don’t want (for instance, that you haven’t achieved it yet, or someone else has and it should have been you, or you’ve been waiting so long)​.

3. Enjoy and savor the process, because once you achieve your goal, you will immediately want something else. ​S​o,​ enjoy each moment along the journey and stay present in those moments – all of them.

Great advice. Now let’s all get to doing!

To donate and learn more about Shine on Sierra Leone, please visit Shine on Sierra Leone at www.shineonsierraleone.org.

Photos courtesy of Shine on Sierra Leone

 

 
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