Aba Mfrase Ewur

HEALER & MODEL, NEW YORK CITY

"There should be no gatekeeping as to who is a good person, who gets to be healed. It can’t be healing if it's just for some people."

TALKS IMPOSTER SYNDROME, ENERGY, MANIFESTING THE LIFE YOU WANT, BLACK ANGER & BLACK EMPOWERMENT

Aba is absolutely magical. I have no more words in describing the power and the beauty behind this woman. 

 

I first met Aba when she was modeling for a shoot I was styling years ago but it wasn't until she spoke about prayer during the ongoing black lives matter movement that I felt instantly compelled to speak with her for Hello! Sun. She had a radically different approach that was one of self care, self responsibility and putting purpose and intention at the forefront of every action and it all really resonated with me. We touch on so many things including imposter syndrome in the work of wellness, black anger, energy as the highest form of currency along with healing and manifesting the life you want and deserve. She broke me open in so many ways and I am forever grateful.

This conversation however does cover sensitive topics including race and classism among others and I wanted to write a disclaimer that it may be triggering to some. If that be so, I would like to say in that that was never in any way our intention. This is a very honest conversation between two people sharing individual experiences and whom in no way are trying to speak for everyone or anyone else. Again, Hello! Sun exists as a platform for open and uncensored honesty and at the end I always hope it can offer you something valuable whether it be something challenging or comforting. We must learn, grow and try to understand all perspectives because at the end, that is the beginning of compassion x

 
I ALWAYS LIKE TO BEGIN BY ASKING PEOPLE WHAT THEIR MORNING ROUTINE IS BUT I THINK IN REFLECTION OF THE TIMES I WOULD JUST LIKE TO START BY ASKING - HOW ARE YOU?

Right now every single day is so different with waking up and never knowing what we're going to hear or see, feel, taste and smell or what we're going to go through when it comes to the internet or any kind of news or media for that day. Instead of trying to fight and set myself harsh boundaries like saying "no you do not wake up and go on your phone" or "no, you do not wake up and get on instagram or twitter", the one parameter I set for myself is to wake up and set an intention for the day. I wake up, I crack my eyes open and then I’m like okay - what is my intention for this day? That way anything I do moving forward is with that energy. Sometimes I wake up and I’m like - my goal for the day is to simply just be - so that means all throughout the day all I intend to do is be present and if I’m not I’m like "oh shit! I was meant to be present" and give myself a chance to return. It doesn’t matter what I do for the rest of the day, if I can align myself as much as possible with my intention then I have accomplished my goal. 

 

I woke up this morning and thought about our interview and sat down and asked myself - okay what is my intention with this? What is the purpose of this? And I went directly into feelings of anxiety and feelings of imposter syndrome. 

 
THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME IS A HUGE ONE FOR ME!

I mean we have been talking about doing this interview for almost two weeks and of course the morning I wake up and feel a way is today. You can always prep as much as you want for these things but you wake up and you just never know. I do this whole, "who do you think you are" thing. It's just so intense and it comes through more for me right now because a lot of people have been reaching out for me simply because I am a black woman and also because I am in some ways more vocal than other people and more willing to speak.

 

It's hard but this goes back into setting the intention - I am just one person and am speaking to and about black people but I am not speaking for all black people. I am one of the million and billions of beautiful souls who have a similar exterior to mine and I can't imagine trying to encompass or speak for everyone’s life so in having said that, that intention helped me ground myself today to remember that I can only speak on my own experience and I can't be an imposter because I am myself.

THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME IS SUCH A CHEEKY LITTLE DEVIL. FOR ME IT'S A VOICE THAT MONITORS EVERYTHING I SAY AND DO OR SPEAK ABOUT. SHE HAS A DIFFERENT COSTUME FOR EVERY OCCASION AND LOVES TO ASK ME WHO THE F*** I THINK I AM TO BE DOING THE WORK THAT I AM DOING. IT CAN GET SO EXHAUSTING AND PARALYZING.

My imposter syndrome is that girl! She dresses up in different outfits. I think for me it's about letting go of a lot of things and as you know, certain systems I was participating in before lockdown. I had a lot of imposter feelings surrounding beauty and being a model while also identifying as a healer and asking myself constantly where my place is and what that really means for me and who validates that?

I mean today and this interview is a perfect example of this. I may be able to say no, I am not an acupuncturist or no, I am not a therapist or be able to call myself a lot of other things that have distinct parameters and labels but owning that there is something about me that creates the opportunity for other people to heal is what's important. And the way those opportunities manifest can be anything and that's the power that we have.

 

I think for me, I know that I’m a healer because regardless of what form it takes that day - I know what I have felt and I know what other people feel from what they tell me. Surprisingly for me the imposter syndrome really comes in after I receive some really great feedback - for 10 mins I’m so happy and then as soon as the ego rears it's head - it’s a battle. For me discovering wellness, yoga, breathing exercises and meditation has allowed me to take a backseat to that and let the two of them just fight it out. My ego and the imposter syndrome and whatever dark feelings I have - I just give them the space to do whatever they want to do or need. I step out because I don’t need to argue with myself. I step out through meditation.

When it comes to imposter syndrome I feel like changing my language or changing the question - rerouting the question to get to a solution. Asking questions because I want an answer. Instead of asking "am I a healer?" ask - "am I healing?" Because at the end of the day it's not the label that’s important it's the action. So what am I doing? 

 
I FEEL THE SAME IMPOSTER SYNDROME WHENEVER IT COMES TO OWNING UP AND REFERRING TO MYSELF AS A LIGHTWORKER OR EVEN A YOGA TEACHER BECAUSE FOR ME, I UNCONSCIOUSLY COMPARE MYSELF TO ALL THE TEACHERS I ADMIRE - THE YOGIS, THE GHANDI'S, THE PEMA CHODRON'S - AND IN DEEP RESPECT TO THE WORK THEY ACCOMPLISHED. I HAVE SO MANY WORTHINESS ISSUES WHEN IT COMES TO REFERRING TO MYSELF AS DOING SIMILAR WORK. EVERYONE'S STORY IS SO DIFFERENT AND MINE ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE ASPECT OF STUDY. I MEAN THE YOGA TEACHERS AND YOGIS I REALLY ADMIRE HAVE DEDICATED 20, 30, 40 YEARS OF THEIR LIVES STUDYING THE LINEAGES OF YOGA, STUDYING SANSKRIT, RECITING THE BHAGAVAD GITA OFF BY HEART WHILE ALSO HAVING DONE YEARS AND YEARS OF ASHRAM WORK. SO HERE I AM TRYING TO TEACH SOME OF THE SAME PRACTICES SIPPING A $7 OAT MILK LATTE IN SOHO, TALKING AND WRITING ABOUT WHAT THIS ALL MEANS. BEING AWARE OF ALL THAT IS A REALLY HARD ONE FOR ME.

Like you said it's the hardest thing but first of all, for me the biggest message that has helped me is this idea of “no idols”. No matter who this person is, what their story is or what they have done, you cannot idolize them because that becomes the fuel that feeds the imposter syndrome. And of course right now I’m not saying “oh yeah, me and Ghandi are the same level!” But at the same time we have to understand that he is human and as much as he dedicated and sacrificed much of his life to showing people and showing the world what can be done and the power of an individual he also abused his wife and sexually assaulted many women.

 

So no idols is about understanding that people are all multi-dimensional. We have been told that Mother Teresa did some amazing work but she also had an extremely horrifying colonistic approach to healing and she believed that seeing people suffer was beautiful and that the world gained much for their suffering. So there is so much to uncover but in some small way, I can almost appreciate these people more after I discover some of these things about these people we tend to idolize. It makes me realize if these people can be fractured then the wounds that I have that surface won’t outweigh the good I can do in this world. There should be no gatekeeping as to who is a good person, who gets to be healed. It can’t be healing if it's just for some people. 

 
I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT THAT IS (RIGHTLY SO) AT THE FOREFRONT OF A LOT OF WHAT WE'RE CONFRONTING AND TRYING TO DISMANTLE. ONE OF THE REASONS I WANTED TO INTERVIEW YOU SPECIFICALLY WAS IN SEEING HOW YOU WERE APPROACHING THIS AND WANTED TO ASK WHY YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO APPROACH IT THE WAY YOU HAVE AND WHY THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU?

I have gone through so many stages of my what my affiliation and understanding of revolution is, movement is and what change really is. After the shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009, I was in Oakland, CA and at 16 I attended my first protest and it was earth shattering to me. I did not know people could come together like that and create such intense energy and the beauty of it rocked my mind. From that moment on I was on fire. With every single murder I was more angry and I was so sad and tortured by my own emotions and to do something with all of that feeling bubbling over in me, I had to get active. The killing of Michael Brown in 2014 - that’s when the wave of anger really began for me and everything I was doing was from a place of anger. Every poster I made, every water bottle I gave out, every march I was in - I was angry. And I didn’t know how to get un-angry, l was angry all the time.

 

I am very lucky and blessed as my father had lived so much life and shared that with me. In the 60s he was in California going to Berkeley and privy to the movements of the Black Panther Party. When I was younger he had me read the autobiography of Malcolm X and exposed me to things that talked about Black Liberation and Black Power. I was reading about people like Fred Hampton who was murdered in his home by Chicago police and the FBI at 21. Fred was so intelligent and spoke so much about class, politics, and capitalism and the words that he had spoken are so powerful and important but what people focus on and what they take from it is the tragedy of their life being taken and not the power of their life and not the words that they said but the tragedy of the entire situation. Of course I am not saying we shouldn’t be mourning or uplifting these people and their families, we absolutely should. What I’m saying is, we have to study, learn and understand the gift of their work so that we can abolish the systems that took them from us.

 

I think what happened to me was I got caught up in the specifics of the black lives matter movement - I wore it on me everyday like a shield, wore it like a flag. And then this time when the video of the murder of George Floyd came out, I felt different. I was angry but I wasn't overwhelmed, fed up or confused - there was this new feeling of purpose. I went from being propelled by anger, fire and agni only to applying the balance of all the other elements. Allowing myself to experience the groundedness of earth, to feel the whirlwind of air in my thought process, to bring water into the situation by crying and allowing myself to feel my emotions and being able to round all of that out and realize that yes, I am allowed to feel how I feel once again but what am I going to do?

 

I’ve marched, I’ve protested, I’ve made signs, I’ve done this, I’ve sent emails, I’m making phone calls - I’m doing all this stuff but there has to be something else that I can do and that's why I started to just ask. And out loud in a meditative way - what can I do? And I realized I cannot identify myself specifically with any type of moment associated with consumerism or capitalism or any movement like that because it's in direct opposition with everything I believe and the future I am working to build. Of course black lives matter, of course we do - that's not even a discussion. But at the same time if you see what's happening to these movements because of where we are in society and because we live in America - you know that at any given time, anyone will try and take advantage of anything and will try and make money from it. I’m extremely inquisitive and it goes really deep - but it made me realize that all I have to do is focus on what I can do. And what I’m working with is energy because money isn’t real, these things aren’t real - even the internet isn't real, it's a different plane but it's not here with us in this physical plane. So in real life - how can I pull up to this other than having conversations - but Aba, the Aba in quarantine - how can she pull up to this situation? For me, it's all about energy, learning about how to move energy, how to give and receive energy and I think that is truly going to be the currency of our future. 

 

I know in New York and LA  people have been making community fridges, places where people can go and get free food and people are becoming more community oriented and all of that is energy. When you go and you’re doing these things, you’re putting energy out into the world and being able to feed someone else with goodness is the highest form of exchange. And it's beautiful to see and I think as we move forward it won’t be about these capitalist structures - it's going to be about energy. So the more now we can take it past donating money, take it past the education, how you take it past that and how you combine all of these things will give yourself a holistic view and show you how you can really create long lasting and sustainable change.

 
I'VE ALWAYS IMAGINED US AS HUMAN BEINGS TO BE WALKING AROUND WITH THESE LITTLE CLEAR DOMES AROUND US. LIKE A CARTOON OR YOU KNOW THOSE BIG INFLATABLE BALLS PEOPLE RUN AROUND IN? I VISUALIZE EVERY LIVING THING TO HAVE THIS IMAGINARY DOME AND INSIDE THAT DOME IS WHERE WE REVERBERATE OUR VIBRATION AND ENERGY. I ALWAYS THINK I CAN GO UP AND PREACH THESE THINGS LIKE THE LIFE OF YOGA, THE LIFE OF KINDNESS, EQUALITY OR VEGANISM AND A LOT OF PEOPLE DO TAKE THE PREACHING ROUTE AND THERE IS SUCH A PLACE FOR THAT BUT PERSONALLY IT'S NEVER WHAT I HAVE FELT GRAVITATED TOWARDS.
 
I ALWAYS THINK ABOUT THE DOME, WHETHER IT REACHES 2 FEET OR 5 FEET - IT'S THE SPACE I OCCUPY IN MY LIFETIME AND THE ONLY SPACE I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR. TO WATER THAT SPACE INTO A HEALTHY GARDEN, MEND IT OF GOOD ENERGY AND KINDNESS SO WHOEVER COMES ACROSS YOU, YOU CAN THEN HOPE THAT TO THEM, YOUR LIFE CAN BE A MESSAGE. AS ANIMALS, IF I'M IN YOUR SPACE, I'M ABSORBING YOU AND IF YOU ARE IN MY SPACE, YOU ARE ABSORBING ME. SO BY DOING ME AND DOING IT WELL, I CAN ONLY HOPE THE WORK THAT I'VE PUT IN WILL BE ONE OF GOOD ABSORPTIVE ENERGY FOR YOU. MAYBE A RIPPLE EFFECT WILL OCCUR AND REACH OUT TO OTHERS SAME AS THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE REACHED AND CHANGED ME.

I agree and it's so complex and there is a place for that. It's definitely needed because people are angry and it's a cosmic anger and I really wish I remembered who said that, I think it was a Senegalese movie director and I think that is such a beautiful way to describe that energy you feel when you see black people speaking so deeply and intensely about what's happening. We know it's been happening and it's been happening for centuries - the utter disregard and purposeful attempt at making black people extinct that is still happening right now and I'm laughing because it's so much for my mind that people are literally being sold into slavery in 2020. It's so complex because what can you do but scream? When no one is listening to you what is the point of speaking quietly or being quiet but at the same time I have screamed til my throat is bleeding and it was not as effective as what I was trying to get to. In healing my bell of energy, it has been the most effective way for me to transform or bring people’s awareness to their own shadow. And it's been insane just how me healing myself, living in my truth and living in balance triggers people. 

 

But that's the thing, that's the point - without having to trigger people like that we’ll never be given a chance to expand their minds. So yes, prayer and meditation and yoga and all these things are beautiful and the way they can have an affect on your life is so beautiful but that does not mean that when you approach people they are going to give you back that same energy. Most of the time it doesn’t happen like that. But if I am you and you are me and we are reflections of each other then when I trigger someone and their shadow, it is only an opportunity for me to choose to remain in my own power regardless of what that person does and become an example. Should they awaken to that moment, whether it's 2 days later or 8 years later they will remember you for standing in your power, period. That's why people are talking about revolutionaries and people who are dedicating their lives to different movements all around the world - we are still talking about them. You cannot rock someone, take from someone and extract someone from their power when they know it. You can't. You can take their life and people can continue to take their lives but their power, it just reverberates all over the world. Energy never dies. 

 
TO ME, ENERGY IS SILENT BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT EXCHANGE. I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF BUT WHEN I LOOK BACK, MY BIGGEST TRANSFORMATIONS ALWAYS BLOOMED FROM SOMEONE PLANTING A SEED WITH ME, THROUGH THEIR PURE AUTHENTICITY OR JUST BEING AN INSPIRATION AND THESE ARE SEEDS THAT WERE PLANTED AS FAR BACK AS 12 YEARS AGO. YOU ARE RIGHT, THERE IS A PLACE TO BE ANGRY AND LOUD - I MEAN IT CERTAINLY MADE ME LOOK TWICE. BUT WHEN I THINK ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE REALLY CHANGED MY LIFE AND MY WAY OF THINKING - I STILL REMEMBER EVERYTHING ABOUT HOW THEY MADE ME FEEL. ALMOST WITHOUT WORDS OR ANY INSTRUCTION, THEY JUST MADE ME SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY. I THINK IT GOES BACK TO SELF RESPONSIBILITY - A RESPONSIBILITY OF SELF - WHAT YOU HAVE LOOK AFTER IT. IF YOU WANT TO FIGHT, SOMETIMES MAKING SURE YOU LOOK AFTER WHAT YOU HAVE CAN BE YOUR STRONGEST WEAPON.

At the end of the day you know it's exactly what you said - that energy that people exude. I can see and feel the god energy inside of you and I just want to know more. It's interesting because energy is the only tool, it's the greatest tool. And what's happening right now is everyone is hearing "buy black, buy from black businesses" and it's like okay yes, absolutely. You should have been purchasing things from conscious black businesses but that's still feeding capitalism and it's not going to work out in the long run.

 

We need to be looking to a sustainable future free of all systems of oppression. A lot of the work we are doing now is for the people that come after us and it is going to take time and dedication. People are looking for a quick solution and we are so trained to watch 1 min videos and watch tik toks that are 30 secs long and the patience, the dedication and that deep need to be with oneself, we are so distanced from it and people will do anything before they get in touch with themselves. They will literally do anything before they sit with themselves and just be still. 

 
WE'RE LITERALLY FIGHTING TO JUST LIVE ON THE SURFACE LEVEL. PLEASE WHATEVER YOU DO JUST TELL ME WHAT QUICK THING I CAN DO TO EXEMPT ME OF MY RESPONSIBILITY TO DISMANTLE EVERYTHING THAT MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE. WHEN THIS ALL CAME TO THE SURFACE - I WAS GRATEFUL AS IT BROUGHT TO LIGHT A LOT OF THINGS I NEEDED TO DISMANTLE OF MY OWN EGO AND ESPECIALLY AROUND PERFORMATIVE ACTION. I REALLY WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING I DID MOVING FORWARD WAS 100% SINCERE AND IN THE SILENCE I WAS ACTUALLY CONFRONTED BY A LOT.
 
EVERY COMPANY TURNED THEIR VALUES OVERNIGHT AND IT LOOKS AMAZING FOR THEIR ACTIVISM PORTFOLIO BUT I REALLY WANTED TO ASK - WHAT IS THE DRIVING INTENTION OF YOUR 360 TRANSFORMATION? BECAUSE IF IT'S PERFORMATIVE, IT'S NOT SUSTAINABLE - IT MAY NOT LAST. YOU'VE PROVEN YOUR VALUES SHIFT AS TRENDS SHIFT. THE PROTESTING, REPOSTING AND RESHARING IS SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT'S EDUCATING A LOT PEOPLE. BUT AGAIN, GOING BACK TO CAPITALISM AND SELLING THINGS - AS PEOPLE, WE ARE SO CLEVER. SO, ARE WE REALLY DOING THE WORK OR ARE WE JUST DOING SOME GOOD PR ON OURSELVES? SHAPING NEW IDENTITIES SELLABLE TO THE CHANGING TIMES? AND OF COURSE ALL THIS CHANGE IS SO REMARKABLE AND PROGRESSIVE REGARDLESS OF THE INTENT BUT STILL - I FEEL LIKE ITS SOMETHING WE REALLY NEED TO ASK OURSELVES.

Ideologies, a way of life - I mean we have commodified everything. But at the end of the day if someone is not inspired to take action it has a time limit on it and it has an expiration. I have been talking, living about the revolution for a long time now but it is not necessary for me to parade that, it is not necessary for me to put that on the forefront of my brand - that would be the ego coming through the back door. And I just want to be clear that no one is exempt from performative allyship or activism. Just because you are black doesn’t mean you are exempt.

 

People are confused because people all over the world think that all black people are the same. And it's mind-blowing and there is this saying that not all skin folk are kinfolk. It means that just because someone is black like you doesn’t mean they are for you or for your body or your life. For example the Attorney General who is refusing to fire or arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor is a black man. I think I got tired of shouting. My throat hurt and I was tired of screaming and yelling and now I am learning to stand in my power and just say what I need to say and go. I understand that people are reluctant to let go of the lives they are familiar with, of course you are - you are just a human. We are creatures of habit and so I understand that it's really really ingrained in us with social media to go there to seek validation, to revel in that relationship - that's where we’re taught to go to do that. And especially with quarantine the internet has become even more of a popping place to be but this is the world we have to live in right now. No matter what's happening on instagram you are still waking up in this reality. And I can’t scream that at you, I can’t make you believe that. You have to be inspired by what you see and what you feel in your own life and want to be that change and make it permanent otherwise there’s an expiration date.

 

This is hard but a huge part of awakening and growing awareness is realizing that you will never be able to take everyone with you. You just never will, and it's hard and I struggle with this one a lot. Black people have to get in touch with themselves to feel what they really mean, and what they really want and what they really desire and then be able to manifest that with boundaries in their real life. For example, for the longest time I was really scared of white men specifically because they always approached me with this energy of possession, whether that was in a sexual way or a physical way or my attention - they wanted to possess something about me. I used to feel that fear so deeply and I know it radiated off me and there are certain entities that feed off that energy. Just like we love good energy and want to surround ourselves with it as much as we can get, there are also certain people who love negative energy and want to get as much of that.

 

It wasn’t until again I started standing in my own power and when I began getting in touch with myself and started realizing that if they are killing black people anyway - I might as well live as authentically as I possibly can. People are assimilating as much as possible and still being killed and it's such a glaring way to look at it but it's simply true. Getting it out of the mud and building myself up with love. I would rather go out and be myself wholly and authentically then to be myself 10 years ago dressing up and straightening my hair and trying to be whatever whiteness was at the time. And to still being killed for that - it's not worth it to me. Now I know when I’m around white men, they know that I'm not scared of them and it brings me to another level because me standing in my power shows them that if they believe that I don’t deserve to be alive, it doesn’t matter. They can’t win, it just triggers them and I don’t care what happens, if they continue on it's not my business - it's no longer my responsibility to try to educate you or be afraid of you. It is only my responsibility to stand in my power.

I WANTED TO ASK YOU SPECIFICALLY - WHAT DOES YOUR SELF CARE LOOK LIKE IN THIS REVOLUTION?

Right now my routine is to wake up and set an intention for the day and just move through the day with purpose. I mean I really struggle with talking about doing face masks and doing baths and I think there is a space for that but the one thing for me is really understanding and changing what I put into my body. I was watching a video the other day and someone quoted Dr Llaila Afrika and said that there is no revolution of consciousness without a revolution of health. And it rocked my shit because I obviously had thought about these things before but the way these words were arranged it really made me think - you can't maintain that bell of beautiful energy if you're putting things of negative energy into your body. Like animals that were treated horribly or had horrific deaths and then ingesting them - I don't feel good when I do that.

 

Just been getting into the ritual of becoming more conscious of what I’m putting into my body and if it's Popeyes or fruit, to learn to become intentional so whatever consequences or affirmative reactions come, I have control over that. I think that’s my main goal - everyday to put nourishing things in my body. Like you said, light workers are really needed at the forefront right now more than ever and I never have been able to do the work that I do when I have been ingesting negative things - whether that's TV or staying on my phone. On the days where I simply can't put my phone down, I’ll go on youtube and watch videos about herbalism and tinctures or old movies. If I’m going to be engaging in this media, I go with the intention that it needs to be feeding me somehow. 

I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT MANIFESTING AS A PRIVILEGE. I CONSIDER MYSELF SUPER PRIVILEGED AND EVEN THOUGH I NEVER WAS AND PRIVILEGE WAS MOST DEFINITELY NOT THE STORY OF MY WHOLE LIFE, I THINK ONCE YOU TAP INTO BEING ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THINGS IN LIFE EVEN IF IT BE SMALLER THINGS LIKE ACCESS TO DINING IN AT RESTAURANTS OR A $25 YOGA CLASS, I CAN'T HELP BUT CONSIDER THAT IMMEDIATELY AS A PRIVILEGE AT THIS POINT IN TIME. A LOT OF US IN WELLNESS TALK ABOUT MANIFESTING AND ABUNDANCE AND I'VE ALWAYS REALLY HELD TO THAT YOUR THOUGHTS REALLY DO CREATE YOUR REALITY BECAUSE IN MY LIFE, IT'S ALWAYS PROVEN TRUE. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET MYSELF OUT OF MANY DIRE SITUATIONS. EVERYONE ALWAYS SAYS, OH YOU'RE JUST LUCKY AND I UNDERSTAND IT LOOKS THAT WAY BUT TO ME SOMETIMES MANIFESTING CAN LITERALLY MEAN SAVING YOURSELF FROM DROWNING IN LIFE AND THAT TAKES A LOT OF WORK AND COURAGE.
IN WELLNESS, OUR COMMUNITY CAN PUSH THE WHOLE "HEY, YOU'RE LIFE IS PERFECT JUST THE WAY IT IS" AND ALSO A LOT OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS AND MOST OFTEN PROMOTE INFLATED POSITIVITY. THAT'S SO EASY FOR SOME WHO ARE ALREADY WELL TAKEN CARE OF AND MAY HAVE SOME EXTRA SPACE TO "QUIETLY MANIFEST ABUNDANCE" BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MORE GOING ON IN LIFE THAN MAKING POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS AND MANIFESTING ABUNDANCE A PRIORITY? THE ONES WHO HAVE KIDS TO FEED, WHO HAVE TO GET UP AT 4 AM TO START BAGGING GROCERIES OR CLEANING TOILETS IN AN AUDITORIUM - WHEN SURVIVAL IS A PRIORITY, I KEEP WONDERING, HOW DOES "MANIFESTING" BECOME FAIR? 

That's a really beautiful question and I have been thinking about this a lot and people have started bringing it up as spiritual bypassing and it is something that is so real. Because as you said there are people from the moment they open their eyes they are working at staying alive. I think that that's because of the way that manifestation and abundance and affirmations have been packaged in these cute little baskets but at the end of the day - it's the power behind these things that we are trying to harness and like you said the power of choice.

 

I don’t know if you chose to be in those situations but you chose to keep your power in holding that thought that one day you are not going to be in the situation you don’t want to be in. When I left home I felt very alone. I was really privileged because I was in college but I now have a $40k debt and started working everyday, going to class everyday and was in survival mode. I was simply just thinking of surviving and because I didn’t believe that I deserved to thrive. I believed that this was what my life was supposed to be and that was it. Because that was all I had seen, all around me there were only examples of survival and a struggle. I saw no one around me as a black person really thriving. We were all just putting our pennies together and trying to make it work.

I think what happened was I started daydreaming and really believing those daydreams and really believing they were possible. I remember I was 11 and I literally manifested my life now, because I would literally sit and daydream about being a model living in New York and being with my best friends, going out and I would daydream and daydream and daydream and now here I am almost 27 and I have checked so many boxes and so many I never thought I would get but this only came from giving myself the space to even think it was possible.

 

Now, of course like you said for the single mother of two kids who has to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to get her kids ready and do all this stuff - it seems ridiculous for me to ask her to sit down and daydream but that again is a function of capitalism right, a function of racism and as Toni Morrison says it's a distraction. It's to keep your head down to keep you doing your work and they tell you you don’t have your own language so you spend 40 years trying to prove that you do, they tell you you’re dumb and you spend 30 years trying to prove that you’re the most intelligent person on the planet - I know I didn’t get it word for word but that interview of hers is really empowering because it shows you that without time for mediation and self care and for confronting yourself, you will never be able to reach the abundance that is yours and that is your birthright.

 

 

SO HOW DO WE CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE TO LEAVE SURVIVAL MODE? HOW DO YOU ALLOW PEOPLE TO DAYDREAM?

It's hard, I can't even really tell you how I got out of survival mode to be really honest because I feel like it just happened the other day. I feel like it just happened the other day because of the way the world is structured. I think looking in the mirror and saying affirmations can be extremely helpful but we are not there yet. As a collective, we are still at stage one and that's creating space - and that's what we’re doing right now. I appreciate you so much right now for creating space because you don’t have to but it means that you are allowing me to manifest my abundance just by speaking. This is the solution to that - is actually putting people on and moving and expanding and changing instead of just telling people to look in the mirror and say five times that their life is perfect and beautiful. Tell people that, show people that, make them feel that way. Show them that. When I tell my mum that she’s beautiful she has such an interesting reaction to that because I am her daughter telling her and showing her love versus me saying okay mom when you wake up just say this to yourself. Someone who doesn’t believe these words will never be able to manifest. We must make the space.

Words by Angel
Photos by Brooke Gardiner
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