Being in the Presence of Greatness

Greetings and Happy Saturday! Yo, I am still feeling high and not because I took part in any extracurricular activities involving herbs. Last night, I saw a dream of mine come true; I saw Eric B. & Rakim live in concert. I cannot tell you how it felt watching him rhyme, move about the stage, speak to the crowd. For once in my life, I was star-struck.

He and Eric B. took us down memory lane. We heard “Don’t Sweat the Technique”, “Move the Crowd”, among other signs. They ended with the classic “Paid in Full”. The energy in the room was essentially the essence of pure hip hop at its finest. Other hip- hop royalty was in the room as well- Greg Nice, Special Ed, and one of my favorite female emcees, Yo-Yo. Yo-Yo put on one hell of a show as well, opening for Eric B. & Rakim.

This night is one of those moments that you wish never ended; a life-altering experience that will forever be etched in my mind. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to be in the presence of some of my heroes. Now, I can add the god MC to my bucket list. The living legend truly doesn’t know how impactful his jewels have been to me over the years.

So, in the words of my grandmother, “I believe I can run on!”. That show fed my spirit as I knew it would. I keep telling ya’ll I’m a hopeless hip hop romantic. Anyway, let me get out of this house and let my “third eye shine like jewelry”……

 

Peace,

Ashaki

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I Can Feel It In the Air

Peace, peace, peace everyone! It has been much too long but, here I am- smiling from ear to ear. I have just finished the final edit of my book, “Life Is Still Good”, and I am over the moon. I have successfully talked myself out of publishing this book for the last 4 years and now I am finally in a place and space that I am confident enough to release it to the universe.

This book has been a labor of love; a truly transforming work. I share some of my deepest hurts, greatest triumphs, and longest held secrets. It has taken me years to cultivate the level of confidence that I have now. Do I still fear that the work won’t be well received? Of course, but the intention that I have placed within the pages overcomes any fear that I feel. This book is going to help some little girl someplace on this planet to know that her life is special and she does matter.

I am doing a special event on Facebook where I will be reading an excerpt live. I think it is important to read my words in my own voice. There is power in our voices and I have been blessed to have a very strong voice. If you would like to hear, like my page, I Lioness Publishing and tune in on Wednesday night at 8 pm EST.

Have you ever had a feeling that great things were coming……..Yeah, I am there right now.

 

Peace to the World,

Ashaki Omikunle Ali

37 Here I Come

Greetings! It is the eve of my 37th Solar return and I am feeling grateful for life, my family, my love, my growth, and so much more! The past few weeks have been super challenging and at times, downright depressing. I have had so much going on and not all positive- from my grandfather going missing, to someone stealing my identity on IG and attempting to scam my friends and followers under the guise of being “Coach Ali”, to a false social services report, and on and on.

But, through all of that, I still feel grateful. I am not over here falling apart, I am not losing sleep, I am not skipping meals. I am simply doing and being me. I have taken a hiatus from social media. Initially I thought that I would lose followers, momentum, etc. but I realize that the big picture is that whatever the universe has for me, all of the awesome things that could happen, will in due time. I have to focus on strengthening my spirit, enriching my soul, and truly focusing on my goals-with minimal distractions.

The book that I have been speaking about over the past few months is nearing completion! I am editing it and adding a bonus chapter. I have been making strides in my Afrikan products business and have also added a separate jewelry line that is doing well. I am going to reestablish my coaching business and hone in on a specific niche. And lastly, my personal life is going well- I am secure, I am at peace, and I feel loved. I have so much to be excited about and grateful for- I could go on and on but I won’t.

37 years young…..Damn time is flying. I don’t feel a day over 24. I have endured but I have just begun to live. My life today is a testament to the strength of the human spirit to endure seriously painful and trying times. May the rest of my days be a testament to the joy of life and the richness that can be experienced when one makes the decision to do so.

 

Peace & Innumerable Blessings,

Ashaki Ali

 

““I am evolving and it’s so damn beautiful.” Anonymous

Seeking the Past & Looking Towards the Future

Greetings fam! Willing all is well with you all today on this beautiful Sunday. I spent my Saturday with my children. I took The Tribe (my affectionate nickname for my children) first to the Charlotte Museum of History. They were having a free event in which we able to tour the property of the first magistrate of Mecklenburg County. He was also a slave owner and the descendant of the household cook, spoke on her journey of discovering her ancestor.

As we made our way up to the house, I instantly felt the heaviness of the spirits on the grounds. The house was made of stone and we learned that the house was built by the slaves and that the actual stone had to be blasted from the ground and pieces laid to build the house. When we entered the house, the dank smell overtook us and I could “see” how this magistrate and his family lived. He owned many acres of land and the slave quarters have not yet been discovered, yet we know they existed. I could feel the remnants of times past, the extreme weight of oppression, and how many of us continue to carry those burdens from their ancestors.

I strive to show proof to my children of our illustrious past but also the ugliness of all that has been done to us. I need for them to know their history, the roots in which they sprang from, the journey we continue to travel.  Knowing the type of people that you come from is so important because how can you know where you going if you don’t know where you came from.

I began many years ago, researching, digging, and seeking my ancestors. I have found many different characters, discovered some hard truths, and found peace in my discoveries. Some of the history was painful, some triumphant, but all of it helped to create the person that I am today. I stand on the shoulders of those who passed before me. I weep for their struggle and I smile at their tenacity. May peace be upon their spirits.

Visiting historical sites has always been important to me. I enjoy digging into the past and seeing how far we have come but also realizing how much further we must go. May you seek the past with determination as well and find more of yourself.

 

Peace, Love, & Abundant Light,

Ashaki

 

Photo cred: Literary Hub

Rest Well Grandma…

Peace, love, and light everyone. Yesterday marked the 17th anniversary of the day my grandmother was tragically killed. That day is still as vivid as it was then, though the emotions are not as raw. I miss her so very much. I think of her every single day and am so grateful to have had her as a grandmother.

I almost did not write today but I decided just a few minutes ago to share one of my favorite memories of her. When I was about three years old, she took me to a store with her. I saw a doll that I wanted but then I decided that I wanted ice cream. Grandma Lillie told me that I could only have one or the other , not both. “Be sure of what you really want, “ she said.

I chose the ice cream but after the cone was empty and I had devoured the tasty treat, I wanted the doll. I began to cry and stomp my little feet. My grandma was having none of it. She warmed up my posterior right in the middle of the street! I was so mad or so I remember. She took me home and I went to bed fuming.

Later that night, Grandma came to see me but I was asleep. When I woke up, the doll was in the bed next to me. That was classic Grandma Lillie. She would chastise you and then show you how unconditional her love truly was. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for you if she loved you. When my grandmother sang “My Girl” to me, she meant it. Her love has carried me through a lot of pain, despair, and hard times.

The kindness that she showed me and to so many others was a true testament to the beauty that humanity can be. I have spent most of my life trying to understand how a woman who had so little could continually give so much. I will forgive sing praises about the woman who held me when I had night terrors, fed me nourishing food when I was hungry, and encouraged me when I was struggling with life.

Rest well Grandma Lillie. I will never let your memory die.

 

Ashaki

Dealing With Our S$@t & Living Life Authentically

Greetings! I hope this message finds you well, whether you are at work or at home. I am taking today to do some cleaning in my home, working on my book, and working on client packages. Busy, busy, busy. I also plan to do a long lovely session of yoga and meditation. I must do my self-care routines in order to maintain my disposition. I find that when I skimp on my exercise and meditation, I can become crabby, irritable, and extremely tense. Each day that I peruse my emails, I am inundated with articles about self-care.

Sometimes I feel like I am a living, breathing cliché- doing yoga, trying to eat well, wearing headwraps, burning incense, wearing crystals, talking about black empowerment. But, then I grab ahold of my righteous mind and realize that I am living the most authentic life that I can at this space and time. I found peace in living the way that I do now and I cannot stop, nor do I want to. If I want to sit topless in the moonlight, sip herbal tea, and listen to ocean sounds, that is absolutely my business!

Am I a bit eccentric? Maybe. One thing that I know for sure is that I am a lot happier and definitely am more balanced since I found my groove. Some may think it weird that I would rather sit and read, listen to Coltrane or Gregory Isaacs, and sage my home than to go out partying every weekend, but hey, that’s me. I think that in pursuing the activities that feed my soul authentically I am living my best life. There was a time that I struggled with anxiety and depression. I refused to speak to anyone about my inner struggles though. I was screaming inside, burning up from unfulfilled hope. I was absolutely miserable. It literally has taken me the better of 10 years to find my happy place. These days, I find great joy in the simplest of things- my 6-year-old reading a book to me, my friend telling me about their weekend, making videos on my coaching page, sharing a laugh with one of my patients.

We live in a world where people want quick fixes to everything, where cell phones and social media have replaced genuine interaction, and many have chosen to live their lives vicariously through their favorite celebrity. Dealing with our shit is not easy but it is necessary if you actually are aspiring to live life as you. The more we dodge the skeletons in our closets, the more they will pile up and eventually spill out onto the proverbial hallway floor.

It is my hope that you find the things that make you feel more alive and do them with zeal. Life is worth living. Make sure you are living yours to the absolute fullest…..

 

Peace, Love, & Abundant Light,

Ashaki

Work & Risks

Supreme risings fam! I typically do not write this early in the morning but with the intense energy of the beautiful Blue Moon, I cannot help myself! I am finding myself more and more excited about the work that I have been putting into being a better me, my plans for business, and my personal relationships.

This past weekend, I completed training with Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. I am now a member of their Speakers Bureau. The work was intense but I met so many beautiful souls and I am excited about getting back into the community and doing worthwhile work. I am planning on volunteering with some other organizations soon and getting my children in on it as well.

I am also working diligently on the final, final draft of my memoir, Pieces of My Life.  This literary work has been sitting literally on my shelf for the past 4 years. There are many painful meories that I share but also triumphs, love, passion, suspense—it could be a damn movie in all honesty. It is my honest belief that I have to tell this story. The work is meant to help others and I know that it will. So, besides my volunteerism, my upcoming book , raising my awesome children, and continually working on self, I have not had tons of time to blog—my apologies. I sincerely appreciate everyone who actually reads my words and supports my page.

I have run for far too long. I am meant to do certain things in my life and many of which, I have dodged for years. Time is out for that. This year is meant to be a year of new adventures and challenges. I am actively pursuing things that frighten my soul. I made a promise to myself in 2013 that I would live my life on my own terms and would not play it safe. I have become comfortable so it’s time to shake my life up again! Ready, set, go!!

 

Are you ready??

 

Peace, love, & abundant light,

Ashaki

New Adventures

Greetings and Happy Sunday fam! I do hope you are enjoying today. Today is my beautiful oldest daughter Ayanna’s birthday. I can hardly believe that she is 12 today. She is so talented and sweet, but I digress. Yesterday, I took my first training class with a Domestic Violence Speaker’s Bureau in my city. I chose to sign up for specialized training in order to share my story, help others in those situations, and hone my speaker’s skills. I have a feeling I will gain so much more.

The first day was inspiring and overwhelming. There are parts of my life experiences that I have buried and strive not to think about at all. I was absolutely fine until we participated in a role-playing exercise in which one of my fellow trainees acted as a victim and we were her “support system”. We all had to read a statement and then turn our backs. We were pastors, family members, social workers, etc. And then there was the portrayal of the abuser.  The acting was spot on and it hit my core like a volcanic blast. I was immediately placed back into the times when I was abused daily, lived in absolute fear, and almost lost my life. Some wounds, although healed, still remain raw.

Over the past year or so, I have focused, advocated, and taught self-care practices. The session made me realize that I must be more consistent in my own self- care. I took some deep breaths and re-centered. I remembered how awesome my life is in comparison to how it used to be. I am free to pursue my life as I see fit, to love, to move about, to sleep in peace. I remember the cage I used to reside in. The cage was destroyed years ago. I am overwhelmingly happy that I am doing meaningful work and living an authentic life. It is my sincere hope that I help others find their freedom. I fought for my life. And now, I am free. Finally.

 

Peace & Blessings,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

6 Years and Counting……

Peace, love, and abundant light fam! Today I celebrate the 6th year of my loc journey!! 6 years of retwists (when I feel like it lol), coconut/almond oil to the scalp, getting a workout washing them, feeling them on my naked back and swearing a bug was crawling on me, having my children lay in my arms and push them out of their way or laying on my hair when they snuggle next to me, ugly days when I choose to wrap them in one of my lovely headwraps, people assuming that I am a total weed head, and people asking if they are “mine”.  Each year I have created a different list of lessons I have learned. I always say that the growth I have experienced is much more than my hair. But even beyond the beauty in my journey, there has been ugliness, pain, pruning, and loss. Growing up is not easy by any means but I can never go backwards because there is no progress in that action.

Recently a few of my locs have shed and a few dead ends have fallen off. Just a few nights ago as I removed a ponytail, an end of one of them came of with the hair tie. I gently placed it in my jewelry box. Don’t be weirded out; I grew up with a family who believed that you should never throw your hair away. You either burn it or keep it in the Bible lol. I realize that those dead ends represent a few areas of my life that have also fallen dead- relationships that ended, ways and thoughts that I had to let go, behaviors that I have used for years that were not conducive to my growth.

It is painful to go deep within to find more shortcomings when you think that you are doing “so well”.  It hurts to admit your own failures when you have been a perfectionist all of your natural life. Sometimes the feelings of regret begin to creep in when I reflect on decisions I have made in the past. I can see the repercussions of those decisions play out like a movie oftentimes and the dread fills my chest like lead.  But, that’s life. No one is perfect and we have ALL made decisions that may not have been wise or well thought out. When I feel that regret nagging my spirit, I force myself to also remember that I have grown, I am not the same person I used to be, not even who I was yesterday and I have tons of great attributes that have positively affected my life and the lives of others so.

I have overcome so much in my 36 years of life- molestation, rape, abandonment, homelessness, tragic losses, abuse….and yet I continue to smile, laugh, and give of myself to this world. Am I where I want to be in life, no, but I appreciate my position. I am a mother, I am now a Yeye (grandmother), I am a writer, I am a poet, I am a nurse, I am an herbalist, I am a speaker, I am a coach, I am a teacher, I am my family’s historian, I am a sister among many beautiful sisters, I am so many wonderful things. I give of myself daily, providing advice and guidance to souls who have no one to assist them on their life’s journey. I extend my love throughout the world through my words and videos. I expose my pain and use my experiences as a healing salve to the broken spirits of others.

So, cheers to me! 6 years of kicking ass and taking names, of growth, high buns, headwraps, red lipstick, Afrikan jewelry, and reclaiming my name, time, space, and life. Let the journey continue……..

 

One Love,

Ashaki

Peace, love, and light fam and happy Saturday! It is a cold day here in my city of Charlotte, NC. But, I thoroughly enjoy cold weather lol. When I step outside, inhale the brisk air, and look into the clear sky, I am reminded that I am alive. It may be trivial to some, but the coldness reminds me of my life, to breathe, and to realize that my life is my own, but I digress.

I am uber excited for upcoming projects that I am working on. I know you may be thinking, “What is she working on now?” I cannot help but to create. It is a passion of mine and I must feed it. Anywho, I wanted to just drop in quickly to check in everyone. I realize that my reach may not be as far as I would like at this time, but I must continue  to speak my truth and share my stories.

I recently had someone tell me that the things I share has greatly improved the quality of their life. It stirred my soul to hear. We never truly can know the impact that we have on others in this digital world. There are people reading and watching that we may never meet personally. Sharing these digital spaces with you, sharing aspects of my journey, and being unapologetically me is not only therapeutic for me but it is empowering. We all have a story, we all have pearls of wisdom, we all can be impactful. I will continue to share, I will continue to inspire, I will continue to give the best of me to this world until the day comes for this life to end. It is only right.

 

Peace to the World,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali