By Kinisha Correia
When you leave behind a life you once knew, in pursuit of a dream unrealized, there's death, a transition and hopefully a glorious and exhilarating rebirth. Well, that's what I'm banking on, anyway. A little over six months ago I packed up, left my home and business in Jamaica and moved to the U.S. to pursue my dream of becoming a thriving writer.
My goal is self-actualization. I want to blossom into the beautiful butterfly version of myself that I see in my mind. An artist. An international influencer. An advocate. A fulfilled, joyous, abundant, creator. These are the elements of the rebirth I long for. Though I am enamored by my birthplace, some of its social and economic realities had become suffocating. I felt stuck. My business was on the decline. It was a dream I had once had for myself and with the taste of that dream, I realized it wasn't going to be enough to quench my thirst in the long haul. Leaving Jamaica was much like a death. It was a fierce closure; an end.
Fast forward to today. In a few short months I've been exposed to powerful, passionate women and men living their dreams in each their own unique way, changing the consciousness of our planet little by little. They reflect a part of me I want to expand. They are crucial components of my transition. Whether by good fortune or fate, several game-changing Black women have crossed my path and left me with words of wisdom which have altered my course of action and served as beacons of light along my way. Here’s some of that wisdom. May it help you on your adventures through your own growth and expansion.
Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
Tiffany Persons was the first person I interviewed for my blog, Prana Writes, only two months after moving to the U.S. Her lesson for me: change your mind, change your life. Tiffany told me that despite starting a super successful talent agency in California, and even founding Shine on Sierra Leone, an awesome non-profit that helps create sustainable living and education for the people of Sierra Leone, her greatest obstacle was being stuck in a cycle of financial struggle. She changed that by shifting her mind from limitation to abundance. My greatest obstacle? The same damn thing. I immediately began actively seeking to work on my own mental shift around money and abundance.
Be Your Real, Raw Self
In October 2014 I attended Oprah's two-day event called "The Life You Want Weekend." Now, sure, bringing Oprah into this may be a bit typical, but there's a good reason why the woman is on so many people's inspiration list. That weekend, with a stadium full of women of all races and nationalities, I watched as Oprah bluntly presented her real, raw self, speaking a hell-of-alot about her experiences as a Black woman. She wove race into everything. And the room, full of mostly non-Black women, loved her just the same. My lesson, be your real, raw self. It's only then that people develop an authentic connection with you. Even if their experiences are different, honesty is magnetic.
Don't Just Talk About It, Be a DOER
Felecia Hatcher is an author, international speaker and the co-owner of Feverish Popsicle. She sees opportunity and ignores obstacles. Felecia is one of the first people I sat down and chatted with when I landed. When I told her a bit about what I wanted to do, she told me that for doers, opportunities abound. Why? Because there are a lot of people talking about doing things and way fewer people actually getting up to do them. She's a doer, she told me. I decided right then to consciously commit to being a doer too.
Stand for Your Values and Have Courage
Francheska Medina, the gorgeous bohemian naturalista behind HeyFranHey, shared with me in a heart-connecting interview that in 2014 her life had changed. She had begun a path of authentic self-examination, exploring and healing the pain in her life. As a leading natural beauty and fitness vlogger, she wanted to bring a greater depth of content to her audience. In 2015 she's launched into a mental health series that dives into the shadows we all carry. Her goal is spark discussion on topics young women of color aren't speaking up about. Opening that door, especially in the oftentimes frivolous world of social media, takes guts. There needs to be more of us making that commitment to speak up and lead change. She's inspired me to join her.
Know Your Shit
When I interviewed this goddess, it became clear to me why we should never, ever envy people at the top of their game, or think that it's luck that magically brought them there. Latham Thomas knows her shit. She's a women's wellness and maternal lifestyle expert, vegan, yogini, author. My short 20-minute telephone convo with Latham revealed her depth of knowledge on all aspects of wellness. Knowing your shit makes you of tremendous value, which leads to lasting success.
Take care of your body. According to Afya Ibomu, a holistic nutritionist, the wife of stic.man of dead prez and Erykah Badu's one-time vegan chef, drinking water is the basic ingredient for good health. She also suggests getting enough rest and eating as many green veggies as you can. Health is the basis for all of life's abundance. Without it, you have nothing. There's no success without health. So, as I vigorously pursue my dreams, I will remember my health as the cornerstone of my life and commit to taking care of myself along my journey.
Kinisha Correia is a freelance writer and blogger based in Florida. She is a columnist with the Miami Herald, highlighting local community-building initiatives. She also operates Prana Writes, a blog dedicated to sharing knowledge around wellness, eco-living, yoga, the arts, conscious travel, ethical fashion and showcasing change-making people and projects around the globe doing positive work in these areas. Kinisha has a Masters degree in Communications for Social & Behavior Change, and a Bachelors in English Literature. She recently moved to the United States from Jamaica to pursue a flourishing career as a writer. In Jamaica she co-owned a communications and event planning company called Prana Lifestyle, which served primarily the wellness, yoga and conscious lifestyle communities. She began her professional life, however, as a lifestyle reporter with the country's leading newspaper, and as a freelance writer for several noteworthy Caribbean magazines. Over the years she continued to write for magazines and also for businesses and organizations, writing proposals and various promotional copy. Today, Kinisha has returned to her roots, determined to build a fruitful career as an international writer focused primarily on well-living and social development. She is 35-years-old and married.