Family First…Good Vibes, High Times

I cannot believe that it has been almost a month since my last blog post. I attempted several times to put pen to paper but, the vibe was just not there. But, here I am on a gloomy , yet peaceful Saturday morning, sitting with my laptop, pouring out of myself.

Last night was so dope. Some of my younger cousins came into my city to see me and my children and it honestly was the best thing that could have happened this week. We ended up cooking a huge meal, sharing laughs, drinks, and listening to music. The energy of the night was intoxicating to say the least. We all fell asleep all over my apartment- from beds, to couches, and to floors.

I couldn’t help but to reflect upon our grandmother and her ideas about family.  Family was the most important thing to her and she always reminded us that although we may not always get along, it is so important to nourish your family relationships. But, in our family there has been a rift between some of us. There is a legacy of grudges; some so deep that they can last for years.

In the past, I have shared the fact that some of my family and I do not have a relationship. It is what it is. I make no apologies for taking certain measures to ensure that I remain happy and healthy. However, when it comes to my younger cousins and myself, we move a bit differently. We have chosen to respect each other, love each other, and give each other space to be exactly who we want to be.

One of my cousins is in the military and will be deploying soon.  The time we share is precious and we know that. I am so grateful that he came to visit before his departure. I know understand even more why Grandma Lillie was so adamant that family love on one another. The fiber that holds us together is laced throughout our DNA and what affects one of us , truly affects all of us.

So, I have chosen to take last night’s energy and lock it up deep in my heart- another memory to keep my company on days when no one knocks on my door. I felt Grandma Lillie with us last night, guiding us as we cooked, smiling at her legacy, feeling proud that we are following the path.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

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The Hardest Job Ever

Greetings fam! I hope this message finds you well. I am currently sitting in the local Barnes & Nobles trying to process the happenings with my children. So, let’s start with the fact that I have 6 children. And before you ask, yes I birthed them all. Their ages range from 21-7, 4 boys and 2 girls.

So, let’s start with the 21 year old. He was an only child for the first 7 years of his life. I gave birth to him at age 16. It was not easy and my mother was an integral part of his life for years. He was with me during a lot of tragedy but, he doesn’t even really remember because he was with her a lot and I sheltered him from knowing the entirety of a lot. He and I have not been close since he was 17 years old, ran away from home, did some other things and I had to send him to other family members.

Now, on to today’s hot topic– my 13 year old daughter. She is a sweet girl but, also very passive aggressive and will tell an untruth in order to save her own skin- even at other’s expense.  Anyway she got into trouble yesterday and was punished and today she decides to chop off all of her locs! Another one of my children came to me and said they saw her hair in the trashcan and sure enough she has all of 3 inches of hair left on her head. I still cannot process what would possess her to do such a thing. But, this is my life.

My children are my inspiration but also my greatest challenge. And having the number of children that I have, dealing with all of those personalities at once, trying to guide and cultivate productive people, provide for them all emotionally, financially, spiritually, and otherwise, is downright exhausting and heart-wrenching at times.

I broke down today. I just broke. I couldn’t help it. I find myself feeling like a failure. What am I doing for them? Am I doing a good job? Am I properly preparing them for this world? Am I setting a good example? All of these questions haunt me.

Typically, our days are filled with school/work, homework, dinner, baths, catch up…Wash rinse, repeat. I try to interject some fun into their lives on my free weekends too. But, is that enough? I ask them how they are feeling, what’s going on at school, do they feel well, and so on and so forth but, is that truly enough?

I have spoken before about my dysfunctional childhood. The woman who birthed me and I have little in common, especially when it comes to parenting. I am ever present, stern but loving, concerned, fun. She was cold, distant, and eventually neglectful and verbally abusive. But, I focus on the good days that I remember and accept that maybe she did the best that she could. I try to give them all that I longed for with the exception of the material things, though my children are not hurting for much.

I could possibly go on and on and on about how inadequate I feel in this moment, how helpless, how ill-equipped but, that would only serve to add to an already stressful day. When I rise in the morning, my intention is always to do my very best by myself, my children, and all that people that I interact with.

My eyes burn with tears that I am refusing to let go at this table in B & N. I am having a chai tea and a piece of chocolate cheesecake that I know I don’t need–it is serving as a placeholder for a hug that I so desperately need right now. Parenting is the most difficult job I have ever held.

I can only assume that the most high, my ancestors, my guides, and all the benevolent spirits attached to me knew what they were doing orchestrating a life filled with children that I am supposed to rear. These children chose me to be their mother. Maybe they saw potential in me that I am unaware of. I just pray that whatever lesson I am meant to learn by being the mother of so many children become crystal clear. Because days like this are hard….so very hard. Tomorrow is another day. I just pray that it is better…….

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Feeling the Fever

Greetings fam! As always, I hope this message finds you well. Spring has “sprung”, though in many areas, it still feels like winter. Pollen has been seen blanketing vehicles in my city of Charlotte. In this city, dogwood trees are in full bloom and I love it.

I hear people talking about all the spring cleaning that they will do. But, I have already completed mine. It just comes second nature to me. I rearranged the furniture, cleaned out the closets, donated clothing, and so much more.

Although I have many more goals in respect to my life, I am so grateful for all that I have accomplished and the simple luxuries that I have in my life. I can sit in my apartment and feel absolutely peaceful, uninterrupted in my thoughts, and joy overcomes me.

Now, I am feeling the fever. I need to get out of the house, do more, show up more, be more. It is my nature to retreat into my world. I am challenging myself to show up more though, to get out and experience new things and meet new people. So far, I am doing just that and loving every minute!

So cheers to a new season, new opportunities, and new beginnings! May we all enjoy all that is blossoming in our lives!

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Birthday Month….

It is hard to fathom that next week I will be 38. 38 years old. When did I get so old? What happened to my roaring twenties? I am almost 40 years old. I can only shake my head because I still have the energy of my 25 year old self, well with the exception of craving my bed instead of the dance floor every weekend.

When I look back at my life, I have regrets, memories of triumphs, failures, successes, and struggles. Mostly I feel grateful. I feel grateful for making it to this age. I am grateful to be able to be present for my beautiful children. I am grateful for finally embracing who I truly am at my core and actively pursuing expressing the fullness of self each and every day. I am grateful for the next chapter and so much more.

As I reflect on the strides I have made from last year to now, I honestly feel joy and a bit of anxiety. I always wonder if I am doing all that I can to secure my success and if this path is indeed the path that I should be following. But, each and every time though doubts rise up, divine intelligence comes in and reminds me that I am following my own divine path. I must remain diligent as divine timing dictates the movement and progression of all things.

38 rotations around the sun. 38 represents happiness, growth, material abundance. This number combines the energy of 3 and 8. I am coming into my season. It is finally my time. And I am open to receive that which the universe has for me. The beauty of this birthday is also that I am taking others along with me through my divine assignment as well as with my soul tribe.

I am welcoming 38 with a smile, a wink, and a slow wine!

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Missing Grandma

I buried my best friend, my teacher, my buddy, my dear grandma Lillie on this day 18 years ago. 18 years- how in the hell is that possible? It doesn’t seem that so many years should have passed by when her death is still so raw, so fresh, so painful to think about.

I still remember the call. I had been feeling sick at work the entire evening and just a week earlier, I had dreamed that she died. So, when my phone rung at around  11:30 that night, I knew what it was before I heard the dreaded words.

I never thought I would lose her in the tragic manner that I did. But, throughout my life, my grandmother had made it clear that she knew that she wouldn’t live to be a very old woman. She would say ” I ain’t gonna live as long as Mama”. “Mama” was her mother and she lived to be 87. Her death was bitter, life shattering, and mind altering. It rocked our family to the core and the damage from her passing created clear rifts that are beyond repair.

Typically, I am fine on Valentine’s Day and even reminisce about my eulogizing her. I still cannot tell you how I stood up in that church and spoke so eloquently about her. All I know was that I had to do it. I didn’t feel that anyone else could do her justice.But, I am literally sitting here now with tears in my eyes, missing her.

I always sing her praises and I always will. I miss her terribly, especially when I am not having the best of days. My grandma had a way of making me feel that all was well, even when it clearly wasn’t. “My Girl” was her song to me and hearing the Temptations song sometimes stings because of the meaning that song has to me.

The days that followed her death were filled with questions, tears, anger, regret, and disbelief. I just could not deal with the fact that I would never hear her laughter again, or hear her stories, or sit in her lap. Gone were the hugs and kisses, the encouraging words, the undying support. My Grandma Lillie meant so much to me and helped nurture me for my entire life.

And although I know she is always with me, guiding me, speaking to me, watching over me, even chastising me when I fall short, the pain of the absence of her presence still hurts me to my core. May my life make her proud, bring honor to her memory, and joy to her spirit.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Divine Mothering

Greetings, greetings, greetings! I hope you are doing well this Tuesday. I am in full recovery mode after suffering all weekend with sinus inflammation, drainage, and headaches. Today, I am about 75% healed and actually feel well enough to get some things done lol.

Anywho, I wanted to share how the universe will deliver what we need when we need. I am a nurse by profession. I have spent my entire career caring for elderly patients in various settings but mostly long-term care and rehabilitation. I have no idea how many lives I have touched in my nearly 19 years but, I know it definitely is in the thousands.

Well, there have been times in which I have been affected by patients and families as well. Some of these people just grow on you and you end up connecting with them on a deeper level than just healthcare. Recently I had an Ethiopian man as  a patient. He only spoke about 3 words in English. His wife was there daily, staying by his side as he recovered after surgery. His children visited daily as did other family members.

His wife is one of the sweetest spirits I have ever met and she truly gave me something that I have been missing for so many years. She mothered me. Every single exchange between she and I was one filled with concern, compassion, and genuine love. She fed me fruits, traditional Ethiopian foods, breads, and more. Each time I entered the room, she called me to her, holding food and feeding me as her own child.

In the settings in which I work, sometimes lunch does not happen- medications have to be passed, doctors are calling you to inquire about patient’s conditions, supervisors need you, etc. She observed me going without and out of concern, she fed me. But, it was so much more than just giving me food.

When she fed me, hugged me, and thanked me, she gave me the nurturing that I have been missing. She had the same feel as my grandma Lillie- warmth, love, joy, and divine feminine energy on high. She was graceful in all ways and her inner light shown bright. I am the one always giving so to be nurtured in that way was salve to a sometimes weary soul.

I am sure that she doesn’t even realize how impactful her simple kindness was to me in my life. On the day of discharge, I spent time in the room with my patient and his family, ensuring they had everything that they needed. The husband embraced me and kissed both my cheeks before leaving. I felt tears well in my eyes because they naturally embraced me as their own-even if it was only for a short period of time. May we all incline to treat one another as our own. Because the world certainly can use more love.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Stepping Up My Game

Greetings fam! As always, I hope this message finds you well. I am coming to you all on the brink of explosion, well probably more like an implosion because I am usually very non-confrontational.

I know that I have to make some more major decisions. And they are not going to be easy but, they are so necessary. I have had to make other adjustments over the past 2 years that have brought tears, anxiety, and more unpleasantness.

These new changes are probably going to induce some of those same emotions but, I always follow my first mind. If my first mind tells me to let something or someone go, I do just that nowadays. I spent many years denying those thoughts and suffered much in the long run because of my “kung-fu grip” approach to people.

Some of these changes involve my lifestyle. I am going to push myself more physically, increase my overall care of myself, and really focus on improving myself. I am currently sipping on a nice smoothie as I type this (insert wink here!). I am actually considering heading back to the gym! Even if I only make it to the gym a few nights a week, I think it will be good for me to just get out of the house, focus on making improvements, and build some new self-care practices in addition to what I do already.

I am also going to work towards putting myself out there more. I must admit it is frightening to expose my spiritual business to the entire world, approaching new potential clients, and sharing my gifts. I am just like anyone, I feel self-doubt, unworthiness, and small compared to others that I see. However, there is something within me that will not allow me to not move forward. So, here I come- out in the open for the world to see.

This is just a small snapshot of me stepping my game up. I have so much more to do….

#staytuned

 

Peace,

Ashaki

5 Ways to Improve Your Focus

Greetings! I hope you all are well and that life is not just happening to you. Today, I wanted to share tips around a topic that was very popular on both my IG and FB. I posted a meme with the title “Please take one”. The picture  included 5 empty glass containers, each with a label. One bottle was labeled “joy”, one was “magic”, and then they were followed by “love”, “focus”, and “calm”.

So many people said that they needed focus so I decided to share practical tips to help them with improving their focus. Here they are:

  1. Meditate, meditate, meditate. I will forever sing the praises of the practice of meditation. The benefits are endless but, for the sake of time, let’s just say meditation definitely helps improve focus
  2. Get clear about where your focus needs to be. We all have a lot of responsibility but, it is necessary to determine the priority of those items on our list. Is it really important that certain things be done right this second or can they wait until tomorrow. Not procrastination, prioritization.
  3. Focus on one thing at the time. I know, I know, it is easier said than done, but in order to be efficient, you have to stop trying to do everything at the same damn time! Cook dinner, then study, then read, then do all your other shit. Trust me, you will drive yourself crazy trying to do all and be all, all the damn time!!
  4. Keep the distractions to a minimum. Log off, unplug, detach, put your phone down and focus…
  5. Keep practicing. Continue to strive to get better at focusing, put the previous steps into action, and be consistent. Your focus will improve over time.

I hope this helps someone. If it isn’t for you. share with a friend or family member who you think needs it  (insert smile here). Until we meet again…take care of you and yours!

 

Peace,

Ashaki

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.

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