Peace, love, and light fam! Man we are officially in the summer season and the heat is no joke lol! Thank goodness for shade, air conditioner, and water. Anywho, there is always so much going on in the world-from the presidential race, the floods in Ghana, the ongoing threat of attacks from homegrown terrorists, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I could go on and on and on about all the terrible things, stressful things going on in our communities, country, and abroad.
Living life as a socially conscious individual, it gets tough. We always are reading between the lines, seeing the underlying truths, the hidden ugliness of our lives. It all can become overwhelming. We have had activists commit suicide because of the stress of it all. However, we have to find our peace, even when there is so much we need to be concerned with. Sometimes I feel like I am falling off my path, being consumed with family obligations. But, I realize that I have to remain true to self because at the end of the day, this life chose me. I am carrying folks on my back.
I find peace in listening to hip hop music, through writing, through playing with my children, through dance. I also have been blessed to be friends with some of the most beautiful souls on the planet. They are my family and I truly do not know where I would be without them and their love and encouragement. I have people that have my back, no matter what. So, let me just encourage you to take time to recharge your batteries. We all require rest from time to time. We are not machines. Find your place of peace from time to time because this fight is ongoing. We need you.
Peace, love, and light fam! I have been getting a lot of inquiries and requests for information on headwraps so I feel inclined to discuss one of my favorite topics. A headwrap for me is so much more than just a stylish head covering; it is a connection to my heritage, it is protection for my antennas to the universe, it is sacred. Some of you may be thinking that I am taking my love and admiration for a piece of cloth too far but let me explain.
When I was younger, I had family members who tied their heads up in bandannas or scarves to protect their head. I admired the head wraps and would often tie my hair up in an often sad attempt to mimic them. As I grew in age, I began to discover that head wrapping is a part of the Afrikan woman’s heritage. As I viewed pictures of women from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and other countries in Afrika, I felt a deep connection and pride. They were beautiful, Afrikan, with features like my own, and we were kindred spirits.
Now, as an adult wombman, I wear my headwrap with great pride and dignity. I am treated differently when I am wrapped. People seem to acknowledge the goddess energy that permeates my being and I graciously accept the positivity. Many sistars compliment my wraps and seem to be proud that I am bold enough to wear mine regularly. I also wear my headwrap at times when I feel too much negative energy. My locs are antennas to the universe and I am already very, very empathetic and highly sensitive to others’ energies. I will wrap my hair to protect my crown and chakra center from absorbing these unwanted energies. I will not get into chakras today but I will say these protecting these energy centers is essential.
I liken my headwrap to a crown; a glorious and sacred cloth that makes the world know who they are dealing with. I am at a point in my life in which I absolutely must be my authentic self. I spent many years attempting to conform in some way to those around me so as not to stand out or be perceived as too different. But, no matter how hard I tried, I always failed. Now I recognize the light that I carry inside. I am a child of the Sun and in the manner of the Sun, no matter how cloudy the skies are, no matter who doesn’t like the heat, the Sun is going to shine. And so shall I.
Peace, love, and light fam. Today is a day, much like any other. I began my day with anticipation of doing and being a better me. I have been in a mode of reflection lately—really reviewing decisions that I have made and actions I have taken or (didn’t take) as well as why I chose the path that I did. I realize that at times my choices were poor, others were awesome but they all have been valuable and necessary in order for me to become who I am today.
I am always teaching and speaking on taking action to progress as an individual. I realize that even at times I felt as though I was not moving, I actually was. And progression does not always elicit a positive vibration. It can be painful. I liken it to pruning of a tree. The tree has to be cut back in order to bloom and reach its full potential. Our experiences and our responses to those experiences, prune us and help us to reach our highest self. For example, when I became pregnant at 15, I had to grow up and become more responsible immediately. There was a life coming into the world that I was responsible for. As a pregnant teenager, I was ostracized, I was stared at, I was hurt by many—friends stop being friends, family members shunned me, and I had no support from the father of my son. I desperately needed emotional support but it was nowhere to be found, especially at home. My mother threatened me often, telling me she was going to send me to a foster home. If it wasn’t for a few friends, I probably would have given up, but they encouraged me and I have never forgotten their love and kindness.
I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, graduated with no difficulty, and did tons of other things that statistically should not have ever happened. I am sure you have a similar story; a story of how you overcame what could have been an unbearable obstacle. We have all the power within ourselves to accomplish whatever we strive for. Life is a lesson-full of obstacles, tests, trials, and triumphs. Many people have asked me if I ever have a bad day. I do but I choose to find the silver lining in my clouds. Yes, it will rain and sometimes pour but after the rain, the Sun will shine. And the Andre’a of yesterday, is not the Ashaki of today. She is ever evolving…..
Peace, love, and light to all on this gloriously beautiful and seasonally warm morning. As always, I hope this message finds you well. I am sure by this time you are well aware that another hero has transitioned, our fighter, our warrior Muhammad Ali. I just wanted to take a few moments to reflect on Ali’s impact on my life. I am sure my sentiments are held by many but as with anything else, each person’s experience in unique.
Muhammad Ali fought his last fight in the year I was born, 1981. It was a loss on the record books to Trevor Berbick. However, Ali’s life was triumphant and will always be celebrated. As a child, I would watch various programs and see Ali all over the place. He was larger than life. There was something in his eyes that I could not explain. His smile was contagious. I am not quite sure of when I began to truly understand the enormity of what he had accomplished but I do vaguely remember family members praising him. These praises sparked my interest and I began to research Ali to find out what was so special about this retired boxer.
The thing you have to realize is that I came up in an era that was enthralled with “Iron” Mike Tyson. But, no matter how great Tyson was, Ali’s name was always mentioned. What had Muhammad Ali done to make such an impact that even years after his retirement, he was still praised. More recently, Floyd Mayweather has been at the apex of the boxing forte and still Ali is mentioned. Over the years, I have come to find that Ali was not great because of his boxing skills, Ali was great because of his heart for the people. Ali was funny, confident, unwavering, and steadfast. He was great because he believed with every ounce of himself that he was great. He once said that he was calling himself “the greatest” before he knew he was.
Several years ago, I began to listen to old videos and recordings of Ali. He was unapologetic about his blackness and was outspoken against the injustices in this country and abroad. He laid everything he had on the line for what he felt was right. His moral convictions and unwavering stance on social issues are inspiring. His sacrifices are the stuff that legends are made of. Ali was a champion of the people and it showed.
I used to post quotes on my Facebook page each morning before I would leave for work each day. It was my way of inspiring my followers and friends and most people (I hope anyway) appreciated it. I began to post quotes by Muhammad Ali. Although I love many of them, I want to leave you with one in particular. Ali once said, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they‘ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Ali helped me to realize that in this fight for justice and for freedom, no sacrifice is too big. He helped me to see that each of us has the ability to change the world and be “the greatest”—if we only BELIEVE.