Alicia Keys on meditation: ‘Your relationship with everything changes’

Many people tout the healing power of yoga and meditation. Last year Kerry Washington hosted a yoga and meditation session on her Instagram account. Vanessa Hudgens credits her Zoom meditation class for bringing her and her new hot bae together. Now, Alicia Keys is waxing poetic about the calming affects of meditation. Alicia says that she got into meditation after having her son Egypt ten years ago. A friend noticed Alicia’s emotional fatigue and invited her to a weekend kundalini yoga and meditation treat. Alicia started meditating consistently after her youngest, Genesis, was born six years ago. She said it changed her life and helped her become a better parent, partner, and friend to herself. Below are a few more highlights from her op-ed in USA Today via People:

The Grammy winner — who is also mom to 10-year-old son Egypt Daoud — began meditating after a friend suggested that she attend a Kundalini yoga and meditation retreat, though her foray into mindfulness admittedly had a bumpy start.

“Between the chanting and the singing and the rhythm and the meaning of these ancient words, I discovered a sense of peace and comfort. “I started to notice a richer connection with myself, an ability to go deeper,” she continued. “After years of silence I could hear myself, trust my instincts, know what I wanted, know what I needed and not feel so insecure.”

“Once you make that kind of deep connection with yourself, your relationship with everything and everyone around you changes. As I’d hoped, I became a better mother because I was more confident in myself,” Keys explained.

“I could hear what I needed and what my family needed. Same with my relationships with my husband, my mother and definitely my work,” the musician wrote. “Now I could be crystal clear, powerful and strong and not back down because I had a way to access my own intuition.”

“I believe the Divine Feminine is an extremely powerful force within all of us. It has characteristics that we associate with mothering: it helps you grow, it helps you create, it cultivates who you are,” wrote Keys, who is partnering with Deepak Chopra for a 21-day meditation experience titled “Activating the Divine Feminine: The Path to Wholeness.”

“I like to get up at first light and take a little time to tune everyone else out, tap into the Divine Feminine and hear myself. Usually I can find it in nature, in my children, in my travel or in my work, but in order to be my best it’s essential for me to take the time, make the space and listen to the voice that I tuned out for so long,” she added. “I didn’t realize that voice – the one that speaks to intuition, empathy, compassion, peace – is also the spirit of the Divine Feminine.”

[From People]

If you have been following my stories, you’ll know I am a big advocate for radical love and self care. As a meditative yoga instructor I love watching stressed people actually relax when they go on the mat. I agree with Alicia, meditation and in my case and yoga, really helped me with my trauma and centering my mind. It was the reason I went to Shri Kali Ashram in 2019. I needed a tool to help me connect to myself in a deeper way because I wanted to be a better person. I also understood that my trauma was stored in my body and I needed a way to access it. I am currently reading a book called The Body Keeps the Score. It’s written by a psychiatrist who talks about how the body stores trauma. I had a lot of trauma stored in my cells, 400+ years of it.

I am really excited to see more BIPOC talk about meditation and yoga as tools for a healthier lifestyle. I was impressed when Alicia mentioned connecting to her divine feminine. I am also an advocate for women rediscovering the feminine myths and archetypes. Even Jungian psychologists talk about the feminine archetypes in our psyche. I am happy that Alicia is able to be present and centered in her life. I hope she comes out with a divine feminine album that I can meditate to. Alicia, if you are reading this, make it happen.



photos via Instagram

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27 Responses to “Alicia Keys on meditation: ‘Your relationship with everything changes’”

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  1. Merricat says:

    Meditation is my number one tool for managing anxiety and stress. I wish it was taught in the public school system.

  2. Lovesitinnm says:

    Unfortunately this kundalini yoga was made up by a conman who exploited and abused his followers while alive. It’s a cult. Many have let Alicia know so she will have a chance to denounce his abuse but she hasn’t. His most abhorrent lectures and teachings (women invite rape, horribly homophobic, separating young children from their parents) have been light washed and hidden away so the 3HO cult can continue to call him a master, exploit followers and earn $. I’m not anti yoga or meditation but I’m anti cult and anti abuse . I am for women and for the queer community and the kundalini yoga that she learns, promotes and practices is not.

    • Jules says:

      Yup. Kundalini energy is real, but I”m gonna wager that 99.9% of kundalini “teachers” have no idea what they are messing with. It is potent, and can be dangerous, often mistaken for mania or mental illness. Kundalini yoga has become just another fad for fake gurus to profit from.

    • Jules says:

      Also major eyeroll for the “I’m so spiritual” photo spread above. Meditation and yoga is not about performing and showing off.

      • bosandi says:

        Thank you Jules. Not an Alicia Keys “I am mother earth” fan so huge eyeroll for this performance.
        Meditation is wonderful as is yoga. It kept me sane while in graduate school.

  3. tbg says:

    I always wonder what it’s like to be able to meditate. My brain is like Madonna’s Ray of Light video and it’s not like I have some super stressful life. It’s just garden variety anxiety over every tiny thing.

    • Genevieve says:

      You should try it! Anyone can meditate. “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” is a decent introductory book, and Headspace (which has some stuff on Netflix) has been my source of learning how to do it. I returned to it in February this year (after a few years of very sporadic attempts) and I swear, it’s a life saver. (I mainly use it for anxiety and stress, but I had a day recently when I was really upset about something a student had done, and the compassion meditation helped that anger go poof!)

    • BeanieBean says:

      Sometimes there’s just so much yoga & meditation & breathing & outdoor exercise can do, I have found; therapy & medication really helped me with my overwhelming anxiety.

    • Anna says:

      @tbg Your description of your brain like Madonna’s Ray of Light gave me a chuckle in absolute recognition. Thanks for that perfect analogy! Ugh. Yes. Like a veneer of anxiety over everything. With PTSD from childhood and now pandemic, I don’t even remember or know if I ever have known what it’s like not to have anxiety and low-to-high grade depression.

  4. Chlo says:

    Oya (or anyone else!), how did you realize your trauma was stored in your body and what you needed to do? I’m struggling with that.

    • Oya says:

      Hi Chlo,

      For me I had done about 14 years of therapy, 3 years of transformational work and I kept finding myself in the same patterns despite being aware of what was going on. At that time as well my hair started falling out and I was losing my teeth and gaining a lot of weight. I was in constant physical pain and I knew that my issue was not only mental, emotional and spiritual, it was also physical. It was instinct. The only thing I knew at that time that help people connect with their bodies was yoga, tantra and tai chi. So I opted for studying traditional (non western) tantra. I packed my bags and flew to Thailand and stayed for six months. I was lucky I was right. Your body is intelligent and has a way of telling you what’s going on. This is also back up by science and psychology. Check out the book linked above. I corrected the link so that you can see it. Hopefully it helps. Please keep us posted!

      • Chlo says:

        Thank you Oya and TaraBest so much! I struggle with chronic pain issues and am trying hard to connect the physical/mental/spiritual sides of that. I so appreciate your replies and am checking the book out now!

    • TaraBest says:

      Hi Chlo,

      I will second Oya’s recommendation of “The Body Keeps the Score”. This book was recommended to me by my therapist and my psychologist (separately) and other people I know were also recommend the book by their therapists. It’s a great place to start. I hope it’s helpful for you if you decide to check it out!

    • Jensies says:

      Chlo—I’m a somatic therapist, a licensed psychotherapist that specializes in somatic therapies and processing trauma through getting it out of the body with somatic processing. It’s intense work, both for the client and the therapist, but I’ve seen so much healing from it. At this point, I don’t believe it’s even possible to heal from trauma without going through the body. Oya’s recommendation of van der Kolk’s work, the body keeps the score, is a great place to start. And then find a therapist that specializes in somatic work, someone with training in somatic experiencing or sensorimotor therapy is good. There are a lot of us out there. 🙂

      • Annie says:

        Any recommendations for another psychotherapist on how to get somatic specialization?

      • Jensies says:

        Hi @Annie—great question. So I have just started Somatic Experiencing training but I’ve been doing somatic work for years, based on what worked (and didn’t) for my trauma, and you can definitely do that work without the $$$$ SE and sensorimotor trainings. There’s a somatic workbook I use sometimes, and I’m more than happy to consult with you if you’d like. You can text me at 1 (503) 208-5536 if you’d like.

  5. Darla says:

    I started meditating during Covid, in March 2020. And I just loved it, I do the love and kindness meditation a lot. And it’s interesting, because when you get to the part where you have to picture someone you have a lot of strife with, and feel love and kindness for them, I always pictured my brother who wasn’t speaking to me at the time. And what started happening was, that would morph into my congratulating myself on what a better person I am than he is. And I would be infused with a pleasant flood of superiority. Which I’m pretty sure is totally not the purpose of the love and kindness meditation, but I really felt it and loved it, and sometimes I would start laughing and laughing during the meditation.

    But don’t you know, he started talking to me again a short time afterwards and my friend is convinced it’s because I put that out into the world. Feeling love and kindness towards the asshat. Anyway, I don’t know, it kinda works!

    • Sigmund says:

      How funny! You’re right that the intention behind meditation (as it was originally intended) isn’t a feeling of superiority or anything, but it sounds like you were able to pick up on that feeling and acknowledge it, which is the healthiest way to handle it.

  6. Jules says:

    Oya, I’m interested in the book you mentioned but the link is not working!

  7. lucky says:

    Love her, and would love to listen to her voice leading me through yoga, or guided meditation, or a sleep story. She is such a calming person.

  8. CatJ says:

    I just began, I am on day three of Sam Harris’ Calm app. You can access it thru his website and i find it’s very refreshing, even though I still struggle with all the thoughts.

  9. M says:

    That is the most awkward standing pose. All I got.

  10. sassafras says:

    For anyone who has trouble meditating – I do! And I’ve done it a lot in the past year! – I would suggest trying guided meditations/ hypnotic ones. It gives one part of your brain something “to do” so you can calm the rest of it. Also look at the Ho’oponopono practice. It’s a very simple mantra that is so effective at calming an overstimulated system, helping you get into deeper practices.

  11. emu says:

    I love it! I am not as into meditation as I am into yoga and just empty moments – but I would like to meditate more. She always had that spiritual vibe about her. I think Mya is a a great role model for this too (she’s also vegan but not in an aggressive way)