“Freedom is that you?”

The week leading up to the move was so busy that I barely even noticed any anxiety or doubt…in fact I was sure that I was making the right decision for me that I felt only the adrenaline and focus. I was so clear on what freedom looked like and I knew it didn’t look like rent or anything routine for that matter. I stayed consistent with my meditations and rituals (yoga practice and spiritual baths) and I just kept on packing. By Thursday, which was the day before we hit the road I was physically worn out yet restless. I couldn’t sleep because I was so close to freedom I could see it!

“Ut oh fear is that you?”

And then the big day came and it was like all of the confidence and positive energy got swept away by the tide of “conflicting realities”. My sister and I were supposed to caravan to Asheville, NC to at least start the journey together because she had been on the road prior to me and knew a little bit more about campsites and living on the road than I did…but her Spirit told her to take her family in a different direction. So that left just me, Young Lion (my son), and Mars (our cat) on our own…. PANIC…..wait we have never camped by ourselves before and truthfully I have no fucking clue what I am doing! My sister was my road map to freedom ..right? Ok so thankh Ra that I have a little bit of foresight and plenty of ancestor guidance because I knew this move was about my perception of freedom, my choices, and that Sonny wanted this for me. He would be proud in fact he is because he lives through me. So Young Lion and I said our farewells and safe travels to my sister and her family and we made plans to meet up later down the road.

As I drove in the opposite direction towards Asheville, I battled with doubt… “maybe I should have just went with them because I really don’t know how to set up camp alone..” Then the fear of the unknown crept up with very imaginative self destructive scenarios like ” what if the van breaks down or bears creep up to the tent in the middle of the night…what if it’s a sign that I made the wrong choice….” oh and there was more false ideas flowing until Young Lion reached over to pat me on my back and as tears rolled down my face he said ” We got this mommy! Everything is going to work out, Sonny got our backs.” As he pats the van’s dashboard (we call the van we inherited from my dad Sonny after him) and as if he read my thoughts and the root of my tears.. I took a deep breath, counted to 4, and spoke my mantra/quote of truth..”I exist for God’s self-expression and my life is the life of God and I know it!” – Michael Bernard Beckwith

“Nah this ain’t freedom…”

Not sure if it was because I was tired emotionally and physically from the build up of this trip or the dark clouds and the temperature drop, or the unwelcoming energy  that lingered over Asheville but I just wasn’t feeling the place and neither was the Young Lion. We drove through downtown and because this trip wasn’t about shopping, I was unmoved by the eclectic shops that I would have normally been in awe of and was bewildered by the unusually placed murals of melanated people and more uncomfortable by the lack of real melanated people and lack diversity that I saw.  But we still decided to go to the campgrounds still very unprepared and unsure of what to do when we first got there. Unfortunately I was too focused on the hype about Asheville that I drove right passed Black Mountain that was supposed to be our first vortex stop. And because Black Mountain was an hour east of where we were headed next we just chose a different camp. Well after standing around for 25 minutes at the campground gate waiting to be attended to and watching what others do to obtain a visitors pass to check out the campgrounds, before making the decision to pay and stay, I decided to ask the clerk for a pass to do the same (learning as I go here). Instantly I felt some opposition then she replied ” Well you can’t just go in for free and pick out the camp site you want, they are mostly reserved anyway.” Ok I admit I probably did look homeless and tired and technically I was both but really lady, I just saw 4 white guys get free visitors passes!!! After going back and forth about fees and site spaces the clerk just handed me a map, circled the fees and went to the next person in line. I walked back to the van and made a U-Turn straight out of there.  Young Lion was cool with that he felt the unreceptive energy and we headed toward more familiar ground…Atlanta.

As we drove through back country South Carolina toward Atlanta, GA, I saw so many interesting antique and novelty shops and fruit & boiled peanut stands but I was hesitant about stopping to check them out. I found myself rationalizing my freedom of choice versus my safety as we drove past a members only lodge with the hugest confederate flag I have ever seen. All I could do is think “Damn is this what freedom looks like? I cant even drive through a campsite or stop to explore a country store in my own country (that I served for in the Air Force mind you)” …..

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Flag monument at the foothills of Stone Mountains Trails

“Is freedom a little bit of comfort and a little but of something new?”

We stayed at my aunts house while in Atlanta. Daddy Fullilove was visiting from Ohio so we let him take the extra room and for the first couple of nights I slept on the air mattress in the living room next to Young Lion on the couch. One night I couldn’t sleep I just felt that I was doing this all wrong. I was supposed to be connecting with nature, free from obligation and here I was worried about homework and sleeping in an air conditioned house. So I went out to the van to meditate and journal and cry in peace until I fell asleep…and ended up with the most restful sleep I have had in weeks. I spent the rest of the week shifting my awareness from what I expected from this new lifestyle on the road to just letting go. I spent some valuable time with my yogi sis Ona Hawk (follow her in IG/FB) and we talked for hours! It was like I was talking to myself in much cooler form! That conversation was like a therapy session/ business consult/ tea talk! It was the confirmation and clarity that I needed. Going to Ona’s always feels like a spiritual vortex, nothing but love and truth and the best live foods ever! Reflecting on that day at Ona’s gave me more insight and confirmation on what yoga really is….UNITING! Although there was no physical yoga done during my visit there as we had planned, the acts of spiritual yoga, and mental and emotional yoga was practiced through sharing our stories and visions with one another. It reassured me on what this journey is really about….

As I walked past the confederate figures on Stone Mountain and watched my daddy Fullilove gallop up the mountain next to Young Lion like he was just as young as him, I realized that freedom is not in things, places, people, or familiar comforts …freedom is underneath that..it’s in the detachment of what we expect from things, places or people or familiar comforts. All week I had been planning to go with my aunt to this JeJu Wellness Spa I had been hearing so much about but once again the universe aligned for me to go it alone.  The nostalgia I felt on the very last day of my Atlanta visit when I stepped into JeJu Wellness Spa was so familiar…the experience reminded me of my military days in Korea…the reason why I wanted and needed to travel returned to me as well as the confidence and self-assuredness I had the weeks leading up to this move… As I sat in the amethyst incrusted sauna listening to the timely sharing of the stories of two young melanated women who sat across the room….stories of their solo journeys backpacking across Asia and Africa caused tears of gratefulness to run down my face. I know now that I am on the right road…”the road less traveled”…still don’t consciously know what I am doing or where I am going but the why is so much more important to me now….. “I am ready to experience the freedom that I already am, no matter where I am!”

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JoyMaat in Crow pose on Stone Mountain (Africa bookbag from Africaninfused.bigcartel.com )

Practicing the Ausar -Min- Selkhet sequence of Kemetic Yoga on top Stone Mountain. The wind and cold was rough so this sequence was all that I could manage since Young Lion begged me not to attempt to do a headstand in this wind lol

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Daddy Fullilove & Young Lion on Stone Mountain

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Young Lion jumping rocks up Stone Mountain

Check out https://mkt.com/store/Kemeticarts24/item/joymaat-the-vortex-traveler to see how you can be a part of our journey and receive picture post cards, unique jewelry and more from our travels!

Here is a granite stone I picked up at Stone Mountain and made it into a KemeticArts24 wearable art one-of-a kind masterpiece! Purchase at https://mkt.com/store/Kemeticarts24/item/granite-necklace-stone-mountain

Granite has the elements of water and earth that can help grounding and balance the root KA RA (chakra). This stone helps the wearer to see the bigger picture and focus on moving forward to better opportunities! PERFECT alignment with my journey!

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Thankh you for your support and keep flowing with me on to the next vortex spot down the road…. Be Love & Live Truth!

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