I can imagine being in a national pageant is filled with pressure and expectations of others how do you handle that mentally and physically?
Yes, preparing for a national pageant can definitely be stressful. But I know that whatever happens, win or lose, it’s all a part of the journey. Preparing for the pageant is about becoming the best version of myself. Every day I do something to better myself, not just for the pageant but for my life. I use meditation to align and become more present. Being present helps soothe my anxiety because I’m not overwhelmed with thoughts about the future. I also love Buti yoga. It’s a form of yoga that includes dance and tribal movement. It’s faster pace, leaving no room for thoughts. You must be present. We listen to really great music and you’re just in the moment. Looking at your body in the mirror and appreciating your curves, it’s a real confidence booster! You’re able to get out of the mind and into the body.
When you focus within, you’re able to see that life is about the journey then you’re able to relieve yourself of any pressure and expectations.
Is it easy living a life to prioritize travel? I can imagine maintaining it consistency could be difficult.
I love this question! I’m kind of lucky, well I’m really lucky because my father has worked in the airline industry for over twenty years. This has alleviated a huge part of the financial burden of traveling. I’ve been traveling the world with my family since a very young age. I was born into this lifestyle. But anyone can make traveling a priority. It’s all about your mindset. People think that it’s so expensive to travel and it can be but it doesn’t have to be. I like to use saving apps, that save money for me every time I spend. After a few months, I’ll have like $500 saved. That’s a trip to Barbados right there! Google flight tracker allows you to see the best time to purchase a ticket. You have to save, do your research, keep your passport current and be open to new experiences.
What Gil Scott Heron song have you learned a life lesson from and what’s the title?
The revolution will not be televised.
The word revolution means a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence. A couple years ago watched a documentary on the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers were on the brink of a Black American Revolution. That kind of radical impact is why the government had to take them out. They were going to change society as we know it today, and they scarified their lives for movement just like King, Malcolm X, Mandala and so many other black heroes .
I love when Heron says, “the revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.” In this social media age there will come a day when we can no longer sit behind a screen. We will have to go out into the world and become the change we want to see. Don’t get me wrong, social media is a powerful tool but there will come a time, that something will hit you so deep that you will have to do more than post about it. I now have that urge. I’ve been moved to do more in my community. We control our destiny but we have to take action.
Have you had any profound life changing dreams that you remember?
I’ve definitely had some profound dreams. Once I had a dream that I was in this huge crowd of people. There was a huge stage in front and I was scheduled to perform. The MC was calling my name, asking me to come to stage. As I tried to make way to the front, people in the crowd kept stopping me, they were cheering me on, trying to take selfies and at the same time handing me drugs and alcohol. I’m just smiling and laughing, posing for selfies. Meanwhile, the MC says “well, I guess Jamila couldn’t make it tonight.” Immediately, I drop everything and try to run to the stage but its too late. This dream was a real wake up call. It caused me to realize that impact that distractions was having on my life at the time. That dream shook me to my core. It made me realize that if I truly wanted success, I couldn’t be stuck in the crowd allowing myself to be enticed by substances or so called “fame.”
How has yoga been a benefit to your diet and vice versa?
Yoga is the union of mind, body and spirit. Once you’re awaken in one aspect of your life, everything else aligns with that. Yoga helped me gain the awareness that what I eat ultimately affects my karma, as well as my emotions and vibration. I was a strict vegan for two years. I was trying so hard to stick to the label of “vegan” that it was having a detrimental impact on my body. One day, I fainted face first on the pavement. It’s funny because at that time I thought I was so “woke,” but I wasn’t paying any attention to all processed vegan junk food I was eating. And all the restrictions were making me miserable.
Now days, I eat what I want to eat when I want to eat it lol. I bless the food and think about the sacrifice that was made. I believe God put animals on this earth to help support and sustain mankind. However, the evolution of the meat industry is destroying our environment and treating animals in cruel and torturous ways. When we consume animals in that way it has negative consequences. There’s an energetic transfer of trauma and fear. I’m very conscious of the type of meat I consume, its either Kosher and Halal. But I actually thoroughly enjoy living a plant-based lifestyle – consider myself vegan-ish. Keeping some vegan principles makes me more aware and creative just like yoga.
What was your first memory ever?
One of my very first memories is being at my Grandma’s house in Cleveland. I was probably about four or five. Grandma picked us up from the airport. While in the car, she asked me and my sister what we wanted for dinner. My sister shouted pizza at the same time I requested Chinese food. My grandma was so sweet. She would take us to get both. That’s one of my first and favorite memories. At that age I was my true authentic self at all times – 100% carefree black girl! Which is something that I now strive for, back then it was so simple. Back then, I didn’t worry about being “nice” or “polite.” In Minnesota, we have something called “Minnesota nice.” It’s actually terrible because it causes people to be very passive aggressive. Everyone beats around bush in an effort to be polite. My grandma taught us to be direct and say exactly what you want. You don’t have to compromise.
Do you feel as if the natural body can be fashionable? If so elaborate on how you can create your own style within the skin your in.
I think one of the best people that shows us how to do that is Rihanna and I love watching her transformation. Her body has changed a lot over the years from really skinny to super curvy. You see her confidence at every stage. Her style has evolved as her body has evolved. She’s truly a fashion icon!
I absolutely love my body now but when I was younger I struggled a lot. I was super skinny and pretty flat chested. I can’t believe I’m admitting this but in middle school I would wear two bras to make them look bigger haha. My mom, sister and aunt on the other hand had these huge boobs. Here I am thinking when are mine going to come in like that. Eventually I got them but they’re still far from “huge.” When I saw women on TV with big breasts, I thought “they’ve probably had boob jobs, I’ll get one too when I have the money.” But then at some point I had to think, “who am I doing this for? Will having bigger breasts actually make me happy or am I trying to make the world happy with my physical appearance? ” My fav, Tyra Banks would always talk about her big boobs and how she was often felt restricted [with them]. Tyra always says “ I can’t go to the mall in just like a T-shirt and no bra and I can’t wear cute little v-cut shirts” As I got older, I started to realize that small breasts can be really sexy. I found different styles and cuts that looked really really good on me. It’s about accepting the way God made you and finding what works for you!
A flower requires sunshine to blossom, what do you require to?
I require sunshine as well! Good health and positive relationships. Above all, blossoming requires self love! Everyone talks about self-love, but what about actually falling in love with yourself? We’re constantly comparing ourselves. We’re thinking “that girl is prettier, she’s got six pack, she’s better at yoga.” I think self-love comes from admiring your unique qualities, developing your unique skills and falling in love with yourself because you know you got it going on! Personally, I had look at how I fall in love with others. I look at all of the wonderful things about that person, even their flaws are special. I accept them completely without judgment. So why can’t I have that same unconditional love for myself?
I show myself love by admiring my beauty in the mirror (with or without a face full of makeup), telling myself that I’m amazing, kind, and smart. I show myself love with self-care. Taking long relaxing baths, taking care of my appearance, cleaning my room, eating a nice healthy meal – that’s self-love! When you have self-love, you have an inner glow about you. People can feel it when you walk into the room.
Life is an art form how is your masterpiece coming together, what materials and colors are you using and do you feel as if it is close to completion?
I am using every color of the rainbow! I love vibrant colors. I think that they’re the most divine expression of godliness. My masterpiece is more of a collage, documenting my soul’s journey in this human experience. There are many ups and downs, twists and turns, each one adds to my masterpiece – making it even more intricate and wonderful. As I document and share it with the world through my modeling, travel and yoga pictures, people are able to witness the life I’m creating. It will be cool to see how everything comes. I have a lot of moving pieces. I’m a yogi/lawyer/model/entrepreneur/pageant queen lol. I think when people are able to see it all come together right before their eyes, they’ll be able to appreciate the journey in the same way art work is appreciated. Some will say “WOW OKAY that’s really different and cool! ” and other’s will say “mhmm… that’s interesting, I’m not really sure what to think.” Either way, I think it’s so important to share your journey with others so that they can feel inspired.
Do you have anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247?
I’m humbled by the opportunity to share my thoughts with the readers of infocus247. I just want to remind everyone to be gentle with yourself, take it easy and just appreciate the journey. The journey is the fun part! One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Esther Hicks, jokes that if you were to go on vacation, you wouldn’t complain the whole plane ride to your destination. You’d be excited but also relaxed, you’d maybe even look out the window and admire the sunset.
You can follow Jamilama’s Journey here on IG