For Alicia Keys, her "consistent spiritual practice began about six years ago" following the birth of her youngest son Genesis Ali, whom she shares with husband Swizz Beatz

By Gabrielle Chung
May 12, 2021 08:07 PM
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Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
| Credit: Rich Fury/Getty

Alicia Keys is opening up about how meditation has helped her as a mom.

The "Girl on Fire" singer, 40, shared in an op-ed published by USA Today on Wednesday that she "became a better mother" after getting into meditation.

For Keys, her "consistent spiritual practice began about six years ago" following the birth of her youngest son Genesis Ali, with whom she shares with husband Swizz Beatz.

"Like so many new moms I was exhausted, but the depletion was more than physiological; my spirit was shot," she recalled. "I needed to do something so I could continue to be a good mother to my children, partner to my husband, and friend to myself."

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.

Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and family
Alicia Keys, Genesis, Swizz Beatz and Egypt
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

"I have to be honest: The first time I tried the meditation, I was so tired that I fell asleep," Keys wrote. "But the second time, I felt a little spark. I really liked the mixture of chanting, singing and movement."

"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."

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According to Keys, meditation has also helped her "tap into the Divine Feminine and hear myself."

"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."

Keys previously spoke about the power of meditation during WME's Together conference in 2016, saying at the time that the practice has been "really important" for her.

"I started time and time [again], tried it, fell asleep. But now it's a need. It's a yearning, a desire," she said.

"Some days I have 15 minutes, some days I have 40 minutes, some days I have five minutes where I have to take that time, because if I don't I literally feel off," Keys said. "And I can tell the difference in the choices that I'm making… my center is off. I feel shaken a bit more, but when I do it I feel sturdy."