Podcast: The Soulful Homecoming Retreat in Ghana
Podcast Episode 9 The Soulful Homecoming Ghana Retreat

Date

I want you to have the opportunity and support to return home. To return to your body, to return to your desires, and to return to your continent of origin. I want to help you return home in every sense of the word.

Asha B. Wilkerson

Episode Summary

Asha Wilkerson introduces the Soulful Homecoming Retreat in Ghana for Black women in this podcast episode.

She shares her journey of coming home and finding alignment in her life. Asha discusses the healing journey she embarked on after the passing of her father and how it led her to explore spirituality and reconnect with her intuition. She highlights the transformative experience of visiting Ghana and learning about African history and culture.

Asha explains the purpose of the retreat, which is to support Black women in returning home to themselves and their continent of origin. She describes the activities and experiences participants can expect during the retreat and invites listeners to join her on this unique healing journey.

 

Takeaways

  • The Soulful Homecoming Retreat in Ghana is a space for Black women to come home to themselves and their continent of origin.
  • Healing and transformation are essential in the journey of coming home and finding alignment in life.
  • Visiting Ghana and reconnecting with African history and culture can profoundly impact one’s sense of identity and self-worth.
  • The retreat offers activities such as yoga, reiki, coaching, and sound baths to facilitate healing and self-discovery.

Timestamped Summary of This Episode

  • 00:00 Introduction to the Soulful Homecoming Retreat in Ghana
  • 01:12 The Journey of Coming Home
  • 06:27 Discovering Ghana and Connecting with Ancestors
  • 09:20 The Purpose of the Soulful Homecoming Retreat
  • 10:23 Activities and Experiences at the Retreat
  • 13:11 Invitation to Join the Soulful Homecoming Retreat
  • 14:10 The Power of Healing and Transformation

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Asha:

00:00 Introduction to the Soulful Homecoming Retreat in Ghana

This week’s podcast will be a little different; I’m going to tell you all about the healing retreat I’m hosting for black women in Ghana.

01:12 The Journey of Coming Home

I’m so excited to bring this space to you, and I’m thrilled to tell you all about what it’s like traveling to Accra, how you’ll feel when you arrive, what we’ll be doing, and how you’ll be transformed.

But, before I get started, I want you to take a look at your calendar and bookmark September 15-21, 2024, so that you can join your beautiful sisters and me for the Soulful Homecoming Retreat.

Ok, now we can can begin.

06:27 Discovering Ghana and Connecting with Ancestors

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been working on coming home in every sense of the word. I’ve been working at coming home to rest in my body, coming home to find and listen to my intuition, and quite literally, I’m “at home” in Portland, Oregon, where I was born and raised, to spend time with my mom, re-root, and rest before I start the next chapter of my life.

I am in a time of coming home.

My conscious journey to “return home” started a few years ago. I was teaching full-time in my dream job and wanted to dive back into my own business on the side. I knew that the traditional path of practicing law was not a fit for me, but I didn’t see many alternatives. So, I set out to create a path and business style that fit me.

In this process, I had to “return home” to myself and figure out what I liked about my current business operations and what I didn’t. I asked myself where my skills were and what I enjoyed doing. I knew that I wanted to pair my work with my natural talents so that I could be in alignment and work in a way that came easily and naturally to me.

I set out to fight the model I had learned in school and my first few years of law practice and to take my power back. To find my fit instead of trying to fit in.

Although saying this sounds pretty straightforward, I had to do a lot of deconditioning and unwiring. I had only learned to practice law in one way, and that was the big law firm model where you bill 40 hours a week, stay booked and busy, and make a court appearance every day.

I didn’t know other attorneys who were business coaching or teaching their clients as their main offering. I didn’t know anybody who worked remotely or traveled while running a successful business. I didn’t have a model or an example in my field, so I had to become my own.

In that process, I had to return to myself in many ways. I had to become confident in my skills and ability to create a business that was aligned with me. I had to tell myself it was ok to run a business that didn’t look like any of the other law firms I knew. I had to stand firm on the belief that it was ok to create a business that served me as much as it served my clients.

I had to “come home” to myself and honor the desires brewing within me when my desires didn’t look like anybody else’s.

I did it. And I built community support while doing it, but I wish I had had more guidance, mentorship, and coaching along the way.

09:20 The Purpose of the Soulful Homecoming Retreat

The second major event in my life that sparked the beginning of my emotional and spiritual return home started right before my dad passed away in December 2020.

I had come home to visit in August, and I distinctly remember sitting in my dad’s house when I turned to look at him, and I just knew that he would not survive the holidays. It wasn’t a voice or a vision, it was a knowing. My dad was dying and he was on short time.

I came back home in November for the holidays and I was surprised to see that my dad looked better. I thought maybe he’d make it into the new year after all. He didn’t. On December 17th, he had a stroke, and on December 23rd, he peacefully passed away in the hospital.

To help process the grief, anger, frustration, sadness, and all the other emotions that come along when loved ones die, I worked with a healer. She introduced me to reiki, the Akashic records, and breathwork.

I was so fascinated by her connection to the energetic realm and her intuitive abilities that decided I wanted to learn for myself. I was exposed to parts of that world as a kid, but I never developed my own gifts. I remember my mom taking me to psychic fairs, and I distinctly remember having my aura photo taken. I thought it was the coolest thing to see all the colors of my aura surrounding me.

But somewhere along the way, as most kids do, I become disconnected from my intuition, desires, and self-trust. I learned to fit in, to make myself smaller so as not to be a threat, and how to people please instead of Asha-please.

I left my home. I left myself in pursuit of the dreams, goals, or norms society said I should be pursuing.

It wasn’t until pivoted in my own business that I started thinking about coming home in the professional sense. But it was after my dad passed away that I knew I had to return home in an emotional sense, no matter the cost.

So, I dove in. Well, I actually started in the shallow end by exploring reiki and readings. I started taking classes to help me reconnect to my intuition, learn about energetic principles, and re-develop my self-trust.

I joined new communities, went on retreats, and talked to my friends about “coming home.” Not to a specific location but home to myself.

I started asking myself what it was that I wanted. What it was that I believed and why. I traveled again and looked at the world through a lens of curiosity so that I would open, explore, and grow.

10:23 Activities and Experiences at the Retreat

And then, I ended up in Ghana. Ghana wasn’t the first African country I had visited, that honor goes to Kenya thanks to a co-worker who showed me around his beautiful home country.

But Ghana was different. I had heard people say that before I visited, and when I landed, I got it.

To walk off the plane and blend in instead of standing out as a black person is incredible. If you have not had the opportunity to visit a predominately black nation and you are a black person, don’t wait any longer. Make it happen because it’s an incredible feeling not to stand out because of your skin color.

It feels like coming home.

During that same trip, I learned about our ancestors and what life was like before colonization. According to African Ancestry, my ancestors on my mom’s side actually came from Cameroon, but so many Africans captured by the Western slave trade traveled through Ghana.

So, it is likely that my ancestors, and probably yours too, passed through this beautiful country.

Hearing the history of Africans completely differed from how we learn history here in the US. The story here starts with enslavement, and we learn all the ways we’ve been abused, hated, and criminalized.

But in Ghana, I learned about family structures, communities, and cultures that have survived hundreds of years. I learned how naming ceremonies work, various rites of passage, and about the migration of different tribes.

I learned that my people weren’t always considered inferior. I learned that we had our own systems of governance. I learned that we had our own culture and ceremonies that were beautiful and important. These were all things that I knew intellectually, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to know them in my body.

This lived experience while in Ghana helped me to come home to myself. It shifted my understanding of who I was because it helped me better understand who I had come from.

I saw pieces of the past that I could bring home to myself.

I feel like I don’t have the right words to explain it, but it created a powerful shift inside of me. I came back to the US more confident and sure of myself. I came back understanding that what they say about us here is BS and that I don’t have to internalize the racism, tropes, or stereotypes because I’ve seen where I come from, and I know they’re lying. Again, these were all things that I knew intellectually. But, I hadn’t yet felt them in my body because of the residual trauma I was carrying based on my recent ancestors’ experiences in America.

Something shifted inside of me, and I stopped feeling like I had to prove myself to the world. I stopped carrying such a heavy burden to represent all of us black folks and folks of color in law or in higher education. I realized that my ancestors just wanted us to be free, happy, and healthy.

Something shifted, and I knew that finding my freedom had to be my first priority and that coming home to myself was the key.

13:11 Invitation to Join the Soulful Homecoming Retreat

This is what sparked the Soulful Homecoming Retreat in Ghana. I want you to have the opportunity and support to return home. To return to your body, to return to your desires, and to return to your continent of origin. I want to help you return home in every sense of the word.

So, what exactly happens during this retreat? Let me tell you:

You will arrive at the airport in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, on September 15th. We will spend one night in Accra and then head to Assin Manso, a river where our ancestors experienced their “last bath” before being traded and sent across the seas.

At the river, we will connect with our ancestors. We will touch the same waters they touched and offer up prayers and requests for connection. Then, we will be named according to Akan tradition. The naming ceremony is an act of welcoming us home. It’s an invitation to connect with our ancestors and the local community. It’s an invitation to learn more about who we are so that we can be more of who we’re destined to become.

It is a powerfully moving experience that will transform the way you see yourself.

Immediately following this visit, we’ll head to our beach resort in Cape Coast, where we’ll spend the rest of the week diving deep with each other and reconnecting to our highest selves.

I’m co-hosting this experience with two incredibly talented healers: Adriana Parrish, an intuitive reiki and sound bath healer, and Rachel Brooks, a trauma-informed vinyasa, yin, and restorative yoga instructor.

Together, we’ve developed activities to help you re-discover yourself through reconnection, healing, and resting.

Unlike tours to Ghana, this trip is not focused on exposing you to the atrocities that have befallen our ancestors. This trip of focused on facilitating your healing and reconnection to the best parts of you and your lineage.

We have carefully crafted this experience to help you come home in the best way possible.

My favorite place on all the earth is always right by the ocean. So, naturally, our hotel is right on the beach in Cape Coast. I have had the opportunity to see beautiful water worldwide, but there is something special about the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ghana. The water is powerful and fierce yet calming and comforting. Lots of healing happens around water; you will get to hear, see, and touch it every day of this retreat.

Depending on when you sign up (so hurry up and don’t wait), you’ll have your own room, so your quiet time is really your own. Each day, you’ll be treated to breakfast followed by yoga, reiki, coaching, or a sound bath. We will ask you the right questions and give you space to respond while also giving you the energy you need to rest, reset, and reconnect.

At the end of the week, we’ll return to Accra for one night, where we’ll hit up a local restaurant and enjoy live music. The next day, you’ll be treated to breakfast and a quick city tour before a sendoff back home.

If you identify as a woman of the African diaspora, this retreat is for you. This is the only retreat I know of focused on helping you come home in every sense of the word.

You are invited to join us for seven days in Ghana for your soulful homecoming. You don’t have to have all the details worked out right now, you just need to commit to going and we’ll work out the rest.

14:10 The Power of Healing and Transformation

To sign up for the retreat, head to ashawilkerson.com/ghana and save your spot. Two different payment options are available to you: pay in full or pay over time. At the end of the day, I want you there with me because this experience is one-of-a-kind.

I have engaged in many healing practices and activities through the years, but going to Ghana and intentionally returning home has been one of the best.

As you consider joining me in Ghana for the Soulful Homecoming Retreat, I want you to remember that it’s because I’ve healed that I’ve been able to repair old relationships and start new ones from a different perspective. It’s because I’ve healed that I’ve been able to leave expectations behind that no longer serve me. It’s because I’ve healed that I am currently living my dream life out loud with no regrets.

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