Ash • Program Coordinator at Soul 2 Soul Sisters, Energy Worker, Yoga Facilitator, Pleasure Doula, Spiritual Advisor
Ash was born and raised in South Carolina and moved to Denver in 2009. Growing up, Ash was nourished and nurtured by a village of Black women. Their tenacious testimony of Black womanhood instilled in her an unwavering spirit and inspired her to become a truth teller and channel. Ash is devoted to liberation, and her primary work is centered on decolonizing love and using spirituality as a tool for collective liberation.
Ash holds a Bachelor of Arts in Feminist and Queer Studies from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is trained in Indigenous Reiki, Nada Ear Acupuncture, Intuitive Psychotherapy, and is a certified yoga instructor through Satya Yoga Cooperative. She is also an Aborisha in the Ifá tradition, an Indigenous African nature-based spirituality, and deeply believes that the personal is not only political, but spiritual.
Today, she is actively working to exist between binaries, a journey filled with deep unlearning, self acceptance, and love. She is rewriting her script and defining herself for herself, and it is beautiful. During our conversation we talked about her evolution of self in Denver and how being here is a powerful experience. When I asked Ash to describe Denver in one word, she replied, “transforming.” Keep reading to learn what it means to be her, here
Who are you?
At the core of who I am I feel like I am: air, water, fire, wind. I feel like I am light, galaxies, portals. I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams and prayers. I am figuring it out for myself and just open to making a different decision, changing my mind, and trying to stay on that frequency. I carry all of that within me, and any moment I can tap into it. I am a conjurer, a truth teller, I am a medicine woman, I am magic, and working on being fearless. Defying what the world tells me I should do, and not giving a fuck. I am queer. I love women and I love loving women.
What does it mean to be you?
It means embodying play, pleasure, and liberation. That’s me. I feel like I don’t want to do anything that doesn’t give me pleasure. Tapping into liberation and all manifestations of life, mind, body, spirit. Tapping into liberation in the things that I put on my body, what I eat, how I am making love to my lover. All of the things that can liberate a person, that’s what I am.
What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?
It means to be constantly expanding. I feel like being Black in Denver, we have to take up our own space. There’s no space that’s gonna be given to us, so we have to create it. And so just learning to expand my energy, my being, my voice, my work, and not being afraid of taking up that space.
Taking up space, that’s come up a few times. Tell me more about expanding.
I just see myself reaching my arms out to myself or spreading my wings out, a full span, pushing out my aura, not closing in. Because it’s so easy to close in white spaces, it’s so easy to contract yourself, and feel like you have to – to be safe. And so how do I expand my aura, my bubble, and know that nobody can penetrate them and just walk in my full power. That’s definitely a practice every day before I leave my house. I am like, “Alright, let’s just put this all the way out and nothing can penetrate this. I am protected.”
Tell me about liberation.
I love nature – people call me “granola” and say “you’re a hippie” and all of these things, and I’m like, “Okay” – I’m okay with that. That doesn’t bother me. I feel like liberation is just being who you are and not caring about anybody else’s critique, not caring about what they have to say. Showing up fully. That’s why I appreciate my job so much, because I can bring all parts of me there. I can bring my spirituality, my magic, my intuition, my weirdness. I’m like, “I’m gonna go on a hike for three hours instead of working today,” and my colleagues are like, “Ok, count that as your hours.” Seeing that work isn’t always sitting behind the computer. Sometimes the work that we have to do is internal, and that has to be a part of leading us to our liberation as well, leading us to our healing.
What do you love most about living in Denver?
I think Denver is so beautiful. My intention is to be super present and to always see the beauty around me, whether it’s in a pebble on the ground or the mountains miles away or the sunset. Just taking in the beauty of everything.
How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?
I feel like I have really been able to step into my queer identity more, especially as a non-binary person. One day I might wake up and I feel super femme, and I’m like, “alright, cool” and the next day I might wake up and I feel super boi, and I’m like, “alright” and either way I’m received. I don’t have to choose. And I feel like Denver has provided me that space of embodying both sides of myself. Instead of my experience of the South, where it’s like, “Are you a femme or are you a stud?” You can’t be in between there. I feel like over the last 11 years being here, I’ve just become more comfortable with that part of myself, rather than feeling like I have to be one or the other.