March is Magical Black Girl Month here at Black Girl Bliss! This month, I wanted to feature real magical black girls - wise, wild, witchy, and unapologetic about their melanated magic.
Each lady featured will answer seven questions that illustrate their personal journey to their spiritual paths and what it means to be a magical black girl!
This week's feature is Hollis Gray, Empowerment Coach and Founder of Holistree.
Hollis says: My birth given name is Rakita ( which my family and close friends call me and if I like you I’ll let you call me that as well lol). But my name is Hollis Gray. You can find me on IG (my favorite because it shows my island life most) @Hollis__gray (two underscores) and my business site is Holistree.com
What is your typical day-today practice? How do you begin each day? Do you do anything to connect with spirit throughout the day? How do you end your day?
I wake up pretty early and usually the first thing I do is thank Spirit for allowing me another day (cliche I know but considering how I got to where I am it just feels like the right thing to do). When I moved to the island I said I would intentionally have un-rushed mornings and so my mornings are literally that. I take my time getting out of bed. I live across the street from the beach so most mornings I go for a walk and/or sit at the shoreline. And then coffee!! My life isn't like most people. Its extremely flexible and slow paced during the day I take A LOT of breaks and mostly all of them are by water. Water is my element. I usually get my best ideas when I'm near or in the water. I pray A LOT since I've moved here. So throughout the day I’m constantly talking to my ancestors, my guides and Yemaya. At the end of the day I sit for a few minutes in front of my altar just giving thanks.
Have you noticed that your commitment to your spiritual path has impacted other aspects of your life? (ex. health, mental state, sexuality, etc.)
Absolutely! Last year for me was about healing this year has been about a committed intentional spiritual connection. Since I’ve become intentional there's a peace I feel all through me. I'm less anxious and SUPER chill. Because of this the way I move looks and feels different. The way I walk feels different. My hips move different (if that makes sense) I've always been considered "free-spirited" so that hasn't changed much with the exception of me being even more open if that’s even possible.
Walk me through the journey that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
Hmmm. I’d say it definitely started around the age of 27. My mother had gotten sick and that experience in itself changed me. For the next three years I felt like Spirit was preparing me for something (although at the time if you had asked me I would have sworn I had been cursed) but by 30 it was like the beginning of some sort of initiation that no one warned me about. By 30 I had ended my 8 year relationship with a woman I thought I’d be spending the rest of my life with, I had quit my corporate job and started my first company and then a second one, I had moved three times and on top of that I started having weird dreams and “seeing” things.
Most healers will tell you there is a point right before you fully come into your gifts and discover your purpose that everything is chaotic. That’s exactly what happened to me. It’s like a clearing in your life. And for the next three years everything for me had CLEARED! Career, Relationships, Sexuality, personal beliefs, EVERYTHING in my life had shifted. The Universe will move you in the most uncomfortable ways when you don’t listen to the gentle nudges and that’s what happened to me. I remember the exact day I had gotten to a place of “I GIVE UP” and just surrendered. Sometimes it takes for that to happen (especially for a Taurus) for you to hear the message. And when I finally heard my message I was able to really listen because at that point I didn’t have anything to lose.
To sum it up I needed to get back to a space of feeling connected. I had lost my connection to Spirit and to myself really. I had a mentor gently remind me of how I mentioned I wanted to move out of the city to Puerto Rico, and when she did that my first reaction was how in the world would I do that when I practically had nothing (cue dramatic Taurus theme music) she said something to me like “Have faith”. It was the way she said it that felt like she was channeling my grandmother. I went home that night took a deep breathe and I think I said something like “Okay Gram, if I’m supposed to move clean across these waters you will make a way” and then I went to sleep. Literally the next morning I received a call for a job offer that would have given me more than enough time and money to make the arrangements to move and so I did. I took a drastic blind leap of faith and packed up and moved from MD to Puerto Rico.
That was the beginning. I had no idea what I was going to do when I got to the island but I just knew this was where I was supposed to be. The first few months I did absolutely nothing except sleep, sit near the water and pray. I’ve probably prayed more in these last two years than I have ever done in my entire 33 years of life. There’s something about this island that creates space for you to feel safe and connected. My prayers usually are just conversations with Spirit and then letting the magic happen. And because of the magic that has happened (I have stories for days just from being here that has convinced me of a greater source, my own personal power and what happens when you follow your ordered steps).
Now about a year later of being here my faith, my connection, my intention to self celebration, gratitude, connection to spirit, connection to people, embodying love has grown tenfold. My story really is about learning to trust yourself and that you are covered and that all came from me moving to a space where I had no real affiliation no family no friends no solid plan and it all still working out. And might I add it has worked out so beautifully!
If a younger person walked up to you asking for your advice on finding their spiritual path or connection, and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
I'd say you know that little voice in the back of your mind/ that gut feeling you have? Learn to trust it and go for it! It really is just that simple. Nothing is ever THAT serious. And find a way to show gratitude for EVERYTHING. Be excessive with the gratitude.
Top three spiritual tools you think every magical person should have and use on the regular basis.
Honestly I think the only real tool you need is yourself. Our creator/God/Goddess/ Source/ Spirit/ Ancestors/ Orishas you name it they know your heart. It’s more so about your true intention and staying connected to that. That really is the only tool you need. Figure out how to unlock your truth and you’re set!
How do you deal with people who may be close to you who think negatively or say negative things about your beliefs and practice?
Honestly I've been so lucky to have family and friends who completely accept me.
What does it mean to be a magical black woman?
Ahhh I love this question! I think honestly it just means owning, honoring, and celebrating your self! Black women have a walk and energy that is unlike any other and when we fully step…THAT is some Magical Shyt!