Interview By Lauren Ash
Once upon a time, a young black woman sought to change how women of color were represented in digital media. Specifically, she wanted to intervene in how black women were portrayed in yoga and wellness spaces, because she didn't see many examples. This woman was me, three years ago. Nilsa Salgado, Founder of Soulpick, was someone who was (and still is!) representing women of color in all of our divine femininity, and complexity. She cultivates a community of strong rebel women and has done so for several years now. She's a strong example of what it means to be a Brown Girl In Om. Follow Nilsa on Instagram @NillyEarth and @Soulpick and read on to be inspired by her holistic wellness practices, self-confidence, and to get your hands on her go-to smoothie recipe.
Lauren Ash: Who is Nilsa Salgado?
Nilsa Salgado: I’m a 27 year old chick that like anyone reading this is just trying to figure shit out and do the best that I can daily (laughs). At my core, I’m a very sensitive person that feels everything quite deeply. I’m always seeking different ways to express the bits of my environment and experiences that accumulate in my soul. I’m forever searching for my art.
Lauren: Thank you for noting your sensitivity. A lot of times as women we’re both shamed for being “too emotional,” and yet it is our emotions and our intuition that often serve as such powerful guides. What does Black Girl In Om mean to you?
Nilsa: Black Girl in Om for me represents women of color coming together in a safe space to honor their connection with each other and their own unique individual journeys. It’s about demolishing the idea that we are competitors and “don’t wish to see each other do well.” It functions as a platform where we can instead share ideas centered around wellness freely with the sincere hope that it enriches the path taken by our sisters.
Lauren: Yes! And I’m so grateful that you are aware of our abundance mentality and sense our collaborative community. I see you doing this, too, with Soulpick. I’m still so in awe of how we first connected: on Instagram back in 2015. While social media can certainly be a point of constant criticism, it also brings many of us who are underrepresented in wellness, beauty, and image-making together.
Lauren: How do you identify with Black Girl In Om's mission?
Nilsa: Empowering women of color is a major part of my life’s work. In this way I identify with Black Girl In Om’s firm and ever expanding mission. I created the popular blog Soulpick which exists as a virtual space where women of color can connect with one another and feel affirmed in terms of their body, self worth, spirituality, creativity and manner of expressing self.
Personally, I try my best to maintain meaningful connections with my friends by uplifting and supporting them as much as possible. More than anything else today, I feel like us women of color really need to be in each other’s corner. Cheering each other on, because when SHE wins WE win!
Lauren: What are your self-care and self-love practices?
Nilsa: I’m straight forward with my self-care. I think that whatever practice you choose, the key is to be consistent and aware of how you are evolving as a person as a result of it. For me, it’s important to be open minded and willing to try different things before finding what resonates authentically. I like to run, doodle, listen to music, dance in my room, update my skincare routine, and keep a primarily organic and green diet. I’m also big into journaling and always make sure to have some kind of notebook on me in case inspiration strikes or I just need a quick outlet.
Lauren: What you share is really important because we live during a time in our society where self-care is trendy. It’s not uncommon to get in the habit of practicing something like yoga without really connecting with it deeply. Practiced in this way, yoga becomes just another activity. Another item on the to-do list. I’ve personally experienced this! I so agree with you that it’s so valuable to explore, play, reflect, and see what resonates.
Also, Nilsa, you forgot to mention one of your most noticeable self-care practices! Selfies. You’re the selfie queen and I love you for it. From declaring yourself a strong WOC and embracing your androgynous side, I seriously admire your use of the selfie to promote a radical self-love and appreciation for yourself and your environment as a woman of color. Plus, you keep it all the way real which, in turn, encourages more of us do to so!
Let's move on! What's one ritual you recommend more women of color adopt to cultivate inner beauty and wellness?
Nilsa: Altars. Altars. Altars. I’ve had different altars since I was a kid and didn’t really understand exactly what I was doing until later in life. Keeping a beauty altar helps me to honor the goddess within. My beauty altar contains my hair/skin products, essential oils, and herbs. I also put little pictures and stones on it to make it feel more like a piece of me—a material extension of the connectedness I have cultivated with my body. My beauty altar ensures that I pay reverence to the goddess daily. It’s a seamless fixture in my routine; something I can interact with by default on my laziest of days!
Lauren: That’s beautiful. I’ve never had an alter. Thank you for breaking down the power that it brings into your life!
What's one wellness product you can't live without?
Nilsa Salgado: Green Smoothies all day everyday!
Lauren Ash: What’s your favorite?
Nilsa Salgado: My go-to Organic Smoothie is a blend of baby kale, spinach, banana, a bit of tumeric root, chia seeds, a few baby carrots, blueberries, and peanut butter/almond butter. It works for me and it is my usual!