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

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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

Happy bEarthday Daddy!

Peace and blessings fam! I do hope all is well with everyone. Today is my father’s bEarthday, as well as the great Marcus Mosiah Garvey. I wanted to share a few fond memories as well as lessons that I learned growing up. My father was killed on a worksite at age 47. He left behind a large family and many friends but his legacy continues.

My father, Rev. Alexander Jackson Jr. was a very strong man—strong in his body and his mind as well. I love books, reading, research, and so did he. He believed that reading was essential to life—as essential as air is to breathing. I remember catching him watching me read one summer evening. I asked him what he was looking at and he just smiled and told me to keep reading.

I learned how men should treat their children and wife. He was very loving and affectionate. He made sure that his house was taken care of, that his woman was well cared for and worry free, and that his children’s needs have been met. The love he had for his family was apparent in his eyes and his interactions.

My father’s charitable spirit is what I think about very often, as I strive to give back to my own community. I can remember vividly him repairing poor people’s houses for free. It takes a huge heart to give so freely and I am so proud to have been born to a man who saw people in need and took it upon himself to give of himself.

I could go on and on about my daddy. I could tell you how his eyes change colors when he was angry or how he teased about being a member of the Mandinka tribe. I could reminisce about holidays gone by and how he always told me how I looked just like his mother. But, I won’t. I will end my reminiscings with this…

I love and miss you daddy. You are still the best!

 

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

AKA “Baby Girl”

20 Years As a Mother…..

Peace, love, and light fam! I hope all is well with you all on this Friday. Today is a very special day—this is my eldest Sun’s 20th bEarthday. I can hardly believe he is 20! He is happy, healthy, doing well, and progressing in his life. There is a time when I was unsure of how my life would be at this time in my life. I gave birth to him when I was 16. My sweet sixteen was a very sad day, filled with eye rolling, teeth sucking, and resentment sent towards me.

My sun’s biological father was not involved at all during my pregnancy or after. My mother constantly threatened me with foster homes, group homes, taunting that she would “turn me over to the state”.  I was told by a guy at school that I should “get rid of it”. I was told by a few friends that their parents told them they couldn’t be my friend anymore because I was pregnant. I felt like a complete and utter failure; a pariah. But, my spirit is strong and resilient, so I resolved to be a great mother and make things work for my baby and I—no matter what.

I gave birth on July 21st, 1997 at 2:51 a.m to a 7 pound, 2.9 ounce beautiful, big-eyed boy that I named Shamar Malik DeBerry. He was perfect in my eyes. Being a teenage mom had its challenges, but I persevered.  And there were many bruises and bumps along the way. He almost died from an illness when he was 7 months, I was in an abusive relationship, which put us both in danger at times. I have been homeless and had to send him to live with family for 6 months once. I worked too much and wasn’t present as much as I had liked to have been.. We have literally lost everything and rebuilt many times over the years.

But, I never lost the determination I had that told me every morning “things will get better”. And over the years, they have. I had to grow up before I gave birth to him. My life has been filled with dysfunction, pain, death, and disorder. But, my life has also been filled with love, joy, triumph, life, light, and abundance. This sun is now a man and I am very proud of what he is doing right now. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. But is being a mother to him and my other 5 children worth it? Absolutely yes. I know I am a better individual because of them. They are the light in my life. They are my motivation. And if I could turn back the hands of time, I would still be the mother of the Tribe.

 

Have an awesome weekend!

 

Peace, Love, and Abundant Light,

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