Hello love! Welcome back to another celebration! Fridays are quickly becoming my favorite day of the week! The day where I get to focus on celebrating someone that uplifts me, inspires me and adds a little sunshine to my day! Today I am celebrating Jamila Anahata, The Soulful Veganista of thesoulfulveganista.com ! I have been following Jamilas journey for a couple of years now and she has definitely kept the inspiration flowing!
Jamila Anahata is the social media marketer for The Afro Vegan society, a model, queen of Shadow work and a Holistic Life Coach. I love Jamilas approach to getting to the root of the problems that keep us from being who we are truly meant to be, she keeps it real and relatable, which is so refreshing.
I had the pleasure of having a lovely Soulversation with Jamila and here’s what she had to say:
You are the epitome of authentically living my best most truest life and I’m here for all it!
Thank you so much! That is definitely my mission, to show people how to change their mindset to serve themselves once and for all. I hope that people don’t perceive it that we have to be in our feely feels all the time and we have to be dark and dim because once we do that, that’s when we can feel the joy. The joy feels so much more joyful when you’ve moved passed some crap that you’ve been dealing with.
How did you come up with The Soulful Veganista?
Well I thought of my name a few months after I went vegan because I wanted to show Black folks what holistic living looked like. I wanted to show off my smoothie inventions, yoga poses, meditation techniques, and raw meals, and I thought there was no better name to describe what I do/did than The Soulful Veganista!
Tell me about your vegan journey:
I’ve been vegan for 7 years now! It started back in May of 2013 and it was one of the best things I did for myself. I was in the middle of a health kick with an ex and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t going about it the right way, especially since I was one to yo-yo diet ALL the time.
I felt gross during this particular diet and exercise regimen so I finally did my research on what the problem could be. What I found shocked me completely because I was conditioned to believe that the food I’ve been ingesting for 20 years (at that point) was supposed to nourish me; I had no idea that it was the very reason for my weird health issues.
After the soul-crushing research and viewing of Earthlings, I decided enough was enough and I had to live differently. Shortly after, I bought books to read about veganism in the Black community and that paved the way of how I approach my social justice activism today!
What is one thing you wish you knew before going vegan/plant based?
Honestly, I wish I learned how to cook. It was fun learning along the way but my first few vegan meals would have been bomb if I already knew how! Also I wish I knew that vegan/plant-based communities harbored racist beliefs but then again, the world is anti-Black and that’s just how it be sometimes.
Are there any foods you avoid? Why?
Let me tell you that I’m supremely picky! It’s a curse but I can’t stand tomatoes, bananas, mushrooms, cucumbers, melons of all kinds, etc. Of course these things are difficult to avoid but make it work though.
What is one food that can’t live without?
This one is tough. I would probably say biscuits! They’re not my #1 favorite food but it would severely bother me if I couldn’t have some again.
How did you get into Shadow Work?
I didn’t start learning about Shadow work until 2 years ago. I was driving around doing stuff for The Afro Vegan Society in the city. I was driving too fast and I got hit by truck with my bosses daughter and my co worker in the car and it was my fault. After that I went to a psychic that day and she let me know that I needed to get in touch with my ancestors. I listened to her and bought all of the things she recommended. I built an alter and did all of the things that got me deeper into listening to my internal voice.
A month after that I started doing more research and came across a video of someone talking about shadow work and it opened my eyes. I connected my lack of dealing with what was going on underneath with that car accident. I began questioning everything and Shadow work held me accountable and I wanted to give that feeling to other people. It doesn’t always feel good but getting to the root shows you more about yourself and how to handle similar situations. It’s like your own type of therapy in a way.
Who inspires you?
My boss Brenda Sanders the executive director for Afro Vegan Society. She’s very inspiring, she does it all. She fights for her people all day long. She makes me feel like I can do whatever I want to do.
What do you do with fear?
I try my hardest not to internalize it and make it a habit of it controlling my life. Especially as black people our root chakra is all the way turnt because we are always trying to survive and we can’t help but be in fear for our lives. I like to examine, back to shadow work, it and analyze it and challenge it.
What book has had the greatest impact in your life?
Sistah Vegan really help me connect myself to Veganism as a black person but it helped me learn about food access, food oppression and the struggles of other Black women and FEMS.
What is one of your simple joys?
Oh, there are so many for me as a little Pisces but here are a few: my friends and family, being alive, FOOD, makeup, goth fashion, death metal, the sound of nature, meditation, lifting at the gym, and watching horror movies.
What are you favorite self care tips?
The number one thing is positive self-talk. Most of us have a narrative in our heads that makes us believe we’re our own worst enemy, but we’re truly not. We’re simply attempting to make sense of everything the media and our guardians have told us we are, and sometimes that means we’re constantly at war in our heads over who we truly are and who the world wants us to be. Once we program our minds to be at peace with who we are regardless of outside voices, then the true self/soul-care can begin.
What are your best practices for getting through challenging times?
I look at my lifestyle. Lifestyle is very important. If you have something lined up in your regiment where you can focus on your growth that is really helpful.
It’s so funny that you mentioned that because I kinda just learned how I do that, but it’s reminding myself that I’ve been challenged before and have made it through. Nothing can break me because the situations I thought that would have only strengthened me. Other than encouraging self-talk, I like to make sure I’m relaxed as much as possible by taking work and social media breaks, eating comfort food, watching movies, and snuggling up on my couch when I can.
What is one song that will make you move your body?
I wish I could tell you the real song because it’s technically offensive, but I would say it’s a mix of Carrion Prophecy by Incantation and Wants to Get Funked Up by P Funk!
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that I’m extremely sensitive and will take mostly anything personally haha. It might seem like I don’t give a fuck online but it’s just because I’m not scared to express myself artistically. But if someone communicates something in a way that hurts my feelings, it very temporarily makes me feel like I suck and as if they hate me.
What are you most grateful for right now?
I have so many things to be grateful for! I am so grateful that everything happens in my favor no matter what. I am grateful for my friends and my family. I am grateful for you. I am grateful for my platform. I am grateful for the support I have gotten from people I have never met before in my life! I am grateful for whatever is within me that makes me, me. I grateful for always showing up for myself and not abandoning myself. I’m grateful for being black because the richness and intensity of being a black person is just unspeakable in a great way.
What is something that gives you hope for the future?
Knowing that everything does get better. It may not be in our lifetimes especially when it comes to societal factors. My needs are always met.
Don’t just stop at Veganism, don’t just stop at anti-racism work, anti sexism work, always examine all possible ways you can support movements. We have to remember that there’s always more that we can do societally and internally. And examine, examine, examine.
Where can we find you?
YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, The Soulful Veganista and I definitely want you to check out the Afro Vegan Society, I’m the marketing director for them so I’m the social media person. We have a national Afro Vegan virtual conference coming up on July 25th, its free. Its going to be black vegan voices empowering people.
Thank you so much for stopping by for my celebration of Jamila! I had too much fun! Definitely check her out and until next time, Stay Fabulous!