Don’t question why she needs to be so free
She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be
She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothings gained
And nothings lost, at such a cost
—Ruby Tuesday, The Rolling Stones
Nadira Shula Sayyida, or Rare Flame Leide [Lady], is what I consider my spirit’s chosen nomen. I accepted the name and its spiritual resonances around this time back in Tañyi of twenty-thirteen. At that point in life and two years deep in love, my King and I were finally beginning to shape together a concrete future with each other. Subsequently, our spiritual lives had just begun a dramatic and somewhat catastrophic shifting of the unusual sorts.
It was as if all at once we were both hurled face first into an abyss of ever-expanding knowledge, enlightenment, and emotions.
Furthermore, it was at that point that I began embarking on a journey back to self, back to oneness, back to infinite love—and although King’s journey was happening simultaneously parallel to my own, believe you me, our two worlds looked grotesquely avant-garde. From ominously pleasant dreams to straight-up wtf nightmares and secularly biblical revelations our lives went so far left …or right—eh, regardless in the great big sea of life we’ll just say we were tossed and driven by relentless waves many, many times. And in the midst of it all, we were forced to pause—to meditate on life, past, present, and future.
Out of our pause came new names —and those are not to be confused with our native nomens and appellations, our throne names, or our stage names. No, Nadira Shula Sayyida, is the name my spirit chose to insure I, my spirit and my soul, remain anchored in who I am, what I am, and why I have returned to earth plane this lifetime.
I anchor my own ship.
The latter—the theme of my life’s journey across this sea of ever-changing vibes and practices. It never ceases to amaze me how people will insist on trying to convince you that they know exactly what is best for you. Well, in the world I live in my Madre and Padre were arguably the first and last souls capable of mastering the “best for me’s” …and although they did a miraculous job rearing me, cultivating me and preparing me for the life I was to captain, even they will attest that all they actually managed to do successfully for me was love me unconditionally and attempt to always do what they “believed” and/or “felt” was best for me. (more…)
[interior & exterior renovations]
Standing to look at your reflection is hard—but only when your reflection looks nothing like the illusions modern societies insist one’s reflection should mirror. As a result, you cannot stand to look at your reflection; and thus, you could never fathom yourself to be all that you truly are and all of which you have the potential become.
—Biwa & Andestagōnwa ♥
My natural journey started pretty darn basic on the “why I began my locs” scale. By my third year of college I had snipped, cut, colored and style my hair to the point of no return. I had officially grown tired of relaxing my hair and it being in such an unthriving state. I was done with trying to figure out how I wanted to style and keep my processed hair looking nice between relaxings. Nevertheless, I did not readily choose to go natural after coming to any of these realizations within myself.
No, my natural journey began to take shape around year four and following a paradigm shift in my romantic life and personal perspective.
In the beginning of this process, I had no clue what the outcome of my transition was going to look like simply because I couldn’t foresee what natural style I would be rocking. After about three months of still trying to figure out what style resonated best with me, I got to thinking seriously about locs. I’d always admired locs—and all the many variations of types, textures, and stylings. Thus, by the end of my official junior year, I had made my decision—I wanted to lock my hair. So, as soon as I arrived back in Saponi country I made my way into the city and into the salon chair of my tomin [aunt]—there, I placed my order.
At that time she had very little faith in my decision—so little that she refused to cut my relaxed ends for fear I would change my mind before summer’s end. I obliged her love …nevertheless, after spending my summer in the hellish heat of a motorsport camp and managing to perfect the struggle look of madwoman emerging from pool water on a smoldering hot day, I found myself sitting once again in the chair of my tomin—this time prepared more than ever for the big chop.
After it was all snipped and chopped I left the salon a new mahei [woman], and for the first time driving home, half watching the road and half glancing at myself in the rearview mirror, I realized how big my head really was.
Yet, none of that mattered because I was going back to university different, not yet spiritually, but definitely physically and wee bit mentally.
And while family and friends counted down the hours until I came back to their senses—I was busy making a commitment to myself and my itsy bitsy baby-struggle locs—one that said we would never part ways…little did they know upon agreeing to be so ride or die they would be in for one helluva lifetime…or was it little did I know …eh, Tomato—tomáto.
Since the day my dead ends were chopped off—I have grown and learned so much about myself, my life, my love, my world and this universe and the world that we all share. I’ve acquired knowledge beyond measure in the last 5 years and counting—and I know there is so much more I’m meant to overstand. Upon deciding to nurture budding locs I had not given a mental journey or a spiritual journey much, if any, thought. Instead, I began this transition with the intentions of merely going on a physical journey. However, now I know the Universe had been conspiring miraculously—unbeknownst and unforeseeable by me at that time.
Thus, I write to you now and over the days to come many of my reflections, my overstandings, my thoughts and my ponderings—of the many flowers and thorns I’ve had the honor of being delighted and/or pricked by. I can never again in this lifetime or the next be the young woman I was upon my loc’ing day, but before myself I stand an ever-new wombman, changing so delicately as the seasons of the Great Mother of Laurels. Perfect—I am not, but changed I will forever be.
Biwa & Andestagōnwa ♥
[Peace & Love]
—Not-So-Nappy Nahdee [Tañyi, 2016]