“You wanna fly, you’ve got to give up the shit that weighs you down”, Toni Morrison
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is an act of self preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”, Audre Lorde
“Every woman who heals herself, helps heal all women who came before her, and all those who come after her”, Christiane Northrup.
Some people argue it can be bought. Others debate that it transcends external possessions. For most, the ultimate goal in life is to embrace it and have it permeate into your being. People travel miles, far wide and deep, searching for it– the pursuit of happiness. Of course money is important in our reality, many would even say #CashisKing. Still, I believe that there is no amount of gold, silver or copper that can buy happiness– it must be cultivated as a sacred space inside of you.
Over the years, I have sought happiness in external entities: jobs, food, relationships, clothes… I could go on. Looking at my life now, I can share with certainty that all of the things I thought would bring me happiness never did. And furthermore, when those material things which I sought happiness from were no longer available to me, I was left feeling even more hollow than before.
At 25, I have made many accomplishments that I am proud of—I have performed in Ghana, the United States and Jamaica, started my own business at 22, repatriated to Ghana—to mention a few. Moving back to Ghana last year was a huge transition. I have the privilege of waking up in the tropics, eating ital food, visiting the beach and so much more. Although I was smashing my goals, I would wake up in the morning and feel a dark cloud looming over me, and trust me, it did not match my outfit!!
I had to press pause and ask myself—what is happiness for me? What makes me happy? How do I conjure this sensation within myself,and more importantly, how do I sustain it?
This guide serves as a template for those of you out there who might be struggling to find happiness within. There is no perfect recipe and everyone’s formula is unique. However, I hope you can use these ingredients to create a more fulfilling and bomb life for yourself and future generations.
Make time for Yourself
The burnout is real! Being on ‘go’ 24/7 is definitely not a healthy lifestyle for me. I put so much pressure on myself to accomplish every task on my checklist that I wasn’t working efficiently nor was I accomplishing my goals to the standards I wished to uphold. Allocating time for myself to rest, meditate, and recharge my energy allowed me to work better, improve my mood and make even greater art.
I began taking myself on dates, pampering myself, eating healthy food and doing other things to treat myself with the love and care that I so desperately desired from other people.
As I sprinkled affection into myself, I began to blossom and grow. In November, I was so worried about what other people in Ghana would think that I got outside of myself. Before I knew it I was pounding fufu every day just to counteract stereotypes about Americans being lazy. Ego trippin’ like a mug! I had to learn how to say no to others and yes to myself. That’s self love.
Turn Passion into Profit
When you are doing something you love, it never feels like work. For me, working in an unfulfilling job has always been my kryptonite. I would expend all of my energy into others’ creations and not put enough love or ‘meraki’ into my own projects. I am still developing my businesses into work that I can do full time and sustain myself with multiple incomes and reclaim my time. When I envisioned my future as a full time entrepreneur and #boss, I knew I must take deliberate steps to create it.
As I traverse this journey, I am inspired and humbled by how far I have come and the road ahead. As Martin Luther King said, “If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But whatever you do, you’ve got to keep moving forward”.
Because I want to see my ideas grow into tangible results that solve problems and make profit, I realized I had to tighten up on my accountability and action. I gathered my organization skills + focus to pour love back into my merchandising business, dance career and blossoming music career. That has made me feel happier because I am doing what I love.
Change your Diet: Gratitude, Positivity and Rituals
To make myself happier, I had to change my diet. And no, I don’t just mean food. The music I was listening to, the movies I watched and unhealthy rituals like my social media addiction were all part of my unhealthy diet. I had to create more life affirming regimens.
For so long I focused on the relationships I had with others. I wondered, ‘Where did I go wrong?’. It wasn’t until I began to look inward, at the relationship I had with myself, that I began to heal. I realized my internal dialogue was terribly negative. I asked myself ‘if I had a child would I want someone speaking to my child like this? Would I speak to my child like this?’. The answer was no. So, I decided to speak more loving language into myself and the universe.
Through activating the power of positivity, I was able to embrace the things that were going well and work towards things I needed to change with patience and kindness towards myself. In a lot of ways I am learning how to re parent myself and forming more life affirming mantras are definitely one of the ways I am doing so. Also, as I learn more and more to treat myself well, allowing others to mistreat me is not an option. #Periodt
Expressing gratitude has been proven to improve one’s physical, psychological and spiritual health. I was always focusing on what was going wrong and by beginning to expressing gratitude I felt lighter and a more positive energy circulated around me. #ThemAurasDoe
I didn’t deny my sadness but I observed it and realized I had the power to transform my aura and my reality so I started with the power of the tongue. I thanked source, the universe, the food I ate, the water I drank, those around me and I worked to spread my light with others. By emitting waves of gratitude to the universe, I set myself up for more things to be grateful for and I no longer felt like something was ‘missing’. It’s all here boo! As we Ghanaians would say, ‘Wo mp3 wei na wo p3 den?’
Find your Tribe– or Create One
When I first moved back to Ghana, I was extremely lonely. I was stuck on the community I created in Philly and I also felt out of place with the cultural norms, dressing and mindsets of most. After a while, I got tired of being lonely so I empowered myself to create communities online, reach out to old friends and go out and make new friends here in Ghana. I started gradually by taking walks outside, seeking out like minded individuals and going to art events.
Permission to Thrive: Granted.
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you found this useful and I hope you are happy or on your way there!
I’m elated to share with you new Asiedua’s Imprint merchandise. Shop here.
Some questions for you ❤
What is happiness to you?
How are some ways that you have created happiness for yourself? Comment below.