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Mental Health, Q+A

Q+A with Imani Semien

May 21, 2024

Imani Semien is a yoga instructor, space holder and Reiki practitioner in Houston, Tx. Other titles that Imani holds are mother, wife and educator. As a Louisiana native, Imani decided to move to Houston in the midst of the global pandemic in 2020 with hopes to begin a new life and start her career in education. As an educator, the stresses of work and motherhood pushed her into mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga and journaling. Imani now holds space for other women and mothers to find healing within themselves using these same practices. One of her future goals is to open a wellness center that provides many forms of holistic healing treatments along with pre and postnatal education and care. 

Q+A

1. How did you begin your work?

I began my work in 2021 shortly after the COVID pandemic ended. I found myself overwhelmed re-entering the workforce after spending much of 2020 in isolation. As a new mom starting a new career, I experienced anxiety and high levels of stress from constantly worrying about the wellbeing of my children while I was at work. I knew that many other women and mothers experienced this as well and I wanted to create a space where women could gather to work through these stressful experiences while also building connections within the community. I received my yoga teacher certification in 2022 and started holding Women’s Healing Circles shortly after. It was a journey to build my confidence to speak on topics that I was still working through, but from those experiences I have made so many connections in the Houston area.

2. Why did you want to go into this type of work?

I wanted to get into this type of work because so many women feel that they need to have a strong face and smile through everything they experience, but truthfully, every person deserves a safe space where they can release all of the things that may cause stress or anxiety. Coming from experience, it is hard to be vulnerable sometimes because I think people are judging me or I feel that I should be more grateful for the things I have. While it is important to have gratitude, we must also acknowledge that some of the things we love can contribute to our stress levels. I want to be a safe space where people can be vulnerable, let down their walls and just exist without judgment or social expectations.

3. How do you stay mindful when things get stressful?

When things get stressful for me, I try my best to name all of the feelings that I experience in that moment. Next, I empty my brain in my journal or in the notes section of my phone. I describe everything that I am feeling, every moment within the day that may have upset me or thrown me off of schedule and any stressful thoughts I may have had up until that point. After writing, I sit silently for about 30 seconds breathing slowly. Lastly, I allow myself to release these thoughts by simply stating “These thoughts/emotions do not serve me. It is time to let you go.” Releasing emotions always gives me a fresh start of my day no matter what time it is.

4. Why is mental health important to you?

Mental health is important to me because everything begins in the mind. Every thought and idea is created in your mind then is physically manifested in the world around you. If we have poor mental health, then our thoughts and ideas may become dark which results in living in darkness, sadness and misery. Good mental health turns into a higher quality of life.

5. What do you hope people learn from the work you do?

I hope people learn different ways to stay mindful and prioritize mental health through day to day life.

Be sure to find Imani at our Mindful Moments sessions in the spa during May for Mental Health Awareness Month. Book your spot in an early morning meditation + guided journaling session at one of our spa locations nationwide, today. https://milkandhoneyspa.com/mentalhealth/

Learn more about Imani here, www.instagram.com/mindbodyandmovement

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