Alicia Keys‘ dedication to self-care improved all of her relationships. In an op-ed for USA Today, the 40-year-old singer revealed how, after committing herself to a “consistent spiritual practice,” she became a better mom, wife and daughter.

The singer’s journey into spirituality and meditation began after the birth of her second son, 6-year-old Genesis. Keys, who also shares 10-year-old Egypt with her husband, Swizz Beatz, wrote that she was “exhausted” and her “spirit was shot” after giving birth a second time.

It was that realization that prompted Keys to do something for herself to “continue to be a good mother to my children, partner to my husband, and friend to myself.”

When Keys first tried mediation, it wasn’t an immediate success, as she fell asleep during the exercise. The second time, though, she “felt a little spark.”

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

That connection with herself, Keys wrote, allowed her “relationship with everything and everyone around” her to change for the better.

“As I’d hoped, I became a better mother because I was more confident in myself. I could hear what I needed and what my family needed,” she wrote. “Same with my relationships with my husband, my mother and definitely my work. Now I could be crystal clear, powerful and strong and not back down because I had a way to access my own intuition.”

Keys wrote that she credits the change in her life to her newfound “genuine connection with the Divine Feminine,” which she considers to be “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,” she explained. “… The Divine Feminine is all about the associations we have with a nurturing mother. And that force is within each of us, waiting to be uncoiled.”

By celebrating that force, Keys wrote that she believes the “major imbalance in our world” can be righted.