June 9, 2021

Spirituality & Motherhood Episode 11: Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye

This episode features the amazing Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro. In our conversation, we discuss how her daughter inspired healing and how her spiritual path evolved through Motherhood.

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This episode features the amazing Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro. In our conversation, we discuss how her daughter inspired healing and how her spiritual path evolved through Motherhood.  

Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro is the mother of two daughters in addition to a loving Grandmother. In her work as an Okomfo (--a spiritual healer in the Akan tradition), she facilitates the deep healing and connection of people,  the planet, and other forms of life, both seen and unseen. Her work is built upon her relationships with the Abosom (deities), Nsamanfo (ancestors), Reiki Masters, and plant spirits. 

To learn more about Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro you can check out her website. medewnefer.com. 

Thanks for listening! 



Jeannette:Peace and innumerable blessings and welcome, welcome, welcome to the spirituality and motherhood podcast, where we're going to explore different ways of honoring your spiritual gifts, your spiritual path, and your divine connection all while raising them babies. My intention here is to support you your spiritual path and your divine gifts and divine connection by sharing the wisdom and experience of other mothers who are on the path, just like you.

[00:00:28] So you don't have to do it alone, you can be in community and company. I come to this podcast as the mother of two boys ages four and seven, a psychic a hoodoo, a root worker, a lay herbalist, a tree talker. And that's about it today.

[00:00:55] Yeah. Um, Full disclosure for this episode, we are just focusing on this amazing interview with, Okomfo, Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro. Right. Um, but before I tell you more about her, I'm going to warn you up front. There is no simple ritual. There is no spiritual wisdom for this episode because  there's a lot of wisdom already chalked in this episode, A and B like y'all that last eclipse took me down.

[00:01:34] So I'm still trying to get up still trying to get together. And, um, I'm in sore need of self-care and without self-care I don't do any intuitive work. It's very important if you're doing any sort of intuitive work that you're caring for yourself. Um, otherwise  it's a little messy. At least I get a little messy.

[00:01:55] Some people, I guess they can do it, but not me sadly. So this episode is just this amazing interview of Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro. So let me tell you a little bit about her. First of all, she's a grandmother, it was very interesting

[00:02:15] hearing somebody who had the perspective and the experience of raising children and then seeing, um, the effects of that by having a relationship with, um, their, their daughters and then their granddaughter, and being able to see how things kind of just continue to heal, continue to unfold, to continue to, to, to come together.

[00:02:39] It was interesting to hear someone share their experience of ancestry in progress and in process, it was really just exciting to hear that I really enjoyed doing this interview it was like a hug. It was like a great, big warm, nourishing, nurturing hug that was calming and soothing. So I hope I pray. I pray.

[00:03:09] I pray um, this interview is the same for you just to let you know a little bit about  Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro, she has been called and chosen to walk the path of Okomfo, which is a spiritual healer, um, in the, Akan tradition. Um, she works with ancestors and the Abosom / Deities  to facilitate healing and connection of people, the planet, and other forms of life, both seen and unseen.

[00:03:53] Um, she is a  climate and environmental justice warrior ,an advocate, connector and synthesizer a facilitator an educator, a spiritual activist and a healing supporter. If you want to know more about her and kind of like dig and more to what she does , you can check out Medewneffer.com.

[00:04:17] That's M-E-D-E-W-N-E-F-E-R.com. All right. I think I've said enough. Let's dive on into this interview. Enjoy.   

[00:04:41] So, how are you doing? 

[00:04:43] Afriye:I'm great. I'm doing well. All things considered the world is something. And, uh, and within that doing well. 

[00:04:53] Jeannette:Beautiful. So the first question is , how exactly do I pronounce your entire title, because I don't want to disrespect you and mess it up and what exactly should I be calling you because you're an initiate of Ifa and more and I do not want to slaughter that word because it feels very disrespectful. So how should I call you? 

[00:05:15] Afriye:Thank you for asking. I would say that the, um, you know, the genuine questions that are based in  curiosity and trying to understand that's no disrespect. So I want to start out by saying that, um, my title Okomfo Afriye Okomfo is my title. I'm a, priestess  within the Akan tradition or what we call Akom spiritual tradition. And, um, I also make an Ifa initiate, but my, um, but I would say, uh, Ifa I opened a door that, uh, really in the direction of Akom. And so Akom is, is where I am, where I practice and live regularly, although all is connected.

[00:06:06] Um, but you can, you can,  call me on this call Afriye. Um, cause, cause I'm still, I move in so many different spaces that, um, that often titles, we, we, we drop them in favor of a familiar kind of connection. Um, although, you know, there are some spaces that it would definitely be appropriate. Okay. Yeah. Thank you.

[00:06:38] Jeannette:So Afriye, what would you like to share about yourself and your family? 

[00:06:45] Afriye:Thank you. Um, I would say that I feel that I always have to note that I'm a granny because my, my granddaughter who is turning 10 in about another week is, uh, I call her my granny. So she's, she's like a, she's a, she's an elder. She gives me my marching orders

[00:07:13] when I, um, when we talk and I just, uh, just so I feel so inspired by who she is as a human being and a personality. So I start out by, I usually will acknowledge my granny hood. Um, that said, I, I think what else I'll say is I feel really blessed to come from, uh, A family where across generations there have been really strong and spirited women, um, and, uh, and complex and nuanced where each generation, it seems has had to struggle with its own, you know, demons and, um, and um, ways of healing, uh, attempts to heal and, and keep some of the difficult things from passing from one generation to the next while at the same time, trying to preserve, um, you know, the beautiful and healthy relationship kind of things from one generation to the next. So, so that's the second thing is just as being, uh, you know, one of many, uh, in my family line who, um, regular folks, but trying to do better by each generation.

[00:08:39] Uh, and by better, it's just sort of, you know, again, moving through that healing and healing process that, um, is needed and outside of that, a child or not outside of it, but in addition, I'm a daughter of the earth and the elements and um, you know, someone who feels passionately in practice and in ideology spiritually, uh, that fights for justice .

[00:09:07] It makes up the fabric of who I am and just sort of orient myself toward, um, trying to live and enact change in the, in the world that at the end of the day, when I look at my daughter and my granddaughter, I can, you know, and myself in the mirror, I can say, Oh, you know, I've, I have no regrets and I've done. Okay. You know? 

[00:09:34] Jeannette:Yeah. Which kind of leads into the first question, um, in a sense of like, it feels like the ancestors really want to be discussed this evening. The first thing that was a fly out my mouth is like, how has, how has having  a daughter and then a granddaughter shifted your relationship with your ancestors and even your practice of ancestral veneration.

[00:10:02] Afriye:Hm. Ooh, in a few ways. One has their lives have, um, made conscious that connection, or I don't know if make consciousness is the right thing, but it kind of sharpened the need for me to do my work, um, because they are here and they're, you know, ancestors reborn. And so it's, it's like I have a responsibility me as I regard myself as that too.

[00:10:38] I mean, I feel that in my soul, we move in and out of these different worlds and have these moments in life. Um, but, but really seeing and experiencing my daughter being born and, and being a part of her life growing up, it was clear that this is an old soul and this is, this is someone to attend to, uh, and think of, um, across generations. And not as someone who is just here for a short time, not that. I should treat her any different, but I'm just saying like, when you asked that question, it was like, wow.

[00:11:19] Yeah. Noticing those things as she's coming up. And then over time getting more clear that my role, I feel like my role in my family is to, um, assist in helping to heal some of the traumas that have been passed on from one generation to the next. And so I can do that partly and, um, healing relationship with my daughter and trying to, you know, really be in relationship with her as a mother in ways that, um, that build upon, um, what my mom was not able to do and what she was able to do, you know, and then seeing that in my granddaughter, like my daughter and I have had conversations about breaking unhealthy patterns and things like that.

[00:12:09] Um, And then to see her do that with her daughter. And then us talk about that has just been really powerful. Um, and I feel it when I sit in my ancestor altar and, and spend time in conversation with my ancestors, just sort of feeling the impact of the work we're doing as humans on those relationships.

[00:12:35] It just there's, it's hard to describe, but you know, it feels like there's something happening. Um, so I would say that, yeah, that's interesting. You asked that question because this has been at the center of so much of my work recently. Um, and you know, my mom, I'm really blessed that she's still here and she's actually downstairs.

[00:13:01] She came to visit. And I, I just feel really fortunate to, um, to be in a position where I can ask her some of the things, the questions that. I think even if we don't always have an opportunity to answer them together or for, because of the nature of our relationship, she may not feel comfortable talking to me about these things.

[00:13:27] I respect that. And I think in it's a dynamic that gets set up an energy that I think grows out of those, just the asking and the curiosity that I think is healing in and of itself. Um, So, those are just some things that, you know, yeah. We've been working on recently. Um, it was some real and intention and my daughter and I, with some real intention, 

[00:13:57] Jeannette:that's beautiful being able  to, I guess, see ancestry in progress in the sense of everybody kind of being willing to work, to break things and to move forward. 

[00:14:10] Afriye:Yeah. 

[00:14:11] Jeannette:Expand. 

[00:14:12] Afriye:Yeah.

[00:14:14]Jeannette:Which kind of goes into the next question , I was intrigued and expanded by reading, um, your website, where you have your about page.

[00:14:23] And you talk about your relationship with the ancestors and with earth and with Deities  and being able to facilitate like working to facilitate deep healing. Um, when people of, of spirits seen and unseen, and I was wondering if like also your relationship with like earth and like Deities also kind of facilitate the healing of like, um, like family lines and, and ancestors, because. That's for me. So I'm wondering what your experience,

[00:14:58] Afriye:what was the last thing you said? You said that's been your experience too? 

[00:15:02] Jeannette:For me, it's like, I know the plants come for me to help me out. Really. There's some chuckling ancestors in the background, like, yeah. So for me, it's been like very much kind of like a tag team with different plant spirits. And I'm kind of wondering if like there's some sort of like interweaving, like sort of like team group effort in the sense of healing all the way down.

[00:15:26] Afriye:That's so beautiful to hear and that you, you listen, you know, that you're open to that relationship. Which sometimes it's like the biggest thing, you know, as humans, we get like locked in this way of being in the world and there's and, and don't realize or think about, or make ourselves open to.

[00:15:51] All the relationships and the connections that, and the ways that we can learn and share and become more responsible and respectful, you know, in relation. So, anyway, that's so beautiful to hear that relationship that you have with, with plants. Um, and I'm sure with many other, I would say that, um, Yeah, absolutely.

[00:16:16] And you know, there, there were a few years where, um, so this there's a few years where I sort of stepped away from, um, my, the path that I was on maybe about in the mid, late nineties, um, this path of, of training to be an Okomfo and, um, And there was a point where I left. Uh, for a number of reasons.

[00:16:45] And, uh, I, I went and I moved back to Detroit where I'm from originally. And, um, and I, I got to work. There were, there were some things that questions that I had that I was struggling with at the time. And, you know, there are a number of things going on that I felt like I needed to leave, uh, DC, that my spiritual home and community, and go back to Detroit.

[00:17:11] Um, Again, for a variety of reasons that I'm clear about, although the way I did it may not in the right way. There are just so many lessons in hindsight, but, um, but it was during that time away. That I, uh, away from this like intentionally carved spiritual path that, um, that I noticed the, uh, presence, the continued presence of the Deities in my life.

[00:17:46] And, um, And not just a presence, but a way that, um, they would remind me, I would be reminded by, I don't know, a memory being triggered by something, a random thought, uh, you know, uh, something that would catch my eye in the street or, you know, um, but I would be reminded that there's that they're, not just here, but there's a role that they're playing in helping to create certain experiences or, um, lessons, um, you know, in dreams I have a lively dream life. And so in dreams there would often be messages. But I say that because it was, um, not only did I, I come to appreciate. That this ever, you know, presence, but also started to get a sense that not that not only in the, in this lifetime, but perhaps in previous lifetimes that like, there's something, there's some, something that is inexplicable that, um, kind of speaks to the depth of a relationship where, you know, I'm I'm running away and I'm leaving stuff behind and they're steady here and maybe it doesn't speak to anything beyond this lifetime, but I'm going to say that there's something that feels like that.

[00:19:08] Um, and maybe it just feels good for me to say, but, um, But that, that ultimately, they, they, you know, there's a way that between they and my ancestors, I came, I was brought back to this path, um, because for me, and not, you know, everybody has their own path in life, but for me, um, What I came to appreciate about my purpose in life, as it continues to evolve is that there's a place there's a role that I play within my family to help with some of this healing and it has required for me, um, what I've noticed, or at least it has taken on the form of a relationship between, you know, my spirit guides, my ancestors to kind of get me back to a place where I can still myself enough to listen, develop some of the tools that are needed to do some of the deeper level work that

[00:20:06] I may not have gotten on my own. And so I my spirit needed an initiatory process to be able to really delve into, um, you know, these, these places that, you know , I may not have on my own. And so they worked together. Um, they, the, the, um, deities, we call them Abosom, um, work together too with my ancestors to move me, you know, along a path that I received and I was open to.

[00:20:39] Um, yeah. So I think that's a long answer to the question, but, but I, you know, in something that I found in my experiences that, you know, we have, um, there, there are spirits and all of these different places and beings like plants and trees, and then there's spirits that live among them and that, um, and, and ancestral, uh, spirits, they're elemental they're like all these different forms. And, um, and we think that because he, as humans, we don't talk to each other or different populations so that they don't, but that's not true. There's all kinds of communication that happens. And in fact it could be said that, um, that, that what, who I may call one deity, uh, may be called by another population by another name and understood within that  context, you know, in, in with these particular characteristics and features.

[00:21:51] Um, so not only do spirits communicate outside of us, um, But sometimes they could also be the, you know, different manifestations of the very same within different populations. So, Hmm. Yeah. 

[00:22:11] Jeannette:I'm trying to figure the whole deity part out. I'm trying to better understand because that's somewhere where I'm just not, I don't know.

[00:22:23] I feel like it's my, my blockage. Like, I think I have a, I have a particularly hard head and I don't listen. I listen to the trees obviously, but sometimes I get messages from other things I'm like, you're not a tree. I don't know if I should listen to you, but it'll, it'll happen whenever it's time, the blockage will melt or whatever.

[00:22:48] It'll be whatever it's supposed to be. 

[00:22:50] Afriye:That's it it'll be what it's supposed to be. Cause you know, sometimes I don't, I think the, the key to ,maybe not the key, but a key to developing, um, you cultivating relationships is is kind of listening to that part of you me that is connected with the divine.

[00:23:14] And so we call it our gut sort of, you know, that there's something to it, to that. Um, and by listening. Um, and developing trust and listening and learning from mistakes. And listening that there, that there's something that grows, there's a muscle that grows in that. Um, so that in time you can, um, can sort of know, and then when you don't, because there's still that always that possibility, we're all different.

[00:23:44] And, you know, we have different ways that we can hear things, but, um, But, you know,  learning how to hear the particular people who walk with you each day and, you know, and even asking to speak to you in a particular form so that, you know, it's them and then developing that relationship. I hope this doesn't sound too, um, far out from what

[00:24:16] you, or maybe your listeners might be used to. I'm among people who talk in these ways pretty regularly. And so I think maybe sometimes I take for granted or the way that you and I started out, it was like, right. And so, Oh, okay. 

[00:24:38] Jeannette:This is fine. This is normal.

[00:24:45] Afriye:I'm like when you said you talked to plants here, so I'm like, yes. I know what you're talking about. Invisible people. Yes.

[00:24:52] Jeannette:It's kinda soothing when you can talk to somebody else about plant spirits because it's yeah, it's soothing. I find it soothing anyway.

[00:25:05] Cause I feel like the earth is so rich and so wants to. It wants everybody in harmony. So it's like, you know, there's just energies that want to bring everybody into harmony. So yeah, they're everywhere. There's just so much love around us. I sometimes feel bad because we get like, in our, like I'm stuck in our humaness, but also stuck in busy.

[00:25:28] So we don't necessarily receive all the love and all the support that's actually around us. Yeah, especially being a mom. I think it's very easy to get stuck in busy. So, which kind of question, like, how are you able, like when you had your daughter, what was your spiritual practice? Like? What was your spiritual pathway?

[00:25:56]Afriye:So she's my daughter's 27. She'll be 28. And, uh, Few months. And I had her when I was about, uh, 21 about close to 22. And I would say at that time where I was was I was beginning to explore, um, indigenous African spirituality, and I had I was being led there from, um, an interest in native American indigenous spirituality.

[00:26:33] And then in the medicine wheel, I think in particular. So I began to, I was exposed to that, to the medicine wheel when I was probably 19 or so once when I first went into college and from there I you know, was really, I started to really think and reflect, well, what is it? So I deeply appreciate it, that exposure.

[00:27:03] Um, because then, because it got me to thinking about, well, as a black woman, as an African descendant woman, what are our traditions? And, um, and I, I started to explore that and I, you know, I was in college at the time and I started to read about like initially Candomble and Lucumi, those were some of the ones that were.

[00:27:29] Um, most written about that I was able to see. And then, um, and then I wound up meeting someone who, whose mother was a priestess of Oshun I believe it was. And this young sister, she, she was a little bit younger than me. And, and I think, and I was working for this program at the college where I was like her mentor, a peer mentor.

[00:27:53] And, but I felt like she sort of mentored me in this area and would talk a lot, share a lot about, um, the IFA Orisha tradition. And so then I was, so I was still kind of exploring those concepts, those cultural, um, spiritual practices and cultures of the people who practice IFA Orisha at the time that I had my daughter.

[00:28:21] And so, um, It was initially I would say within six months I had started to take a different name. Ife is my, is the name that I began to be called by. And, um, and I gave her a name, uh, Nia, even though it wasn't in the, it's a different language, but when I saw the spirit of her personality start to emerge.

[00:28:51] Um, that felt like the right name for her. And so, but we still didn't have like a practice within a system. Um, and we just sort of remained, I remained really kind of open to earth based spiritual practices and, you know, spending a lot of time outdoors and trees barefoot talking to trees, which is who I, you know, I used to climb, I climb them as a kid and just always had a really special connection, real special connection with trees.

[00:29:25] And, and so it was, it was really, um,  no name, no particular system until, um, I wound up moving to Washington DC and, um, my peer group we we, uh, we're organizing a woman of color music and healing festival and through a set of relationships, wound up connecting with a group to the Circle of Light Society and invited them to, um, cleanse the land and seeing them there was something in it that was so familiar.

[00:30:05] I was just like, this is, this is it. And so then it was, it was then I was probably about 26 at the time. And my daughter was about four or five that, that I started to then move into a system of spiritual practice. 

[00:30:22] Jeannette:Wow. What was it like moving into a system of spiritual practice with your daughter,

[00:30:29] Afriye:you know, as a I would say it was beautiful a bit because I just did it. Um, but it was. Yeah, I think it, it, it felt really good because there was, we were surrounded by, uh, we were in a community of people. So, um, she had, there were children, her age, I wound up, um, About two years after meeting, um,  The Circle of Light Family.

[00:31:03] Um, I wound up moving into the shrine and with, with Nia and, um, and in the house, there were also young children. And so there was just like, there's a community of folks there that felt really good. You know, there were some moments that when we talk about it, now she was  a little terrified because, you know, um, there are some things that, that, um, that are unfamiliar or might be, you know, scary to see without for, for a young child or without context.

[00:31:39] Um, And, you know, sometimes when, when people get filled with spirit and start to move, you know, to young children, sometimes that's like, Oh, what's happening? You know? So there were, there are moments, but, um, definitely I think that she has family. And even when we went away, we were gone for a long time. I had lost contact with a few folks.

[00:32:05] Um, When we came back she's she just was re initiated into all of her aunties and cousins. And so it just felt really good that as an, uh, you know, we left when she was young, but, and then coming back as an adult, um, she has such a tremendous support system and now her daughter, um, my grand has, you know, a tremendous support system, aunties and cousins and all of that.

[00:32:38] I mean, that's one thing that's so it's, it's been so beautiful is, is, uh, value how valued families are and, um, I can't say across the board, because I'm sure there are challenges that some communities face, but just really feel blessed that with, within the community, that, that I was a part of that, you know, we have had a tremendous support network.

[00:33:06] Jeannette:You've talked a bit about how, like, Nia has helped you as she's gotten older. But when she was a child as like four and five and six, were there any ways that she kind of like blessed your path and supported you in, in knowing feeling even more deeply that this was the path for you? This was your tradition for you?

[00:33:27] Afriye:Hmm.

[00:33:28]That's a good question. I think a big impact that Nia had on me and I I've told her this over the years that I, I really believe that she saved my life and I know it's a huge responsibility to carry. It's something huge to say, but, you know, there were moments there where I really, I struggled with, you know, uh, sadness holding trauma.

[00:33:58] Trauma trauma from earlier instances of abuse and things like that. And, and there were times where I didn't want to, I didn't see a place for, for me in this world. Um, yeah. And, and I didn't know how I was gonna get through it if this was what life was and if this was how women were treated, girls, um, I didn't want to be a part of it.

[00:34:23] Um, Having her gave, repurposed my life at that age. And, um, and, and I've felt that I've wanted to her to know that throughout her life, that how important she was, not just for me, but I, but I did want to let her know how important she was to me, um, for that reason. And that, you know, she has her own

[00:34:53] purpose. That's why that name Nia resonated so deeply. Um, and as she came up and she's just, she's such a joy, she's a joy, she's just this. Um, and, and so she taught me a lot in her honesty and in her curiosity, and I've, I believe that the children who come to us through birth or other means that they have, they have their own, you know, paths and purposes and they have something to teach us too.

[00:35:30] And so I tried to be mindful of and open to what her teachings were for me as she was coming up. Uh, and you know, even in the really tough moments, um, like there are some decisions that I made that, you know, put her in positions where she was, you know, we've had to do some healing around it. You know, um, some of the ways I was rigid were, um, that didn't allow for her as a creative person to, to really grow and flourish in the ways that like her spirit needed in certain moments.

[00:36:11] And, um, I'm glad that one, we. She was able to share with me just the impact of that and that her healing process and now her creative pursuits, um, to really, you know, allow those areas to develop that I was too rigid when I was younger around. Um, but I say all that to say like at, uh, when she was younger, it felt like, uh, there was, I was much more

[00:36:41] free and open and receptive of, of her gifts. And then when I moved back to Detroit, there was, um, I think there were ways that I became a bit rigid and, um, Detroit didn't do this to me. There were other things, but, but I just sort of mark that time period, um, and ways that I think I was trying to survive and move forward.

[00:37:08] But, um, but as it turned out, my parenting of her personality happened in ways that, you know, were sort of, um, it's crushed her,  creativity in some ways. And so, you know, I don't know children don't come with instruction guides and 

[00:37:30] Jeannette:no

[00:37:31]Afriye:I don't, I don't know that. I don't know that I would want it. And at the same time, it just it's like we have to try to figure things out as we go. Um, but I know that's a super long way. She just has, she's just inspired me. The teenage years. There was a moment where, when she graduated from high school, we couldn't get away from each other fast.

[00:37:58] We can't get away fast enough, but that was very short. That was short lived. Um, it really was because I think there was just something that we both recognized, um, in one another and in our relationship that really needed to, um, to do some healing and some elevating and, and then, you know, she's just, she's my baby.

[00:38:22] She'll always be there. 

[00:38:24] Jeannette:Yeah. And even in this, you know, path that you're at, you're able to do is like facilitate deep work healing, work with her as well as you, as you need.

[00:38:38] Afriye:You know, it's interesting cause she started it. So I picked it up last year, but a few years ago I was trying to like, you know, I move, we were away. After six months that she was away, I was just like, I was crying and I was like, wait, I just need, I miss my, my girls. So Nia was the, what was my birth child.

[00:39:01] And then I, uh, had a, a child, a beautiful daughter that came to me later in life. Um, she's the same age as Nia, but she came into my life when she was initially, they were in the third grade, but moved in in the ninth grade. And so they both graduated the same year. They left home the same year and I was just like, I miss my babies.

[00:39:24] Uh, my, my young ladies, um, And so after about six months, I started like putting energy out in the universe. I was like, we gotta get, bring her home. Let's get this out. I need, I need my child back. So try to figure this out. And, and we wound up, um, moving together in Maryland, uh, just outside DC, uh, when she graduated from her undergrad, uh, and she, um, but she was just like, I there before I consent. And this is, she's just such a, I'm just so proud of, of the, you know, who is she is become. And she, she's just like, there's some things we have to talk about that, you know, I can't imagine living together without really dealing with these things.

[00:40:14] And I, you know, it was just so beautiful. And I was so humbled and I'm part of my, my ego was a little bruised, you know, cause I'm like I did my best and I tried and, you know, still there things to come to terms with. Um, and so I just really appreciated her. I appreciate her bravery, her courage to say that we needed to talk about these things, um, before

[00:40:46] we made that move and, and that was back, uh, that was about five years ago. And so, so she sort of initiated I would say this, the process that got us to this point where last year I could say, let's go deeper on some of these things and some of these questions and the things that we haven't addressed yet or where we need to

[00:41:17] go into, at this stage, you know, that we may have scratched the surface too, before, but needed to really dig in on, um, let's do it. And, and so I would say she really started this a few years ago.

[00:41:35]Jeannette:Wow. So in, in some ways it's like she's very much integral to your spiritual path in, in like the healing, right. of you of everybody. 

[00:41:52] Afriye:Yeah. I just appreciate the honesty. I think children are just so, so honest and they need our support to be honest, you know, like if we beat them every time they say something that, you know, like we create these conditions that, um, that make it hard. Um, But she, she, her honesty has just been so powerful, you know, and holding that mirror up.

[00:42:23]Jeannette:Yeah. I, I really love that you were able to keep the door open.

[00:42:29] And even heart open to hear. Cause I feel like you're you're right. Kids have so much to share sometimes even though it hurts to have a four year old tell you that you're wrong, you know, you're like, I know I'm wrong.

[00:42:43] I don't wanna hear from four year old, but he's right. 

[00:42:52]I want to be respectful of your time. So I have like one more question. Do you have like any sort of advice on like mothers following their own spiritual path, as, you know, as their children grow and kind of figuring out like what they want to do or even just kind of just continuing to walk as their children are growing, because sometimes that feels a little heavy too.

[00:43:16] So what kind of advice and mothers? Um,

[00:43:25] Afriye:I would say, um,

[00:43:28]What so interesting to hear that question. Cause I'm like, I feel like life is always teaching me something. Um, I would say as a parent, um, to find ways to attend to your, your heart, your spirit and what it needs, um, children see what we do and they learn, uh, how to handle things based on what they observe us doing for good, for bad, for different, um, and where we are, um, consistent in our own practice with what we tell them, then that is incredibly powerful.

[00:44:21] Um, so that's one thing is the, is, is really, is attending to your, your spirit, your health and wellbeing. And, um, and, and I guess the second thing is, is also doing what you say or, or doing, doing, living in our lives, what we're asking them to be and do in their lives. Um, and I would say those as being really connected to spirituality, um, because it allows for a kind of, um, strengthened trust, you know, with those who we will be  close with and, um, And then also a trust in their selves.

[00:45:07] Like, you know, if I'm feeling this, can I trust that this is what I'm feeling? If I'm seeing that, you know, my parent is feeling something, but they're doing something different about it, you know? So there's like a, and it's not to put all the weight on the parent, but there's something to, there's so much that children learn and how we, you know, are in the world.

[00:45:34] Um, and then I would say, um, as a parent, I know that sometimes it's, it's tough. We talked earlier about, you know, the busy-ness of life distractions, the worries, the stress. And sometimes we don't really see our children or hear them, um, for who they are and, you know, and they tell us who they are and what they're drawn to and interested in.

[00:46:07] And so if, if there's a way for us to create the space in our lives, to hear that and to see that and, um, to provide loving support and guidance, uh, on that, uh, around that, you know, so where there's a curiosity about. Uh, well, regardless of the gender of the child, if there's a curiosity, uh, about, uh, flowers, plants, trees, if there's a curiosity about water engines, you know,  whatever, then the, what are the opportunities to learn and to support, regardless of what we think our children should or certain be in the world, but to allow for, for this to grow. And then if we see that our children are drawn to um, squashing bugs or stepping on or pinching animals or, you know what I mean, hitting people, like, I think there's a way to sort of, to, to guide, like there was something I was thinking about earlier and something you said, like, there's like, there's a balance to kind of guide children and how to

[00:47:20] be good partners and, and, uh, and, and people in the world that are connected with others and not as individuals, but part of community. So there's a way to bring people up to recognize and appreciate that. Um, Versus letting them do whatever they want all the time. Anytime, you know, like there are rules and there are thing their way, but we want children to grow up and learn, um, rules that are sort of grounded in, um, fundamental principles of, of, of, of, of life, of, of seeing that we're a part of a larger community of respecting the life that's around us.

[00:48:01] Um, uh, you know, cultivating a kind of curiosity, like we don't want children to not be curious because then as adults, um, there's a kind of curiosity that isn't there and we're more apt to, uh, not question authority to follow rules in ways that can be incredibly harmful to us. And so. Yeah. Like those are some, some things like cultivating allowing for children to like seeing and noticing and listening to children and providing that loving guidance in their lives.

[00:48:39] Um, so I would say those are a couple of things that can go a really long way. Um, there were times that my daughter, I had an idea, um, for how she should be. Or what you should do with life. Like, you know, felt like she needed to get her master's go get a PhD, like continue all the way through, um, And I just so appreciate who she was because she was open to talking about no mom.

[00:49:14] Um, I am not interested in that. And you know, and so then I had to like sit down and. And listen, cause I was always coming out that the box, I mean, that's just who I, this is, this is my character. And so I was just like, I had an idea and I needed to get that, you know, time has allowed for me to kind of evolve in that.

[00:49:35] But when I was younger, I was really intense about this is the way it should be. And I just appreciate her saying. It was the way you, it works for you, but, but not for you, me. And so I feel like at this stage and age in my life, I can say that, you know, uh, she's helped me to grow in that area, just so you know, she was allowed to really blossom and grow, um, in the work that she's doing and the ways that she's impacting others because of the path that she chose, not because of the path that I thought she should have chosen.

[00:50:10] And so. Yeah, that's just an example of that, you know, kind of hearing. And, um, and there are so many folks who are discouraged from being, uh, you know, artists or pursuing paths because it's parents say, Oh, that's not going to bring you resources, or you have to have a backup. And so in a way it's like this passion that might have really become something.

[00:50:41] Um, sometimes get squashed as we come up in the world because the world is telling us that in spite of what our spirits are saying, it's, you don't need to listen to that, you know, subject yourself to the wisdom of the world and know that you can't do this, or there's not support to do that. You know what I mean?

[00:51:04] And it just it's, so it's, it's painful. I'm, I'm just, I feel really fortunate to have had the children in my life who I've had, um, because I've, I've been able to get some really powerful lessons and I think grow in tremendous ways because of what they've shown me.

[00:51:28] Jeannette:Hmm, that's beautiful. But also like you've been open to it.  I feel like with COVID   children seem to get crushed and forgotten and just not cherished like they ought to be. And. And I, I guess like just the, like the older the children get the more I'm like, okay.

[00:51:48] They just need to be like protected in the sense of like shown  how to keep your light lit despite something else wants to grow with them. Because I just, yeah, that's like a whole nother conversation around just kind of children sometimes having their lights smushed by life. Yeah. I, the further we get, the more I just kind of get, like, I don't know if the world really appreciates  children for what they bring us and, what they really mean in the sense of just the love and the wisdom and the endless possibilities that they are just walking around. 

[00:52:30] Afriye:Yeah. And we don't do that with each other, like as adults. And so it's like so much of that. Like I, it was a flash came to my mind when you were saying the COVID.

[00:52:44] Um, so many of the parents are just like at the end of ropes and unsupported and you know, what might it look like if we like heard each other and saw each other and supported one another in a ways that, um, Yeah, we talk about what children need and grown ups need that too. And families need that and, you know

[00:53:10] yeah. Wow. I feel like, yeah. I feel like we could be talking for hours. 

[00:53:18]Jeannette:I want to be respectful of your time Thank you so much for your time. And for being here. 

[00:53:26] Afriye:Thank you. I really appreciate the questions and the opportunity to just reflect on these, uh, on my relationship with my daughter and my grand and their role in my spirituality.

[00:53:40] And it's so beautiful. Thank you for that.

[00:53:45]Jeannette:Yeah. If this has been beautiful, this has been very inspirational. So thank you.


[00:53:49] Yeah, right. I just, I felt so loved and hugged and just from the inside out, I felt so good after doing this interview felt affirmed in my motherhood and everything was going to be all right. So I pray that you feel good too. After listening, I pray that this has been a blessing for you and that you feel nourished and nurtured

[00:54:15] and prospered in your path and blessed in your path. Right? Cause that's what this is all about. Any who again, if you want to learn more about Okomfo Dr. Ife Afriye Kilimanjaro, you can check out her website and medewnefer.com, M-E-D-E-W-N-E-F-E-R.com. And, you know, thank you for listening.

[00:54:42] Thank you for being here and thank you for rolling with me. If you enjoy this, I pray that you, you like it, if you can like it, uh, whatever platform you're listening on, that you subscribe. And if you have an opportunity to write a review, please write a nice one. If you're like, you know, I'm swinging, I really want to support this woman and her shenanigans with other mothers feel free to slip me some change at Paypal.me/ritualmama.

[00:55:13] All right. So for the next interview, Which will be broken up into two interviews. We're going to be talking to Mambo Elizabeth Ruth of Big Liz Conjure. Um, yeah, it was wild interviewing Mambo Liz Ruth. It was wild in a good way. I had to calm myself down because I do these interviews at night. Because I'm in France and everybody else's in America.

[00:55:41] So it was like midnight and I'm like, I'm too excited to sleep. I'm too juiced from the joy of this conversation to sleep wig, all peeled back- like I've been to a party it was a good time. So looking forward to editing it and getting it to you because she shares a lot of wisdom. Anyway, thanks for listening.

[00:56:04] I will see you guys in about a month. Because don't forget, I'm burnt out and I'm fitting to move too.

[00:56:14] I will see you in a month. Thanks again for being here. Stay blessed. Peace.