Being knowledgeable of the energy exchange with people when it comes to providing energy services was an important lesson for me. I felt that as a spiritual energy empowerment advisor I should not charge people because it is a work of service. I learned that does not work, it will leave you burned out and tired. While I do not provide my services solely to just make money, I had to start charging for what I provide. In order to be respectful of my time and make sure I am getting the value to manage what I do provide and invest in to give clients a great service having set prices for somethings are very important.
As a part of our series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Goddess Akilah O’Connor.
Goddess Akilah is a certified reiki master and entrepreneur who has been walking through her spiritual journey for the past 6 years. Her spiritual journey began as one out of curiosity which lead to healing and turned into a passion of bringing an enlightment of self love and awareness to others. She co-created her company La Vie Body and Soul, LLC with her mother where they create experience’s for individuals inner glow to become illuminated. More information about her company and story can be found at www.laviebodyandsoul.com .
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Growing up Seeing the good in everyone seemed to be something of a curse living in the neighborhood of East New York, Brooklyn, NY and later became my greatest gift. Growing up I would always daydream watching the sky, pondering life as an adult and had a family that allowed space for imagination to grow. This form of thinking led into many transformative ways of learning and exploring opportunities in life that others may not have seen. I often sat quietly observing, listening, taking in the many interworking’s of life and taking a joy in animals. As I write this I begin to see the “gift” I was given that I never noticed before, I always had a way of seeing the unseen. I was always one to comfort those who was hurt, give encouragement to those who felt discouraged and see the talent’s they hold when they have a hard time seeing themselves. I always thought I would be doing something that would help others, but never did I think it would be this way.
I thought I’ll be a doctor, a veterinarian, work for americorps; but a Spiritual Energy Empowerment Advisor is something I definitely did not see through any of my wildest dreams, but here I am and loving it. I obtained my bachelors in Entrepreneurship and an MBA with a concentration in project management and my certification in reiki came a few years after. I was finished college and was feeling stuck, almost lost in what to do next and what life was supposed to look like now. There I began to feel like I lost that magical outlook of being able to see the unseen, I lost my foresight and felt completely lost and even went through some depression. Then I began working and started to find myself in that groove again of making people feel seen and heard and my spark came back. Afterwards I was introduced to reiki and I fell in love the very first time.
Through reiki I developed a deeper understanding and connection to life. Reiki began a new stage in my life, it was a brand new practice introduced into my life that slowly changed everything. I was able to face past traumas and find true peace in it, I found ways of practicing self love that did not exist before, the meaning of words changed for me and I was able to navigate through life seeing the unseen and be apart of the interworking’s of the world I once used to just sit by and watch. It’s a very peculiar lesson I learned in how to change one’s perspectives to gain a lesson through hardships. Because without the moments of depression or feeling lost I would not have been able to find not only how I could apply my true passions in life but also how life is always working for us. Mindfulness and reiki changed the way I digested and interpreted life, more aware and conscious of how I live. Like making sure I am intentional about my first thoughts when I wake up or creating boundaries with unconditional love.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I find every part of my career to be interesting. Being a Spiritual Energy Empowerment Advisor I meet people of all walks of life and everyone always seems to be looking for the same or similar things in life. No matter who we are or where we come from we all are looking to live a life where we get to thrive and be surrounded by love. I have had clients in australia, texas, california, new york and various other places and amongst various cultures, however everyone is looking for guidance and peace in life and most answers come from unconditional love.
The biggest thing I took away from this was knowing how we all may be individuals, but we are all the same. The effects that we have on each other are very impactful and when we take the time to be mindful and intentional about the words we communicate to ourselves and others, we begin to heal our relationships with ourselves, families and friends. Whenever we begin to think we are alone in the world or on a path separate from everyone else, if we take the time to really look at others we notice we are not so alone. This changed my perspective about community and helped me to be able to join various groups of people where they were also on their spiritual, business, personal or relationship journey. And just as I give to my client’s I learn something new about myself at the same time, because everything is a give and take.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of the biggest mistake I made when starting my business was thinking I was superwomen who can do it all and learn it all on her own. Trying to face everything as the lone ranger was ok for a little while but then I began to get lost in waiting until things looked perfect and caught in overwhelm trying to manage a job along with a business. Trying to do everything alone costed a lot of money, it costed stress but it also led me into an opportunity of meeting amazing people.
Through the process of learning to seek guidance from others I was able to accomplish a lot more in a shorter amount of time, I was able to make connections and learn how to build my tribe. The tribe I built a connection and relationship with became a huge backbone for me when there was days I was not sure how expand my brand. It was a valuable lesson for me to realize that we can work as a community, and that community can provide a lot of knowledge that can help a business to be more efficient and have fun at the same time.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are so many people who has been such a grate force behind me in building my business from my business coach, to my mother, my family, friends, clients, mentors and teachers but I am very grateful towards my friend Edward Smalls. Edward has been a friend of mine for the past 18years and he was the one who introduced me to reiki, we have spent much time together on many adventures figuring out life and being each others support system. One day as we were connecting with each other he invited me to a reiki circle with him and I had absolutely no clue of what it was even after it being explained several times. But I had a trust in him and thought let me try something new today, it was a time period where I was feeling a little lost and unclear about what my life path would be. As we went into the reiki circle we all took turns scanning everyone’s aura, I was in complete amazement that reiki existed. It was everything I was looking for at the time, it was the perfect addition to my life and everything began to feel like it’s going to be ok. From that point to today a lot of things in my life has changed and I am grateful for it. I seem to always find a way to become aligned with amazing people and those who I am able to learn and share with and vice versa.
Edward has no idea how much of an angel he was for me that day, I never told him that just about a month or so before I went to the circle with him I prayed for something like this to enter my life. Even though neither edward or I would have even thought it would turn into me becoming a Spiritual Energy Empowerment Advisor I am very grateful for him. Reiki became a bases for the changes I began to make in my life, such as being more aware and in tune to my body, being more conscious of my thoughts and aware of being present to people in a room. Every obstacle I went through in reiki edward was a huge support system that was available to me, he was someone I could practice with, study and could help me to understand the different changes I would go through. When becoming spiritually aware our lives and body goes through many changes because your bodies nervous system and cells begins to change as well. Having someone around that you can lean on during these times have proven to be very helpful. We are all made to be in commune with each other and I definitely have learned that through this journey.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
The work I am doing is helping people to love themselves again, to heal and mend relationships and make peace with past traumas. When it applies to health and wellness and the impact it has on the world my mind goes that simple phrase “hurt people hurt people, so healed people will heal people”. Often in life we do not take the time to stop and face the traumas that has hurt us, detox ourselves of the toxic relationships and behaviors we have engaged in or tell ourselves “I love you” just because. When the time is taken to love ourselves on a deeper level we become a more intentional and mindful individual that contributes to society.
My work as a Spiritual Energy Empowerment Advisor provides people with the tools to be able to find the peace in themselves through dynamic work and exercises. These exercises are arranged to bring forward subconscious habits that leads to us making unhealthy choices and addressing them by replacing it with new healthier habits. While this work does take time and it is not to build perfect people because the reality is that no one is perfect, but if we are able to find the unconditional love within ourselves it will become contagious and infectious to others. When people begin to notice you’ve changed they will begin to ask what have you been doing? Or start looking for ways to better impact their lives. Then we begin to have a wave effect of change, we begin to heal broken families and have a better relationship with the person we spend the most time with… Ourselves.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
My top five “lifestyle tweaks” are dynamic practices that works on creating new habits, be conscious of self love and setting your subconscious for a positive day.
- Morning Meditations: Every morning taking the time to be still and one with yourself allows your mind to be set for one of calm, peace and flow. Before meditating in the mornings I was stressed working in a high pressured job and it begun to effect my health. The meditations helped to give me a boost of energy leading into each day and the ability to face difficult situations with ease while also decreasing some of my health effects.
- Speaking meaningful affirmations: The words we speak have great power over our mental and physical experience’s. Our minds create our experiences so if you begin your day out with positive impactful meaningful words, that will begin to build in our minds the experience of a positive loving day. Speaking meaningful affirmations also provides a tool to heal parts of yourself that you would like to change and replace with a heathier habit.
- Breathing: Breathing properly allows the oxygen flow in our body to increase our awareness and allow more nutrients to enter into our cellular and nervous system. Our cellular and nervous system is where we experience the effects of our mindfulness, there is where the changes of our behavior enters into our system to become a habit and helps us to be more alert. Here we are able to set in the work done through our tools and practices.
- Journaling: taking the time to track and create goals for the things I would like to see created for myself and company helps me to be intentional with the steps and decisions I make day to day. Journaling also creates an outlet for tracking progress made through my journey, it feels good to be able to see the life you want for yourself slowly changing and also it gets that loud chatter out of your head.
- Rewards: A healthy habit should always be rewarded. Having a reward set up for the goals achieved and consistency created gives you a way to give yourself appreciation and begin to develop less need for outward validation. Having a healthy relationship with yourself where you freely give to you before giving to everyone else creates a boundary where you give yourself permission to be celebrated and not be burned out by giving and giving without being replenished.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
A movement I would love to start is a workplace that allows mindfulness sessions. So many people go to work day in an out stressed from the disappointment in a dead end job, the pressure stacks on and we are left with many who has no way of properly managing their stress, increasing medical issues and moodiness. Most people pass away on a Monday morning heading to work and that agonizing pain of having to face a stressful job can have a life altering effect on the way we interact with others, our families and the way we feel about ourselves. I would love to be able to integrate mindfulness and meditation sessions for work places to help people learn how to manage work stress, create mindfulness for peace and decrease stress related health issues.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- I wish someone told me that I did not have to have everything perfect in order to get started. Often you learn more about your target market, what people like and what relates to them the most after beginning. It took me 5 years before deciding to provide spiritual energy empowerment services to people, because I thought no one would get it. I spent so much time creating things that to this day I never even put out because I thought well no on will get it, but how would you know unless you release it for them to experience. We can not think for people and can not speak for their experiences, it turned out people love reiki, tarot readings and mindfulness.
- If someone could have told me being my authentic self is what people are looking for, it would have saved me some anxiety and I am sure someone else needs to hear this too. We are waiting for your authentic self to show up! I was doing research on how people would want a spiritual empowerment advisor to show up instead of focusing on who I am and what I bring to the table. The skills comes from within and who you are as a person is more than enough to show up and share your skills.
- If I knew I did not have to rely solely on having a physical location I would have started much sooner. Running my business virtually has been a great way for me to be able to begin my company. Having a creative mind and learning innovative ways of running your business that works best for you makes budgeting easier and also helps to find new ways of reaching clients.
- Being knowledgeable of the energy exchange with people when it comes to providing energy services was an important lesson for me. I felt that as a spiritual energy empowerment advisor I should not charge people because it is a work of service. I learned that does not work, it will leave you burned out and tired. While I do not provide my services solely to just make money, I had to start charging for what I provide. In order to be respectful of my time and make sure I am getting the value to manage what I do provide and invest in to give clients a great service having set prices for somethings are very important.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Environmental changes is the dearest cause to me because without a protected environment, our place of existence will continue to be in jeopardy. Our environment is what provides us with the resources and nourishment we rely on everyday and if our environment is jeopardized we will not only lose the animals and creatures in our society that all services a purpose but we will also lose the things we rely on such as fresh water and food.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
I can be found on Instagram and facebook @laviebodyandsoul. Our website also have our contact available http://www.laviebodyandsoul.com.
Thank you for these fantastic insights!