Iman Brooks: Meditation, Writing, and Self-Discovery

Hi Everyone! My name is Iman Brooks and I am 21 years old based out of New Jersey.  I am currently working as the Front Desk Manager at Brickhouse NYC. I am also a dancer trained in multiple styles like hip-hop, contemporary, jazz. modern, ballet, etc. I am currently training in NYC under Brickhouse NYC, part of X-Pro and MiXrz (urban contemporary company). Along with dancing I am a very spiritual person and have an angelic like energy. I am a strong believer in meditation and journaling, focusing on the idea of self-love and raising one vibration. Throughout my lifetime I have dealt with many things that could have caused me to call it quits for life, yet I have/am pushing through to find my authentic self. Along with my ability to use dance to heal I also use my poetry to express my life challenges, and heal from past trauma or experiences. It is a long process, but having a dedication to the process is how you break the barrier. 

 

Artists often struggle with blockage when it comes to creativity. As a dancer and writer, how do you combat feeling unmotivated to make work? What advice would you give to someone feeling drained by the pressures of being an artist? How have you dealt with it in the past?

 

Being unmotivated when trying to create as an artist is one of the most frustrating things to experience. As artists, we are so hard on ourselves to create, create, create, create, and push out so much content to keep up with the rest of the industry. When in reality we should not be so hard on ourselves, if you do not feel motivated to create at the moment take a second and feel. We often push ourselves so hard to keep up with the person next to us, but in reality, we are in two different lanes, with two different speed limits going in two different ways. We put so much unnecessary pressure to push out work and constantly post. Give yourself a break and allow yourself to feel unmotivated, lay down for the whole day, give yourself time to recharge. In the past when I have felt unmotivated and just down, I give myself time to recharge and allow myself to feel the way I feel. But then I push myself to move forward, allow yourself to feel but know how to continue to push. Sometimes I will watch things to remind myself why I started this journey in the first place or I’ll write about what I am feeling, or I’ll just play music and freestyle with no care in the world. You are your own person with your own lane, stop focusing on everyone around you, and focus on yourself. 

 

With so many issues happening in the world and right at home, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. How do you choose where to put your energy?

 

I often put my energy into things I feel will feed my soul and further higher my vibrations. There have been so many things happening in the world today, from a pandemic to world issues, to political issues, not even to mention personal issues. It is easy to get wrapped up in everything and feel super overwhelmed. Yet we have to learn how to humans to disconnect and recharge. Of course during this time I wanted to be involved with everything going on, and help as much as I could, but I knew there was a point where it becomes overwhelming and too much. I took a step back and realigned myself. I meditated daily to keep my mental stable, along with journaling to just release my thoughts somewhere. Recharging yourself is VERY important, understanding what YOUR body needs and what YOUR soul needs to the most important thing. Do not feel like you have to constantly allow situations or people have your energy, know what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. Protecting your own energy is the most important thing.

 

As you know, the theme of our first issue is ‘INTROSPECTION.’ The examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings. What does introspection mean to you? How can (or do you) use the art of introspection in dance, writing, and wellness?

 

The word ‘INTROSEPCTION’ holds a strong value and meaning in one’s life. The idea of why we think the way we do, why we feel the way we feel, and why we are the way we are. I feel as though people never truly dive deep into ones true subconscious thoughts and never truly examine ourselves to figure out why we feel the way we feel We have a tendency as humans to brush our feelings to the side or push them behind us and never deal with it. Then it builds up and builds up until we can’t take it anymore. It is so important to be able to analyze our thoughts and feelings in order to live in harmony within ourselves.  We can use this idea in dance by dancing from our soul and allowing the music and movement to speak for us. Writing can also become our voice; we can allow our subconscious thoughts to seep through onto the paper. Allowing us to look at what we are truly feeling or thinking. 

 

Why do wellness and meditation mean so much to you? 

Wellness and meditation play a huge role in my life because it is the reason I am still here today. Life was rough, it got to a point in my life around when I was 17, and life just wasn’t an option for me anymore. I fell into such a deep depression that I saw no way out. As I dealt with it little by little it started getting better. Recently, in November I dealt with a situation that caused me to fall back into that deep hole. I was done, I kept having anxiety attacks every day, my mind was in a million places and I just wasn’t me. I did not know who I was; I did not know what my purpose was in life. I wanted to get better but I did not want to go through multiple sessions and take medication. I started to look for a natural way to heal; I started to get into meditation. Morning meditation to align myself for the day, I looked into crystals to hold throughout the day, I bought journals to jot down my emotions. I decided to take control of my mental health and not let it control me anymore. Once I started to give myself the love that I NEEDED, I started to see progress towards coming out of the hole. Yes, there are times where I find myself falling back in but now I know how to pick myself back up.  

 

What does “taking care of yourself” look like for you right now? What does your daily routine look like? How do you practice wellness?

 

Taking care of myself is one of my main goals especially in quarantine. I find that I often cater to everyone else BUT myself. A typical day for me would be waking up @7am and writing. I find that when you write as you wake up it allows your mind to stimulate your emotions. In my writing, I always express gratitude to life and set my intentions for the day…. How I want to walk throughout the day. I often do a 5-10 min meditation to really relax my mind and realign my soul. It allows my thoughts to silence and really tone in on giving myself love. I shower and make my bed so I have a push to be productive throughout the day. I often do most of my work during the morning, so I grab my coffee and go straight to work. I take mental breaks to allow my mind to take a second and “breathe”. I feel anxious throughout the day I’ll either write, do another meditation, or do things that make me feel happy. I usually end my day with a shower, journaling, and mediation. Understand that this is an ideal day, yet sometimes my mind is like “you’re going to be super lazy today and feel like blah”. So I go with it, I allow myself to feel blah, I allow myself to feel lazy, but I set my intention for the next day to be productive and live unapologetically. When you have those days, ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE THOSE DAYS, feel it, and then push past it. 

 

What are three things one needs to do as part of their self-care?

I would say the first thing one needs to do as part of their self-care, is to give yourself love! Cater to yourself; go buy yourself that $7 coffee drink from Starbucks because you deserve it. Go sit with a face & hair mask and watch Netflix because you can. Make yourself a bubble bath and light candles, grab that cup of wine, and listen to music that makes you feel good.  Go to the beach alone and read a book on the sand. Really show yourself love and nurture your body. Another thing I would say needs to be apart of your self-care routine would be journaling. People often get nervous when it comes to journaling because they feel as though they need to have prompts, that can be an option but its not the only option. Most of the time I write gibberish, I do not focus on what’s on my mind and I just write for pages. I often use my journal to manifest things into my life and express gratitude to things I already have. I use my journal to also evaluate my thoughts and mind and to track the progress of my mental health. The last thing I would say to be apart of your self-care routine would be meditation. I know I talked about meditation a lot throughout this but I feel like it is SOOOOOO important for people to do. It is sometimes hard to silence your thoughts and focus on the mediation. Start slow, start with a 2min one, then move up to 5 min once you mastered that, and so on. It really aligns your breathing patterns and relaxes your whole body. There are so many apps like “Eternal Sunshine” or “Headspace” that have guided mediation for you …it helps really discover what you need from the mediation. You can also listen to frequency music (432Hz) and allow your body to relax as your mind eases. 

We noticed that you also started a poetry page. What motivated you to do so?

So I have always written poetry, just for myself. I have books upon books for so many different poems that I have written. It was always my way out when dance couldn’t provide the healing that I needed. I always wanted to produce a book with my poems in it, to maybe help someone else get through something similar to what I was going through. Throughout quarantine, it sat heavily on my heart to release some of my work so I decided to make the page. I did not know exactly what I wanted from it or what I want to do with it. But I knew it was time to share what I have been working on. I kind of fell off of it, but this was a good reminder to get back to it. You never know who may need it.  

 

What are some powerful words you live by or any advice you have for readers?

For people who are reading, I would say, live authentically you, be authentically you, and nothing else. Your authentic self is what is needed in the world today. Do not compare yourself to others and try to fit into the norm of society. You are you for a reason; you have your OWN path for a reason. You are your own validation; you do not need validation to others to prove yourself. One quote I saw that has always stuck with me is “Validation is for parking”, just really sit with that quote.

 

We love that you promote positivity and self- care to your audience. As your platform continues to grow, what do you see yourself doing with your gifts in the next few years?

In the next few years, I hope to have actually produced a book on wellness and self-care/self-worth to really help people to be able to voice and deal with that they’re going through. I want to make a platform for people to be able to come freely for help on steps towards dealing with their mental health. Especially for artists, oftentimes we deal with a lot of issues yet do not know how to express them… I want to create a platform for them to be able to freely get help. I am currently going back to school for my mental health counseling degree, so I plan on using that to further my business and knowledge in that area. I hope to reach people spiritually and guide them to really discover their true authentic selves. Help them LIVE IN THEIR TRUE AUTHENTIC SELF, without a doubt. 

 

Is there anything else you would like our audience to know about you?

I want to thank ArtHub for asking me to do this interview and I want to thank Skye for creating this amazing platform. I hope you guys learned and gained knowledge

Feel free to DM me or hit me up me any questions you have or if you need someone to talk to! I am here for you.

Contact Iman at imanemilybookings@gmail.com