Reimagining My Life

Life after becoming an Aborisha has been phenomenally beautiful and extremely challenging to say the least. I realize that the narratives of my life are being completely dismantled and I am forced out of the comforts of my old ways of coping. 

I am no longer able to do what I used to do when triggered by things from my past. I am having to feel all the feels, cry the tears that I typically hold in, speak my truth, even sleep now. My spirit was tired of living a lie. I am not invincible- I am human.

My daily prayers and connection to my ancestors as well as my Ori is causing me to also express my worth in a way that I never thought I would before. I am saying no to people I never would have before, declining dates if it doesn’t resonate with me, even restructuring my business to charge what I know I am worth. The standards that I am setting for myself and others are foreign to me- but, so very necessary. 

I am seeing how so many of the connections that I held so dear before, that I fought so hard for, were never healthy for me. But, there is comfort in familiarity. Familiarity almost got away with the last remnants of me. Not anymore. 

I am seeing how all things have been aligning for such a time as this. I have desires that surpass the mundane, passions that I had put down because of obligations, and a cultivation of practices that I must work on right now. Time is of the essence.

I am resolving to live this life fully, on my own terms, in full pursuit of my destiny. I have waited and ran away long enough. There is so much that awaits me on the other side of this reimagination period. This is the first time that I am living in a space with so much peace, feeling so much ease, being able to be totally and completely A. 

I am having to sit with my emotions, cut the cords from all the dysfunction, function as the diving being as I am. Besides the ramblings and disagreements of my children, the only other sound is of my own growth- the uncomfortable quiet of being with myself. It is scary this new existence- but I am also so grateful. 

So grateful

 

Ashaki

Going Back to Move Forward

This past weekend I felt inclined to visit my family’s old neighborhood and old farm. As I drove down old Skillet Road, it was as if I was being guided to go back, to understand who they were, to stand on the earth they had farmed, to reconnect with the past.

Initially, I visited my great-grandmother’s old house that also stands right beside the house I grew up in. A dilapidated shack now, but still the remnants of the house that once held so much joy very much visible. I remember sitting on the porch in the summer, shelling peas with my great-grandmother and Grandma Lillie, listening to them talk, feeling the heat of the Southern heat. I remember sitting on her porch, my barefeet touching the stone steps, feeling the coolness of the concrete on my skin in the evenings.

On the other side of our old lot , there used to stand another house that I literally grew up in. My godmother lived there with her daughter and her grandparents. How many days did I spend swinging on the swing, sipping “red” Kool-aid, imagining life far away?

I left Henry Street and drove down to the Skillet. I see so much has changed in town but, not much out in what we call the “country”. I drove and turned onto Skillet Road. I see the old burnt farmhouse is still there but, now there is land for sale. I parked and stood on the land, listened for the elders to tell me what I already know and felt. This land belonged to us and we must reclaim it.

I stood in reverence for once. My people farmed this land, raised livestock, lived a life. Children were born and reared here, traditions were created here, our ways were cultivated here. I left the Skillet and still seemed to hunger for more. These past months as I have continued to research of our family, I have discovered that we moved quite a bit- from Minturn, Clio, other parts of Marlboro County and Dillon county as well, so I drove. And I felt myself churn inside because of my neglect of my own rich history.

I would not exist without these farmers, seamstresses, maids, ex slaves, and such. Would I be as driven, as resilient, as proud, as intelligent, as kind – without these folks? This journey of self-discovery continually drives me back to the ancestors- the ones that I have not properly paid homage to. I will do better. I promise.

 

Ashaki

New Discoveries

It has been entirely too long since my last post but, I am here nonetheless. Life continues to happen and I finally feel as though it is not happening to me, I am actively pursuing and participating in it.

I have had so many awesome experiences since my last post and so much more to share but the purpose of this post is to share another amazing family discovery.

I have been on the journey of researching my family for years. I always wanted to know who I came from. There is an inherent vibe of resiliency that permeates me and I know it is due to the blood that flows through my veins- the blood of all those who came before me.

This DNA calls to me and causes me to dig deeper, to dive into more self discovery and self exploration. So, yesterday, I began to dig again and what I found brought me so much joy.

I discovered an ancestor who was born in the year 1800. She is the oldest ancestor that I have been able to find. Pauline Rogers. The name sounds like some ordinary somebody but, there is nothing ordinary about anyone from that period. I have found something that I suspected all along as well- a direct Native American connection.

I was ecstatic to share the news with my younger cousin, Yaa, as she and I both share a deep passion for this as well as our spiritual journeys. I had to fight back tears of joy as I have been able to do what we all believed was impossible- trace our lineage back over 200 years! Put a name to those who visit us as we sleep- the ability to find more family and connect!

This work may be one of the most important works that I have ever done. It certainly is an honorable one as we all desire to know the roots of the tree in which we sprang from. A book may come from this- I am not sure. But, I am absolutely certain that my ancestors continue to reveal themselves to me for a purpose. And I am here for it all….

 

Peace,

Ashaki

 

 

Photo Credit:

people – old woman – portrait – picture – profile – head – scarf – black and white
Published:
2018-04-03 16:38:48
Author:
Nathaniel Tetteh
Location:
Kpone Tema, Ghana
Dimensions:
Unknown

Creating Our Own Traditions

My children and I have gotten into the practice of creating and cultivating our own traditions over the years. We have our annual fall feast, our summer trips, our weekly movie nights, and the sometimes dreaded family meetings.

One new tradition that I am happy to be able to share with my daughters is being adorned with waistbeads. In my family, being adorned with Afrikan waistbeads is not for fashion- it is highly spiritual and sacred. In ancient times, young women of a certain age were adorned as she matured into pubescence and beyond. My family and I follow a similar tradition.

I had the honor of creating and adorning my oldest daughter today. Each bead color was carefully selected and threaded- white for purity, blue for protection, pink and rose quartz for love. She was so happy to receive her first strand today.

As I tied them on her tiny waist, I felt I had somehow done this before- as if every action I  had taken was a repeat of those from long past. I do sincerely believe that we are our ancestors- that we follow similar ways of being once we have tuned into the frequency of those who came and lived before.

As I gave offerings of food at my ancestor altar this evening, I felt my inner self beam with pride because I know the ancestral mothers see me and all that I am doing to keep my Tribe connected to the old ways. It is so important that as we move forward in our lives, that we pay reverence to those who are responsible for us being here now.

Ase’ to the ancestors always!

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Revisiting The Past

Several weeks ago I went to SC to attend one of my younger cousin’s baby shower. It was a beautiful event but, I felt a strong urge to stop someplace on my way back to Charlotte. I had been through the area a million times, never quite sure of where I was truly going, definitely not feeling strong enough to go there. But, on this day, spirit was pulling on me to finally go back there.

I went back to the place that my grandmother lost her life. As we drove up to the abandoned facility, I immediately felt heavy- so heavy and dark and sad. And even though I felt so heavy, I knew that spirit led me there and I had to go through it.

As I stood at the gate, I peered at the lonesome building , going back to the last time I visited my grandmother there. It was just as dark when residents lived there- a deeply saddening space that housed elderly people. They were not treated well- the workers were cold, giving patients medications without water, not properly treating their wounds, allowing patients to sit in their excrement and urine for hours. And this information I saw with my own 2 eyes. I remember wanting to get my grandmother out of there. I remember the pain in her eyes that last Christmas that I saw her; the apologies for past “transgressions”, the shifts in emotions from extreme joy to severe despair.

I stood at the gate for a few moments, recalling the words of the administrator “We have an open gate policy”. I shake my head at their attempt to blame shift at their negligence. I then got back into the car and drove down the street, “watching” my grandmother, in my mind’s eye, take her last walk that February 2001.

When I reached the railroad tracks, I felt the most intense sorrow that I have felt since the day after her death. I had not been back to this area since her death and standing on the track, walking the path I had walked 18 years ago brought back a flood of emotions and I could feel the remnants of her there. The fear, the pain, the sorrow, the intense sadness that was left at that place all flooded and permeated my being at that time.

I felt stuck, I felt the bondage, I felt a wailing deep within myself. And the tears just flowed from my heart and soul. I grasped a few of the rocks from the tracks- the same tracks that my grandmother had been dragged across those years before. I could not move. But, then I felt this cool breeze blow across my face and heard grandma say “Child you have to go”.

I came back to myself, called my spirit back to myself, and felt a renewed sense of purpose. There is a divine reason that I could not return until this time. I am rooted and grounded in the love and security of ancestral connection. I am ready to work. There is heaviness in that area. souls that need healing, love, and light. I have been chosen to do what is not done by anyone in that area- to bring my whole, Afrikan, spiritual self and cleanse and sing and chant and set them free. My grandmother and others are waiting for those songs, that smudging, that light. I am strong now. I am prepared. I am ready.

Wednesday, June 12th is my grandmother’s bEarthday. She would have been 81 years old. She was taken from us too soon. But, in her years on this earth , she gave so much, she gave all of herself for those who she loved. I am eternally grateful that I am of her lineage. She continues to walk with me every day. Ase’ to her spirit and to the spirits of all of my ancestors. May I continue to walk into my destiny and path that they have lighted for me.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

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

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