Spirituality is a term that encompasses many practices, belief systems, rituals and a common connection to something greater, something unseen, something within. From the Hindu Yogi to the Ifa Priestess, the millennials on TikTok adorning themselves with trendy healing crystals; there are experiences of a divine attachment beyond the capacity of what the human mind can fathom.
I cannot think of a better word to summarise my spiritual reality other than home. Like, a peaceful and fruitful home; where abundance never runs dry or come with endless superficial conditions. A home that embraces me with compassion, support and clarity. A home not bound by colonial practices my ancestors were coerced into accepting through Abrahamic religions. So here is a glimpse into my never ending journey home.
“I am born from spirit, so spirituality is me”. I have uttered this statement many times over without actually grasping its full meaning, until August 2020. I am indeed born from spirit; to a mother whose tears moisturised her supple skin for 13 years at the hope of having me grow in her womb someday. To a father whose DNA is unquestionable in my appearance. For 13 years, Allah, Jesus and traditional priests were pleaded and bargained with for my soul’s release to earth.
“I am born from spirit, so spirituality is me”
It was 7 days. The villagers chanted, drummed and swayed under 7 sunsets beneath star lit skies of a remote village in Sierra Leone and gave sacrifices at 7 sunrises. The melody of their chants called on me, the rhythm of their drums guided my soul’s steps into this human journey. On the cold hard ground she slept on, my mother swallowed 7 balls of “the worst food” she has ever had – it had to be exactly 7.
A challenging 11 months 3 weeks pregnancy and an emergency caesarian later, the only surviving child that night bellowed through Mabeseneh hospital. A forced ejection from the warm comfort of her mother’s womb where the doctor said “even if she was in there for 7 years, you would not go into labour”.
Along the way, my spirit became confined by the ego. “Don’t dance to the rhythm of the drums in your head on the side walk, people will think you are crazy”. Rules, regulations, ambitions, plans; human standards limited to only that which can be seen, touched, processed by our fickle brains. My spirit suffocated.
Alone at 1am, in my bedroom in London, in the absence of an entire village chanting, drumming, swaying, I prayed and beckoned my spirit back home. The breath was revitalising.
Spirituality is me with all the stars and ancestral DNA that aligned to manifest into a person. I am home. I am the passion and sensuality of Ọṣun, folded into saccharine kisses that entrap your lips in an ever flowing river your soul unearths as its intended habitat; with a body that dissolves under your touch, pulling you into a world that your ego isn’t welcomed in. I am the personification of Ọba’s nurture and pain; that lovingly tends to your wounds after a long day of battle but when betrayed, floods everything with my emotions. I am the confidence and thunder summoned by Ṣàngó’s wrath once scorned; the calmness of Yemọja that leads the thunder away and brings you calmer rivers. I am my ancestors’ talents, traumas, lessons and blessings.
Spirituality is me existing beyond duality. The zone in between human perceptions of “good” and “bad”, black and white, up and down, happy and sad. My spiritual experience is embracing the divinity of my source; a divine experience that cannot always be seen, written about or touched. My mind and body will continue digging, bringing my spirit up for air; with the confidence to say “fuck you”, raining down eternal flame on my betrayers and the compassion to show up for other entities existing in this universe. Spirituality is the knowledge that the source of my existence never depletes, so neither does my love, good days or bad days; and I embrace all of these human experiences like the fleeting clouds they are- because life on this planet would be boring without our shadows next to us.
So my spirituality could look like a rushed 10 minutes meditation or a 30 minute yoga practice. It could be hours getting lost in the movement of my body to symphonies that penetrate my soul or hours in stillness and silence with tears soiling my pillows. It could be moments with my hands clasped and knees to the ground in prayer, or talking out loud updating every other spirit that walks with me about our day and asking for advice. Spirituality is my every breath, my every dream, day dream, blog post I write, tweet I make on Beyoncé’s internet, angry paragraphs I send when I hurt, big smiles and giggles I share when I am overjoyed; the confused days, the days filled with clarity and direction, the softness and sharpness of my tongue, my abstinence or the moans that accompany my orgasms. Spirituality is all of me.