With the increased awareness of the #MeTooMovement all the way down to R&B singer, Michelle Williams discussing her battle with depression, the topic of sexual abuse and depression is a narrative that is not going away anytime soon.
It’s very important to discuss these critical topics to not only bring awareness, but also attainable actions that are being done by celebrities and millions of women across the globe.
I recently had the chance to sit down again with the multi talented Aina Brei’Yon to get her perspectives on the narratives that are being discussed with many women, especially women in Hip Hop.
The topic of suicide and mental health has become an increasingly discussed topic lately in the media. Tell our readers how you are currently embracing these conversations and using your platform to spread the message?
This topic is a very touchy one. The only thing I can honestly do is spread love and continue to tell people how unique they are, and how beautiful life truly is. That’s the image I rather embed in their minds. At times, I hold open discussions on my Instagram live, and I allow people to talk about what they are currently going through, so they can see and feel how much they are not alone.
I make sure I end every discussion that takes place on a lighter note because I do understand how heavy these topics are. My goal is to have them look deeper into their problem to see what exactly needs to be addressed.
A lot of people tend to stay surface with their issues, and end up not resolving anything. Forgiveness and compassion is key. This is something that I preach and live by.
The media plays a big role in how young teens and even adults view themselves. As a person of prominent status, how do you tackle these scenarios to make sure your fans believe that beauty is not deemed by what society or the media projects?
At random, I’ll put up a post that says, “Hey beautiful” and no one is excluded. I want people to know and understand that social media is not the deciding factor of what true beauty is. People will post their highlights, and best angles, but you rarely see the raw and real.
Everything external is just an illusion and a distraction that keeps you from going within. The way you treat yourself and the people around you determines your beauty.
The physical fades. What will you have left when that’s no more? The mind and heart is a direct connection to the universe. The physical is your prison suit. I preach this all the time as well.
As an entertainer and creator, you are in a very male dominated industry. What are you currently doing to make sure your music is authentic and not degrading to your fellow woman, although the majority of the music out can be degrading to women?
I just do it. I don’t focus on the industry being male dominated. I focus on my craft and the intent behind what I do. I used to be the same way-acidic in my music. That came from a place of anger and a misunderstanding of my life experiences. As I grew as a person, I wanted more. I wanted to be more responsible with my content. I just grew up.
You recently performed at the One Music Fest and will be headlining the Messiah Festival LA. Tell our viewers about your experience doing those performances and what have you learned?
The Messiah Festival has yet to take place. I am excited about that one as well. One Music Fest felt like home. My performance was confirmation that I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I felt more alive than ever before.
You are very multifaceted in all avenues of your career. What keeps you going and motivated?
What keeps me going, honestly, is the love I have for it. Motivation works for some, but you have to love what you are doing. That’s when you become more determined.
Let’s talk Pretty Girls Make Me Nervous. A very interesting title. Tell our readers a little bit about the song and what the message is.
I have met a lot “beautiful” women in my life that turns out to be not so beautiful at all. Their beauty is limited to their external possessions, including the physical. That word “beauty” is being used so loosely, especially in the industry.
My goal behind the song, was to let the women, who doesn’t feel beautiful compared to the women who is being praised and highlighted all over social media, know, that beauty is what they are, and not what they are seeing.
I want them to remain true to themselves and be proud of who they are. You don’t have to be praised by the masses to know that you are worthy of praise. It starts with self.
Going back to the subject of mental health, what advice can you give to those who may be experiencing a mental health breakdown and don’t know which direction to turn?
To be completely honest, I’ll start by not accepting that diagnoses. Once you accept it, it becomes real and you start relying on everything outside of yourself to function normally. Connect the dots of the issue to see where it stems from. A lot of our issues are connected to our childhood; connected to who our parents are and were to us. Pay close attention to the patterns of your behavior.
We have to come to an understanding that every experience we have takes place for us to grow from; not repeat and play victim. Life happens and that’s out of our control, but how we respond to it is all on us. People who break us have been broken too. This is something we truly need to wrap our heads around. Us being hurt, has deeper layers and connections than us just being hurt by someone.
We take these experiences way too personal and we get angry, and breakdown by staying at the surface of the events that take place in our lives. Other events that took place outside of you, have led to those events. We have to care about the entire story and not just the part that involved us. I say all of that to say, get your life back.
You are more powerful than you think. Practice compassion for yourself, and that’ll help you in practicing compassion for others. LOVE is the only way. It truly is.
In the Black community particularly, how important do you think it is to discuss mental health?
I believe it’s very important. Black people are so ashamed of this topic. They feel alone in what they are going through. That’s why they stand still in it for so long instead of actually getting through it. It needs to be discussed so people can know and feel that they are not alone.
How do you practice good mental health? What are some routines you do that you can share?
I take responsibility for myself. I’m kind to myself. On my bathroom mirror, I write myself reminders that I am brave and beautiful. That I am a queen. This is the first thing I see when I wake up and use the bathroom when the sun rises. I did a lot of forgiving of myself, and others. I detox a lot because what you put inside of you can alter your mental state as well.
You can’t expect to feel alive on the inside if you consistently put dead things inside of you. I connect with myself a lot. Meditation is key for me, and taking breaks away from social media and tv programming. I protect my energy very well, and I don’t suppress my feelings.
Any last comments you’d like to make to our readers?
Yes..peace, love, and light. You are beautiful. You are important. Tune out the world, and tune into yourself. That’s where all of your answers lie. Always follow your first mind and don’t allow that little roommate in your head to talk you out of it. Your first mind is intuitive, the best answer, and your true authentic self.
Be pure. Not pure as in perfect, but pure as in your rawest, purest form. And if people don’t like it, they don’t deserve to be in your space. Never be afraid to lose people. Every loss is not a loss. Trust me. You’ll gain the ones that matches your vibration once the dead weight is gone. You got this.