Jhené Aiko and spirituality go hand-in-hand. That's why when she speaks up about her journey, the world stops and listens. Aiko has always been the gem that we can rely on to soothe our day and reduce us to a space of tranquility. Her ascension is enamoring, happily welcoming us along for the journey of love and peace on the search for love. For years we have thrown on her music for all life’s scenarios: happiness, anger, sexuality, and shit, just lighting some candles and downright enjoying being high.
Just this year, while everybody and their mamas are launching some kind of beauty line, the mother-of-two shared a new venture rooted in wellness and spirituality that centered on sound bowls, ranging from $700-$1,200. But Aiko isn't new to this spirituality ish, she's true to it. The 32-year-old even brought us along for the ride for her Grammy-nominated, Chilombo where she curated crystal sound bowls or “singing bowls” into each of the songs on the album.
Aiko used these sound healing bowls under each track to activate a particular chakra in the listener, which she elaborated on for GQ’s The Drop-In. “The bowls I use are not your typical white crystal bowls. They’re infused with different gemstones and minerals and metals. I have one that’s ruby and platinum, so the properties of the ruby are contributing to the vibrations of that particular bowl. They all sound different each time I play them.” She performed a melody of all the above in 2021 on her YouTube Channel.
Although the album is a great place to start for anyone interested in getting aligned with their own chakras, the good news is that she’s also shared a few books that she welcomes as resources to help her navigate through her spiritual journey.
Keep reading to learn why the songwriter believes these books could help us tap into our higher -- pun intended if you so choose -- selves.
'Becoming Supernatural' by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Of the book, she tells GQ, “This one is the most important one. The way that [Dr. Dispenza] writes and explains everything is so simple. He does a great job of explaining the mystical and the scientific. It’s a very easy read, with practical techniques to apply to your life. The power of thinking, the power of thought, the power of manifesting."
'No Death, No Fear' by Thich Nhat Hanh
”...This particular book, I got when I was around 17, and when my brother passed it was very helpful. He explains how there is no birth or death. Things manifest when conditions are right, and things go away when conditions are not right. And he just explains how everything exists because of everything else. So there is no me without you, there is no rain without the clouds, there is no paper without the rain. He breaks it down so beautifully and so poetically," she explains to GQ.
'Exploring Inner Space' by Christopher Hills and Deborah Rozman
”...It’s a bunch of games to explore your inner world. You’re supposed to do it in a group setting, between two to eight people. It’s broken down into the chakras," she explains. "...It follows the chakra system. Whoever wrote this book was really in tune with something. But it’s all very practical.”
Read the complete list of Aiko's favorite books over on GQ.
Featured image by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Jhene Aiko
Charmin Michelle is a southern native and creative spirit who works as a content marketer and events manager in Chicago. She enjoys traveling, #SummertimeChi, and the journey of mastering womanhood. Connect with her on Instagram @charminmichelle.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images