Metaphysical Freedom

Psychotherapy, Spirituality, Mindfulness, Intuition, Wellbeing


Leave a comment

Dealing with the Loss of a Parent (and you’re under 35)

Grief and loss are challenging things to face, and they affect everyone. The impact of loss varies based on someone’s perception and experience. Grief can be felt from losing a valued item, going through a breakup, or facing the transition (death) of a loved one. Grief, simply defined, is a feeling of deep sorrow.

Five and a half years ago, I had a vision of my dad dying. I couldn’t fight the choking feeling in my throat, the sadness, and the fear. I called him sobbing and told him about my vision. My dad knew that I was very intuitive, so he was not surprised at all about my vision, nor was he surprised to hear me being so upset.

Calling him opened up a dialogue that I believe every parent and child would like to have before one transitions. My dad spoke very calmly and said, “You’re picking up on a lot of death around me. A lot of people I know have died. I’ve been feeling sad about it, so you feel that too. If I were to die today, I would be content. I’m very happy with my life. I have wonderful grandchildren. I’m proud of my children. I’m proud of you. All of my daughters have degrees! If I died today, I’ve lived a good life.”

Of course, this was comforting, but at that time, it was upsetting too. Hearing my dad say those words let me know that he was ready to transition whenever it was time. He was in his late 60’s, which is still young to me, but I knew deep down that I had to find peace with his perspective. He lived through many historic and painful events and was able to see the positives despite them.

Secretly, I think my dad knew I was concerned about our time together. I was working towards an independent counselor license and working two part-time jobs, so my trips back to my hometown were limited. My dad began calling me every morning around 7:00am and we talked during my 45-minute commute to work. The conversations were priceless. At the end of every call, he wished me a blessed day and told me he loved me. This went on for quite some time.

Two years later, I went to Ghana, West Africa for a month and returned home, ready to share about my experiences. During summertime, I went back to my hometown and spent time with family. I shared with my dad about my trip. He told me he was proud of me and glad that I went to Ghana. By that time, our calls were not as frequent, but they were still quite rich. During my visit, my dad also shared with me that he liked what I was doing with my Metaphysical work, and he showed me some metaphysical and spiritual books he was reading.

Months later, things changed.

Everywhere I went, I kept seeing butterflies. I LOVE butterflies and usually feel excited when I see them, but during that time, I had an eerie feeling. The butterflies were giving me a message that I wasn’t ready to receive.

The more I tried to ignore them, the more they got my attention. I’ll never forget three distinct times I saw them.

  1. I remember going to a coffee shop and facing the window while I worked. I looked up and saw about 30 butterflies flying by like a flock of birds. It gave me chills, but I shook it off.
  2. I was driving on the highway and looked at my side view mirror. There was a butterfly flying in sync and very close to the mirror. The butterfly did not fly away when I stopped at my destination, but it lingered by the window. I shook the weirdness off again.
  3. I was walking to a parade with a friend. It was crowded, so I had to walk behind her since she knew the way. In the midst of all the people and flowers, a butterfly flew down and landed on her back (which was right in front of me). In that moment, I had a strong, eerie feeling.

The day before that parade was September 11th, my dad’s birthday. I called him to let him know I would come see him and celebrate his birthday the weekend after because of training and a dance performance during his birthday weekend. I didn’t get an answer, so I left a message for him.

Well, that night of the parade, I got the call. My dad had transitioned.

Looking back, I can equate my response that night as being in shock. I didn’t cry or rush home. I stayed calm and tried to be supportive to my family members. The next day, I cried some, but I still did the dance performance because my dad loved to dance. I only told two people about his death, and I went to my hometown afterwards.

Planning a funeral took “adulting” to the next level. There I was, under 35, with my mother and siblings discussing caskets, headstones, obituaries, funeral service times, and the burial site. My mind kept flipping between thoughts that the next ceremony we planned should have been a wedding or a bridal shower at least, not a funeral.

The first few years after his death, I worked like there was no tomorrow. I had a full-time job, did public speaking engagements, and was on different committees and organizations within my spiritual community. The experiences were amazing, but emotionally I was distracting myself.

Finally, two years after his death, I gave myself full permission to let go and grieve.

I recognized my disappointment that my dad would not be physically present to see me get married. I was not happy with not being able to talk to him on the phone anymore. I was haunted when I went home and drove by the house we grew up in, knowing he wasn’t in there. I was angry that he didn’t live at least until I was 40 or older. Realistically, all of these feelings are normal.

Grief is not a linear process. I tell this to my clients and I know it to be true. Elisabeth Kubler Ross was a psychiatrist who came up with the Five Stages of Grief. They are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Although these stages were initially identified to address the process that someone goes through when facing death, it also applies to the surviving loved ones as well.

As a “Millennial” who is already dealing with many normal life challenges, I was not expecting to deal with my father’s death so soon. As a therapist, I know that the reason many people feel sadness when someone dies (or goes away) is because the person’s physical presence is absent. We no longer see the person, hear the person’s voice (in real time), experience the person’s touch, etc. As a Metaphysician, I have learned to transmute this experience into an empowering one. I know that energy is never lost; it only changes form. I know I can access the energy of my dad through the metaphysical skills I have learned over the years, and it is comforting to me.

If you are dealing with the loss of a parent, allow yourself to go through the process and know that some days are easier than others. Don’t be afraid to seek support when needed.

When you think of the transitioned parent, consider these three things:

  1. What positive messages did you get from your parent?

For example, my dad told me he was proud of me, proud of the work that I do, and he likes my Metaphysical work. He also shared that he felt like I understood him.

  1. What characteristics or positive traits did you inherit or learn from your parent?

My experience with my dad helped me to see that it is okay to be quirky and free-spirited. My dad traveled when he felt like it, danced up into his 70’s, and he was artistic (drawing, photography, played guitar). I’m not afraid to ask questions. I dance, enjoy being creative, and follow my flow.

  1. Remember, your parent is always with you.

You are a living, breathing expression of your parents. Their presence is in your DNA. Even if it is a step-parent or if you are adopted, their energy is still with you because it has shaped or influenced you.

Energy is never lost; therefore, you are never alone.

 

With love and light,

Dana (Intuitive Dana)

http://www.MetaphysicalFreedom.com


Leave a comment

Who Do You Trust?

“I trust you”

I believe that these three words can have more weight than “I love you”. For instance, I love people in general and I love my cat. Based on a previous definition I gave of love (Love…Anyone?), it is impersonal but also delightful.

Trust, on the other hand, is very personal. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Sounds quite personal to me. Trust can be developed, or it can already be established, depending on the situation.

Either way, it can be lost.

Someone can love another person but feel he or she cannot trust that person. Trust is a delicate gift that requires vulnerability.

In my profession of healing and transformation, the people I serve must trust me. They trust me to keep their best interests in mind. They trust me to be knowledgeable and experienced in the services I provide. They trust me to honor their sacredness and respect their privacy. Most of my clients do not say the three words out loud, but their actions and willingness in the sessions speak to this truth.

Ultimately, when you trust someone, you are allowing yourself to be in the vulnerable space of innocence and complete surrender. One of the most detrimental things that can happen in this line of work is for the healer to violate or break the trust of their client.

I could go further into this issue, but I will focus more on things you can do (as a client) to see if someone is trustworthy. These suggestions are geared towards the healing profession; however they can also be applied to personal interactions as well:

  1. Do your research (Is the person qualified? What do others say about their experiences with the person? What skills/characteristics are you looking for?)
  2. Listen to your gut (Intuition supersedes intellect; Do you feel safe? Do you feel heard? Do you feel respected?)
  3. Ask questions (Get clarification on whatever you need to.)
  4. Express yourself (Make your requests and needs known. Then refer back to number 2.)

In a society that promotes selfishness and self-centered gains, it is important for those of us in the healing profession to be selfless and genuine about providing the service the client needs.

The MOST VITAL part of any healing relationship is TRUST.

 

Be trustworthy.

Dana (Intuitive Dana)

www.MetaphysicalFreedom.com


Leave a comment

The Freedom to Love: Crossing “Interracial” Lines

Recently I posted for the “Man Crush Monday” (#MCM) social media trend for the first time ever when I was visiting Miami Beach, Florida with family.

We left the beach and walked to a nearby restaurant. A very attractive host greeted us with a dazzling smile and sparkly eyes. He was approximately 5’10” with a fit physique and perfectly sprinkled salt and pepper hair. I noticed his universal attractiveness. (Many people smiled or gasped at his appearance.) Something else that made him attractive was his kindness, patience, and that he legitimately provided great customer service. (During our trip, we discovered that not every place provided the best service, so this was a plus.)

After brief thought, I decided to post about him using the MCM tag, not only because his looks were breathtaking, but also to promote the restaurant, which served good food too.

As I mentioned, I don’t normally post for the “Man Crush Monday” or participate it in, but I decided to do something different. I posted a few pictures with him on my Instagram account and a few of the restaurant.

The first response I got was condescending. I won’t repeat the words in this post, but I will say that it was clear why the person wrote the message.

You see, the handsome gentleman at the restaurant had green eyes, short straight hair, and he was not Black. He was Cuban.

I wasn’t going to write publicly about this, but I do realize that I need to “Go There” and talk about “Race” again on this Metaphysical blog site.

I am a Black female whose ancestors were slaves (and some slave owners to be real about it). I was born and raised in the South where I have been discriminated against, called names, and prejudged because of my skin color. I am a proud descendant of slaves, knowing that I am alive today because of their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual strength.

My parents were strong enough to survive segregation and the pains of going through the Civil Rights Movement. This wonderful DNA is in me now. Their evolutionary spirits are in me now. I am proud of who I am.

With this being said, I have always been attracted to men, whether they are the same skin color or not.

When I was in elementary school, I had a crush on a classmate named Owen. He had blonde hair and hazel-green eyes. Unfortunately, I was not blind to our differences, so I asked a female adult “mentor” how she would feel if I liked a White guy. Imagine a six or seven-year-old asking you this question. The “mentor” said, “I prefer you stick with your own kind.” As a very young child, I felt disappointed with her advice and felt like she was telling me that my feelings were wrong in some way. I also wondered, “Why did she say, ‘kind’? Aren’t we both human?”

Despite my disappointment, I continued playing with Owen on the playground and cherished my time with him. He was fun and affectionate. (As affectionate as you can be on a rated G level). Neither of us said anything about liking each other, but we always found each other and played together until the time was up.

One day, I was given the opportunity to transfer to a new school and my teachers and classmates knew I would be leaving soon. Owen and I kept on doing our “play dates”.

On my last day, I overheard and witnessed two classmates picking on Owen. They said to him, “Ha-ha! That’s why you like a Black girl! That’s why you like Dana!”

I felt happy and sad at the same time. Happy to know he liked me back. Sad to see him get pushed around and picked on for liking me. I transferred to my new school and never told him how I really felt.

I learned my lesson though. When high school rolled around, I didn’t hold back. My “high school sweetheart” was a 6’3”, blonde haired, and blue-eyed football player. It was during the relationship with him that I learned not to focus on what other people thought about me. Black and White people alike called us names, stared at us nastily, and had underhanded things to say about us being together.

In my mind, I kept thinking, “This is so crazy! They don’t like this because our skin is different! What century are we in?” As the behaviors continued, my thoughts changed and my fear dissolved. I gained clarity. I began to recognize, “They don’t like this because of their ignorance. They don’t like this, and it’s THEIR problem, not mine.”

I’m not blind to our history and the painful things that continue to happen in our world today. I am not blind to the stereotypes about Black people and how we are wrongfully portrayed in the media. But, to try forcing myself or anyone else to be blind to LOVE just because a person is a different skin color or culture is completely inhumane to me.

I love who I love. He can be as dark as the night sky with a smile like the moon and eyes like stars. He can have hair as light as sand and eyes as blue as the midday sky. I love who I love, and I have the freedom to do so.

We, as humans are beautiful. We are culturally diverse and flavorful. Ultimately, we are made of dust. No matter our skin color or our culture, when our physical bodies die, they all return to the Earth.

This is the SAME Earth we share right now, while we are living.

Let’s live and love.

 

With determination,

Dana D. Robinson (@IntuitiveDana)

www.MetaphysicalFreedom.com

 

 


1 Comment

Empty Yourself (to Serve)

MLK Jr. -Service Quote

My passion is being of service, touching hearts, enlightening minds, guiding, and aiding in the realization of healing and wholeness. There have been several times when I have “missed the mark.” I thought that I was in the flow, being mindful, and in tune with the people that I love as well as the people that I serve.

Thinking this way, I continued in this blissful flow, forgetting an important piece of the puzzle: We all perceive things differently. While I thought I was showing love and being of the utmost service, sometimes the receivers of my actions did not feel the same way. The most sobering experience for me is to find out that I missed an opportunity to be of service because my own point of view misled the way.

Perception is powerful.

One of my favorite quotes says something like this,

“We are the Universe looking at itself from many perspectives.”

Of course! We are individualized expressions of the ONE.

 For those of us who desire to serve others, we must first clear ourselves of our preconceived ideas about serving. We have to know what it is that the receiver truly needs. This may seem so simple, but sometimes it is forgotten. Our perception of another’s needs may be different than what they actually desire. We must meet them where they are, and work with them from there.

 Emptying ourselves allows others’ Lights to guide us. Remember: The Essence of Life within each of us is from the same Source, and healing takes place in many forms.

To be of service, we must first see where we are being led to serve. This way, we are making the most effective impact in the lives of those whom we are meant to bless.

 Empty yourself to serve.

 

With Humility,
Dana
WordPress: DivineDana; IG/Twitter: @IntuitiveDana
http://www.MetaphysicalFreedom.com

 


Leave a comment

Time to Change Your Direction

Discontent

When your heart speaks to you, do you listen?
OR
Do you talk yourself out of what is being said to you?

There comes a moment when we know without a doubt that we are being called to do more with our talents, our gifts, and essentially our lives.

Depending on where you are in your journey, some people might call it a mid-life crisis. In some spiritual communities, this process is referred to as Divine Discontent. I like to use this phrase because it is more than just a developmental stage; it is the Universe’s way of getting your attention and growing you into someone even better than you were before.

From personal experiences, and working extensively with several clients, I recognized that this process typically happens in stages.

Here is my summary of the stages related to Divine Discontent:

Stage 1: Misalignment= This is when you begin to feel out of sync with what is going on in your life. The things that you normally do might start to feel monotonous and boring. You might start to feel fleeting senses of disinterest or displeasure for these things. (Not to be mistaken for depression symptoms.)

Stage 2: Denial=The awareness of your misalignment increases, but instead of looking further into the reason behind it, you go against what you are feeling and try to continue in your monotony. You basically talk yourself out of whatever it is that you are feeling…or at least you try… which leads to the next stage.

Stage 3: Detachment = This is when you still are not quite ready to “dig deep” and give anything up or make major changes, so you start to distance yourself emotionally from the things that are causing the discontent. Unfortunately, this state of discontent may also spill over into other things in your life. People might notice and comment on your shift in mood and your distant presence. You can’t hide it anymore.

Stage 4: Epiphany/Climax/Aha Moment =This is when Shift Happens. Your discontent pushes you to the edge of introspection. You look inward, and question what is at the core of your feelings. You realize that you need to make changes, whether small, medium, or major ones. You decide that you are willing to make these changes.

Stage 5: Pursuit = You take action and make the necessary changes so that your discontent decreases. You actively seek guidance, whether it be inward, from mentors, or both. You change your direction and move towards your new goal.

Stage 6: Alignment= You feel more alive and the things you are doing or engaging in feel right. You no longer have that unpleasant sense of monotony or boredom. You are in motion, and it seems like everything and everyone around you are propelling you so that you stay in motion.

Stage 7: Realization= You reach that point of bliss where you know that you are doing what you are meant to do. You have moments where you reflect upon where you were before this stage, and you are grateful that you made the changes. You realize that everything was already worked out for your benefit, and all you had to do was take the first step.

Consider what things (or people) in your life that you feel discontent with.
How long have you allowed this feeling to linger?

It may be time to change your direction.

Change Direction Aug2015

With Insightful Love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com
Interested in a personal session?
Set up an appointment here.


Leave a comment

Music: The Universal Healer

Posted this over a year ago, and thought it would be good to share again. So many music festivals are happening right now, and this message remains the same. Music is a universal healer.

Metaphysical Freedom

What would this world be like without music? I cannot imagine. I grew up with a passion for music. My earliest memory of it is when I was approximately 2 years old, hands held high for my mother to pick me up, but she wasn’t able to because she was hand- washing dishes. She looked down at me and said, “Not yet, wait one moment honey.” She began humming and singing a soothing song as she cleaned. I recall slowly putting my arms to my side and listening to her while feeling peace in my heart.
During my early childhood, my two oldest siblings took piano lessons. They would come home and play the songs that they learned. I would ask them to play the songs, laugh contentedly, and then ask them to play the songs over and over again. Eventually, they became annoyed or exhausted and stopped. There came…

View original post 693 more words


Leave a comment

Double Rainbows Do Exist

Recently I stepped away from all of the activities that I do in the big city in order to spend some quality time with my family members at the beach. I went on this trip with the intention of healing and to build stronger bonds with my family.

This mini vacation was manifested from a combination of desires that my sister and I both had. She wanted to take her two sons on one more special trip to the beach before they went back to school, and I wanted to spend more personal time with her. The Law of Attraction delivered her a prize from a drawing which included a trip for 4, lots of free and kid-friendly events, and a few days at a nice hotel directly across from the dusty white sands of the beach.

It was pretty awesome.

During this time away, I had a much-needed opportunity to take a step back and observe the path I have been walking so far. There is something about being near the water, especially the ocean, which cleanses me and puts me in tune with Source unlike any other part of nature.
I reflected on how I started the beginning of the year, and I slowly took note of the things that have manifested since the first day of January. I asked for clarity and assurance of my next steps as I dive deeper into my calling and take greater leaps during these last four months of the year.

One thing about being in nature is that an answer is always waiting to reveal itself. I was riding on a boat, breathing in the refreshing air, and staring meditatively at the ocean waves when a group of dolphins appeared. It was five of them, and each one came up of out of the water to say hello before diving back into the deep. I was asking Spirit a question, and they were my answer.

A few of the dolphins that appeared.

A few of the dolphins that appeared.

One evening, my sister, my nephews, and I left the beach and headed back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. She turned on the television and it was on the Weather Channel. They were doing a segment on double rainbows and explaining the scientific conditions that make them occur. She and I briefly watched the segment, commented on how neat that was, then continued getting ready. I had a quiet thought in my mind, “I wonder if I will ever see a double rainbow.”

The next day was our departure date. We loaded up the car and headed back towards our hometown. The weather was unusual, with patches of scattered showers and sunshine throughout the drive. I continued asking Spirit for answers to questions, and excitedly noted the signs in nature. I saw beautiful deer, turtles, and other animals along the ride.

We came to a four-way stop in a small town when I noticed a rainbow in the sky. “Look, a rainbow,” I said to my sister. She smiled and expressed gratitude that it was there. In that moment, I thought to myself again, “I wonder if I will ever see a double rainbow.”

Rainbow that was present for almost an hour

Rainbow that was present for almost an hour

We kept driving, and the one rainbow stayed in our sight for nearly an hour. It felt magical. Then my sister pointed and squealed with delight, “Double rainbow! Double rainbow!” I looked up and saw a double rainbow in the sky. I said to her, “You know, I was just thinking to myself if I would ever see a double rainbow.” She looked at me with wide eyes and said, “I was thinking the same thing too!”

Look closely, and you will see the double rainbow.

Look closely, and you will see the double rainbow.

And there it was. We laughed and chatted like we used to as little girls. She pulled the car over, and I took several pictures and even made a video. It definitely was magical, healing, and inspiring indeed.

You may wonder why I am telling you about this experience. Because I want you to know that:

Double rainbows do exist.

For me, a “double rainbow” was something that seemed like it was impossible for me to experience or witness.

What is your “double rainbow”– that thing that you think is impossible?

Is it World peace, healing from an illness, unconditional love?

This simple message is to let you know that it is NOT impossible.

Believe in it.

In joy and bliss,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


Leave a comment

What will You Do Now?

This life we live is precious and priceless…similar to the beauty of these flowers.

20150722_124711

There is one significant mystery about Life: Our amount of “time” in the physical world varies from person to person. Time is one of our most precious and irreplaceable treasures. Not the time on clock, but the Life you Live. HOW we spend our time matters. WHO we spend our time with matters. Essentially, we are sharing our Life when we give of our time.

Today I am remembering the life of a good friend whose time on Earth was less than mine: Kenny Reeves, who passed away from leukemia on July 24, 2007. I appreciate the smiles, laughter, and laid-back fun we all had with Kenny, yet at that time, I questioned why someone who was younger than me would also leave the physical realm before I did.

Today, I am also thinking about the people and things in my life that I give time to. I have purposely strayed away from some traditional 9-5 jobs because I value my time and the way that I use it. It can be challenging to spend a lot of your time doing something when you would rather be doing something else with that time. There have been jobs that I absolutely LOVED, which I have given more than the 40 hours a week, yet it was easy to do so.

It is empowering to be consciously aware and to live in the moment. Here is an example of my experience with acting in the moment.

In one of my graduate school courses, my professor proposed a challenge to us, related to the present moment. He dared us to express whatever message we wanted to share with someone who was not in the class, as we were sitting in the middle of class. In a very matter-of-fact voice the professor said, “When you walk out this door after class, you are not guaranteed to return.  Hell, you are not guaranteed to finish this class and leave out of here! You have this moment. What would you do? What would you say to someone that you love or care about right now? I dare you to do it.

I felt the weight of his challenge like a rock was in my stomach. I thought of several people to text or call, but I felt like I had to make a quick decision. (He was counting down). I took out my cell phone and dialed the first number that came to mind. I looked around and saw that several of my classmates were taking out their phones too. A few people got up and left out of class. The professor smiled, and he took out his phone. The room fell silent as everyone was texting or awaiting to hear from the person on the other line.

I began to think about what was happening. What really bothered me about the challenge was that a lot of what he said had validity to it. It made me think of what it must have been like for people when 9/11 happened, or school shootings, or even hostage situations. (Oddly enough, the class was a crisis intervention course.)

My thoughts were interrupted by hearing a ring and then airy silence…

My mother answered. I heard her gentle voice and immediately said to her, “Mom, I just want you to know that I love you.” My voice was shaky for some reason, but I kept talking. “I am in class, and we were told that if all we had was right now, what would we do or who would we contact. I chose to contact you. I am okay, but I just wanted you to know that I love you.” She sounded a little worried, but she graciously said, “I love you too honey.” It was comforting. After we hung up, I texted several of my friends to let them know how much they mean to me. I could hear chatter all over the classroom, and the prominent message I heard was, “I love you.”

This awakened my consciousness again.

At that time, I was so caught up in my own routine as a graduate student that I had drifted away from living mindfully. I appreciate my professor for doing this exercise because I never forgot that experience, and how I felt in that moment.  I allowed myself to think about what matters to me the most and evaluated how I acknowledged those things.

I hope this makes you think about what you are doing with your time on this planet.

We need not wait until a tragedy happens in order to appreciate Life.
We need not wait until a death occurs before we join together to celebrate Life.

 

LIFE Is Right NOW.

Who or what do you need to give time to today?
Sit down, take a moment, and make time for it.

20150722_085912 With Love,
Dana D. Robinson (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


1 Comment

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.

DSCN0688 (2)

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.

 

IMG-20150417-WA0012

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.

DSCN1387

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.

IMG-20150417-WA0010

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

IMG3629

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

DSCN1682

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.


Leave a comment

Letters to My Creator

open blank journalI love writing, and maybe you do as well. My most consistent writing practice began in my early childhood. I had a diary. Oh, the juicy, secretive world of diaries with their special locks and “keep out!” signs. Then I graduated to journals. I had several black and white composition books filled with some of my most intimate moments, fears, joys, and requests to God. I journaled almost everyday.

Recently, during the process of packing, I stumbled upon my journals from high school and college. I sat down for a moment and carefully read over my entries. I wrote passionately about my woes related to school issues, family, friendships, and relationships gone awry.

There was a pattern that took place in my writing:
1. I started out writing about the day (Ex: It was a rough day);
2. Then, I wrote extensively about the suffering or strife that I perceived I was experiencing (exaggerating most of it, by the way);
3. Lastly, as if in response to my discouragement, I wrote wise words of encouragement that were well beyond my years of experience and knowledge.
(Ex: I know that this is a situation where I am meant to learn about…)

I read through several of these journals, and was fascinated by something within them that I hadn’t noticed before.

You see, when I read more closely, I realized that I was also prophesying to myself in every entry.

At the time that I wrote the entries, I did not realize that they were more than words of encouragement, but actual prophecy. I didn’t know they were true until I reflected on the entries recently and recognized that most of the things had occurred!

But…
Where did those prophetic words come from?

I went into meditation about this question, and here is some of what was expressed to me. Spirit reminded me that I am always taken care of and supported by unseen forces. It was brought to my attention that when I wrote my journal entries, they were a way for me to connect with My Creator and seek guidance. It was a form of prayer.

The most beautiful message I received was this reminder:
“I already knew what you needed. I already saw everything you were going to request. I Am in You. Be in a place to receive those things.”

This makes me think of a biblical text that states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”

Take the time to think of all the things that you have requested of Spirit.
What would it mean for you to know that your requests are already known?

Better yet, what if there is already an answer?

There Is.transparent open bookAffirm for yourself today:
Everything is already in order, and the solution is clear.

 

 

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

Biblical reference: Jeremiah 1:5