My Spiritual Journey to Becoming a Holistic Practitioner

Growing in the 80’s and 90’s in Philadelphia, I was exposed to so many cultures and religions. I grew up as a Christian, however, I had family members who practiced different walks of faiths. In the early 1970s, my mom practiced Islam, around the time she was attending Temple University. She told me that she and her friends travelled to Chicago by train to see the Great and Honorable Elijah Muhammad speak at an event.

By the time I was born in 1979, my mom had stopped practicing Islam and converted back into Christianity. My mom initially spelled my name Aiesha, then changed it almost six months later to Ayasha. Although this changed the pronunciation of my name, it did not change the meaning in Islam, which is One Who Lives Life Well. Meanwhile, in Native American culture, Ayasha means Small One. My middle name is Jamila which means beautiful in Islam. I just happened to be small so some of my relative used to say to me “small one is beautiful.”

I accepted the Lord when I was seven years old, but through other family members and friends of the family, I was exposed to other faiths. For instance, my Uncle Gerald (God bless his soul) who, passed in 2021, practiced Islam. He took me to a Mosque for first time when I was either eight or nine years old. I was so captivated by his speaking and praying in Arabic. In fact, I had no idea he knew how to read and speak Arabic until he took me to the mosque. I was so excited about the experience and when I arrived home and told my mom about it, she showed me her Quran that she still had in her possession.

One side of the Quran was in English and the other side was in Arabic. When I would go to my aunt and uncle, I would bring my mom’s Quran with me and ask my uncle to read the Arabic because I thought it was such a beautiful language. I would fall asleep listening to him read and say prayers in Arabic. Meanwhile, most of mother’s college friends in her Business Administration program in 1973 were either white or Jewish. Because of my mother being one of the “onlies” or few black students in the program, she was often exposed to different opportunities and culture events. As a child, she would take me to the synagogue for the children’s programs which is where I learned about the Jewish faith. I learned about Torah as the Hebrew faith begin to fascinate me too.

I continued my faith search to find answers outside the Torah, Quran, and Bible. Throughout my pre-teen and teenage years, I joined different non-denominational and Pentecostal faith groups. Yet I continued to search for something, but I couldn’t figure out what.

After graduating from college in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, I soon began working as a psychiatric screener in Burlington County, NJ. I had also been in a couple of relationships. But by 2006, following after another failed and bad relationship, I decided to spend some time with myself to figure out who I am.

At the time, I felt like that I was subconsciously attracting only negative people and toxic relationships into my life. In the beginning of 2007, I decided to invest time in myself. At the time, I had worked two years as a psychiatric screener, and I needed to make some spiritual changes in my life. That summer, I decided to become celibate. It was my desire to be more spiritually connected to God than ever before. When I told my parents of my decision to become celibate, they didn’t understand. My mom’s response was,

why would you want to do that? And my dad’s response was, do you want to become a nun? My parents didn’t live a spiritual lifestyle when they were in their 20’s so they could not comprehend why I would want to do this. Of course, now I understand their response, but when I was 27 years old I couldn’t. I thought they would have been proud of me making such a powerful spiritual move, but they weren’t.

In the years that followed, as I continued to grow, I became more spiritually awakened and understood more about God every year. I started to implement practices such as fasting, studying the bible, praying more frequently, and meditating. I was feeling more connected with God than ever before. However, at the same time, I was still being spiritually attacked by negativity from my coworkers and even family and friends.

Overall, I spent 10 years of my life remaining celibate. These were very transformative years for me. In the first of part of my spiritual journey, I felt very lonely at times as I had distanced myself from family members and friends who wanted to hurt me emotionally and physically. However, those first 10 years of spiritual journey helped me find my faith as well as the strength to become the person that I am today. I would not change it for the world. I am very thankful to God for being my rock especially when nobody else was there for me.

On February 18, 2014, my father passed unexpectedly from pneumonia at the age of 64. However, I knew that he was no longer in pain and was in heaven with the rest of his family. By 2014, I was very spiritually strong, and looked at death differently than most people. I don’t see that his life has ended. Instead, I see that he has a beautiful new spiritual beginning. My dad can do more in heaven than he could do on earth. I believe that he is one of my angels always looking out for me and that he’s happy to see that I choose to continue to be positive and inspire people.

In 2019, I received some emails about becoming a Certified Spiritual Life Coach. It struck me as very interesting; people have always told me that I should be a Christian Counselor, but it was never something that interested me. I want to help people of all walks of life and faiths, not just Christians. After receiving the email from the Holistic Learning Center, I decided to contact them. I enrolled into the certificate program at the beginning of 2020 and become a Certified Spiritual Life Coach. I have combined my experience in the mental health field along with my spiritual knowledge, calling it psychospiritual.

Then, in 2021 I founded a holistic wellness company called Lift Your Spirit, LLC. In 2022 I earned a certification as a color therapist and as EMDR therapist.

I am still working in the crisis field and continue to grow spiritually. It is my intention to use my experience and training to help my clients on their own journeys to creating a highly functional, emotionally stable, and balanced life.

Ayasha J. Roberson, MAS, CSLC, EDMR