INTERVIEW BY LAUREN ASH. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY LALAH DELIA.
I can't recall specifically when Lalah and my paths crossed. Perhaps two years ago? She's been a tremendous member of our BGIO Tribe, from sharing her powerful ethos in Om (still one of the most-read articles on our site) to inspiring all of us to vibrate higher daily through intentional energy work during one of our 2017 #BGIOMindful Twitter Chats. Every few months, Lalah and I catch up on the phone and every call with her has been a divine gift; blessing my life with her light, compassion, and sincere encouragement, she truly is who we all appreciate her to be on her digital platform. Have you, too, been in love with this spiritual writer's key reminders? At the top of 2018, reminders of intuition, tribe, and detox really matter to me. Hopefully they do for you, too! Learn more about Lalah in our conversation below, and be sure to follow her journey on Instagram, keep your eyes out for her soon-to-be-launched website, and see what she's sharing in-the-moment over on her Twitter!
Lauren Ash: Hey sis hey. First things first. Who are you?
Lalah Delia: Vibration expressing itself through the feminine and through the word ‘I’s’ many evolving titles: mother, daughter, sister, friend, comrade, overcomer, love, light, joy, peace, certified wellness practitioner, certified spiritual practitioner, creative, writer, teacher, student, lover of the ocean and high vibrational music, lover and advocate of all things wellness, sacred, liberation, and of all things that support and sustain vibrating higher. Founder of Vibrate Higher Daily.
Lauren Ash: Your initial response—vibration expressing itself through the feminine—is so beautiful. I've been reading and researching more Eastern spiritual traditions this year and one thing that continues to strike me about differences between the East and West in general include that we're often so "me me me" and "I I I" here, whereas many Eastern cultures value and embrace the collective. That you first recognize your Spirit and then acknowledge your various identities through which that Spirit manifests is so beautiful to me! I'm curious, as you've been so involved in our community for the past couple of years, what does Black Girl In Om mean to you?
Lalah Delia: Black Girl In Om is a welcoming space and safe bridge into the wellness world and yoga community for women of color. Just as if you reluctantly walk in—all alone—into a cafeteria, an unknown space or a gathering—and you find your crew already there, waiting on you. That feeling. It’s welcoming, it’s inviting, it’s reassuring, and it’s important. It’s love. That’s who Black Girl In Om is. They're the friends who are waiting on us, to help us breathe easier. To have a space that celebrates the skin I’m in in an authentic, uplifting, and positive way, is everything. It’s empowering.
Also, the wellness community is full of subcultures. At times while navigating through a lot of those subcultures women of color feel out of place due to the crystal clear aesthetic of the community and it’s branding. The wellness community is constantly growing and it’s my prayer that it doesn’t continue to take on the same outdated and toxic model that the consumer, entertainment, fashion, and beauty industries have all collectively stood behind and pushed historically in their marketing, branding, promoting, and narration. I pray these communities evolve, wake up, and end the white privilege wellness movement and stop pushing the same toxic agenda in the wellness world, and seek out to authentically connect and include more people of color in their spaces and communities. Just do better. You know? The lack of equally seeing people of color in a positive light, for generations, is a huge part of why people of color need the healing, self-love, and wellness work in the first place. So that whole unspoken ‘you can’t sit with us’ thing, that’s not wellness centered at all, it’s ego centered and programmed thinking. And to still see it happening to us, in these newer spaces and communities, is alarming. BGIO is as an answer to this.
Lauren Ash: Wow. What a blessing. When others see our big picture, our larger vision, it gives me chills! Yes! We constantly make intentional efforts toward cultivating an immediate sense of belonging for women of color in BGIO. It's needed and empowering, like you mention. Representation within wellness is something we've been working on along with so many other amazing women and we always offer our gratitude to our many ancestors who trailblazed a beautiful path for us to journey on. How do you identify with Black Girl In Om’s mission?
Lalah Delia: Black Girl In Om is supporting our well being, narrating, and displaying our truth as women of color, that other spaces are not. This truth is that regardless of our journey and in spite of our personal and collective ups and downs, including marginalization and social barriers we are reclaiming our power, doing the work, receiving our healing, releasing who and what doesn't serve us, including: mindsets, programming, systems, environments, connections, and emotional baggage. We’re getting energetically lighter within. We’re spreading light and seeking inner-beauty and higher vibrations. BGIO is a reclaiming of our narrative. It’s breaking engineered stereotypes of the overly aggressive, loud, dramatic, toxic low vibrational image that has been divisively perpetuated, engineered, programmed, and enticed into the minds of this nation regarding who we are as black women. We’re vibrating higher. I identify deeply with that.
Lauren Ash: What are your self-care & self-love practices?
Lalah Delia: Witnessing throughout the last 9, almost 10 years, what the power of doing the work can do mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and vibrationally, self-care and self-love have become a lifestyle and daily path for me. The way I live my life is literally my self-care and self-love practice. It’s no longer separate from the rest of my life, it’s become my life.
How I greet the day, to how and what I eat daily, what I give time and energy to, to how I energetically leave my home and enter the world, to how I communicate with others, to where I place my focus, to what thoughts I—allow—to dwell in my mind, and by living intentionally and vibrational-based, I’m able to dwell and operate from a poised, fortified, centered, intentional, calm, and higher vibrational place. This doesn't mean everyday is perfect, it means that I’m much more fortified when days are trying and not so perfect, because in advance, I’ve done the work to fill my tanks, so to speak.
Spirit—for me it all begins with getting anchored early in the mornings. Grounding myself and connecting to The Divine through prayer and meditation—before the day shifts into full gear is a must. I take this very intentional time every morning because it strengthens, centers, and fortifies me for the day. No days off.
My self-care and self-love practices are vibrational based and all about vibrating higher. Each morning I wake up and I smile. I greet the day, and myself, with a big, intentional, and love-filled smile. It feels like I’m giving myself a tight hug on the inside. The benefits of smiling on the mind, body, and soul, are everything. It raises our vibration, among so, so much more. I fast monthly as an energy clearing and deeper spiritual connecting practice and discipline. And I vibe out daily to high vibrational music.
Mind—Gratitude is everything. I write about things I’m grateful for in my daily gratitude journal. Practicing gratitude journaling has been a huge part of deepening my self-love and joy within. It moves and inspires me to intentionally look for the good in each day. The brain can’t be grateful and down at the same time. What a divine way to vibrate higher. This practice is awesome for daily growth and mindset transformation. I also say affirmations and write in the mornings. Meditation, which I covered earlier, also fortifies the mind. I read sacred texts and/or inspirational texts to feed my mind daily.
Body—I practice Hatha yoga in the a.m.’s. to get my consciousness, energy and blood circulating, moving, and flowing in a high vibrational and energizing way. I use a number adaptogens and herbal tonics daily and I also nourish with plenty of water throughout the day, herbal tea, green juice, and a tropical enzyme rich smoothie as a liquid breakfast. Around noon, I eat either a salad, fruit bowl, a smoothie bowl and/or a full solid meal and more tea and a tonic. Eating light, as in a liquid breakfast works epic wonders for me on so many levels. My brain and digestive system loves it and it allows me to reach a deeper place creatively, focus wise, and work wise. Dry brushing, essential oils, and cold shower rinses are therapeutic for the body and raises our vibration. And I do pilates about 3 to 4 times per week. Oh, and also in the early a.m., I oil pull for 20 minutes to detox and then I brush my teeth and I hydrate with 12 to 16 ounces of alkaline water, all on an empty stomach.
A quote that I hold near and dear to my heart and inner-spiritual gangster is one by NFL legend and 3 time Super Bowl champion Emmitt Smith, who when asked about his Super Bowl success and being a champion, he simply replied, “The Super Bowl is won during the pre-season, through mindset, training, and work-ethic.”
For me these words apply to life in general. I had said to myself after first hearing these words years ago, “If you want to become the champion of your life, get you a preseason—and respect it. Don’t wait until you’re on the field to do the work then. Think ahead, stay fortified, think preseason. Stay ready and you won’t have to get ready.” This, along with many other wise words, trainings, and leanings, along the way is how through my lifestyle and work I’ve become a devotee to vibrating higher daily. It’s my daily self-care and self-love practice.
Lauren Ash: Lalah! The timing of me reading how self-care shows up in your life AS your lifestyle is so divinely timed. As you know, I spent the month of December in Los Angeles completing another yoga teacher training. It was immersion-style, and felt very much like a wellness retreat. Every day, we rose with the sunrise, enjoyed a morning detox, meditation, and yoga practice. We practiced additional high vibration routines including making and enjoying exclusively plant-based meals, intentional and long hugs, spiritual music and healing frequencies, journaling, communal reflecting, and spending time outdoors. When I say it was the best I've ever felt in my life that is an understatement.
December marked a radical shift for me. Sure, I was cultivating wellness before, but it was still marginal to my life. I don't think I fully believed, within myself, that I could be an amazing, trailblazing entrepreneur holding space and creating opportunity for women of color around the world as well as be fully centering self-care every single day. It's been about three weeks since I've been back in Chicago and I still feel the high because I intentionally brought it back with me and continue to boldly center self-care through my everyday. What you speak is the truth. I know it to be true because it's true for me, too.
I know you are a fan of rituals and I'd love to hear from you about them! What’s one ritual you recommend more women of color adopt to cultivate inner beauty and wellness?
Lalah Delia: Practicing love. Definitely love. Spread love. Be love. Love, love, love.
Questions I ask myself periodically to take inventory of my social intentions are, ‘does your self-care cause you to love more? Does your spiritual work cause you to love more? Does your overall healthy lifestyle cause you to love more?’
We can do all the self-care, self-love, beauty-care, and spiritual-care we want, but if we’re unloving, contentious, spiteful, competitive, and side-eyeing other women, our sisters, we are only harming ourselves—within. This dims our own light, dulls our glow, and lowers our vibration. Not seeing other women as your competition or with a critical eye or spirit, is everything in inner-beauty and wellness care.
A woman who truly loves, supports, encourages, and stands with other women, is a force. A sacred force. She’s a beacon. A guide and a higher vibration that the world needs to bear witness to—more often, from women of color. It heightens her inner-beauty and our collective social wellness.
The first beautiful principle of Kwanzaa is 'Umoja,' which means unity. I ask each reader to look this up if you’re not aware of it and to consider practicing Kwanzaa year-round, as an act of inner-beauty, self-development, empowerment, and collective social wellness–as a women of color. Kwanzaa and it’s seven principles are all about living from an intentional, loving, unifying, and healing place from within and without.
Lauren Ash: Thank you for drawing our awareness to this beautiful principle, we believe in umoja within our team, as well. Sisterhood, in particular, is our sacred unity. Fill me in, now: what's one wellness product you cannot live without?
Lalah Delia: Nooooo, just one? Haha! Self-care products are my thing! This is hard! Ok, ok, drum roll…Herbal tonics. They’re pretty much The Divine Most High in a bottle! Tonics are super supportive on a mind, body, spirit, and vibrational level. I even carry a few with me in my purse, like hot sauce. ‘Tonics in my bag, (wellness) swag.’ Ommmmmm!!
Lauren Ash: Haha, amazing! We'll keep our eyes out for you to share the specific tonics you love most on your website. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Lalah!
Lalah Delia: Thank you. I always enjoy chatting it up with you!! Peace and high vibrations to all.
More about Lalah Delia:
As a Certified Integrated Wellness Coach, Certified Spiritual Practitioner & Writer, and founder of Vibrate Higher Daily, Lalah Delia is engaged daily as a devoted advocate for pushing positive lifestyle, positive community and personal transformation forward, through the mantra, discipline, and practice, of vibrating higher daily.
Lalah’s core belief is that the frequency of our mind, body, spirit, and environment, plays a determining role in the state of our vibrational-health and that the state of our vibrational-health governs how we journey, experience, perceive, attract, operate, and show up in the world. Vibrational-based living is key to living a life that’s not just focused on health and wellness, but also on liberation and wholeness–all around, as it has done in her own life. Lalah’s raw testimony of what she’s overcome and vibrated higher out of can be found here.
In this feature, Lalah fills our hearts and ears with what we can do in our own daily lives to vibrate higher daily. Get inspired below, and be sure to follow Lalah on Instagram @lalahdelia, Twitter @lalahdelia, and Facebook @lalahdelia to continue to vibrate higher everyday.