Red Lips & Fingertips

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by red fingernails and red lipstick. I would sneak outside and paint my nails a blazing red color and admire how the red looked against my deep brown skin. I thought it looked pretty but, that notion was quickly shot down by a family member. 

“You too black to wear those colors”, “that makes you look like a clown”, “don’t wear no mess like that again”. Those statements became embedded into my mind and for years, I downplayed my own beauty, refused to wear particular colors, muting myself and admiring others who were bold enough to take chances.

But, I have shifted. My perception of beauty has changed and I am finally healed from the ugly messages that marred my childhood. So, I went to my nail salon and chose a bright red for my manicure. 

I had written previously about my red lipstick and all that it took for me to wear it. Now, here I am rocking red fingertips lol! I have come a very long way. For some people, wearing red lipstick and fingernail polish is not a big idea but, for me it is a revolutionary action. 

This is me standing fully on my own square, feeling the reverberation of my own beauty, power, and strength ripple through my body- free from the demons of the past, free from small mindedness, free from other people’s judgments.

It is not easy to overcome the lies that you have been told as a child, especially from loved ones. You often take what they say as gospel. But, be encouraged that no one can define you except you. You are as good as anyone, as beautiful as anyone, and as capable as anyone else in this world. Find your purpose, find your joy, find your hope, find you and celebrate you as often as possible. 

Live your life on your own terms and live it out loud!

Peace & Light, 

Ashaki

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7 Years- Time Well Spent

Peace fam! I do hope this post finds you well. I have been having the damndest time carving out time in my schedule to write my annual Loc-versary post. But, here I am, a day (or few) late but, here nonetheless!

This month marks 7 years as a loc’d goddess, 7 years of having a head of kinky dreads. The number 7 holds so much significance. For me, 7 has always represented completion, self-mastery, god status; 7 is the number of my spiritual goddess mother Yemoja.

A little research and one discovers the number 7 also represents the seeker, the thinker, the intellectual, and so much more. 7 is a highly spiritual number, which brings me back to myself and this celebration of sorts.

 

I am for once standing in my truth, allowing things about myself to be known, sharing gifts that I had hidden for most of my life, and discovering new things about myself along the way. I am finally feeling free enough to fully express my truth through word, video, action, and more. Talk about fucking liberating!

It has taken me years to love myself deeply enough to honor ALL of my emotions, my desires, my needs, my space, my time, the entirety of me! 7 has been a year of completion for me.

I have let go of people, places, situation, and things that are no longer serving me or were unhealthy to me and have no qualms about further releases that are to occur. I am not holding onto anything that will keep me from living my life the way that it is truly intended.

I can actually see my destiny and it is beautiful. I know my purpose and I am walking in it each and every day that I rise and give my tribe what they need through the gifts that I have been given.

Life is coming full circle and I am here for it. As I look at my hair, lightly decorated with new silver hairs, I am pleased. I see the rough times, the successes, the heartaches, the growth.

It is absolutely beautiful.

And it is not over.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Surveying the kingdom
The journey is getting better and better!

Adventure Time

Greetings!

I do hope this post finds you well. I am always encouraging others to do something different, have new experiences, and connect with other, but often I don’t follow my own advice.

Yesterday I finally stepped outside of my self-made box and went on a new adventure. A group of ladies and myself went to the mountains. The air was crisp and cold, the trees spoke to us of change and ancient times, and the boulders and pathways challenged us to push ourselves beyond all the preconceived notions we held about ourselves.

We first traveled an easy path, talking along the way, meeting and greeting others who had also chosen to spend their day in nature that morning. The connection sparked a hunger for more of this type of scenario. The walk was meditative. The scenery was heavenly.

Then, we decided to take the more challenging route. It was rough, strenuous, but so needed. Reaching the peak of the mountain was so rewarding. The view was simply amazing. My soul felt so fulfilled and then I realized that the old adage “Variety is the spice of life” is so true!

We should all seek to find activities that allow us to see our world through a new set of eyes. And I also believe that evolution requires spending time with different people. They will undoubtedly have varying beliefs, perspectives, and life experiences that you can gain something from.

Spending time in the great outdoors was definitely what I needed at this moment in time. The past 6 months have not been easy but, I have endured. Now, I am realizing that everything that I want truly exists within my “youniverse”, if I only open my eyes and see it.

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Ancestors Watching Over Me

Today, I decided to do some cleaning. I am not working and felt the need to just clean. I began in the bathroom, which is my usual practice, wiping down the sink, toilet, shower, sweeping, rearranging, and reorganizing. Then I moved on to the bedroom, folding clothes and gathering laundry that needed to be washed and so on and so forth.
Then I decided that my altar cloths needed to be washed and the altars needed to be cleansed as well. After the laundry was done and I began to sage the space of my ancestor altar and place everything back in order, I had an urge to change the position and dig up more pictures to add.
I went through my albums and found a picture of my great-grandmother and my uncle Otha Jr. I began to remember a flood of things- from Mama’s laugh to Uncle Otha Jr’s cool stride, to the stories, the meals, riding in his ’64 Impala convertible. I couldn’t help but to also begin to feel sad and overcome with emotions.
There are so many stories that should be shared but the family that once was is not anymore. My mother and I are estranged and have not seen or spoken in a year and a half or longer. Her brother and I were practically raised together, yet he has chosen to not have anything to do with me either. Other family members have passed away or we simply just do not communicate.
I remember my grandmother calling family meetings of sorts for members to hash out their disagreements. Whether they agreed in the end or agreed to disagree, it was always decided that we were still family- through good, bad, or ugly- no matter what. But, once she transcended this earthly life, that fell apart.
I often wonder if there was something else that I could or should have done differently but, I always come back to “Is being who they want serving my highest good?” And the answer, in short, is a resounding no. I cannot be Andre’a Danielle DeBerry, the little girl who endured much, who was a perfectionist, fighting to be herself yet, also fighting to fit in and be someone that the family was proud of. I cannot sit in church and pretend. I cannot be in a loveless marriage just for the sake of saying that I am married to my children’s father. I cannot endure toxicity from my mother or my uncle.
Stepping away from it all, moving away, and choosing to live a life so far removed has not been easy but, it absolutely has been necessary. I had to find me and ultimately choose me. I was not perfect but, I definitely was not walking a true path and had no peace because of it.
Ancestral reverence is a huge part of my life and sometimes I struggle with wondering if my ancestors are upset because of the path that I chose. But, when I hear my great-grandmother’s laugh, or my grandma Lillie comes in a dream and hugs me, I know that I am not a disappointment at all. I am my ancestor’s wildest dream. And all because I chose to live the radical concept of defining and being exactly who the hell I want to be.
May my ancestors forever guide and protect me and may I continue to be brave and make them proud.

Ase,
Ashaki

Choose

Greetings!

I feel like it has been ages since I have written but, as always, life happens- minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, and on and on. And for someone like me, although I understand that the concept of time is man-made and very linear in our Western world, time seems to fly at times, stand still at others, but I digress.

The last time we “spoke”, I spoke about giving up and the frustration of my experience with striving for my dreams and calling in this life. Well, now I am sitting in a place of yet another transformation.

I have spoken time and time again about how we should be progressing and personal evolution. But, choosing to embrace the fact that I am changing, that the things/people/places that I used to run to, may not be serving my highest good, is at times difficult.

And this is what separates the people who live the most authentic and fulfilling lives, and those that don’t. There is a certain level of diligence, courageousness, and sheer determination that is required to allow yourself to grow, be tested, and to move from level to level in your life’s journey. The end reward is profound peace and joy.

If you are frustrated with your life, feeling lost on the path, and wondering what your next move should be, first take three deep breaths. Then survey your life- are you working a job just for the check but deep down you know you should be doing something else? Are you in a relationship that is draining your energy instead of feeding your soul? Are you feeling inclined to pursue some different activities but, you are afraid of what might be said or what others think?

Follow your heart’s calling. It may not be easy to do. The question is would you rather look back on your life and review the fullness of it, knowing that you have lived your life being genuine and experiencing everything that you desired, authentically serving your highest good, fulfilling your destiny or would you rather sit with regret? The choice is of course yours. Choose wisely.

Think about it.

Peace,

Ashaki

I Give Up

So, it has been approximately 58 days since my last blog post. And I had every intention on writing this awesomely positive, inspirational, and heartwarming piece as I step back into the arena but, I think we would all be better served if I just allow my heart to pour out.

In the past few months, I have had multiple things happen that were not pleasant at all- from car issues, family loss, and other discomforts, let’s just say that I am happy that we are in a new season. But, I still am finding myself searching, struggling, and striving for the life that I truly want.

In the past few months, I have grown into gifts that I had kept mostly to myself. I began to strengthen my intuitive abilities, read Tarot cards, and attained Master level in my Reiki training. So, all has not been lost but, I still cannot help but to feel a type of way.

Most of us have had that feeling of utter defeat and discouragement when we feel we should be further along than we are. I have felt that way for most of my life. It is like my desires for fulfillment are just out of reach and no matter what I do, I won’t ever be able to touch it. But, my drive to succeed and live authentically causes me to never give up. I mean never…

So, although today I do not feel the most encouraged, though I do not see the fruits of the seeds I have been planting, though I feel like a failure, tomorrow I will muster the strength to try again. My spirit is composed mostly of determination and at times, utter stubbornness. Instead of throwing in the towel, I usually end up swinging it around my head like a helicopter (insert laughter here).

And I feel better already so, back to the drawing board to complete my master plan (insert evil genius laughter here). I think my best course of action is to just let go, release, and allow what is meant to happen to do so. The constant striving is exhausting…..

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Processing in the Bookstore

Peace everyone! I hope this post finds you well, whether you are at home, at work, abroad, or wherever. I am sitting in a Barnes & Nobles as I type this. I have three ladies to my left speaking rapidly in Spanish. My Spanish is by all accounts on a beginner’s level but they seem to be thoroughly enjoying their time together, the vibes I feel from them is loving, excited, and warm. To the front of me is a college student who appears to be overwhelmed by her load of work, surrounded by books, and at the same time having a conversation on her cell phone with a look of confusion resting on her brow.

However, I enjoy coming to the bookstore to work. Most people may find the bookstore distracting but, there are elements that assist my creative juices. First, I absolutely adore books. One of my dreams in my life is to have my own in-house library. I can never have enough of them. Secondly, there is a Starbucks in this store and the smell of coffee and sweets just boosts my mood. And lastly, watching the interactions going on in this place help me to feel even more connected to the world.

So, for those of you who have been following me for a while, you may have been wondering where I have been and what I have been up to. I am adjusting to a new normal and rebuilding, restructuring, restoring things that have been lost and delayed. I will not go into tremendous detail at this time, but just know that A LOT HAS CHANGED.

I have spoken about change before but, the hardships I have experienced, the intense feelings of regret and hopelessness, as well as the tremendous levels of loneliness and disappointment have caused me to shift in ways that I could never have imagined. Trying to live my life authentically, without feeling as supported, has been tough but, it has allowed me to expand and go deeper than I ever could have imagined. I am stronger for all that was lost, including people and things that I thought I could not live without.

It would be easy to allow bitterness to settle into my spirit, but could I take the stench of it once time has allowed it to fester? I don’t think so. No, there are always work arounds to discomfort. Sometimes you must go without. Sometimes you must be alone. Sometimes you must do it on your own. Whatever the “it” is.

Being confronted daily with the results of your decisions, good or bad, is not always pleasant. But, it is necessary. This time of being a freelancer at home has forced me to look deep within myself and see how increasingly wise I am as well as foolish at times. I am both the child and the old woman, the sage and the fool. There was a time when I would have beat myself up day and night for that realization but, now I see that this is still apart of my journey, a part of the pruning and process of evolution.

I sometimes sit and think on my life and see the patterns. I continue to experience certain things because I have refused to learn the lesson and apply the wisdom. I have learned this time. Now, it is time for new challenges. And I am here for it all. So, are you living a life being present in the moments and experiences or are you stuck in the cycle and do not see an “out”? Think about it.

 

See You Soon,

Ashaki

7 Ways to Rock Your Morning

Greetings, greetings, greetings! I do hope you are doing well today. How often have you woke up in the morning feeling blah? I believe at least 99.99% of people have. And in those moments that you have felt the “blah”, how often has that permeated and followed you throughout the rest of your day?

What if I told you that there is a way to take your mornings from “blah” to “awesome”? I am going to let you in on my transformative morning routine. Having an awesome morning ritual can help you become more productive, peaceful, and joyful.

  1. Begin your day with gratitude. You can state something as simple as “I am grateful for a new day and all that this day has to offer”. By expressing gratitude, you invite more things into your life to be grateful for.
  2. Drink water. Your body is composed of approximately 60% of water. Drinking water first thing in the morning has multiple benefits including, but not limited to flushing your body of toxins, increasing production of new blood cells, increasing mental acuity, and boosting your metabolism.
  3. Meditate- I am a staunch advocate of daily meditation. The benefits are too long to list but personally, meditation has helped alleviate anxiety, gain clarity, and grow spiritually. If you have never tried to meditate, begin with 2-5 minutes and remember, the goal is not to clear the mind, but to quiet the mind.
  4. Move your body! For several years, I have made a practice of either doing yoga, running, or doing cardio, or all of the above. I know you are thinking, here we go again with the daily exercise. But, the benefits speak for themselves! Regular exercise not only strengthens your body but also your mind and spirit. So, make time, even if only for 15 minutes to be present in your body. You will definitely feel and know the difference.
  5. Connect with your loved ones. I always make time for my family every morning. I want to know how they slept, what their plans are for the day, and most of all, that I love them. Family is important, in whichever way you choose to define it.
  6. Connect with nature. Before I leave home, I spend time outside on my balcony, breathing, listening to the birds, and watching the squirrels. Being in tune with nature has brought a profound sense of peace to my life.
  7. Take time to yourself. I am a mother of 6 children. Being a mother means a lot but having such responsibility is taxing also. By getting up earlier, I am able to just be. I can enjoy a cup of coffee in solitude, journal, just honestly love on myself. This practice is the most important because if we are not loving and creating space for ourselves, we tend to become resentful and burnout. So, rise a little earlier and relish in your “me” time.

 

I would love to hear from you about your daily morning routine. If you are interested in connecting with me, follow me on IG @simply_ashaki, FB @DivineSoul, or join my email list on my website, www.ashakiali.com. I provide intuitive counseling, spiritual growth workshops, and more.

Peace,

Ashaki

 

 

Morning Coffee

Photo Cred: “https://www.flickr.com/photos/donotlick/7390751418/in/photolist-cg6wUA-26doaWs-9F5Cio-5nHJaG-nUDD7j-DySNCQ-98sJ7k-bQ3ZED-dz9Ba5-J3ShmG-bT4YQ8-oqPYHC-4qGudU-7MZ8J-9WV1Ff-76gxDL-aZMhoi-9zeT6x-5xZwJ4-7FbAY2-qoW7Ci-6WzWur-6ejzwY-9GgtfM-6U3dHF-oBn66L-24RbR-q9pY4L-5j8nN7-31dxn3-BGHJ6z-2KsNL6-6Xvtov-8mZBJL-74u9W6-4DdBYJ-4vcSsm-aTh5BZ-8oqH66-z6gMT-4w8gMY-oEzBXE-pZaLf-4isjoS-5gdntY-km8L3D-28774bn-4V4F3u-dvx2j-HrFaDH” by Jennifer Morrow via Flickr

Manifestation On My Mind

Greetings everyone! I hope this post finds you well as always. I woke this morning feeling inspired to share. I have been doing intense study on spiritual practices, being more impactful, and more. I have always enjoyed learning and doing new things but now I am focused on improving the knowledge and information that I currently have for the betterment of my world and community.

I struggle with self-doubt and must constantly work to maintain confidence that the actions I am taking are in line with my life path and purpose. I saw the fruits of my work yesterday. I had a serious financial matter and needed an additional $300 to meet my responsibility. I had already asked a ton of people and even tried to get a loan. I had literally done everything but steal. I was struggling with feeling totally desperate and helpless. But, deep in my core, I felt peaceful and unshakeable, even with the surmounting fear I felt in my belly.

I had been receiving messages from the universe in the form of master numbers appearing everywhere-from receipts at the stores, to the clocks, even in my dreams. I know and understand that nothing is by coincidence and that these numbers were signaling that all would be well. Yet, my lizard brain kept chattering, “What are you going to do?”, “You’re not going to get that money”, and so on.

Well, I found 3 $5 bills in a pair of pants that I had only worn once in a year, then I found 2 more in my purse out of nowhere. In my heart, I knew that this money was a sign of more to come, even though it was a small amount. I went and purchased a lottery ticket. I doubled my $5 investment in the ticket so I bought another. I didn’t win anything but I again saw a master number-33.

I went into my bedroom and sat on the bed, still fighting the feeling of hopelessness. I heard something say, “Go check the mailbox”. At first my logical mind told me that the mail hadn’t run yet but again I heard, “Go check the mailbox”. So, I went and there was a check waiting for me in the total of $474!!

The check came from a company benefit that I no longer worked for. I thought maybe that had made a mistake but when the check cashing associate called to verify, the representative stated that the check was for “additional benefits”!

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I manifested that money. The question then became “How did you do that? I began to recall all that I had been doing over the past month of freelancing from home and there are a few things that I have been doing consistently.

  1. Dreamscaping- I basically dream in a more lucid state, creating my environment, and experiencing the emotions attached to what I dream. I ask myself questions such as “how does it feel to have an abundance of money?” and so on. I set my mind in this matter right before I drift off to deep sleep.
  2. Meditating- I have been meditating for years but have only truly gotten serious about it over the past few years. It is a daily practice. Meditation has provided me with so much more calmness and clarity. I could go on but it is an integral part of my spiritual development.
  3. Visualization- Visualization is much like dreamscaping except I am awake, but I am intentionally “seeing” my life as I would like to have it at this moment.
  4. Mantras- I read and repeat several mantras during the day such as “ I am a money magnet” and “Money flows to me with ease”.
  5. High vibrational frequency- The most important aspect of my days are maintaining a high vibrational frequency. I have realized that I create more discourse in my life if I am depressed, angry, or any lower vibration emotion. I have realized that balance is so key. The 5 principles of Reiki have assisted me in recognizing my own out of control emotions. I repeat them twice daily and it has helped me tremendously.

I hope this has helped someone. There is an increasing shift among the world to seeking more esoteric and metaphysical knowledge. The universe is abundant and there is more than enough for each of us to live life on our own terms.

If you are interested in working or connecting with me, visit my website, www.ashakiali.com . You can also find me on IG @simply_ashaki and FB on Divine Soul (my company page). Have an awesome day!

 

Peace,

Ashaki

Remembering Tupac

Greetings fam! Hope all is well with everyone on this Saturday evening. Today is the day that the majority of hip hop fans spend celebrating the birth of Tupac Shakur. If he had lived, he would be 47 years old, which seems crazy to me.  Maybe it is because I was so young when he was alive. Or because we have been nearly suffocated with tons of t-shirts, mugs, memes, artwork, multiple album releases, and so much more.

I was sitting in my house thinking back on my first encounter with his music. I first saw him with Digital Underground (Yes, I used to do the “Humpty Dance”). But, when he emerged as an artist and I saw the video for “Brenda’s Got a Baby”, I became somewhat enthralled with him.

The message and images in the video were things that I knew all too well myself. I had a close friend who had been molested by her own father for years, young girls being pregnant was commonplace, drugs were prevalent, and social workers decorated many a doorstep. But, the way that he weaved the story was special and I had found a new rapper to follow and music to consume.

Tupac spoke on topics that had not been displayed so openly which appealed to me greatly. I seemed to always be on the lookout for music that spoke to my own tortured soul. “Keep Your Head Up” gave us hope, encouraged us, and solidified the fact that he loved us. I followed him closely, listening to “If My Homie Calls”, “I Get Around”, and more but, then he began to change a bit and I began to fall back.

That thug shit was a theme that although very familiar, was absolutely exhausting. His roughness bristled my nerves and I found myself tuning out when his music was played. But, as soon as I was going to throw him away, he dropped his “Me Against the World” album, and I was rocking with him again. The album displayed his feelings towards his mother, the revolutionary Afeni Shakur, displayed his sexuality on “Temptations” and highlighted vulnerability on “So Many Tears”. I was impressed and once again captured.

I remember when he died very vividly. I was almost 16 years old, living in a place that I didn’t want to be, selling dime bags of weed, struggling to adjust once again. I was sitting on the stoop in my projects when news broke across the radio airwaves. One of my homeboys stopped by as they began to play Tupac’s music. Tears ran down our faces but neither of us spoke. He was gone just as so many young black men had. Our spirits sagged.

I often sit and listen to Pac and reflect on the state of hip hop today. Lyricism is not as highlighted as in decades before and at one point, I honestly felt like throwing the whole culture away. Then, I recall some old heads talking about Tupac in similar ways that some speak on artists today.

He was a thug and a revolutionary talking about gangs, pussy, struggle, drugs, and more. They didn’t know what to do with him.  There is a difference between him and some of these untalented, new school rappers– he had a message. He was like a hood prophet, politicking on the state of affairs. So, I hang in there, as an unofficial hip hop ambassador. I feel a sense of responsibility to preserve a culture that rocked me, nourished me, fed me, and kept me in some of the most difficult times of my life.I have said before that hip hop saved my life and that is not an understatement. Tupac is another artist that played a part in my evolution.

It seems redundant to say that Tupac’s memory will never die, but it is so true. He will forever be remembered for his substantial contribution to the culture, for his influence on so many people, for the indelible mark he made upon this earth. Peace to his spirit.

 

Rest on Tupac,

Ashaki Omikunle Ali

 

Photo Cred: https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/tupac-shakur