EP#28 Re-membering You, Re-membering Joy wth ONYI
In this episode of Your Story Medicine, I welcome ONYI, an artist and healer dedicated to guiding her clients through their journey of awareness, self-love, and healing. Using powerful tools including Pure Bioenergy, Sound Healing, Spiritual Life Coaching, Ritual & Ceremony, and wisdom gained from her studies with elders, life experiences, and observations, she assists you in remembering that you have the power to transform and be in command of your existence.
ONYI speaks to us about how to see life as a ceremony, how her ancestral lineage led her down the path she currently walks, and how that same lineage helped her come to the realization that the power found in every religion and belief system—all the good and the bad—is found within. Towards the end of the episode, ONYI facilitates a powerful healing meditation that will help you become grounded and centered as well as feel renewed and refreshed, all while giving life back to the atmosphere that will eventually benefit someone else.
Where are you currently calling home and how would you describe your medicine?
ONYI: I call Los Angeles my home. My medicine is to reflect that we are a bridge between the ancient and the new—as above, so below. We are divinity walking in these material/physical bodies. We are reflections of everything and we have access to everything within all of us that we can tap into at any given point depending on whatever circumstances are showing up in our lives. We are channeling our personalities at every given moment. It’s a matter of being who we truly are, whatever that looks like because that’s what our spirits are wanting in that moment. I look at life as a ritual and a ceremony and look at everything as an opportunity to learn and grow. The idea that you have to be any one given way is not true. Thinking or believing otherwise blocks the flow of spirit, life, and existence.
How can we see life as a ceremony?
ONYI: We all have routines. Brushing our teeth is a routine. We have been doing them automatically since childhood and we will continue to do so until we leave this Earth. Ceremony comes when we take a physical action and, while doing it, tap into the spiritual. Find the higher purpose. For example, when I brush my teeth, I’m not just cleaning my teeth, but cleaning away whatever no longer serves me. I’m doing a movement that is taking that energy away so that I’m starting as a blank slate.
What is your ancestral lineage and how has that influenced your medicine today?
ONYI: On my mother’s side, I’m Yoruba, and on my dad’s side I’m Igbo; so, I’m very African. I grew up with African-ness. There was never a question about it yet traditionally, spiritually, and religiously, I grew up with Christianity without any awareness of the indiginous practices of my people. After taking classes in Afro-Latin percussion instruments in college (which I took just to find two units to fill my schedule) I was floored to discover that I knew nothing about a tradition that my mom grew up with. That was a door-opener for me to remember myself through arts and music, and it grew dramatically from there. That was 2003. We’re now at 2020 where I’m an initiate into òrìṣà. No matter where we’re from, we are all manifestations and expressions of the One. How we approach it or describe it—no matter what we call the deities—it’s all valuable and relevant and worthy. For anyone to demonize or elevate one tradition over another is a bogus, bullshit idea. That’s an insult to existence.
What was that journey of reclamation like for you and how did that affect your Christian upbringing?
ONYI: It’s funny because right now, I’m studying the Bible with someone else who is also a practitioner of Ifa but is also an ordained minister. I think that’s an interesting thing that would trip people up. The message is the message is the message. Growing up, I was uber Christian. I went to church every day, was in the choir, took my Bible to school, and all that. The energy of comparison was something that I tapped into as a child. What I perceived as a young kid after service were these very visceral, emotional outbursts that made me doubt myself because I’ve never had that experience and thought it didn’t make me a good Christian. By the time I was in college, I couldn’t even call myself a Christian anymore. I took a step back, and that actually opened me up to learning about this tradition that belongs to me, while accepting Christianity as just another expression of the same message. Fast-forward to today, and now I can look at Christianity from a different perspective.
How did you bridge this indiginous reclamation with Christianity?
ONYI: I stripped away the idea of Christianity and I recognized that all traditions, all rituals, and all ceremonies are tools to help us be more of who we are. I recognized that people have used the tool that we call Christianity and carved their own paths out of it. We are all paths, and our reflections show others that they can follow their own path, no matter what form that belief takes. Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, or Orunmila—we deified them. They didn’t deify themselves. They were just living their lives. But because we forget that we are empowered, we have to see some external thing that is more powerful. That’s why we create heroes and villains. But, really, we’re all of it, inside of ourselves.
What did your life look like before you identified as a healer?
ONYI: I was in corporate America for almost 15 years, working in financial services full-time. I’m grateful to all the deities and ancestors for my career because it gave me the finances that I needed and I had flexibility. But I struggled with anxiety because I knew I wanted to do things outside of my job. In 2018, my company was purchased and everybody lost their jobs. That opened the door for me to step into the work I do now. Now, I live in the idea of trust and embracing what life both gives and takes away from me, without anxiety.
As you navigate this journey of spirituality and entrepreneurship, what have you been doing to stay grounded and what is that that you’ve learned to release?
ONYI: My spiritual practice with Ifa and anything else that I’ve learned from other practices that aren’t Ifa-specific have helped me with staying grounded. When I wake up in the morning, I pray and say thank you for being given the gift to wake up that day. I honor Ifa. I pray to my ancestors and the deities. Doing those daily rituals really helps to ground me throughout my days. I also steer clear from the idea of perfection and the tendency to compare myself to others that comes with it, and instead focus on the energy of precision in everything I do and in who I am.
As a future ancestor, what would you tell your younger self who is still in financial services and is yet to start her journey?
ONYI: Be patient and enjoy the process. Find the joy in everything. See it all as a blessing and an opportunity to grow.
Conclusion: The message is the message is the message. Realize that the power of any religion and belief system is found in you. Be who you are fully. Be compassionate about where you’re currently at in your journey and the role you play in society.
Action Integration: Find time this week to get grounded and centered. Put your feet on the ground. Breathe—inhaling and exhaling with ease. Feel that breath giving you life as it circulates throughout your body. Exhale everything that no longer serves you back into the atmosphere, where it will be transmuted into something somebody else will use.
Learn more about ONYI and her offerings:
Visit her website: www.onyi.love
Follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/onyi.love
Connect with her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/onyiloveone