Metaphysical Freedom

Metaphysical Coaching (Life and Business), Counselor Consultation and Supervision, Mindfulness-Based Energy Work


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Adventures in Africa Part 4: The People Are Rich, but Do Not Know It

I mentioned in Part 1 that earlier this year, I traveled to Ghana, West Africa and stayed for a month. In my time there, I learned a lot of positives about myself and the Ghanaian culture. I also recognized some of my own stigmas, and challenged others’. However, there are some things that I learned which opened my eyes to the reality of the challenges we face due to our ego-centric human nature and history. Through my next set of posts, I will address some “ugly truths” that I developed a better understanding of while being in Ghana.

As I shared in the first post, there were several people from other countries visiting Ghana. Due to my naivety, I thought that the majority of these people were tourists or volunteers. When I spent more time in the country, I paid attention to the landscape, noticed the architecture, and witnessed the different “classes” of people.

There were notably many people from China, India, and France in Ghana. (Through conversation, I learned that there are many people from these countries who reside or visit Africa in general.) I have seen videos of other African countries with “foreigners”, but the experience is different when something is observed firsthand.

I saw extravagant hotels, numerous casinos, and fancy apartment buildings in Ghana. When I asked the locals who owned them, I was surprised to know that most were owned by “foreigners”. These luxurious establishments were in the middle of cities with shack houses, cramped market spaces, and unstable roads. In the least, they were hard to miss because they appeared to have higher quality construction.

Why, you may ask are all these businesses there? Well, think about this: Which nation/continent is one of the largest leaders in cocoa production, has lots of oil, precious metals, diamonds and gold? You got that right. Africa.

I was bothered to not only to witness the economic disparity among the native Ghanaians, but also to observe the ways that the people were being taken advantage of by “foreign” businesses (example: Paying workers far less to run million-dollar businesses). I talked with many educated local businessmen who expressed that other countries are investing heavily in the continent of Africa and its countries. I learned that treaties were formed centuries ago that have left the people with little to no input or income when it relates to the extraction, use, and distribution of their resources.

It is funny to me that a great amount of the American publicity about the continent has been geared towards driving people away from Africa, or displays the people as poor and impoverished. Yet, I clearly saw that other countries see Africa as a rich continent filled with resources and wealthy opportunities.

I am not against people thriving and doing well in their business and economic endeavors, but I do not vibe with groups who take advantage of and oppress another group for their own gain.
It is once again, another form of slavery. The Ghanaian people are very kind, open, and non-violent. Their hospitality is nothing like any Southern hospitality I have experience in the United States. But, something is missing. They are rich and do not know it.

The long-term effects of colonization have left several of the people with a case of learned helplessness. I will talk more about the long-term effects of colonization in another post.

However, a crafty way that I can explain learned helplessness is like this:
A person desires to get help with turning off a light in a room. The person is facing a wall, and the light switch is on the opposite wall that the person is not looking at. Due to the person’s history and past experiences, the person was made to believe that he/she cannot help him/herself. So, this person asks every other person who comes into the room for help with turning off the light. In reality, all that the person has to do is turn around and flip the switch.

When I roamed around Ghana, a lot of the people expressed that they want to come to the US in order to find jobs and make money. Almost none of them said that they wanted to have their own businesses and thrive in their own country. I couldn’t understand it. I felt like they were in a land overflowing with wealth, yet they were seeing it only from a limited viewpoint, and a very negatively skewed one at that.

It appears that their view of their situation is a result of a centuries old “(human) race consciousness” that supports limited awareness of personal strength and freedom.
I desire for the Ghanaian people to know how rich they truly are. Food grows almost everywhere, the air is lively and basically unpolluted (most places I went), and the land has a wealth of resources.

 

Mighty Hill

These ants did not question if they could build this structure. They knew they had the ability, worked together, and did so, unencumbered.

To my Ghanaian brothers and sisters (and you the reader):

Do not look outside of yourself in order to discover riches.
See who You Are.
You Are already Rich and well-equipped.
Tap into your innate strength and wealth.

With loving conviction,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Adventures in Africa Part 3: Making Connections

Connecting with the Ghanaian People

I toured a small portion of the country and gathered as much information as I could about the people, culture, language, and customs. Most of the Ghanaian people are Christian, and there is also a large Muslim population as well. The day after Easter Sunday, I visited the beautiful Aburi Botanical Gardens for an Easter Monday festival. There was a live band, picnics, dancing, singing, games, and lots of food everywhere. I noticed the FREEDOM of the people, unlike anything else I have ever experienced. Everywhere that I looked, everyone was walking around confidently, laughing, smiling, and LIVING in the moment. I loved every moment of it!

Here is a video clip from Aburi Botanical Gardens on that day: https://youtu.be/Irxx91oxWMo

Without me saying a word, people noticed that I was “different”and often asked if I was African at all. A few people said to me that my skin was too light, so they were willing to believe I was from South Africa. I found that hard to believe, because I have a brown complexion. (Then, I jokingly thought about the 13% of my lineage that is European.) After this happened frequently, I learned very quickly not to be bothered by these statements because I knew that it was only curiosity.

I met two young men in their 20’s at Aburi. Their names were Francis and Joe. They were excited to meet an American and asked me hundreds of questions. The first thing they said was, “Are you a Black American?” I nodded. Francis and Joe expressed that they wanted to come to America so that they can have jobs and live a good life. I did not want to discourage them, but I was realistic and told them that many people in America are having difficulty finding work. They looked puzzled so I explained more about the American economy until they understood.

I asked Francis and Joe for their Ghanaian names. With hesitance, they told me. Then, they asked me what my African name was. I told them that I did not know. They looked so surprised at me and asked why I didn’t know. I had to explain to them how slavery impacted my family (and many others) to the point where I could not tell them my whole lineage or my ancestors’ names. They continued to look surprised and a little empathetic.

We continued our conversations and talked about several issues facing each country. I wanted them to know how much freedom they truly have and how amazing life can be, right where they were. I ended up talking to them for a few hours, but it was worth it.  After our conversation, they each told me their native names again, and with pride.

New friends Francois and Joe

New friends Francis and Joe at Aburi

There are talented young people in Ghana. I met Jacob during some downtime. Jacob is a creative and fashion-forward young adult. He makes handbags, shoes, accessories, clothing, and much more…ALL BY HAND. As I learned more about him, I discovered that he had given a large portion of his products to someone in another country who paid him little to nothing for it and now sells it in her store for 120x’s more. I encouraged Jacob to share his work globally using social media, instead of just in Ghana. I pointed out to him that he spends a lot of time and effort to do his work, so he should get back what it is worth. He agreed, and has started working with a Facebook page to share his work. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ja-Creation/832268476851066)

Jacob, a talented and fashion-forward guy. He makes shoes, clothing, handbags, and accessories. By the way, he made the bookbag in this picture.

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Hanging out with Jacob and taking selfies at a local Lounge in Tema

I also had the pleasure of meeting Kingsford. He is another young adult, and he works in one of the small shops in the Accra Arts Center area. He was cool, kind, and made very nice bracelets…BY HAND. I supported his business by getting personalized bracelets made. I would sit in the chair and chat with him while he made them.

Kingsford making a bracelet.

Kingsford making a personalized bracelet.

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Giving Kingsford a goodbye hug and thanking him.

My next to last week in Ghana, I stayed at the home of a missionary woman. She worked with several organizations and had numerous projects. One day, she asked if I could sit in on a meeting and give feedback based on my perspective. I agreed. The meeting was at the Malku Institute of Technology. The topic of interest was marketing and social media. I gave my honest opinion and shared research that I had read.  Surprisingly to me, I was asked to come back and present a workshop to the core staff about the topic. I was thrilled to do so, and I put together a simple presentation to assist them in the best way that I knew how.

Presentation at Malku

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Presentation at Malku5

As I continued with the intention to connect with the Ghanaian people, I discovered that the ones I connected with were ones who needed to be encouraged and reminded that they are worthy of greatness. (Don’t we all need that?!)

Here is another person that I met. Thomas, pictured below. He was my cab driver during my last week in Ghana. Thomas is 70 years old, and has 2 adult children living in New York. He and I had great conversations about spirituality, religion, and stages of the lifespan. Thomas shared that he feels like his time on Earth is about to be up. He said, “My kids are grown and a lot of my friends are dead.” I expressed to him that there is so much life to live right now. He smiled when we talked and shared, “I wish we could have met sooner so we can really talk about Life!” Before I left, he commanded me, “You come back in a year, and I want to meet your husband and baby.” This statement made me laugh.

All in all, I loved to hear Thomas’s perspective, yet most importantly, he also appreciated my willingness to listen.

Thomas, my reliable cab driver

By the last week of my trip, most people said to me, “Are you Ghanaian? You look Ghanaian.” I was so amused by this because the only thing that changed for me was that I felt less like a tourist or visitor and more like I was at home.

 When my host family asked me how I felt about being in Africa and specifically in Ghana, I replied: “I see the faces of my friends and family in the people here.”

It easily felt like home, indeed.

Think about this:

The more we seek to understand each other, the less and less we support the false barriers that exist between us.

Joe gifted me with a bracelet and asked to be a lifelong friend.

With Love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Adventures in Africa Part 1: Confronting Stereotypes/Myths

In March 2015, I traveled to Ghana, West Africa and stayed for a month. This was my first official flight overseas, so I was nervous. I was not sure what to expect on my way to Ghana. I flew solo, and was going to meet my host family at the final destination in Accra. I took a red-eye flight, but there was a brief layover in Amsterdam. When I made it to Amsterdam, I could already feel a difference in the air. There was a sense of movement and action that did not feel like mindless busyness.

My layover was only for a few hours, so I made my way to the next gate for the plane heading to Accra, Ghana. When I got to the gate, I immediately noticed that almost everyone was Black. The people’s beautiful dark skin had a supernatural glow. I KNEW I was among Africans. It was an exciting feeling. The second part of the flight was long and turbulent. When the plane landed in Accra that night, most of the passengers applauded in relief. Shuttle buses came to the plane to pick up the passengers and take us into the airport. It was raining and humid, but I was in Africa!!

Ghana flag and name

The customs line was long, and I had to wait for over an hour to make it through. Many diverse people were  in the line with me. I saw Chinese, Lebanese, Nigerian, Belgian, and Canadian visitors, just to name a few. I admit that I was surprised to see many “foreigners” coming to Ghana. Then it hit me…I realized that I may have had some subconscious stereotypes and misconceptions about Africa even though I consider myself to be a very open-minded and an independent thinker. Due to this realization, this first post of the series is going to address some of the stereotypes and myths that many people might have about Africa. Although I was only in Ghana, I think that a lot of this information is relevant.

Language Stereotype
Prior to leaving the US, many people asked me, “Do they even speak English over there?” Often times, the tone of the question was condescending and judgmental more than curious.
To answer that question…Yes. A majority of the people in Ghana do speak some English (and also one or more of the native dialects).
Honestly, even if the people didn’t speak English, I was willing to learn their language. As people of a culturally diverse world, I think it is beneficial not to be xenophobic or extremely ethnocentric. It benefits us if we do not go into another country expecting the people to speak the language that we are most comfortable or familiar with. It causes us to open up and develop an understanding of each other that verbal language can sometimes distract us from.

But yes, a majority of the people spoke English. This was a blessing, and I was extremely grateful.

Sign Above the door at a Primary school

Stereotype: There is extreme Lack of Education
This is not completely true. There are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, teachers, etc in Ghana. I did notice that public schools seemed to get the least amount of assistance and care. The conditions were not the best ones for learning. (I will discuss this in a more in depth post later on in the series.)

There are colleges, universities, and tech schools in Ghana.

There are colleges, universities, and tech schools in Ghana.

Stereotype: People only wear Traditional Clothing
I can admit that I expected a majority of the Ghanaian people to dress in traditional African clothing. This was not the case.
In all of the places that I visited, the majority of the people were dressed similar to me or my close friends. They looked like Americans. I did learn that this varied based on regions, belief systems, and age.

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Adults waiting for a ride near the Volta Region.

Young people dancing in the park at Aburi Botanical Gardens.

Myth: There are only Dirt Roads and Villages with no Running Water or Electricity
There are some paved roads, and there are some unpaved roads in Ghana. I had the joy of experiencing both. In some areas, when it rains, the paved roads get washed away and turn back into muddy roads with enormous craters. It can make for a bumpy ride or limited access to areas, especially if you do not have a moto (motorcycle).

Man and woman riding the moto near the Volta Region.

Man and woman riding the moto near the Volta Region.

There are traditional villages and thatch roof houses like the ones that are often portrayed on television. However, many people do have homes like the ones in America, and they are HUGE!

Village home in Dodowa.

 

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Back view of a “toilet” at a village home in Dodowa. The owner was kind enough to let me use it.

Private bathroom in my bedroom

Private bathroom in my bedroom in West Legon.

There IS running water and electricity in parts of Ghana. Not all places have running water or electricity, but many of them do. Unfortunately there is an issue with frequent electricity outages. The people are accustomed to it, and even have a name for it: Doomsor. Some days I had electricity, but almost every day I did not have electricity for 6, 12, or more hours. I seldom had hot water, but it was bearable because the weather is very hot and humid.

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Village children pumping water while a man walks by carrying goods on his head.

Stereotype: There is dangerous “Wildlife” (lions) roaming everywhere.
There are several animals in Ghana. I did not get to see the monkeys, elephants, zebras, and giraffes, but I learned that they have nature reserve parks in different regions where I can go see them. Everyday I did encounter many cows, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep freely roaming around the streets and in harmony with each other.

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Baby goat in Dodowa casually heading under the vehicle for shade.

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Herd of cows calmly crossing the street in the city.

Myth: All of Africa is only Deserts. There is no Vegetation.
Ghana is beautiful! I was able to experience the lush Aburi Botanical Gardens, go to the beach, see mountains, and visit the bush areas. Plus, almost every where that I went, there was mango, papaya, avocado, and plenty of foods growing naturally. It was magnificent!

Home on a hill in Aburi

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Walking a path out in the “bush” north of Aburi.

Cape Coast (The other side of the Atlantic Ocean)

Stereotype: There is nothing for Tourists because the countries are underdeveloped.
I would recommend that anyone with a genuine interest in the continent of Africa visit at least one country, even if it is only for tourism. In Ghana, there are hotels, spas, shopping malls, museums, national parks, and movie theaters. I am certain that other countries in Africa have the same amenities as well. 🙂

Spa in Sogakope, Ghana (Volta Region)

Spa in Sogakope, Ghana (Volta Region)

Museum in Kumasi (Ashanti Region)

Museum in Kumasi (Ashanti Region)

Myth: They do not like African Americans.
My experience was that many of the people do like African Americans…and people in general. I was often referred to as “sister” (or “girlfriend” or “wife” by some guys who were really trying to push the envelope). The mindset of the Ghanaian people that I interacted with is , “We are family”. The people were extremely nice, helpful, and I felt very safe. I met some kindhearted individuals and made wonderful new friends during my time in Ghana.

My message to you is this:
Africa is a rich and enchanted continent.
Do not allow stereotypes, myths, and targeted media coverage prevent you from visiting Africa, meeting the beautiful people, or exploring other regions of this planet.

If the inner guidance of your heart is pulling you to venture out, give it a try.

DSCN1920A loving presence is understood across all cultures and languages.

 

In Joy and with Love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com
Questions about my trip? Contact me.


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What’s growing in your Garden of Life?

It is spring time in the United States of America. The weather is warming, plants are sprouting, and birds are singing in gratitude. Farmers change their crops, and gardeners get to witness the new blooms growing into flowers. Spring is here and announces itself boldly.

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It is a beautiful time of rebirth and newness.
A lot of people are aware of this shift and use the spring time as a time for purging the old and making way for the new through “spring cleaning”.

This truly is a great season to explore what is being born in your life.
Think about who you were a year ago today. Are you exactly same? Where were you? Who was with you? How did you view the world? What changed you the most this past year/past season?

One of the best things we can do for ourselves is take the time to be with ourselves. We must nurture our minds, bodies, and spirits and take the time to cultivate our highest qualities, so that we live well-balanced and fulfilling lives.

Based on my current perspective and how I live my life now, I can see that I am dramatically different than I was a year ago. Just a short year ago, I was a little closed off to forming more meaningful, conscious/intentional connections with others. My heart wasn’t as open, and I definitely had an energetic wall up telling the majority of new people: “I like you, but I am not interested in anything more than hello and goodbye.”

At the time I didn’t know that I was so closed. It may have been burnout from another job and the loss of relationships, mixed in with starting new jobs while also trying to build my business. Whatever the case…I was not living as joyfully and freely as I do now.

What changed this?

I changed gradually. I went out to coffee shops and restaurants (usually by myself) with a goal to do some writing while enjoying live music and poetry in the background. That was it. I needed a change of scenery.

However, every time I went out, I felt a tug in my soul and a warm sensation of intense awareness. The tugging helped me to get out of my head. The warm, intense awareness was like an invisible lasso drawing people towards me. I kept meeting people, and it felt different. People were open, smiling, and genuinely curious. It was easy to talk back, smile, and develop connections.
Over a short period of time, I had transformed my social life completely. It was unexpected!

The thing is…several months prior to venturing out…I had a longing to connect with more like-minded individuals. I acknowledged the desire by daily affirming, “I love everyone” while tapping into a strong, warm feeling. At some point, I stopped doing this process and released any attachment to how the people I desired were going to appear. I actually forgot about it.

I really didn’t know the depth of the seed that I was planting. When it was time for the seed to sprout, I still didn’t know that it was time. I simply followed my inner guidance to get out of the house to do my writing.

It always amuses me to see how things spring forth in our lives when we stop trying to watch them grow.

Whatever seeds we plant in our Garden of Life will bloom.

Let us always nurture ourselves.

We are always cultivating our gardens.

Red and Yellow flowers

With Love and Light,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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No ONE is A Stranger

Reachng-hands

When you come into contact or cross paths with another human being that you do not know, what is the primary thing that you want to do?

Do you make eye contact, smile and nod? Do you say Hello? Or, do you work hard to avoid eye contact, keep your space, and keep moving along your way?

What thoughts/feelings contribute to the ways you interact with others?

There is an inner knowing within all of us that helps us to gauge the general vibe of others. Sometimes we can become so distracted with cell phones, music, social media, and other devices, that we don’t tap into our inner guidance system.
We might miss out on an opportunity to make a new friend, save a life, or lift up our own moods.

What would happen if you went throughout your day today with the intention that “No ONE is a stranger”? I am not saying that you should run off with a stranger and jump into a dark van with shaded windows. (Please don’t.)

I am referring to the conscious effort to mindfully acknowledge the people that are with you from moment to moment throughout your day.

From a Spiritual point of view, there is no unfamiliar face in our world. We came from the Formless (Spirit/God/Energy/Universe) and were made into Form (Human Beings).

If all of us truly are made from ONE Source, then we really are not strangers to each other.

We simply need to re-introduce ourselves. 

Diverse Connection

Imagine how rich your world will be once you perceive yourself with connections everywhere that you go.

Turn off the music for a moment and say hello.

Look away from your smartphone or tablet, and actually make eye contact.

Smile at a person and not a screen.

Connect.

With Love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Conscious Social Change

“Nobody with innocence loves to go to jail. But if he puts you in jail, you go in that jail and transform it from a dungeon of shame to a haven of freedom and human dignity. Even if he tries to kill you, you develop the inner conviction that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they are worth dying for…” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If there is one thing that I would change about the quote above, it is this: “What are you willing to LIVE for? What do you desire to see changed in the world we live in right now?”

February is celebrated as Black History month in the United States of America. It is also the month where they celebrate Love, Romance, and relationships in honor of St. Valentine.

When I pondered upon what this month means for me, I thought about the fact that there really is not a specific month to represent the history of all beings. My history is your history because we are all connected, and inevitably we all impact each other worldwide.

I also began thinking about the state of the social structure in this nation. There is unrest among many groups of people who are called the “minority” in the United States of America. The nature of this unrest is a recurrence of similar themes that have spanned over several generations. There are rallies against injustice, war, and inequality for all humans. This history seems to repeat itself, while the people headlining the movements are the only difference.

Why is this the case? What is missing?

Soldiers are deployed and encouraged to fight for their country and the freedom of their people. Yet, right here in our own land, many are not Free.

Freedom first begins in the mind.

If a group of people have been taught to believe and perceive their world from an inferior perspective, then their lives will continue to reflect this status, even if they do rally against their status. This is because they are creating what they focus upon. Do not get me wrong, there currently exists a covert and overt hierarchy in American society which affects various groups of people in different, yet painful ways. This hierarchy exists because the nation was created by a group of people who believed that to divide, conquer, and monopolize power was the way to live.

But it is not.

Violence, separation, and destruction only breed injustice, greed, and death.

It takes a conscious movement of everyone in solidarity in order for this ancient, ineffective system to be eradicated. I have read that the largest population in the United States right now is the generation born between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s, also known as Generation Y or the Millennials.

Why does this matter?
The largest population in any place can have a huge impact on society. It begins with a shift in conscious awareness, collectively joining together, and is followed by mindful action.

Think about what your ideal world looks like. Is there a major disparity among groups of people based on the color of their skin or partner preference? Of course not.
What can you do to shift things in the direction that makes this ideal world more tangible?

If you are passionate about it, then you have the first ingredient that is needed to take action. Every piece of this Peace puzzle has a major part.  First, begin to connect with others who believe in your cause. Second, discuss solutions from a collective and conscious point of view. Third, mindfully put things in motion from a solution-focused perspective. You will see just how much the world you desire begins to unfold.

You and I are the game-changers. We are the ones to lead a conscious movement, not by repeating old patterns of our predecessors, but by acting from a higher state of awareness and connectedness that focuses on the solution to the problems we face now. We need each other, and we are the answer.

We must create and influence the world that we desire to live in.

We are the catalyst

With love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com