I’m a first generation Filipino-American born and raised in Chicago. My upbringing consisted of home cooked Filipino meals, Virgin Mary altars, and a mix of Tagalog and English.
We lived in a small 3 bedroom ranch in the city with 12 family members – my mom and dad, aunt and uncle, my two sisters, three cousins, both grandmothers and I. My sisters and I slept like sardines in one bed or on the floor. My most memorable times were when our cousins, sisters, and I would take the cushions off the couch to build one huge fort in the living room, laughing and playing until we passed out.
The Catholic school I attended at the end of the alley was full of diversity. There were Asians, African Americans, Indians, Eastern Europeans, Latinos, and everything in between. My friendships throughout high school, college, and beyond remained the same rainbow of colors.
Our crew looked like the United Colors of Benetton ads in the 80’s. Remember those? Except as you can see, we’re not all wearing red and hot pink but we look just as happy to be together.
In January 2013, I attended a talk that was being given by legendary artist and Hip Hop Master Teacher KRS-One called “Hip Hop and Purpose.” As I walked into the Arts Factory, scanned the room to see who was there, my body dropped into this peaceful feeling of coming home again.
The crowd of people represented every facet of our planet through the colors of their skin. This felt “normal” to me.
Being surrounded by and embraced in cultural melting pot of language, creativity, stories, and wisdom was food for my soul.
First of all, KRS-ONE snapped! His talk was a paradigm shift and still blows my mind till today. He raised awareness about the Divine Feminine, sacred geometry, the mystics, Hip Hop, Soul and living on purpose.
I reached out to him after his talk to show my gratitude and we spoke about how I teach meditation and intuition development.
Like a messenger from Spirit he encouraged me with these words, “Our community needs someone like you who can teach us the inner technology of the Soul.”
Inspired indeed by the entire experience, I also left feeling empty too. Empty because I realized I missed this diversity. So I asked myself this.
Why am I not seeing this kind of multicultural diversity in the Spiritual community?
If Spirituality is all about oneness then why is the community consisted mainly of one race and not all?
Yoga classes, meditation classes, spiritual retreats, psychic development workshops, wellness and holistic centers that I’ve been to in Vegas as well as other major cities in America lack this cultural diversity.
I haven’t quite found research on Spirituality and Diversity as a whole but there’s a lot of talk about this in the Yoga community including this fantastic documentary by Global Mind Body: Yoga and Diversity that explores race, gender, and class in Yoga.
According to the 2012 Yoga in America Study, 82.2% of the people who practice yoga are female and 68% earn an annual income of more than $75,000 with 71% being college graduates. These statistics show that the majority of the people practicing yoga are highly educated and wealthy women.
If this is the case, meditation classes, alternative therapies, energy healers and such are not accessible to communities of color that tend to fall into a lower income demographic. You won’t find yoga studios or holistic wellness centers in these neighborhoods.
I also believe that when media and publications portrays Spirituality, Yoga, and Wellness with imagery of Caucasian men and women with slender and “perfect” bodies, and this is what’s seen in our local classes and centers, we (non-white) or even people with various body types may find it difficult to relate or connect to.
Yet these Spiritual practices of meditation, yoga, sacred ritual, drumming, chanting, and the list goes on, come from ancient practices in Asia, Africa, South America and Native America.
Growing up, I’ve always felt like I fit in and I easily made friends with anybody, regardless of what race or gender they were. But there is a noticeable gap in the Spiritual community that causes me to question the lack of diversity.
Because I know I’m not the only one with brown skin that’s an intuitive, energy healer, Spiritual teacher and student, advocate for personal development and change, a rebel Goddess who loves crystals, listens to her intuition, is a freedom fighter, practices meditation, sips on green juice, and adores purposeful living.
Many people have told me that they come to me because I’m in this field and I am a woman of color. They feel they can relate to me because my skin reflects their skin and I understand what it means to grow up first generation, to have parents from another country with different expectations that reflect their culture, and to break the ancestral energies that keep us stuck in these expectations in order to live our purpose.
I didn’t realize the importance of this until I kept hearing it from the I Love Intuition community. There are people who will relate to you because you look like them. Because you understand everything that goes along with being from a specific ethnic background.
It’s similar to meeting someone who grew up in the same city as you. There’s an automatic bond that forms subconsciously between you two.
Each of us creates a ripple effect of love to those we serve, our relationships, and by living consciously.
The more we create ways to make these practices accessible, the more diverse this community can be.
I remember being in a psychic development workshop and this Filipina woman came up to me and asked if I was Filipina.
After I told her I am, she went on to say, “I hardly ever meet another Filipina doing this work too.”
I know. Me neither.
In my quest of asking why is it like this?
A voice said, “Just create what you want.”
And so the intention is set that I Love Intuition is a multicultural and diverse community that reflects the true oneness of Spirit.
No matter what culture, ethnic background, gender, or part of this glorious earth you are from, you have a home right here.
I will continue to walk this path, trusting my intuition, practicing meditation, expressing my creativity, and being the change I wish to see.
I will continue to create shifts in I Love Intuition in order to reach out and find ways to bring mindfulness, heart centered living, and soulful expression into the hands of those that may not have access to such practices.
I’m excited to step into this and I invite you to share your ideas and what you are up to as well. If you’re a woman or man of color, a Spiritual leader, wellness warrior, empowerment junkie, or advocate for positive living, I’d love to know what magic you’re up to! Namaste.