Where There is Ruin

Peace to you all from my goddess queendom. I hope this post finds you all safe, healthy, and in peace. Who could have known that the world be so vastly different since my last time writing here?

I have realized so much about myself and my children during this time of being mostly separate from the external world. And coincidentally or not, I transitioned from my full-time job right before all of the shifts occurred here in my city of Charlotte.

This morning, the quote by Rumi “where there is ruin, there is hope for treasure” came to my spirit. I always loved the quote as it speaks to the life I have lived- so much adversity, so much strife, and yet so much joy and love.

I know that lots of people can only see ruin, the devastation and uncertainty of tomorrow and moving forward. I feel inclined to remind you that there is still so much to be grateful for, so much to look forward to, so much that can bring us all more joy if we only choose to look a little deeper.

All across the world, we see people being just a little more patient, a little more kind, a little more grateful. The true unsung heroes are finally being seen for who they are and the outstanding work that they do. There have been reports that global warming has calmed a bit, animals that have not been seen in a long time in certain areas have returned, and Earth Mother Onile is breathing again.

I am sending you all love today and moving forward. We will get through this transformative time–together. If you find yourself struggling with your emotions, reach out to a friend or a family member. You do not have to go this alone. Until the next time, take care my friends.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Hello 39– Finally Reclaiming My Life

It has been so long since I have written but tonight I felt compelled to. Today , is my 39th birthday. It seems so crazy that I am on staring 40 down the throat to be honest. But, doing the math–I definitely am this age.

As I sit here on my bed, smelling the sandalwood incense that burns , I feel an immense feeling of gratitude, so much so that tears have come to my eyes a few times. I feel silly crying over a birthday but, it is not so much the birthday as it is how cognizant I am to the fact that I have changed so much, how life is again shifting me, how aware that more of required of my life.

I am at ease in my singleness. I am bold enough to walk away from assumed “job security”. I am finally my full self- a compilation of rugged tomboy, hip-hop/soul/jazz, spiritual sistagirl, mother of many. I am embracing my quirks, my oddness, my uniqueness. I am ok standing on my own. I am leaning in to self- and it is a beautiful thing to behold.

In the past, I admittedly tried to make others comfortable, refused to speak up for fear of repercussions, made supremely poor attempts to “fit in”. I am in a space now where that old program has completely malfunctioned and I simply cannot. And honestly, I don’t want to.

The taste of freedom has totally captivated my soul and I crave much more. More experiences, more laughs, more adventure, more love. I see life as a canvas, as a place where my creativity and magick has a place. I am currently conjuring the most magnificent masterpiece ever.

When you grow up with a poverty mindset, you fear lack so much that you accept abuses. I am at the point in my life where I loathe the feeling of being imprisoned by societal constraints much more than anything else. Who says that anyone has to accept “how things are” any longer?

I am no longer buying into the narrative that I have to live up to anyone expectations other than my own. I am fully aware of my responsibilities but, I will not operate my life based on those responsibilities. Everything is “figureoutable”!

I have cried more in these past 3 months than I have in years. But, these tears will not be in vain. I deserve more. And more I shall have. I have reclaimed this life of mine. And I will live it on my terms for the duration.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Changing the Focus

Peace fam and Happy new year! It has been a minute since my last post and for good reason. I needed to take a short sabbatical and get my head and heart together. I am being forced to sit with some things and it has not been easy. My family and I have also been going through health issues, family death, and multiple other transitions, but I am back.

We are still feeling the vibes of the full moon in Cancer/partial lunar eclipse and whew! This energy is forcing some folks to deal with their emotional baggage, buried pains, literally all the feels! But, this post is not entirely about the full moon and other heavy astrological energies. This post is about getting our proverbial (or literal) houses in order.

I can only speak for myself but I am sure some of you can relate. At times when you have taken honest inventory of your life and you see where you could and should have different decisions, been more cautious, planned a bit more, it stings to come to the realization that some of your difficulties were due to you not making the right moves.

Once that initial sting passes and the regret sits in, it is easy to want to just give up. However, that is not the move! We must never give up on self. We all have made bad decisions at some point or another. What we should focus on now is what we can do differently to attain a different result. How can we do life better?

I feel that it is beneficial to write down the things about our lives that are not working, areas that we wish were different. Be honest and clear. Then, we should go about writing out what we truly desire- is it a new home, is it to go back and finish our degree, is it to repair a relationship?

Now, make no mistake, some things may never change in this life, especially with dealing with love and relationships. But, we can take steps to move towards creating the life we truly desire. Nothing is impossible! Break each goal down into small steps and celebrate each small win. Keep moving forward!

I hope this helps some of you resolve to transform your life because ultimately it is up to you!

 

Before I close out this post let me share something with you. I was fortunate to be interviewed by Brandon Baker from Life Coach Path last month. I never imagined that with my small following I would even be noticed but that is the thing- every small action triggers a reaction and even though I have not obtained my goals in regards to this work that I am doing, that doesn’t mean that I won’t in the future. Anyway, if any of you are interested in becoming a life coach or just want to learn more about that particular field in particular, check them out. Also, if you would like to read my interview, check it out here

http://www.nationalcoachacademy.com/coach-interview-series-ashaki-ali.

 

See You All Soon!
Ashaki

The Helplessness of Parenthood

As parents, we want to shield our children, protect them from pain and danger, sacrifice ourselves for them. But, we are not always able to do so. There are some things that will happen that will cause us to feel inadequate and guilty but, we would not be able to stop any of it if we tried.

We forget that though they are our children, they have their own path to walk and destiny to fulfill. They will experience pain, no matter how much we make it our life’s mission to circumvent or prevent it.

Yesterday, one of my children was injured badly. It hurt me to my core. I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. But, someone reminded me that even if I had been standing  right beside her, I couldn’t have stopped the inevitable. I had to adjust to the fact that I could only be of support–that she had to go through this without me being able to save her from it. I felt totally helpless within the situation.

As the nurses placed her armband on my wrist, I felt my whole being quake. How could this happen? Why did it happen? I heard all of the should’ve/could’ve/would’ve’s ripple through my psyche.

I had to remember that she is her mother’s daughter- we are of the same blood. She carries within her the DNA of warriors- resilient, strong, steadfast, unyielding. She is weak. I saw her writhe in pain and yet never scream. I cried silent tears watching an extension of me but, the tears began to dry once I realized with fullness who I was actually watching- Me 2.0.

My baby girl will be fine. She may carry marks from the trauma, have an ache, and vividly remember what happened on that day. But, she will not be broken by it.

And for that, I am grateful.

Lessons from a Decade of Living

Peace all! I hope this post finds you well. I was sitting here this morning scrolling through Facebook looking at all of the 10 year reflective posts. I even posted my own- a picture from late 2009 when I was pregnant with my son Bryson and a picture of me taken recently.

On the surface, you can see how much I have changed in my appearance. I look younger now than I did then. But, on a deeper level, I am vastly different than I was then. In 2009, I was in a loveless marriage. I constantly felt that I had to prove something, be perfect (whatever the hell perfect means), and fit into some image that I felt would help my life improve.

I was in undergraduate school working on obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. I was working full time as a nurse in a nursing home. I was a wife and mother of 4.5 children. And I was miserable. I wanted so much more of life and more for myself.

I wanted to not water myself down for folks- to be my amazingly intelligent, wild, magickal self but, I was in denial. I allowed church to dictate my manners, my marriage to isolate me from enjoying things, my children to be an excuse as to why I couldn’t be free.

I thought nothing would change until one day 3 years later when my now ex -husband was taken away to federal prison. Then, it was just my children and I . I made a decision to leave familiar and dive head first into something new. I began to run every day and my figure slimmed. No coincidence that my hair journey began shortly before December 24th, 2010 when I cut all the chemicals out revealing curls and expanding my energy.

It was like a domino effect really. I chopped the hair, got pregnant again 2010, gave birth in 2011, husband gone and marriage over in 2012, started taking control of my life and taking risks in 2012, moved away in 2013….and now in 2019….I am me!

I began to do what I wanted and how I wanted. There were times when I would revert back– my crazy ass wound up in a terrible relationship with a narcissist after my marriage ended. However, even through that, I continued to pursue myself. I allowed myself to breathe, to enjoy myself, travel, eat , cry, move my body, make new friends, let some go, connect to spirit, heal, and most of all-BE!

May 2020 bring more of me to me- more joy, more experiences, more love, more passion, more authenticity, more connection, just more. I am so, so ready!

 

Peace,

Ashaki A.

 

 

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