Spirituality (noun): “The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.”
Sorry to burst ya’lls bubble, but I’m certainly coming in here with that spiritual shit today.
I’ve always been an introspective person from a very young age. Journaling was the first activity that has allowed me to become more self-aware. I’ve done most of my shadow work through journaling before I even knew what shadow work was.
Shadow work is the process of acknowledging and accepting the hidden parts of your personality. The shadow represents the part we don’t like, the part that is repressed in our unconscious mind. In order to live a balanced life, we must acknowledge the shadow.Carl Jung
When I began doing shadow work through journaling, I was able to recognize the pattern of my toxic traits and my self-sabotaging ways written down on paper. There’s been times where I’ve been utterly disgusted and disappointed with myself (the dark side). But at the end of the day, it’s all about understanding your self-destructive ways, processing, learning, and moving on to become a better person.
Back in 2012, when I attended my local community college, one of my first courses of studies was the Psychology field. Learning about human behavior and why people think the way they do was very fascinating to me. At one point, I wanted to become a forensic psychologist but I don’t think I have the stomach for it or the self-control for that type of work. I get overly passionate about injustices. I still enjoy getting into peoples heads, figuring out what makes them tick, what makes them happy, sad, what their passionate about, which has contributed to me becoming an empath.
An empath is someone who is highly aware of the emotions of those around them, to the point of feeling those emotions themselves.Andre Solo
Are you an empath? find out HERE
Spirituality vs. Religion
Spirituality (to me) means believing in a higher power greater than myself and knowing that everything and everyone is connected to that power. Spirituality is a connection to your highest, most divine self through experiences and a one on one relationship with self. Then and only then, can you really connect with that higher power. It’s a journey of self-love, self-introspection, and finding true purpose.
Religion on the other hand, is something that is taught through another person’s experience. For example, people go to church to hear the pastors word or “sermon”. The pastor leads and the congregation follows and honestly, that gives me major “cult” vibes. Religion is very structured. The most hypocritical and judgmental people I’ve ever met are religious folks, most specifically, the older religious folks.
A big piece of advice: stay far away from people who don’t believe in anything and those who choose to stay ignorant and close-minded.
What did my view of God & religion look like prior to my spiritual journey?
I remember being forced to go to Bible study and feeling so bored and annoyed. I literally dreaded going because it was never my choice to go, instead it was something that an older family member forced me to do in hopes of putting me on the right path so I don’t “go astray”. I never understood why we had to go to church every Sunday, dress up in nice “respectable” clothing for a 3 to 4 hour long church service.
Not to mention all the unanswered questions I had. For example, why is God a white man in every picture I see? Who said he’s a man in the first place? Who wrote the Bible? Why is the Bible dominated by male angels? Why are women like Lilith and Eve shunned? How did we really get here on earth? Why do we have to give tithes and offerings just so the pastor can drive around in a new BMW?. Also, why do church folks say: “come as you are” and when you do “come as you are” you get judged for it? Why is there so much corruption, secrets, molestation, and lies being uncovered in the church?. How can a religion say that “love is love” but not be accepting of homosexuals and queer people?. It just never made any sense to me.
Embarking on my spiritual journey, experiencing life on my own terms, and doing my own research has revived my faith in a higher power. And in doing so, I’ve learned that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, act a certain way, dress “respectfully”, or belong to a church community in order to have my own relationship with God. And that’s that!
Why did I start a spiritual journey?
I was very lost and empty inside for a long time. I felt like I had reached a pre mid-life crisis in my early 20’s. I wasn’t connecting with religion, I didn’t know what my life’s purpose was, nor did I truly know who I was. I always had that nagging: “there’s much more to life” feeling in the back of my mind. I always knew I was destined for more than what I was settling for. I desired true freedom and peace. Also, I really lacked faith so I became consumed with depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety is the result of constantly dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. I’m finally beginning to understand that living in the present is what really matters.
How did I start my spiritual journey?
After I figured out why I wanted to start this journey, the how part just came naturally after that. Everyone’s spiritual journey is unique, ongoing and ever-changing. No two paths are ever the same. I started my journey at a slow and steady pace that was comfortable enough for me. Then, I began looking into different philosophies, tools, and practices that piqued my interest.
What were my influences growing up?
Family and culture have been big influences. One of my favorite aunt’s, in spiritual terms is considered a Green (Kitchen) Witch. She does a lot of work with herbs and oils. Check out: J Herbals Apothecary. My aunt can literally make a potion or a tonic for almost any condition or ailment. I used to think she was a little cuckoo for making all these herbal teas and having me taste test them. Many of the concoctions were odd-looking and nasty as hell but, because of her I started to understand the importance of natural healing and wellness.
My dad was the one to make sure I stayed connected to my cultural roots as a kid. We attended African and Caribbean festivals together, listened to all sorts of sounds and music- soca, reggae, calypso, zydeco, etc. I always felt so proud of my culture and traditions. I felt the most beautiful when I wore my little dashiki’s and head wraps (and still do).
My Spiritual Practices
Yoga (noun): A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific body postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
I was invited to attend my first yoga class at a local recreation center in May 2019 and I immediately fell in love. Practicing yoga for the first time felt so peaceful. The only other time my mind was completely clear and calm was when I used to work out/personal train at the gym (both are great stress relievers by the way). I enjoyed yoga so much that it soon became a daily practice especially during the pandemic lockdown.
Yoga is very gentle, there’s no pressure or a need to do it perfectly. If I don’t feel called by spirit to do yoga that particular day, I simply don’t force myself to do it. Yoga is about listening to your body’s inner voice and doing what it tells you/what feels good.
My favorite yoga pose: wide-legged child’s pose (prasarita balasana). Super grounding and comforting.
When I first heard of meditation, I thought it would be impossible for me to do. My thoughts are always racing 24/7 and it’s very difficult for me to sit still for long periods of time. But, all you really need is 5 minutes a day to meditate, either in the morning or at night but I personally prefer the mornings. During my meditation, I like to sit quietly, close my eyes, do some controlled breathing exercises, speak positive affirmations, and set my intentions for the day.
Practicing mindfulness is key to emotional health. For beginners or if you struggle to clear your mind like I do, I would highly recommend doing guided meditations led by a teacher via audio or video. The benefits of meditation goes far beyond relaxation. Meditation enhances emotional health, self-awareness, may reduce age related memory loss, controls anxiety, and extends attention span.
3. Alternative Medicine.
We all know that there are several different prescribed medications used to treat depression and anxiety. I am currently on one of them- Mirtazapine. But, I also experimented with alternative medicine and it’s still a big goal for me to get off of anti-depressants for good. I’ve tried the full spectrum CBD tincture from Veritas Farm and also their CBD gummies and I can’t wait to restock on them. I can definitely say, I felt immediate mental clarity and an increased ability to focus. I also had an opportunity to try out acupuncture.
Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced “chee”) through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By applying acupuncture to certain points, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.Hopkins Medicine
At the time, I was struggling with insomnia and anxiety and wanted to see if acupuncture could help. During the session, tiny thin needles were inserted all over my face and no, it didn’t hurt. I only had one session so I can’t 100% say it was effective. In my opinion, acupuncture is best used to treat chronic pain.
4. Attend Spiritual Events.
Attending spiritual events allows you the chance to network and connect with other like-minded people. The first spiritual event I attended was Karma Fest- 2019 in Havre De Grace, MD. The vibes at the festival were truly amazing. There were tons of vendors selling a variety of things like vegan foods, clothing, jewelry, metaphysical items, and herbal products, in addition to live entertainment. The festival also offered onsite services: massages, facials, reiki, psychic palm readings, tarot, and even yoga.
5. Crystal Healing.
There are so many beautiful and unique minerals, crystals, and gemstones that form from the earth and they all have their own spiritual meanings and healing properties. When you have crystals, it’s important to cleanse them with rain water and/or sage, and charge them under the sun and moonlight (full/new moons). I may do a detailed moon rituals post in the future.
The crystals I currently have are: rose quartz (personal fav), amethyst, black tourmaline, aventurine (2nd fav), calcite, smoky quartz, selenite, amazonite, tigers eye, leopard skin jasper, and fluorite. I love wearing my crystals as jewelry.
Crystals can be used during meditation, and reiki (chakra balancing). You can also carry them in your pocket and purse as protection, or put them under your pillow to aid in sleep and dream induction. I quickly experienced the effects of wearing rose quartz (the love magnet). Rose quartz attracted my love interest and also former lovers and admirers. At one point, I had to stop wearing it cause it was attracting a little too much love/attention.
6. Altar Work.
Next, I got into altar work by first creating an altar. Your altar is your personal sacred place for prayer, meditation, journaling, and seeking guidance from ancestors. I find my bedroom to be the most private place for my altar, away from the curious eyes and hands of visitors. The above picture perfectly explains the items you will need to create your own.
7. Journaling // Law of Attraction.
Simply put, the Law of Attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. It is the Law of Attraction which uses the power of the mind to translate whatever is in our thoughts and materialize them into reality. In basic terms, all thoughts turn into things eventually. If you focus on negative doom and gloom you will remain under that cloud. If you focus on positive thoughts and have goals that you aim to achieve you will find a way to achieve them with massive action.Lawofattraction.com
We all have the power to manifest anything that we want- love, money, a new career, our dream lives, etc. and it really does work if you just believe. You can manifest things through visualization- writing them down in a manifestation journal like the one I have above, and by creating vision boards.
There’s something about seeing the life you want right before your eyes that gives you that extra push from the universe to make it a reality. When you’re asking the universe and God for what you want it’s important to always express gratitude for the things you already have.
8. Appreciate Nature and God’s Creatures.
Being good to animals and nature/the environment is very important to me, I hate seeing either of them being mistreated in any way. Although I’ve managed to kill three plants so far that doesn’t stop me from wanting more. Raising plants is honestly a learning process. Plants are a great source for energy and air purification.
Also, I love being a dog mom. Dogs will always have a special place in my heart. I treat my dog(s) like my children and members of the family. Dogs may not be able to verbally speak but they can communicate in many other ways. They are loyal, loving, and fun. If you are good to them, they’ll be good to you too.
I find water to be very healing, whether I’m in the ocean, the river, a pool, or just taking a shower or a bath. As the water is running over me, I like to imagine all my worries and stress being washed away. Water cleanses, renews and energizes. That’s why the ocean will forever be my happy place.
9. Devotional Reading
Although I am not a religious person, I still enjoy reading devotionals for inspiration from time to time. I have a 365 daily devotional book from Our Daily Bread. In my opinion, reading daily devotionals is a lot more fun and interact than trying to read the bible straight through. I wonder who has actually read the bible from beginning to end?.
I also have the YouVersion– Bible App downloaded on my phone that notifies me with a ‘verse of the day’. The app also includes several different plans to choose from and read based on what you’re trying to overcome like: anxiety, depression, anger, stress, fear, loss, jealousy, temptation, pride, doubt, and the things you want more of like: love, patience, peace, hope, healing, and joy. You can make it more interact by reading along with a friend and taking notes.
I started getting into astrology in my early 20s. I am aware that astrology is technically considered a “pseudoscience”, but I believe it’s still a great tool for learning more about yourself and others. It’s interesting seeing which signs are the most compatible with whom.
I start off every morning reading my Libra horoscope. I like getting my horoscope readings from 3 different apps: DailyHoroscope, VICE, and Sanctuary World. A girl needs options! To make things clear, I’m not one of those people who will refuse to befriend or date someone solely based on their zodiac sign, and I don’t blame my toxic traits on my zodiac sign either.
If you’re wondering: I’m a Libra sun, Pisces moon, and a Cancer rising. Air and water babies unite!!.
What have I experienced since trusting God/the universe? and overall, what is my life like now?
So far, I’ve experienced moments of unexpected blessings, abundance and a renewed faith. I feel like I am more kind, generous and loving. I’ve had other people notice a positive change in me as well. For example, a woman told me that I have a good aura and a beautiful soul. That compliment will always live rent-free in my mind.
Putting my trust in God and the universe is a comfort like no other. It’s like putting your fears aside and bungee-jumping head first knowing that the rope isn’t going to let you fall.
My life may not be free of storms but now I have the tools to weather them.Tiffany M. Hill
My Sacred Tattoo
The Ankh, an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic, is the symbol of eternal life and the unity in body, mind, and spirit. The Ankh represents the balance between opposing forces like masculinity and femininity, fertility, reproduction, the cycle of life, energy exchanges, and the union of heaven + earth.
My Spiritual Goals
- Go to therapy. Therapy for Black Girls has been a great resource for helping me find a therapist in my area. All I have to do now is pick up the phone and call.
- Try Reiki (chakra balancing).
- Get my aura photographed.
- Find a spiritual life coach.
- Get a psychic palm reading.
- Get an astrology/numerology and tarot reading. I really want someone to break down every aspect of my birth chart to me.
- Attend more spiritual events. Post COVID!
- Travel more.
- Make new connections and spiritual friends.
- Have a room full of plants.
- Purchase more crystals.
- Read more spiritual self-help books.
- Get more body art (tattoos).
- Rebuild and maintain my sacred altar.
- Feed my creative urges and hobbies more often.
- Live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
- Achieve financial freedom.
A great resource when getting to know yourself would be to take a free 16Personalities Test. Many employers have begun to use the Myers Briggs personality test to get a better understanding of their employees and which personalities will work best with who. I would also recommend getting a free natal chart. I got my chart from Cafe Astrology. For a more accurate natal chart reading, you will need to know the time + the place you were born, so go find those birth certificates!
Be very cautious of advising with “psychics” and online “spiritual gurus/tarot readers”, not all of them will have your best interest at heart. I enjoy receiving free collective readings from: The Hood Healer during her Sunday service on Instagram live. I’ve honestly learned so much from her and her predictions are always on point. Marie Lizzeau, ItsJuJuBae, HoodHealingHoodoo, Queen Afua, Hitomi Mochizuki, and Hadiya Barbel are a few other knowledgeable spiritual women I like to follow.
Asking your close family members more about your childhood behaviors is beneficial too. Were you highly sensitive as a child? quiet? talkative?. And of course- research, research, research! Read as much as you can about spirituality, read sacred texts, and self-help books for self-development.