Please introduce yourself and your business to our community.
Hi, I’m Yasmin. Creative Photographer, Content Creator, Published Author, and the creator behind the beautiful brand and blog, The Journey Well Collection. I started my new wellness blog as a personal outlet to be transparent and to share my thoughts, affirmations, and real-life experiences along this journey to becoming the best version of myself.
At what point in your life did you realize your passion?
I really tapped into my creative side with photography about 4 years ago. Tapping into my creative side has paved the way and opened more doors for not only my businesses but my personal life and brand as well.
What did you learn about yourself in 2020?
Whew, 2020 I learned a lot, but most importantly what I learned about myself was that I so desperately wanted to grow, be free and heal. The more connected I feel to myself the more in tune I am with the people, the energy and vibes around me.
What do you attribute to your success in life and business?
God, prayer life, manifestation, and the drive to obtain goals I set for myself are the primary reasons for my successes in business. I strive to deliver the highest quality of work in everything I do. If I could do one thing differently, it would be to remind myself that it’s okay to ask for help and that I don’t have to do everything on my own.
It is important for us to nurture a community of black women that share, learn, and thrive together. Please share a story of hardship that taught you a valuable lesson.
In the spiritual battles of life, we have to remember that when God works hard the devil works harder. Over the last 4 years, I’ve really grown in my walk with God and I truly understand what it means to go into the “War Room.’’
To share a personal experience, a few years ago I was going through a very intense and frustrating time at work. My teammates and I were struggling with being “perfect” and simply being “good enough” for my then manager. Our entire team of eight people constantly felt demeaned, always felt as though our jobs were at stake, and constantly felt wholly incapable of doing our jobs. I found myself in a situation where I truly hated my job and I literally felt like my work life was hell.
For much too long I allowed my peace to go disturbed. I was spiritually shook!
During that time, I made one of the biggest decisions ever in my life. With only my resignation letter and my faith in God, I took a leap of faith and resigned from my position. I was a single mom with no back up plan; however, I instantly I felt so much weight lifted off of my shoulders. At that moment at least one battle was no longer mine to fight.
It was during that personal trial, that I retreated to my War Room the most: to pray for myself, my coworkers and surprisingly, my manager. At the time, my mom provided me with several bible verses that I would stick in my bible with my managers’ name inscribed on them. Every night I was in my War Room reading my scriptures and just praying. Having my own pep talks, I would always tell myself “God sits high and looks low. He knows everything I’m going through and he’s working behind the scenes for my good.”
And HE was.
My work situation changed. In fact, it took less than 30 days for that transformation to occur. The weapon that had been formed against me did not prosper (it was removed altogether!). Not only had God worked out that situation, but internally I felt the imprint of his work in me as I noticed a shift in my mood and spirit.
I witnessed his work in the spirit of my coworkers and I wholeheartedly believe that he worked through my manager as well.
Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I’d never moved my feet, if I would’ve never stepped out on faith.
What life has taught me is that God sometimes places us in situations to strengthen us and to both test and build our character. God has brought me through before, and I have to trust that HE will undoubtedly bring me through again and again.
Please let us know the woman you were 5 years ago and who you’re becoming?
Wow. the woman I was 5 – 6 years ago is far from the woman I am becoming. I can admit that I was in a dark and broken place. While I’ve endured many life-changing events, my dad’s death was one of the toughest, eye-opening, heartbreaking, and trying times in my life. I remember going through a bad breakup, being down to my very last penny and losing my dad all in the same breath of a moment. During that time, I remember reading Iyanla Vazant’s book “Peace from Broken Pieces.’’ After reading Iyanla’s story I knew that if she could bounce back from all that she went through and endured surely I could do the same. It gave me just the motivation I needed to get out of that dark place.
Fast forward to where I am today and having gone through another personal traumatic experience last year. I made the decision to take the much-needed break and rest my body and soul so desperately needed. I know now that I needed to focus on myself and figure out what that looked like for me and it has been the best thing ever. Now more than ever I am in a better space overall. I’m learning to trust life’s journey more and embrace each new day God has for me. I feel more connected with myself and at peace with the woman I am becoming.
What women in your life have been a source of inspiration?
Auntie Oprah (as I like to say), Iyanla Vanzant and Michelle Obama have been my celebrity sources of inspiration. To me these are inspiring black women who have paved the way. They made the most out of their situations to become the women they are today. They didn’t let life circumstances hold them back and weigh them down.
Celebrate your wins! Brag, sis. What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of this new fond journey that I am on in becoming the best version of me. Too often black women are undervalued and under-appreciated. So I’m learning as I become the best version of myself I am going to clap for myself and help other women along the way. One of my go to motto’s is when “One Win, We All Win.” I’m proud of myself for recognizing the need to connect more with myself and to launch a brand and blog encouraging and supporting other women on their journey.
Quoting Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Please share your self-care routine.
Self-care is completely essential. It’s what I’m learning to breathe and take in. My self-care routine includes journaling, exercising at least 3-4 times a week, taking the time to unplug (trust me you will know when it’s needed), and decluttering my space as often as I can. It’s become a top priority for me to just take care of me first.
You are part of our melanin muse tribe. How can we help you on your journey?
I would love the opportunity to speak to connect and collaborate with other women on a similar journey. Sharing their journey, stories and testimonies. I was recently a guest on a friends Facebook Live Chat kicking off her Healing and Self-Care series and it was completely liberating. I could truly see a regular talk series surrounding women, wellness and self-care.
Provide links to your website and social media platforms below.
Yasmin Watts Photography
The Journey Well Collection
Issa Wrap Inspired Collection