Funmi “Queen” Franklin says there’s no real way for Black people to tap into full health and wellness without exploring their spiritual selves. She says the age of COVID has made more information available for people to make better choices.
“We are spiritual people,” she said. “I don’t know that there’s a way for Black people to tap into themselves in a real way without it leading to something spiritual.”
Franklin is the owner of Queen Franklin’s Closet and the curator of “Queen Sessions” and “Whispers and Screams.” She describes herself as a spiritualist who works with clients on their spiritual and mental wellness. She says, as she approached 40, she began to become more self-aware and wanting to make a bigger contribution to the world and the people around her. It was that journey that helped her begin her business. Spiritual and mental wellness, she says, is an important and key part in a complete wellness experience.
“Society has dictated all these tags and titles. They’ve put importance on some things and taken it away from others. The whole idea is to get humans more connected,” she said. “It’s all one thing. It’s not just physical wellness. You can’t separate one from the other and you can’t just concentrate on one over the other.”
As a spiritualist, Franklin says her charge is to help her clients work through trauma. She helps them identify personal power by helping them develop their spiritual selves through guided activities.
“What I do is energy work. Once you start working on your total wellness, part of that is clearing up negativity, clearing up the need to be involved in drama, you clear up the need to be in toxic relationships,” she said. “That leads to wanting to feel better physically. You start recognizing the parts of your body that aren’t operating at 100%. That’s when you start working on exercising and breath control.”
Franklin says there’s a misconception that some have about spiritual wellness. The most common, she says, is that spiritualism is anti-religious and against Christian beliefs.
“Essential oils, crystals – those things are from the Earth. God put them here for us to use,” she said. “It’s ridiculous that some would label these things as wrong. The difference is we’re studying more than we did. We’re aware that there are several things that can guide us.
Franklin assembled other health & wellness experts and healers recently for the inaugural Soulshine Spiritual Wellness Conference. She says she wanted to provide a space for people to learn about clean eating, yoga, working out, or energy healing. Eric Collins, owner of the vegan eatery Meals that Heal and Herbal Blessings a natural health food store, was a partner in the conference and the keynote speaker. The success of the event shows that there is a pocket of the Black community in Jackson that identifies with spiritual wellness which could eventually spark awareness amongst the masses.
“The yoga instructor is a client of mine. She sends clients to me and I send new clients to her. Eric has grand knowledge of herbs and I send clients to him and vice versa,” she said.
Word of mouth has helped Queen Franklin’s Closet clientele to grow. She offers alternative forms of healing and items such as candles and Afrikan jewelry. She says it’s time for Black folks to start taking their health seriously coming out of the pandemic, but each person should start on their own time and at their own pace.
“It comes when it comes. It’s not about whether or not you’ve gotten to it yet.” I know folks who have not gotten to the physical part yet, but they are aware that they could do better. If you are committed to spiritual and mental wellness there is no way around acknowledging that you need to be physically healthy as well.”
Queen Franklin’s Closet is located at 135 Bounds St. To schedule an appointment or session, call 769.233.1936.