Friday, July 8, 2011
Listen to Your Spirit
You should have listened/There is someone here inside/Someone I'd thought had died/So long ago
On my first trip to Nigeria, I was stranded in Lagos. It was me listening to my spirit that got me through. I was twenty-five, had never traveled to West Africa, knew no one, and was on a mission to immerse myself in Yoruba culture.
That was way before Beyonce or Jay-Z got inspired to tour with an entourage that probably had bullet-proof, armored cars, security resembling the president. As a matte of fact, I was the only non-Nigerian who was black and a woman who flew in that day. Nope, no high profile anything. It was just me, my overalls, and my bags and the customs agents were looking at me in a line full of white males mostly from Europe and some of United States, and were wondering what I was doing there as well.
The plan was that I was to be picked up at the airport by an African-American woman who spent most of her time in the country. I waited for ten hours. She never came and my sojourn began. Four days later, I arrived in Ile Ife, unharmed and ready to celebrate the Akara or Bean Cake Festival with the Yoruba people who honored their traditions and customs.
The Araba, or spiritual head of the Yoruba people looked at me and said through the interpreter that my ancestors had guided to Ile Ife, and I had listen. Today, his words and my experience bring chill bumps. If there was a time that I honed every survival skill I had, it was then. It was because I was stripped of anything I thought was pragmatic or effective, and had nothing I could identify to help me, so I consciously decided to listen and follow.
We are intuitive entities that miss so much of the underlying layers of life. From birth there is a process that systemically strips us from honoring and following our spirits. It is this thing called logic, or more, Westernized logic that tells us spirit does not exist and the thought of even thinking with our guts, or our sixth sense is garbage.
There are instances in your life that you are thinking right now that you wish you would have following your first mind, or listened to that voice that was telling you to go left. But nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Logic told you to go right, and like all of us, you ended up in a gutter. More specifically, a gutter-relationship, a gutter-career move, a gutter-friendship, a gutter-mechanic, a gutter-baby-daddy, a gutter-investment, a-gutter-business deal, a gutter-driving decision, and the list continues.
But, do you remember the time you DID follow your spirit and everything fell into place. You were thinking, "It can't be that easy?" Honestly, it can, if we just listen.
Destination: The Lady's First Hotel in Zurich is a hotel that caters to women travelers. It is small, 28-room hotel in an elegant, totally renovated 19th century mansion. The top floors include a spa, rooftop terrace and workout room for women only.
Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa in Knysa, South Africa (near Cape Town) is surrounded by rugged cliffs, ancient forests and sheltered beaches, on the cliff-top of the Eastern Head, Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa offers breathtaking views of both the Knysna Lagoon and the Indian Ocean. A one hour flight from Cape Town. From the moment that guests arrive at Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, they will realize what a truly exceptional place they have chosen. The hotel delivers a whole new world of luxury in elegant African style. http://www.pezularesorthotel.com/.
Alternate Destination: In the U.S., the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota has an all-female floor. It costs about $30 extra a night, and boasts rooms with makeup mirrors, fresh flowers and premium chocolates.
Lifestyle: Give yourself a trip to the spa! No sisters, a lot of you get manicures, pedicures and fingernails done at local facilities that treat you like cattle, amongst other things. Why not try a black-owned spa that caters to your distinct aesthetic needs.
Spirit Dream Spa
The only black-owned full spa service in Las Vegas.
1811 South Jones Blvd at West Oakey
Tru Urban Spa
A mother-daughter team in Sacramento
604 12 Street (at F Street)
Alternate Lifestyle: Create your own spa in your bathroom and bedroom. It is so important for every woman to know how to maintain every part of her body and not rely on anyone. Dedicate a day to you and lather them ashy knees or crusty feet.
Beauty: A couple of years ago when I lived full-time in Los Angeles, I bought several products from a line I just noticed called Sade. The products were stellar, but the store stopped carrying them and I couldn't locate the product. Fortunately, for internet, I found her. FolaSade is in the building and holding it down in Brooklyn where she has a flagship store. She is a Nigerian noble raised between New York and London. Her products consist of natural materials cultivated from her homeland and are very good. Check her out at http://sadeskincare.com/
Health: Try a Yoga class with a brother or sister. Honestly, I didn't get Yoga until I tried it. Whew, you do not know how much of a rat race you are running until this meditative activity stops your breaks!