"Use Your First Mind + Live Free" w/ Kyndal J.
It was summer '16 when I first heard the sweet melodic sound of Kyndal J's voice on the track Ghetto Adolescents:
"Vaseline on my lips,
Gold hoops in my earlobe,
Braids down to my hips
and Niggas staring too long."
I literally screamed with joy after hearing these lyrics.
The song resonated with me so much because I too, grew up as a ghetto adolescent. This nostalgic tune reminded me of myself at age 10 or 11 walking up and down Center and 35th street with a little extra swing in my hips. I had to make sure I looked a little tough so girls wouldn't fuck with me + so all the perverts knew if they tried to touch me I wouldn't go down without a fight. I was lost and blissfully ignorant. I knew I had a bright future ahead of me as long as I kept my head in books. I had no idea what self-care or self-love entailed.
This song allowed me to reflect on how far I've come + made me realize how far I have to go. For that, I will forever be grateful to her + support whatever she does.
I've had the pleasure of working with Kyndal on a photo project earlier in the year. Following the project she allowed me to ask her a few questions about her take on self-care and self-love.
What does self-care look like? Why do you feel self-care/self-love is important?
K: Self-care is taking time out for yourself. It can be as simple as sitting and painting your toe nails just 'cuz, to buying yourself a dope outfit or even taking time to work out.
Self-care for me is expressing yourself. --- In the process of expressing, you are releasing and letting go. Allowing yourself the space to really be real with things, gives you room to see yourself again instead of being clouded by the things that life throw at u.
Self-care is important because it's that one moment where the worries of the world aren't on your shoulders. That moment you think about what's good for you. It keeps you grounded, it keeps you strong, and it keeps you in good spirit. So when it's time to go back to the crazy world and all its drama, you have the will to keep going.
Describe a defining moment when you realized you needed to love yourself more.
K: Loving myself wasn't a clear-cut situation. It took many things to get me to see the light. Every moment that I realized that I needed to love myself was a moment when I would allow things of this world ---like a job or people I was in a relationship with--- to stop my passion. In those moments I felt trapped, I was always confused, and it was hard to keep a smile on my face honestly.
It's crazy because when I finally realized my worth. There was no going back! I will never get to that low moment the same way again. I see me now, and I'm beautiful, and I'm worth it."
Were there any lessons learned? Describe them.
K: Yes, of course, there were....there were many. I think the biggest one that I've learned is that I have to always trust myself. You know you. And you know what's good for you, so don't question your inner u.
Use your first mind and live free....
Look for Kyndal's work
Facebook: Kyndal Johnson