69: The Blueprint Journey in Ghana

The origin of my folks started way before slavery and was interrupted by colonization.”

- Asha Wilkerson, Esq.

Episode Summary:

Today, we get a quick look at what the upcoming Blueprint Ghana trip will look like and some of the focuses for the journey. While only some things are in place and finalized, the foundation for the trip has been set, and it is happening! Connecting with ancestral homes can have many impacts, and one of the deepest of these is a return to self and the shifts that this can bring. 

Black History in America is always presented as beginning with slavery, and there is a profound power in broadening that lens and the increased possibilities that this manifests. So, if you are interested in learning more, listen in today and sign up for more information on the website.

What You’ll Learn On This Episode:

  • [01:03] Reflections on the meaning and lessons of traveling to Ghana in 2022
  • [04:30] How the trip allowed a change of perspective on roots and ambitions
  • [06:47] Traveling and getting out of the hustle culture of the US
  • [07:39] What makes Ghana a special place to visit as an American? 
  • [08:59] Balancing sightseeing and mindful activities on the trip
  • [10:43] Frustrations about the common ways Black History is presented

Resources Mentioned:

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[0:00:20.3] AW: Okay, okay. I am so excited to share with you what this journey to Ghana is going to look like. Now, full disclosure, I don’t have all of the details planned out just yet and I am working with an awesome, awesome guide in Ghana named Tete, who I cannot wait for you all to meet, putting together this blueprint journey to Ghana. So that people of African descent can return home, not just to Ghana but also spiritually, mentally, emotionally home to themselves, and view the blueprint and determine who and how we want to be. 

So let me start at the very beginning. As you all know, I went to Ghana in September of 2022 and I had a pretty good time. And I remember thinking, all of these folks have gone to Africa and being really, really super judgmental. People who come back, wearing all the Kente cloth and African made fabric and all the beads and all of that stuff, but I’m like, “You went to our country for a couple of weeks and now all of a sudden, you have this super close tie.” Well, that didn’t happen exactly to me and this also wasn’t my first time in Ghana.

[0:01:34.7] But I will say that something transformative did happen in Ghana that hadn’t happen when I went to Kenya or Zanzibar, and I want to tell you all about it or I told you a little bit before, but what I really learned in my trip in Ghana was that even though logically, I knew that there was so much history for black people in the world, pre-colonization, pre-slave trade in America, I never really got to learn about that history until I took a class in college or studied a little bit on my own. 

But as we are growing and learning about things as African-American people or as people of African descent, our journey, the beginning of our story is always told from slavery. From this place of torture, from this place of death, from this place of starvation, from this place of being subjugated to just inhumane and cruel treatment. That’s not a great origin story at all, no matter how you look at it. 

So, what was transformative for me in Ghana was to learn about folks who are presumably my ancestors came from West Africa. And to hear about what life was happening or how life was happening before colonization, and it was such an empowering transformation because it made me realize that the origin of my folks, even though logically I knew but emotionally I didn’t really know, the origin of my folks did not start at this awful time in history. 

That was a moment in time but the origin of my folks started way before that and were interrupted by colonization. So just if you think about it, if you were to make the analogy of how to parent, your mom was in jail and you were told your whole life that you were born in prison, that your mom was incarcerated and had done all these things, and that’s your origin story.

[0:03:22.2] But then you later on find out that, “Oh no, your mom wasn’t always in prison. Actually before she went to prison, she was this successful, wildly talented, free spirit, just doing the damn thing person and then happened to go to prison and then that’s where you were born” right? 

There’s a difference between how you view yourself if you feel like you were born in prison, versus understanding that prison has been, still is a moment in time. I hope that analogy makes sense but it was really transformative for me. So what Ghana did was it really allowed me to look at myself in a different light and it really allowed me to see all of the systems and challenges that had been placed before black folks across the world, before brown folks across the world, due to colonization. 

Everything from family dis-unification to not allowing people to be successful in education to, you know, defunding housing and changing the family structure, all of those things happen really early on and you can see the parallels and the systems that have continued.

[0:04:25.9] So what does that mean? How does this relate to this journey back to Ghana? It changed my perspective on who I’ve come from on where I’ve come from and it really honestly, just made me feel like I’ve got so much more to live up to and folks in my lineage have already done it because we weren’t always enslaved people.

So it made me realize how strong my ancestors are, for me to be sitting here today but it also, maybe want to overcome whatever limitations society has put on me, whatever limitations I have accepted mentally and emotionally and I want to help open that door for all of you who would like to go.

As I was talking about what this trip was going to look like with Tete, my counterpart who is planning it for you all, he came up with the blueprint, right? There are some origin stories, scientifically speaking, humanity began in Africa and there was a, let’s say, there was a plan, there was a pattern of behavior. 

There was societies in Africa, pre-Muslim or Arab colonization, pre-European colonization. There were people who were living just fine, having great lives, right? And with colonization, with transportation of people, we have gotten so far away from our, let’s say, original design or from our blueprint that we don’t even know what it really means, right? 

[0:05:49.0] It is hard to extrapolate who we really are from what people have said that we can be or who other people have said that we are. So the idea is to go to Ghana, to a place where you can be surrounded by folks who look like you, who can relate to you and to experience some things from history told on the continent to some, you know, spiritual kind of emotional works so that you can begin to decide and uncover your own blueprint.

Who do you want to be, who do you say that you are? Who are you deciding that you are going to be? And then you bring that back home with you so that everything you do is motivated, filtered through this lens of, “No, I know who I am and I am choosing to accept or to reject whatever’s coming at me because I have a better understanding of who I am and who I can be.”

Now, the purpose of actually going to Ghana and to do it is a couple of things, right? One, for me, travel is huge in my life. Travel allows me to get out of the day-to-day grind, right? It changes the four walls that I’m looking at and it allows me to see the way other people live, how other people are doing things and I get to measure that think critically about that against what I’m doing in my regular life, right?

In America, it’s grind and hustle culture, there are very limited definitions of success. There’s all of the shoulds in terms of how we’re supposed to be and what we can do and what we can be and traveling and seeing people live, thriving full lives in other parts of the world, really helps me to think about what do I want to accept and not accept in my own life. So that’s one reason to go to Ghana. 

[0:07:37.1] Two, on the west coast and maybe you can do this in any of the western countries but specifically in Ghana, folks speak English. So it’s easy to communicate but there is a history that everybody knows and it’s really different to have that history told by the colonized as opposed to the colonizer, right?

The Ghanaians who were telling us the history weren’t holding any punches. It wasn’t like, “Oh, well, black people came willingly to America.” No, they were like, “Look, this is what happened” but he idea is to be able to go to a place and really think about what are some of the things that we believe about ourselves and are those really true. 

Just to give ourselves the space and the opportunity to think critically about it, to be exposed to different ways of thinking about ourselves and viewing ourselves and to do that in a space with folks who also want the best for you and are willing to share their beliefs and practices to see what resonates, right?

It’s not an indoctrination trip, so I’m not telling you what you have to believe but I think… I would never tell you what you have to believe but I do want to create the opportunity for you to think for yourself about what is actually true, who am I, where do I come from and how do I want to be moving forward.

[0:08:55.6] So I am really, really, really excited about this trip to Ghana. Of course, we will go see these sites that must be seen but it will also include things like waking up every morning, maybe doing a meditation session or a yoga session or breathe work session or all three of those. 

We will have some group activities where we will process together and some individual activities where we will process by ourselves but I guarantee you that there will be some kind of a change, some kind of enlightenment and I don’t know when and where it’s going to come but I think that if you allow yourself the opportunity to go, you will be pleasantly surprised and I am really, really, really excited to share this opportunity with you.

So, so far, we know that the dates are going to be August 4th through 13th. If you were interested, I would ask that you get on the wait list and so you can go to thewilkersonlawoffice.com/ghanainfo and sign up for the wait list for more information about the trip and we are finalizing all of the details now so I can’t tell you everything that’s going on because I don’t know exactly.

We’re still finalizing with different places, where we’re going to stay, the different activities that we’re going to do. We know that we’re going to do this trip and we will give you enough notice that you can save up enough to pay for it. We’ll figure out the pricing once we figure out all of the things that we’re going to do. So it will be thewilkersonlawoffice.com/ghanainfo or you can also go to Instagram and click the link in my bio and sign up for Ghana info, there’s no commitment but you’ll just be on a list, so I can make sure I get you the information.

[0:10:36.9] That is one of the first things that I have that I’m really excited to share with you and I think, particularly, I didn’t even mention that it’s Black History Month and you know, kind of cliché, maybe that I’m talking about this during Black History month.

But I also want to share with you a couple of weeks ago or in beginning of January, I went to the national museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington DC, the “Blacksonian” and the Black Smithsonian and I was there with a friend of mine.

We started at the bottom of the exhibit and of course, it starts with slavery and I, as all museums of African-American history do in the United States and I, for that time, even though it’s important to understand and know, this particular time, I was so frustrated with, again, this story, like our origin story, even though it’s African-American folks, African-Americans were created with slavery in America but you know, the story always starts there. 

I mentioned at the beginning of the story, always starts there with enslavement, with being transported across the Atlantic and it’s depressing, you all. It is really depressing not that we don’t need to know about it but we also need to know about more that is more uplifting, more empowering because it hasn’t always been tragedy and strife and hardship and subjugation. 

[0:11:52.9] There is more to our histories, more in our lineage and I want us to be able to connect to that, even though it’s hundreds of years passed, right? That’s still in our bloodline, that’s till in our DNA, that’s still in our blueprint, hello, and I want us to connect to that a little bit more. 

So that’s also part of the reason why I’m so motivated to do this journey. I won’t say that it’s a retreat, there will be some time for relaxing but it’s not, you know, not a rest and restore retreat. It’s more like a come and discover journey and we are all trying to get to the same destination of just being more of who we are and each person’s path will look a little bit different and I would love to be one of the stops that you take on your path. 


[0:12:36.1] AW: All right, that is it for me today. Don’t forget to connect with me on IG, Asha Wilkerson ESQ. You can go to the link in bio to get more information about the Ghana retreat. You can also go directly to the website, thewilkersonlawoffice.com/ghanainfo, and get more information and I will continue to bring you uplifting and empowering podcast episodes, particularly through the month of February through Black History Month but throughout the year as well, you know, working on our spiritual, emotional and business transformation all at once. 

All right, love you all. If you can also go rate and review the podcast, Transcend The Podcast, I would really, really appreciate it. All right, see you all next week.


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