We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenya Jackson-Saulters and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kenya, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
Fake it ‘til you make it. I cringe every time I see this phrase. I think it is so unsettling to me, because it feels both disingenuous and inauthentic. I work in the mental health field, so I always want to be cognizant of the perceptions of the women I work with. I don’t want them to look at me as this person who has it “all figured” out-and then negatively judge themselves/and their struggles against me and mine. Now, of course, I can’t control how another person chooses to interpret me or my life-but I can control purposely promoting a false narrative because it makes me look more successful, more healed, more fit, etc. Plus, this phrase makes it seem like “making it,” is some final and finite destination (but we all know it isn’t). All things in life are a process-one that ebbs and flows. So, truly there is no need to pretend or “fake” to be “up” one moment-when the next moment-you might actually be “up.” I prefer to be honest with my community about the areas where I have grown and the areas where I have growing to do. My prayer is that they offer me the same compassion, I offer them.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is rooted in wellness. Because of that, at the core of everything I do is spiritual, emotional, or psychological principles. My books are based on concepts found in psychology and sociology. The curriculum for my events, eBooks, courses, and masterclass are written with a spiritual wellness lens. Additionally, all the guest speakers I invite in to work with my community have experience and credentials in one or more mental or spiritual health fields. I do this because it was important to me to build a business that was rooted in real healing. I wanted to create a lower barrier to entry for women who needed support for their personal wellness journey. To me, that means exposing them to the best content, people, and experiences available. It means giving them practical resources that they could duplicate and use for their own growth (with or without me). After 5 years of being one of only a handful of Black women in this space, I am so proud to be publishing a Nature Meditation deck in a few months. I have partnered with Chronicle Books to create a collection of nature meditations that merge mindfulness and outdoor activity. I am grateful that I have been able to create something that formally connects these two spaces. What I’d like people to know about me is that I am a wellness advocate, writer, and healing professional first. My work in those spaces is what has helped me build my business. And any other business I am involved in will have those foundational elements as well.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First things first, I would have to take them to “my mountain- “Mount Arabia in Lithonia, GA. Arabia is by far my favorite place to hike, journal, and meditate. It’s where I take my one-on-one clients and where we host our annual “Wine Hike.” It’s my all-time favorite outdoor GA spot. For drinks, there are so many options, but I would absolutely have to take my bestie to my “cheers,” EAV Thai and Sushi. They have theeee best frozen margaritas and my favorite server who has been serving them up to me for the past 8 years. Food wise, we have to hit up 8ight sushi, Aria restaurant in Buckhead, Osteria 832, and La Fonda for the salmon tacos (3 please with the extra sauce on the side). Wednesday, I’d take them to get a good work out with Dogpound Athletics. They have a trampoline fitness class that is super hard, but also super fun! On Thursday night, I would go to “shake it” at Whisky Mistress-my fave spot for drinks and dancing. Then on Saturday we would have to go check out all the pretty plant babies at the Bradford Botanical Plant pop up! Sunday Funday, I would do a little walking meditation on the eastside beltline followed by empanadas and more margaritas at Guac and Margy’s.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to shout out and thank my business partner and wife, Michelle Jackson-Saulters. Not only did Michelle help build The Outdoor Journal Tour alongside me, but she has also proofread my books, reviewed my contracts-and encouraged my creativity and growth every step of the way. She has been the “how” to my “what” for over a decade. I also have to shout out Ashley Hicks, founder of Black Girls RUN!, and one my very first mentors. Ashley helped convince me that a Black girl could have a voice in the outdoor wellness industry. Not only that, she consistently put me in contact with the right people to help grow my vision. I can’t thank her enough for her belief in me-and the opportunities she gave me to learn-both from and with her.

Website: www.wehiketoheal.org

Instagram: @outdoorjournaltour @consultkenya

Image Credits
Raquita Weathers Ameer Linthicum Alonso Tal

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