So, here I am about to embark upon another decade of my life, and really counting my blessings, as I think of what makes me feel free, and what constitutes for me, real freedom.
I.m. sure when Frederick Douglas stated that question, "what to the slave is July 4th, the answer of what is freedom for those who had struggled to break the chains of enslavement, came from a place where "freedom" had been a long held desire for generations. Freedom was for the enslaved the right to live their life without harm, punishment, restrictions of their movements, and without fear. Freedom was the goal to enjoy life the way life is meant to be enjoyed - work for fair wages, marry who you want, life wherever you want to live, make personal decisions that benefit your own life and the life of your community. Freedom had a huge definition and many fought and died to achieve its goals.
But today, in 2021, freedom is showing up in our issue of racial equality still. It's our ability to walk our communities without fear again of being taken advantage of by a policeman or another community resident who has ill intent. Freedom shows up as an issue about our right to decide if we want to wear a mask or not. Or abort or keep a pregnancy. We demand that the government is over-extending and over-reaching of our personal freedoms, and yet, we have given the government broad decision making power that actually restricts our freedoms.. Seems pretty hypocritical but here we are struggling to maintain many of our personal freedoms.
In that perspective, I choose to stay unvaccinated, build my immune system naturally, continue to mask as needed, quarantine from my family as needed to protect myself and them, and continue to study for myself how I'm protecting myself and my community during the COVID challenges we face today. I decide based on research and not by accepting and swallowing everything I hear in mass media or from the CDC.
Well, on July 15, I will be 70 years young and I.m feeling very reflective of how today, I feel "FREE". My feeling of freedom comes quite clear at this moment where I.m very introspect of where I.ve come from and what I.ve come through. Many moments in these years, I have not always felt free.
But today, July 9th, I do feel free - free of worry; free from excessive debt. Even got a little money in the bank so feel some financial freedom as money comes to me freely as I give freely, with more gratitude of my abundance.
I feel free because I have a life-style that reflects my values, my passions and my sense of self-determination. I.m. able to move through my day freely, feeling this free sense of movement, where I see my daily objectives being met with no struggle or pressure from within or from outside of me..
I feel free from having "perfect" work to serve the Almighty and I get great "peace of mind" from my freedom knowing my purpose, as I see many struggling to know what they "came here to do to serve". I feel free because I choose to work for myself, so I decide when I want to work and when I don't.
I.m. free due to the choices that I intentionally made to marry my husband, my best friend, John. He, in our 21 years together, supports my need to be a "free-spirited woman" without a lot of "can't do's or should do's". He really has helped reinforce that aspect of "who I am."" where other men in my life did not. Yes, we have our moments, but I choose to work through them which makes me feel free to love unconditionally.
Further, I. feel free now because I have no "monkey's" on my back without any addictions to any substance, food, behavior or preference....I.m in total flow.. I have no pain, no health issues, no illnesses and no emotional concerns. and actually feel really good. And, in all humbleness, my joy in this area of my life, truly shows up on my face which is more relaxed and in my life, as I'm so much more relaxed than in the past.
Today, above all that i.ve stated, my personal freedom I believe comes from knowing what God (Allah) desires for my life, and i.m. listening and delivering. the best I can. I believe that this personal relationship with the Creator is stronger than it's ever been with my intuition flowing and my life in balance.
Do I want more - of course, but I.m very grateful and very content with what I have.
Thank You, Allah (God) for giving me 70 years to get it together. You saw in me that I was worthy, and today, I.m. free because I know that I.m. a blessed and humble child of the Almighty, being used for Divine purposes -- not mine, but the Divines. What a life with more yet to come because "Ayo means Joy" and I.m here to receive and give it, Ase
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 50 years and loves teaching "the power of the breath". She has created a system called Optimum Life Breathology (O.L.B.) which teaches 12 common breath techniques with 4 breath practices. As a Wholistic Practitioner she incorporates sound healing, laughter yoga, Reiki, healing touch, movement, behavior modification and stress management and oxygen concepts, such as water hydrotherapy, Aroma-therapy, nutrition, 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.