Seeking the Past & Looking Towards the Future

Greetings fam! Willing all is well with you all today on this beautiful Sunday. I spent my Saturday with my children. I took The Tribe (my affectionate nickname for my children) first to the Charlotte Museum of History. They were having a free event in which we able to tour the property of the first magistrate of Mecklenburg County. He was also a slave owner and the descendant of the household cook, spoke on her journey of discovering her ancestor.

As we made our way up to the house, I instantly felt the heaviness of the spirits on the grounds. The house was made of stone and we learned that the house was built by the slaves and that the actual stone had to be blasted from the ground and pieces laid to build the house. When we entered the house, the dank smell overtook us and I could “see” how this magistrate and his family lived. He owned many acres of land and the slave quarters have not yet been discovered, yet we know they existed. I could feel the remnants of times past, the extreme weight of oppression, and how many of us continue to carry those burdens from their ancestors.

I strive to show proof to my children of our illustrious past but also the ugliness of all that has been done to us. I need for them to know their history, the roots in which they sprang from, the journey we continue to travel.  Knowing the type of people that you come from is so important because how can you know where you going if you don’t know where you came from.

I began many years ago, researching, digging, and seeking my ancestors. I have found many different characters, discovered some hard truths, and found peace in my discoveries. Some of the history was painful, some triumphant, but all of it helped to create the person that I am today. I stand on the shoulders of those who passed before me. I weep for their struggle and I smile at their tenacity. May peace be upon their spirits.

Visiting historical sites has always been important to me. I enjoy digging into the past and seeing how far we have come but also realizing how much further we must go. May you seek the past with determination as well and find more of yourself.

 

Peace, Love, & Abundant Light,

Ashaki

 

Photo cred: Literary Hub

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Rest Well Grandma…

Peace, love, and light everyone. Yesterday marked the 17th anniversary of the day my grandmother was tragically killed. That day is still as vivid as it was then, though the emotions are not as raw. I miss her so very much. I think of her every single day and am so grateful to have had her as a grandmother.

I almost did not write today but I decided just a few minutes ago to share one of my favorite memories of her. When I was about three years old, she took me to a store with her. I saw a doll that I wanted but then I decided that I wanted ice cream. Grandma Lillie told me that I could only have one or the other , not both. “Be sure of what you really want, “ she said.

I chose the ice cream but after the cone was empty and I had devoured the tasty treat, I wanted the doll. I began to cry and stomp my little feet. My grandma was having none of it. She warmed up my posterior right in the middle of the street! I was so mad or so I remember. She took me home and I went to bed fuming.

Later that night, Grandma came to see me but I was asleep. When I woke up, the doll was in the bed next to me. That was classic Grandma Lillie. She would chastise you and then show you how unconditional her love truly was. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for you if she loved you. When my grandmother sang “My Girl” to me, she meant it. Her love has carried me through a lot of pain, despair, and hard times.

The kindness that she showed me and to so many others was a true testament to the beauty that humanity can be. I have spent most of my life trying to understand how a woman who had so little could continually give so much. I will forgive sing praises about the woman who held me when I had night terrors, fed me nourishing food when I was hungry, and encouraged me when I was struggling with life.

Rest well Grandma Lillie. I will never let your memory die.

 

Ashaki

Work & Risks

Supreme risings fam! I typically do not write this early in the morning but with the intense energy of the beautiful Blue Moon, I cannot help myself! I am finding myself more and more excited about the work that I have been putting into being a better me, my plans for business, and my personal relationships.

This past weekend, I completed training with Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. I am now a member of their Speakers Bureau. The work was intense but I met so many beautiful souls and I am excited about getting back into the community and doing worthwhile work. I am planning on volunteering with some other organizations soon and getting my children in on it as well.

I am also working diligently on the final, final draft of my memoir, Pieces of My Life.  This literary work has been sitting literally on my shelf for the past 4 years. There are many painful meories that I share but also triumphs, love, passion, suspense—it could be a damn movie in all honesty. It is my honest belief that I have to tell this story. The work is meant to help others and I know that it will. So, besides my volunteerism, my upcoming book , raising my awesome children, and continually working on self, I have not had tons of time to blog—my apologies. I sincerely appreciate everyone who actually reads my words and supports my page.

I have run for far too long. I am meant to do certain things in my life and many of which, I have dodged for years. Time is out for that. This year is meant to be a year of new adventures and challenges. I am actively pursuing things that frighten my soul. I made a promise to myself in 2013 that I would live my life on my own terms and would not play it safe. I have become comfortable so it’s time to shake my life up again! Ready, set, go!!

 

Are you ready??

 

Peace, love, & abundant light,

Ashaki

New Adventures

Greetings and Happy Sunday fam! I do hope you are enjoying today. Today is my beautiful oldest daughter Ayanna’s birthday. I can hardly believe that she is 12 today. She is so talented and sweet, but I digress. Yesterday, I took my first training class with a Domestic Violence Speaker’s Bureau in my city. I chose to sign up for specialized training in order to share my story, help others in those situations, and hone my speaker’s skills. I have a feeling I will gain so much more.

The first day was inspiring and overwhelming. There are parts of my life experiences that I have buried and strive not to think about at all. I was absolutely fine until we participated in a role-playing exercise in which one of my fellow trainees acted as a victim and we were her “support system”. We all had to read a statement and then turn our backs. We were pastors, family members, social workers, etc. And then there was the portrayal of the abuser.  The acting was spot on and it hit my core like a volcanic blast. I was immediately placed back into the times when I was abused daily, lived in absolute fear, and almost lost my life. Some wounds, although healed, still remain raw.

Over the past year or so, I have focused, advocated, and taught self-care practices. The session made me realize that I must be more consistent in my own self- care. I took some deep breaths and re-centered. I remembered how awesome my life is in comparison to how it used to be. I am free to pursue my life as I see fit, to love, to move about, to sleep in peace. I remember the cage I used to reside in. The cage was destroyed years ago. I am overwhelmingly happy that I am doing meaningful work and living an authentic life. It is my sincere hope that I help others find their freedom. I fought for my life. And now, I am free. Finally.

 

Peace & Blessings,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

6 Years and Counting……

Peace, love, and abundant light fam! Today I celebrate the 6th year of my loc journey!! 6 years of retwists (when I feel like it lol), coconut/almond oil to the scalp, getting a workout washing them, feeling them on my naked back and swearing a bug was crawling on me, having my children lay in my arms and push them out of their way or laying on my hair when they snuggle next to me, ugly days when I choose to wrap them in one of my lovely headwraps, people assuming that I am a total weed head, and people asking if they are “mine”.  Each year I have created a different list of lessons I have learned. I always say that the growth I have experienced is much more than my hair. But even beyond the beauty in my journey, there has been ugliness, pain, pruning, and loss. Growing up is not easy by any means but I can never go backwards because there is no progress in that action.

Recently a few of my locs have shed and a few dead ends have fallen off. Just a few nights ago as I removed a ponytail, an end of one of them came of with the hair tie. I gently placed it in my jewelry box. Don’t be weirded out; I grew up with a family who believed that you should never throw your hair away. You either burn it or keep it in the Bible lol. I realize that those dead ends represent a few areas of my life that have also fallen dead- relationships that ended, ways and thoughts that I had to let go, behaviors that I have used for years that were not conducive to my growth.

It is painful to go deep within to find more shortcomings when you think that you are doing “so well”.  It hurts to admit your own failures when you have been a perfectionist all of your natural life. Sometimes the feelings of regret begin to creep in when I reflect on decisions I have made in the past. I can see the repercussions of those decisions play out like a movie oftentimes and the dread fills my chest like lead.  But, that’s life. No one is perfect and we have ALL made decisions that may not have been wise or well thought out. When I feel that regret nagging my spirit, I force myself to also remember that I have grown, I am not the same person I used to be, not even who I was yesterday and I have tons of great attributes that have positively affected my life and the lives of others so.

I have overcome so much in my 36 years of life- molestation, rape, abandonment, homelessness, tragic losses, abuse….and yet I continue to smile, laugh, and give of myself to this world. Am I where I want to be in life, no, but I appreciate my position. I am a mother, I am now a Yeye (grandmother), I am a writer, I am a poet, I am a nurse, I am an herbalist, I am a speaker, I am a coach, I am a teacher, I am my family’s historian, I am a sister among many beautiful sisters, I am so many wonderful things. I give of myself daily, providing advice and guidance to souls who have no one to assist them on their life’s journey. I extend my love throughout the world through my words and videos. I expose my pain and use my experiences as a healing salve to the broken spirits of others.

So, cheers to me! 6 years of kicking ass and taking names, of growth, high buns, headwraps, red lipstick, Afrikan jewelry, and reclaiming my name, time, space, and life. Let the journey continue……..

 

One Love,

Ashaki

Peace, love, and light fam and happy Saturday! It is a cold day here in my city of Charlotte, NC. But, I thoroughly enjoy cold weather lol. When I step outside, inhale the brisk air, and look into the clear sky, I am reminded that I am alive. It may be trivial to some, but the coldness reminds me of my life, to breathe, and to realize that my life is my own, but I digress.

I am uber excited for upcoming projects that I am working on. I know you may be thinking, “What is she working on now?” I cannot help but to create. It is a passion of mine and I must feed it. Anywho, I wanted to just drop in quickly to check in everyone. I realize that my reach may not be as far as I would like at this time, but I must continue  to speak my truth and share my stories.

I recently had someone tell me that the things I share has greatly improved the quality of their life. It stirred my soul to hear. We never truly can know the impact that we have on others in this digital world. There are people reading and watching that we may never meet personally. Sharing these digital spaces with you, sharing aspects of my journey, and being unapologetically me is not only therapeutic for me but it is empowering. We all have a story, we all have pearls of wisdom, we all can be impactful. I will continue to share, I will continue to inspire, I will continue to give the best of me to this world until the day comes for this life to end. It is only right.

 

Peace to the World,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

Full Moons & Manifesting

Peace, love, and light fam. I hope all is well with everyone on this Full Moon day. The energy today is mad high today! I don’t know how many of you are into astrological events, but I truly am. I absolutely love Full Moons, the promise of new beginnings, releasing old patterns, aches, and pains, and such. I am a person with a ton of different pursuits and interests, some a little strange to the general public lol but I am who I am and wouldn’t have it any other way.

When I was a little girl, my imagination was essential to my survival and overall well-being. There were things that happened in my house and in my neighborhood that weren’t pleasant and life was hard. I used my imagination to take me to the Great Wall of China, to play in the woods with gnomes and fairies, to ride a unicorn up to a rainbow. I realize that imagination has been one of my greatest strengths over the years. Imagination is literally a key to creating a new reality.

I have really been focused on manifesting new and wonderful things in my life. I have learned that my imagination is an essential tool to manifesting. How many times have you imagined yourself doing something that you truly enjoy, traveling to someplace new, pursuing a dream that you’ve had all of your life? Do you know that you desire those things because you actually can have what you desire?

I encourage you to reflect on what it is that you truly want out of your life and allow your imagination to wander there. You have all of the ability and the power to make it happen. You simply have to believe. Tap into the magic of the Moon friends. She is beckoning to you. Imagine……

 

Hetepu,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Results Are In!

Peace fam. To say that I am overwhelmingly excited would be an understatement this morning. A few months ago, I submitted my DNA to be tested for my ancestral lineage. I have always wanted to know what countries my bloodlines led to but had never taken the time or resources to do so. As you may or may not know, I am legally changing my name from my birth name. I love my family, no doubt, but my attachment to a name that is not reflective of my lineage, heritage, or lifestyle (among other things) led me to want to choose a name more in line with the life I am building and the legacy I am leaving behind. Thus, you have Ashaki, a West Afrikan name that means beautiful.

Well, let me get to it. Drumroll please lol! I received my results last night. My DNA is a combination of Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria, Benin/Toga, and Senegal. I only have 8% European (and a message from Ancestry saying that it is a “low confidence region). Anyway, I am highly honored to be one of the few Afrikans living in Amerikka that actually knows their origins. I am also very happy to have found some family that share DNA with me. I also reviewed the birth records of my paternal grandfather online which showed where he was born in Jamaica, as well as the birth date of my maternal great-great grandfather, who was born in 1886. How amazing this journey of self discovery is!! I was moved to tears looking at the military records of my great grandfather, the census of my maternal great grandfather, as well as other documents.

I am piecing together history for my descendants. They will know where they come from. We are resilient, we are strong, we are Afrikan!! I have been under reconstruction now for months, learning who I am as a woman, finding my weaknesses, my strengths, my shortcomings, my quirks. I have been taking care of self. Now, I am finding out parts of myself that I did not know existed. Thousands of years ago, my ancestors in Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal were living, loving, working, and dreaming. I am my ancestors wildest dreams. I am my ancestors. I am back.

 

Hetepu,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

Today’s Insights

Peace peace fam! I have been uber busy these days and I feel absolutely awesome about how everything is finally coming together for me. I do genuinely hope all is well on your end. I want to talk about a few things.

First of all, I finally have figured out that being busy and being productive are absolutely two different things (though I often use busy to describe my days). I have wasted time literally on nonsense. I notice the RESULTS when I am being productive versus when I am “busy”. Being busy is like riding a stationary bicycle– no matter how hard or fast that you pedal, your ass is going nowhere fast!

Secondly, I have come to the realization that my reach and impact on others if far more than I could have imagined. I have had a few very interesting encounters over the past few weeks–the most eye opening coming from a brother from Ghana. He “knew” me through a mutual friend from Nigeria that I have known for several years. Nevertheless, he explained how much he loved me because of my outspokenness on Afrikan and Amerikan Afrikan issues. I was caught completely off guard but honestly humbled at the same time.

Lastly, I am absolutely bursting with joy these days and it is seemingly contagious. The people around me beam with joy as I “cut the fool”. I have been caught dancing in the hall at my job a few times. I wake up smiling. I must have spring fever LOL!! No, in all honesty, my joy is a choice. I am naturally very bubbly and energetic. But, I am purposely choosing to live each day basking in joy because the universe is conspiring to make all of my dreams a present reality.

So, I encourage you to open your eyes to the possibility of what you think may be impossibility…….You never know where your intentions and heart may take you…

 

Hetepu,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

Repainting Your Life Landscape

Peace, love, and light fam! Hope you are enjoying your Sunday. It is not even 8:30 here and I have to say I am feeling quite lovely. Well I launched my business this past week and am so excited about all that is to come. I was thinking on how I have changed the course of the past few days by choosing not to participate in activities or conversation that are based on negativity or things that simply are not feeding my spirit. I have literally woke up everyday with a smile on my face and not because everything is copacetic or perfect but because I am truly grateful for my life and all that is happening and going to happen. I have found peace and  am literally chilling in the eye of the proverbial storm!

I have also been reflecting on the connectedness of us all and how awesome it is to be connected to so many amazing people. I am seeing great work among them, progress, babies being born, couples dedicating themselves to each other, and so much more. I am ecstatic for them and their journey. So, I wanted to share 3 insights to help you begin the process of changing the landscape of your life.

  1. Know that your life matters. I know that may sound trivial to some but as a woman who did not know that my life was worthy, was never told that my life mattered, or that I was important, learning that my life mattered was life altering.
  2. Know that just as there is light and dark, there will be trials and triumphs. The universe dictates that there be balance in all things. Life will present obstacles and it is not always easy. Just hold onto the fact that all things are temporary and that you can weather the storm
  3. Know that you have a purpose to serve. Your soul chose to come to the planet at this time to serve a particular purpose. I once believed that I was damned and somehow had been a mistake. But now I know and realize that the little voice that was telling me all of these hurtful things was not my voice, but voices of others that had been an influence in my life. They no longer dictate how I feel. My life has an amazing purpose and so does yours.

So, there you have it. Your life matters, life will have ups and downs, and you have purpose. Meditate on these insights today. Allow your spirit to lead you. Each new day is a promise for more of everything and an opportunity to begin again. If you would like more guidance and assistance on living your best life, please subscribe to www.ashakiali.com. You can also find my on social media (Instagram as CoachAli17 (True Transformation Coach), Twitter (@TrueTransforma1), and FB at True Transformation Life & Health Coaching Services. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Hetepu,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali