A Nap, No Makeup, A New Normal?

Greetings, greetings, greetings,

I hope this post finds you well, secure, and in perfect peace. I am feeling refreshed myself. Today, I did something I haven’t done for a very long time- I took a nap. I know that may sound simple but, for someone like me, taking a nap requires a detachment that I do not know and a feeling of guilt that I do not particularly enjoy.

However, today, I decided to do a few things different. I decided to take today off – a day off from my regular. After getting everyone off to school, I went to the market and my favorite botanica, I returned home. I prepared a light breakfast and then decided to lay my tired ass down. LOL, just typing that makes me giggle.

I chose not to work on anything in particular. I chose to only wash and moisturize my face and not wear any makeup. Yes, I absolutely loathe the areas of hyperpigmentation on my cheeks but, my skin needs a rest from all of the chemicals. And though not wearing makeup makes me a bit self conscious, I know that my body needs it. I have learned to listen to my inner wisdom.

And then, I chose to take a nap. Sometimes we have to just stop- stop running around, stop with the neverending to-do list, stop with the marketing and advertising, stop with the workout- just stop and be.

I am beginning to see the power in just be-ing. You have to be still in order to hear the still voice of the divine. You have to just be in order to feel, to process, to accept, to let go, to release, to move on. There is much power in the being.

So, today, makeup-less, I decided to go within, rest, and be. And the being feels so damn good. Strive less to do and more to be. You will not regret it.

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Wounded, but Standing

Greetings,

As always, I hope that this post finds you well. I have honestly been struggling over the past few days. I had to come to the realization that although I am healed from certain traumas, I will always carry the scar and those scars can be quite tender and can still cause pain, even be reopened when not guarded and protected. I have had to make some decisions regarding those I allow in my personal space this week. It is painful but necessary. There is no way that I can subject myself to anyone who questions the validity of things that I openly shared with them- things that have forever changed me as an individual.

We have all had experiences that were painful, even traumatic. Hearing the stories of so many women who have experienced similar trauma is heartbreaking and it also peels back my own scars, causing me to really seek solace and peace within. In years past, a bottle of liquor was salve, but now I have other means of dealing with my anxieties and pain from all that has happened. It seems every time that I have sought what I needed outside of myself, I have been left feeling more hurt and regret for not only what happened but, for who I would have been if that ugliness had never occurred.

I know that this year holds much promise but, there will also be strife. I am already feeling it and it is not comfortable. But, I also understand that space must be created in order to make room for all that is to come. I have felt that I was on the brink of something big for the past few months so, I am being patient until it comes to fruition. I also am going to make even more efforts to be of assistance to all the black girls and women who have suffered or continue to suffer because of what was done to them.  The world can blame them and shame them but, I will uplift them, love them, encourage them, and enlighten them.

I have been fortunate enough to have the courage to speak, to share, to write, to do about things that a lot of people would not dare to. I  used to see my life as one big tumult- a never-ending story line of tragedy and pain. But, not now. I see my life as a testament to a spirit that refuses to give up or give in. My life is decorated with times of near death, almost this, and wouldn’t have that. In this society , I have been labeled almost every stereotype that is- the child born out of wedlock, the welfare child, the teenage mom, the battered wife, the rape victim, and so on. But, I am a creator and the author of my life. I am a woman, an overcomer, a survivor, a conqueror, a writer, a poet, a spiritual guide, an oracle, a teacher, a leader, a mother, and so much more. And I am just getting started.

Peace,

Ashaki

 

Wrapping Up 2018

Greetings!

I hope this post finds you well. I cannot believe that we are sitting at the end of 2018. So much has changed, been realized, been released, and so on this year. I learned a lot of lessons this year and am striving to apply those jewels of wisdom into my future.

This year was filled with new life, loss, death, pain, regret. I honestly still am processing a ton of it, but that is the way that you grow from so-called “negative” experiences. So many of us try to fake our way through it, deny how we feel, and refuse to release what truly bothered us, hurt us, and changed us.

There’s a process in progress and though it can be fun, exciting, and more awesome adjectives, it can also cause anxiety, tears, disappointment, and more.  However, what I have learned it that you are entitled to feel how you feel- just don’t remain in that state. Take every obstacle, every setback, every difficulty, every unfavorable situation and flip them on its head. View them as lessons and opportunities for your own growth.

So, do not lament about what 2018 was. Instead, rejoice in what the year taught you, how much you have grown, and how much wiser you have become over this last year. You have so much to look forward to, if only you get into the correct mindstate.

Next year is a 3 year. In numerology, 3 is an action number, a highly creative number, one that represents self-confidence. This number is an indication that next year, we all should focus on working on our passions and making our dreams come true. This next year brings tons of activity, movement, and new starts. So, get ready and stay tuned for more from yours truly!

And remember, you are a co-creator. The world is literally your canvas.

 

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Simply Be

Greetings fam! I hope this message finds you well and I hope you are not feeling overwhelmed about all of the holiday madness. I wanted to just drop in really quickly to check up on all on you all and speak briefly about a few things.

Can you believe that 2019 is as close as it is? I certainly can’t. When I look and think back on 2018 and how quickly it all went by, I can’t help but to remember my grandma Lillie saying that the older you get the quicker times goes. I remember saying that it wasn’t possible but, I swear it’s the truth.

Maybe it is because we are always so busy doing – working, cleaning, cooking, talking, texting, posting, checking in, running around, supporting, and so on and so forth. Which begs the question, how much time have we spent simply being?

I remember when I was a married twenty-something. I would spend so much time shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping, and working, and mothering, and wifeing (I know this isn’t a word lol) but, I never stopped to just BE. It left me feeling resentful trying to be Polly Perfect and neglecting myself.

I suppose from the outside looking in my family looked ideal. The smiles on the pictures covered up the dysfunction that lurked. And my heart was simply heavy and my spirit was being dragged. I truly do not know how I survived it all back then. I was driven by this need to create a family that I never had as a child.

Now, I am at a place in my life that I must be and do and think and feel and express myself as I see fit. I have learned the masterful skill of detachment- detachment from people, places, things, ideas, mindsets , habits, and more that are not serving my highest good. And I realize that in my imperfection, I am perfectly perfect.

There are mantras posted by my bed that I read nearly every day. One of them goes as follows:

“I release attachment to all that is not serving my highest good”.  This simple mantra has empowered me to let go of all of the ideas I had of how I should behave as a mother and now ex-wife.

The fallacies we hold about how we should be and act can be damaging, but only if we allow it. We have the power to change the narrative at any time we so choose. So, this is my encouragement to you- if you feel chained in your life, hostage to your “titles, and bound by tradition, choose you over all of it. You deserve to live every day joyfully, no matter how unconventional it may seem to others. Do it for you.

Release.

It is absolutely sweet.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Red Lips & Fingertips

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by red fingernails and red lipstick. I would sneak outside and paint my nails a blazing red color and admire how the red looked against my deep brown skin. I thought it looked pretty but, that notion was quickly shot down by a family member. 

“You too black to wear those colors”, “that makes you look like a clown”, “don’t wear no mess like that again”. Those statements became embedded into my mind and for years, I downplayed my own beauty, refused to wear particular colors, muting myself and admiring others who were bold enough to take chances.

But, I have shifted. My perception of beauty has changed and I am finally healed from the ugly messages that marred my childhood. So, I went to my nail salon and chose a bright red for my manicure. 

I had written previously about my red lipstick and all that it took for me to wear it. Now, here I am rocking red fingertips lol! I have come a very long way. For some people, wearing red lipstick and fingernail polish is not a big idea but, for me it is a revolutionary action. 

This is me standing fully on my own square, feeling the reverberation of my own beauty, power, and strength ripple through my body- free from the demons of the past, free from small mindedness, free from other people’s judgments.

It is not easy to overcome the lies that you have been told as a child, especially from loved ones. You often take what they say as gospel. But, be encouraged that no one can define you except you. You are as good as anyone, as beautiful as anyone, and as capable as anyone else in this world. Find your purpose, find your joy, find your hope, find you and celebrate you as often as possible. 

Live your life on your own terms and live it out loud!

Peace & Light, 

Ashaki

7 Years- Time Well Spent

Peace fam! I do hope this post finds you well. I have been having the damndest time carving out time in my schedule to write my annual Loc-versary post. But, here I am, a day (or few) late but, here nonetheless!

This month marks 7 years as a loc’d goddess, 7 years of having a head of kinky dreads. The number 7 holds so much significance. For me, 7 has always represented completion, self-mastery, god status; 7 is the number of my spiritual goddess mother Yemoja.

A little research and one discovers the number 7 also represents the seeker, the thinker, the intellectual, and so much more. 7 is a highly spiritual number, which brings me back to myself and this celebration of sorts.

 

I am for once standing in my truth, allowing things about myself to be known, sharing gifts that I had hidden for most of my life, and discovering new things about myself along the way. I am finally feeling free enough to fully express my truth through word, video, action, and more. Talk about fucking liberating!

It has taken me years to love myself deeply enough to honor ALL of my emotions, my desires, my needs, my space, my time, the entirety of me! 7 has been a year of completion for me.

I have let go of people, places, situation, and things that are no longer serving me or were unhealthy to me and have no qualms about further releases that are to occur. I am not holding onto anything that will keep me from living my life the way that it is truly intended.

I can actually see my destiny and it is beautiful. I know my purpose and I am walking in it each and every day that I rise and give my tribe what they need through the gifts that I have been given.

Life is coming full circle and I am here for it. As I look at my hair, lightly decorated with new silver hairs, I am pleased. I see the rough times, the successes, the heartaches, the growth.

It is absolutely beautiful.

And it is not over.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Surveying the kingdom
The journey is getting better and better!

Adventure Time

Greetings!

I do hope this post finds you well. I am always encouraging others to do something different, have new experiences, and connect with other, but often I don’t follow my own advice.

Yesterday I finally stepped outside of my self-made box and went on a new adventure. A group of ladies and myself went to the mountains. The air was crisp and cold, the trees spoke to us of change and ancient times, and the boulders and pathways challenged us to push ourselves beyond all the preconceived notions we held about ourselves.

We first traveled an easy path, talking along the way, meeting and greeting others who had also chosen to spend their day in nature that morning. The connection sparked a hunger for more of this type of scenario. The walk was meditative. The scenery was heavenly.

Then, we decided to take the more challenging route. It was rough, strenuous, but so needed. Reaching the peak of the mountain was so rewarding. The view was simply amazing. My soul felt so fulfilled and then I realized that the old adage “Variety is the spice of life” is so true!

We should all seek to find activities that allow us to see our world through a new set of eyes. And I also believe that evolution requires spending time with different people. They will undoubtedly have varying beliefs, perspectives, and life experiences that you can gain something from.

Spending time in the great outdoors was definitely what I needed at this moment in time. The past 6 months have not been easy but, I have endured. Now, I am realizing that everything that I want truly exists within my “youniverse”, if I only open my eyes and see it.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Ancestors Watching Over Me

Today, I decided to do some cleaning. I am not working and felt the need to just clean. I began in the bathroom, which is my usual practice, wiping down the sink, toilet, shower, sweeping, rearranging, and reorganizing. Then I moved on to the bedroom, folding clothes and gathering laundry that needed to be washed and so on and so forth.
Then I decided that my altar cloths needed to be washed and the altars needed to be cleansed as well. After the laundry was done and I began to sage the space of my ancestor altar and place everything back in order, I had an urge to change the position and dig up more pictures to add.
I went through my albums and found a picture of my great-grandmother and my uncle Otha Jr. I began to remember a flood of things- from Mama’s laugh to Uncle Otha Jr’s cool stride, to the stories, the meals, riding in his ’64 Impala convertible. I couldn’t help but to also begin to feel sad and overcome with emotions.
There are so many stories that should be shared but the family that once was is not anymore. My mother and I are estranged and have not seen or spoken in a year and a half or longer. Her brother and I were practically raised together, yet he has chosen to not have anything to do with me either. Other family members have passed away or we simply just do not communicate.
I remember my grandmother calling family meetings of sorts for members to hash out their disagreements. Whether they agreed in the end or agreed to disagree, it was always decided that we were still family- through good, bad, or ugly- no matter what. But, once she transcended this earthly life, that fell apart.
I often wonder if there was something else that I could or should have done differently but, I always come back to “Is being who they want serving my highest good?” And the answer, in short, is a resounding no. I cannot be Andre’a Danielle DeBerry, the little girl who endured much, who was a perfectionist, fighting to be herself yet, also fighting to fit in and be someone that the family was proud of. I cannot sit in church and pretend. I cannot be in a loveless marriage just for the sake of saying that I am married to my children’s father. I cannot endure toxicity from my mother or my uncle.
Stepping away from it all, moving away, and choosing to live a life so far removed has not been easy but, it absolutely has been necessary. I had to find me and ultimately choose me. I was not perfect but, I definitely was not walking a true path and had no peace because of it.
Ancestral reverence is a huge part of my life and sometimes I struggle with wondering if my ancestors are upset because of the path that I chose. But, when I hear my great-grandmother’s laugh, or my grandma Lillie comes in a dream and hugs me, I know that I am not a disappointment at all. I am my ancestor’s wildest dream. And all because I chose to live the radical concept of defining and being exactly who the hell I want to be.
May my ancestors forever guide and protect me and may I continue to be brave and make them proud.

Ase,
Ashaki

Choose

Greetings!

I feel like it has been ages since I have written but, as always, life happens- minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, and on and on. And for someone like me, although I understand that the concept of time is man-made and very linear in our Western world, time seems to fly at times, stand still at others, but I digress.

The last time we “spoke”, I spoke about giving up and the frustration of my experience with striving for my dreams and calling in this life. Well, now I am sitting in a place of yet another transformation.

I have spoken time and time again about how we should be progressing and personal evolution. But, choosing to embrace the fact that I am changing, that the things/people/places that I used to run to, may not be serving my highest good, is at times difficult.

And this is what separates the people who live the most authentic and fulfilling lives, and those that don’t. There is a certain level of diligence, courageousness, and sheer determination that is required to allow yourself to grow, be tested, and to move from level to level in your life’s journey. The end reward is profound peace and joy.

If you are frustrated with your life, feeling lost on the path, and wondering what your next move should be, first take three deep breaths. Then survey your life- are you working a job just for the check but deep down you know you should be doing something else? Are you in a relationship that is draining your energy instead of feeding your soul? Are you feeling inclined to pursue some different activities but, you are afraid of what might be said or what others think?

Follow your heart’s calling. It may not be easy to do. The question is would you rather look back on your life and review the fullness of it, knowing that you have lived your life being genuine and experiencing everything that you desired, authentically serving your highest good, fulfilling your destiny or would you rather sit with regret? The choice is of course yours. Choose wisely.

Think about it.

Peace,

Ashaki

I Give Up

So, it has been approximately 58 days since my last blog post. And I had every intention on writing this awesomely positive, inspirational, and heartwarming piece as I step back into the arena but, I think we would all be better served if I just allow my heart to pour out.

In the past few months, I have had multiple things happen that were not pleasant at all- from car issues, family loss, and other discomforts, let’s just say that I am happy that we are in a new season. But, I still am finding myself searching, struggling, and striving for the life that I truly want.

In the past few months, I have grown into gifts that I had kept mostly to myself. I began to strengthen my intuitive abilities, read Tarot cards, and attained Master level in my Reiki training. So, all has not been lost but, I still cannot help but to feel a type of way.

Most of us have had that feeling of utter defeat and discouragement when we feel we should be further along than we are. I have felt that way for most of my life. It is like my desires for fulfillment are just out of reach and no matter what I do, I won’t ever be able to touch it. But, my drive to succeed and live authentically causes me to never give up. I mean never…

So, although today I do not feel the most encouraged, though I do not see the fruits of the seeds I have been planting, though I feel like a failure, tomorrow I will muster the strength to try again. My spirit is composed mostly of determination and at times, utter stubbornness. Instead of throwing in the towel, I usually end up swinging it around my head like a helicopter (insert laughter here).

And I feel better already so, back to the drawing board to complete my master plan (insert evil genius laughter here). I think my best course of action is to just let go, release, and allow what is meant to happen to do so. The constant striving is exhausting…..

 

Peace,

Ashaki