An Interview with Jerome Braggs; Well-Being Sherpa & Spiritual Leader
by Andy J. Salgado
“God never says no. You are the one that says no.”- Jerome Braggs
[caption id="attachment_1318" align="aligncenter" width="284"] “Jerome Braggs answers a question during the Enid LGBT Coalition’s Enid Pride event at Government Springs Park Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (Staff Photo by BONNIE VCULEK) “[/caption]
What do you do when you are faced with extreme adversity? You say, “Oh s^*&.” At least that is what Jerome Braggs, said right before his dive into, what he didn’t know at the time, would be the most incredible journey of his life, his “juicy life”, he says. His dive came in the form of illness, where he found himself on his deathbed twice. Each time he pondered the following questions: “Did I love enough?” and, “Did I live enough?”
I had the opportunity to interact with the mystic and spiritual guru. His authentic, caring nature, and funny wit shined through from the moment he picked up the Skype call saying, “Hey Andy. I am making a salad. How are you?” I paused for a minute and responded with, “I am well. Very excited. What is in your salad?” The next thing you know he read me his whole grocery list, and in that moment, I knew I met a foodie. More importantly, an authentic human being who simply wants to make people smile, laugh, heal, and love.
What followed were moments of inspiration, love, joy, and even a couple teary eyes. I never expected such an interview to have such a powerful effect. With that said, here is the truth of a spiritual leader, lover, human, and being, Jerome Braggs. Did you ever have mystical or spiritual encounters as a child? My first encounter was when I was around five. I kept hearing my mom across the hall from my bedroom in the middle of the night. I would get up and say, “What?” She would always respond with, ‘I didn’t call you.” After a while I believed it was God, or what I called it back then, growing up as a traditional Christian. My mother got tired of it and told me to just ask God why he keeps calling me. That started a string of conversations with God, kind of like Neale Donald Walsh’s, Conversations with God. It wasn’t as deep, but I began developing a connection with God as being my buddy at an early age. One day, I was laying on my bed and I had this vision and feeling that disease is not the end of our lives, it’s a wakeup call. Normally, when a disease shows up in your life, it’s a wakeup call to turn around. Once you have woken up, there is no need for the disease. Well, my mother was a doctor, so what do I do with that? *Laughs* Basically, I held it all in. Growing up, did you ever think you were destined for something great? I had no idea that my life would look like what it looks like today. I got message when I was about eleven. I had this feeling. I was laying in bed, and I knew that my life would be somewhat like Martin Luther King Jr’s. At that time, I believed I was going to lead black folks to their freedom. Also, at the time, I had the feeling of helping people heal. I wanted to be a Doctor, so my perception was to be a doctor and lead black people somewhere. My little kid brain was trying to comprehend this. What it really was, now that I understand sitting in the life I have today, is that I was going to help people heal, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally. Like King, I was going to help people spread love. I was all over the place though. I wanted to sing, write, be a veterinarian but I didn’t sit in this belief of healing until I had my near-death experience. The moment you were sitting on your deathbed and you were told to love yourself, how did you begin? Well, after saying, Oh S^*&,I had been given this clear message of healing my life and my body. I didn’t know anything about that (love.) When somebody tells you to love yourself, you say, ‘oh yeah I love myself’. However, I knew it had to be deeper. I really had to change. I built a life where I felt ashamed, and not enough. I had to be myself, love myself unconditionally, say no when I wanted to say no. I had to be my best friend and appreciate myself. It took me many years. There was a lot of failures and a long learning period. I learned to love myself unconditionally. What is it like to be diagnosed with an incurable disease? Your initial thought is one of terror, so you’re afraid. You begin to start thinking of all the things you wanted to do with your life and didn’t do. That’s the beginning stages. It’s basically a life review. The diseases I was diagnosed with were terminal so I had to be clear on what I wanted to do in my life. Now I know that disease shows up as a divine invitation to live the life you fully want. It is a wakeup call to stop living a life less than the one you truly desire. Did the option of giving up ever occur to you? Once, while I was living in D.C. It was mid spring of 2005, and it was right after my first healing. I had completely healed, but I was still unhappy. I still had the same psychological characteristics and behavioral patterns. A year later, I started getting sick again. My life wasn’t going well and I didn’t have any money. I never thought I would be the kind of person to be done with life, but this particular day, if I had not woken up, I would have been okay with it. How does self-love heal the body? This could be a whole seminar. Basically as you vibrate higher, your connection to yourself and source is greater, which is love and healing. When you love yourself, you are vibrating higher and are connected to the giver of life. You are letting energy, God, and the Universe flow through you. The better you feel about yourself, the healthier you are. The depression, sadness, and negative feelings lower your energies and your body’s chemistry. What do you want the reader to know about your business? I want people to know that I am a Well-Being Sherpa. My work is about well-being, and my job is to serve as a guide; helping you journey the path of loving yourself into a higher level of well-being that you deserve in all facets of life. What inspires you to heal and teach? Knowing that I know the tools to fully love yourself and the benefits that it will have in your life. It can transform your life I must share it.
It was an honor to get to know Jerome Braggs, his journey and mission. He is a true statement of self-love, healing, peace, and authenticity. The biggest take-away from my hour and a half with a leading spiritual teacher and, as he says, a Well-Being Sherpa, is the beauty of your life will mold the moment you begin to love yourself unconditionally. 15 Random Facts About The Well-Being Sherpa.Q: What is your favorite green smoothie? A: Blueberry green. Q: If your life had a theme song what would it be? A: Get It Together by India Arie Q: What is your first thought in the morning? A:Thank You. Q: What is your last thought before bed? A: Thank You. Q: If you had a spirit animal what would it be? A: SpongeBobSquarePants Q: What is your biggest trophy-like accomplishment to date? A: Healing myself. Q: What do you wish to accomplish in the next five years? A:New York Times Best Seller. Q: What do you believe connects all humans together? A: Love. Q: What is the Divine? A: Love. Q: What song do you sing in the shower? A: I Need a Soldier. Q: Say two words in Spanish? A: Te amo. Q: What is your favorite place you’ve ever lived? A: Washington D.C. Q: What is your favorite spiritual book? A: Loveability by Dr. Robert Holden. Q: How do you visualize? A: Eyes open, five minutes in the morning. Q: How do you want to be remembered? A:He had a damn good time!