PART I: WHEN JOHN MET AYO.
I.m. not sure when we met or where we met, but, seems like John and I were a natural fit. John Davies 3 and me, Ayo Handy-Kendi, married in 2003 but we had been together since 1999. John is my 4th husband and I am is 2nd wife. We had a lot in common - both native Washingtonians, only 4 months apart in age, who grew up in D.C. when it was truly "chocolate city".. John went to the high school in N.W that was the rival to my high school in S.E., and our backgrounds were similar - we both grew up in 2 parent households, in which there was an entrepreneur parent present, and in both households, our parents really believed in spirituality, education and human rights for all, especially, Black people.
We both married quite early, right out of high school and at the time, I met John, we were married to someone else.. I remember seeing John at the "Community Warehouse", the local, hang-out, where you could get wholesome soup; your bulk organic vegetables, spices, herbs and other types of "herbs". At the "Warehouse", a tight-knit community bonded around the anti-war, civil rights music and slogans of the times, and this would be the foundation of D.C.'s "cultural community".
John was the tall, quiet, kinda "geeky" guy, who always looked stoned, rocking as he talked, with eyes filled with mischief like a "big boy" up to something.playful. I remembered I liked that he laughed easily. However, because he was so quiet and unassuming, I really paid little attention to this "really nice guy" and didn't connect.. But, I would continue to see him for the next several years, always in a position of helping me accomplish something, like a guardian Angel appearing just in time, when I needed him. .Then one day, a good girl-friend suggested that the guy she was dating was too "spiritual" for her, but would be just right for me". She described him, but I could think of no one who met her description. She said that she would introduce us and that his name was "John".
At that time, I was going through a horrible, abusive, tormenting marriage to husband #3. This brother's trauma was being played out in domestic violence and anger toward me, as we struggled for 6 years with his raging crack-cocaine addiction, and unwillingness to face his childhood abuse. After being dragged in the streets, and chocked, I could take it no longer. (This story is in my Black Love Book, too painful to repeat here). I bought that man a one-way ticket back to his home-state in Florida and sent him back to "face his demons".
Shortly after he left D.C., on a super bright day, I went to my local health food store, and there was this guy, that I seemed like I keep running into just when i needed support. He asked me why was I "beaming" and I said, "because I just sent my mad husband away, and I.m. about to get a divorce". John smiled at me and said, "great, I.ve been looking at you for years"........We went out on our first natural date that week.....to a movie.. That was in 1999 and we've been going to movies, and health food stores, ever since. It turned out that this man, was the very man that my friend had mentioned to me. John and I became one.
(To BE Continued).
Ayo Handy-Kendi is reknown as the Breath Sekou, which means in the Guinea language "a master teacher". She has worked with breath techniques for over 40 years and loves teaching "the power of the breath". She has created a system called Optimum Life Breathology (O.L.B.) which teaches 10 best practice breath techniques with 5 breath practices. As a Wholistic Practitioner she incorporates sound healing, laughter yoga, Aroma-therapy, Reiki, healing touch, movement, water hydrotherapy, nutrition, behavior modification and stress management into her trainings.She is creating a "breath movement" to wake people up to their joy and positivenergy with the belief that when you breathe better, you live better. She is also known as Mama Ayo, when sharing cultural presentations or performing as a storyteller, actor, author or speaker. She is the founder of Black Love Day, Feb. 13, the Ritual of Reconciliation, founder/director, African American Holiday Association (AAHA) and founder/CEO, PositivEnergyWorks.