Kennedy Smith: “Be authentic to yourself”

Taking a whole day or night to myself is extremely essential for my mind and heart to thrive. During this alone time, I eliminate all distractions (turn my notifications off, tidy my room up etc.) and focus solely on myself. This alone time allows me to do what makes me feel good and have nothing […]

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Taking a whole day or night to myself is extremely essential for my mind and heart to thrive. During this alone time, I eliminate all distractions (turn my notifications off, tidy my room up etc.) and focus solely on myself. This alone time allows me to do what makes me feel good and have nothing else on my mind. I usually pamper myself with a hot shower or bath, face mask, fuzzy pants, and a hair mask. Getting back into my true self and essence allows me to de-stress which in turn lead to a clearer mind.

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s well being, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kennedy Smith.

Kennedy Smith is a model, free-lance writer, and wellness/holistic lifestyle blogger. She is the Founder of the wellness and holistic lifestyle blog Similar Souls On Fire. With her blog she advocates optimizing your wellness physically, spiritually, and mentally through a holistic lifestyle.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

Of course! I have always had an interest in the broad spectrum of “health” since I was little. Learning about the human body via Anatomy and Physiology was one of my most memorable high-school experiences. Over time and into my first year of University, times got tough and I started to lose myself and my healthy habits.

I fell into a very toxic mental state which I started to notice take a toll on my physical and emotional health. This was a new concept to me as I had never really explored the concept of the mind-body connection. As the time went by, I had many realizations all rooting from the fact that your mental and spiritual health have a lot to do with your overall well-being and how you feel. As I started to explore ways to make me feel better, I wanted to share them with the world which led me to create my wellness and holistic lifestyle blog Similar Souls On Fire. Starting up my blog led me to discover my passion for writing (I now do freelance work for multiple brands) and my passion for helping others live healthy lives.

Today I can happily say I have met countless like-minded individuals in the wellness-community. I have worked with other empowered wellness advocates in order to bring this valuable and nourishing information to those in need. Living a happy healthy life is something truly everyone deserves and I am doing my best to make that available for our society. Change starts within.

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?

Being surrounded by a supportive uplifting community is something that is so essential to your own personal/spiritual growth. Just as I was starting to feel like crumbling and giving up, I met an intelligent and inspiring group of entrepreneurial individuals. My two new companions in this group, Luis and Angel, constantly helped me get my mind right.

Shifting your paradigm is the essential first step to start working towards your goals and eliminate all the limiting beliefs. Thanks to these two I decided to go vegan which was something I never would’ve thought I would consider. Having role models and people who view the cup half-full is so important. Luis and Angel gave me hope and helped me step into my full confidence, embracing my life path. If I would’ve never met them and received all the support, friendship and mental help they provided I would truly be in such a different spot in my life.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

When I first started uploading healthy recipes, I had no real cooking experience. I was simply preparing meals I found on Pinterest. I tried to be very professional though, making my prep space look all fancy. Tossing some plants in the shot, you know the usual.

My boyfriend who is in Culinary school, (shoutout to Arizona Culinary Institute) eventually gave me some tips for my recipe/cooking posts. Two of my most memorable ones being to stop using steak knives to cut fruit and peeling the ginger before using it in a recipe. Who knew you were supposed to peel ginger? Not I. Hey, you learn something new every day.

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Be authentic to yourself. The great thing is in this world, truly no one is the same. You have aspects of you that no one else has so utilize that! People fall in love with who you are as a person, so own it. Don’t try to replicate someone else, do what truly feels right to your soul.

Another thing is, do what feels right. I always think, if something is meant to be, it will be. If you have opportunities coming to you that you are passionate about, follow them! Even if they are out of your comfort zone, go for it. True growth comes when you make that leap out of your comfort zone and put your trust in the unknown. Avoid clinging to the safety net.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

Consistency is key. Without consistency, I would fall into the deep depths of internet mumble-jumble. Think about it, there is so much information in the internet now, so if you are not consistent, you will get replaced with other content, no matter your niche. Also bringing value to your audience is what will keep them engaged. People utilize different social medias for different purposes so find the purpose of that specific social and aim to fulfill what the audience is looking for.

People are always looking to take away something when viewing websites, social media, or articles, so provide that. This will keep them coming back to you, especially if you are offering valuable content for your specific niche.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart. You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

To get my body feeling great and in its optimized form of wellness, I always start with exercise. Starting the morning with some form of movement helps loosen up my body so I am not so stiff throughout the rest of the day. This could be taking a morning walk, going for a run, or doing a yoga flow. My favorite routine is going for my morning run and after, doing a nice slow yoga flow that focuses on stretching. I once heard the phrase “a stiff body means a stiff mind” and ever since then it is essential for me to get my body moving in some way.

If I am not feeling a morning run, I take a walk instead. While on my walk, I’ll listen to a podcast or some calming music to get my day started.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

Taking a whole day or night to myself is extremely essential for my mind and heart to thrive. During this alone time, I eliminate all distractions (turn my notifications off, tidy my room up etc.) and focus solely on myself. This alone time allows me to do what makes me feel good and have nothing else on my mind. I usually pamper myself with a hot shower or bath, face mask, fuzzy pants, and a hair mask. Getting back into my true self and essence allows me to de-stress which in turn lead to a clearer mind.

Another thing I like to do is take a night or morning to practice a deep meditation followed by some Oracle cards and journaling. Meditating allows me to release any egotistical thoughts/stresses and make space for gratitude and compassion to flow into my heart. I have an Abundance Oracle card deck which I use for receiving guidance. This allows me to strengthen my spiritual side and confide in the unknown. After pulling some cards, I start to journal. I write down anything that comes to mind. I write for a solid 10 minutes or until I have to pause to think about what to write next. I feel like this mentally and energetically creates a clear mind.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Feeling beautiful always starts with confidence. I think the first step to feeling beautiful is to feel confident in your appearance as well as the way you carry yourself. Here are three things I do to re-connect with my highest self and confidence.

  1. Dance. Move your hips jump up and down, do whatever makes you feel happy and sexy. Maybe you want to put on a slow song and feel all the emotions. Maybe you want to put on a song you love and dance like no one’s watching.
  2. Indulge in some ultimate self-care. After a nice shower and applying all my night creams and moisturizers, I always feel extra glowy. I feel my skin being nourished, my clean hair and the sweet scents of flowers. Feeling healthy and clean always makes me feel beautiful.
  3. Take yourself out on a date. Regardless of if you have a significant other or not, get dressed up just for yourself. Do your hair, nails, makeup, pick out a beautiful dress, do whatever makes you feel like a queen/king. Then you walk the walk! Carry yourself like the true badass you are.

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a book that significantly shifted the way I lived my life. It goes deep into the four self-limiting beliefs we all have and how to overcome them. One of the most significant agreements that has impacted my life is to be impeccable with your word. This has helped me speak kinder, and consciously make sure I am a living example of love and light.

The Higher Self Podcast by Sahara Rose is also one of my favorite podcasts I listen to every day. Through her podcasts, Sahara discusses various aspects of spirituality, holistic health, and concepts on mental health. Listening to her podcasts has definitely assisted me on my spiritual journey in which I learned new ways to think and self-reflect.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

One of the most bizarre wellness treatments I have ever received was colon hydrotherapy.I got this treatment done in order to help clear up some of my acne at the time. Colon hydrotherapy is essentially a form of cleaning your gut in order to rid of toxins and parasites that can turn to disease. My first time I had to mentally prepare for this treatment a few days in advance! A tube is stuck up your behind, then water is flushed into your colon. This loosens the stool and allows for it to come out, cleaning your gut of old cemented stuff leftover in your gut.

Laying on the table for the first time, I was stuck in-between laughing and laying there staring crazily at the woman passionately encouraging my stool to come out. Definitely an experience to remember.

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

If I could inspire any movement, it would be a movement that encouraged living life in the most healthy and well way for you. In order for our world to be a more peaceful place, we need to all have love for each other. In order to live life on this high vibration of love, we need to feel our best which is where mental, physical, and spiritual health comes in.

If we are all loving and accepting of ourselves, we can spread that feeling around and our whole world will be more loving, peaceful, and self-accepting.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

If I could have a private breakfast or lunch with anyone it would hands down be Gary Vee. He has always been an inspiration to me, especially going through the huge transition of my life where I was questioning every move I was making for my future career. All of the advice I have listened to from him has leaded me to huge life shifts for the better. I love the way he speaks, as it really touches everyone’s soul.

He is a huge role model for me. The way he articulates himself, is so pure to his soul which has allowed him to be successful in his life. I think he is living proof of what following your soul purpose is. What he does makes him happy and touches millions of peoples lives while helping spark change. Gary Vee is also a major business-man which inspires me to put my head down and grind stuff out every day.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

You can follow my personal Instagram account @_kennedyssmith and my wellness/holistic lifestyle blog account on Instagram @similarsoulsonfire .

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Thank you for your time.

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