What is your name & location?
My Name is Amber Janae and I currently reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
How do you help people heal?
I am most commonly known for my written work. I am a writer. I have been writing since I was 11 or 12 years old. I founded my self-care and wellness blog back in 2012 (amberjanae.com.) My site was launched with the intent to document my healing process. I had a strong desire to empower women battling depression, anxiety and emotional/mental trauma. I’ve have a self-help book titled “A Woman’s Quest to Self-Love", one I am planning to re-release at some point which will feature new content. The book documents my struggles with self-worth, self-esteem and reclaiming my power after years of abuse. Overtime, my work and brand has expanded but the overall mission for my work is still the same. I’ve authored several workbooks that support healing and personal development. I mentor a lot, I speak and host events, and much more. I have been utilizing my writing to assist in the healing of others for roughly 6 years or longer. I work with a lot of people all over the world. In all honesty, I rarely refer to myself as a healer. I see myself as more of a medium or the middle (wo)man. I am the stop between your trauma and healing. I do my best to bridge the gap for my clients by helping them recognize their power. When working one on one with others or curating content for my website, my work’s mission is to empower. I want my words to create a distinct path for those who encounter it to be more intentional and make more practical decisions when it comes to their emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
What type of benefits does your method of healing provide?
Refuge I would hope. Growing up, I always felt safe when engaging with creative art of any kind that resonated with my pain. It helped me to not feel alone. For the women who bare their souls on pages, I am forever grateful. I try my best to be what my favorite writers were to me. It’s like having someone listen to you by sharing their own words, if that makes sense. It’s hard for me to truly say the benefits that my work provides for others. I would hope they benefit from me openly documenting my truth, being honest and 100% authentic to assist them on their growth journey. For myself, I would say the only benefit it provides is the joy and satisfaction of knowing someone had the courage to not let their pain define them. It’s the benefit of knowing that at least one person in this vast Universe was inspired by work to not give up on themselves.
When did you realize that you wanted to help people heal/why did you start?
I realized it when I was very young. I am very empathic. I am naturally compassionate for the world and people in it. I hated to see others in pain or suffering. I hated to see others bullied or taken advantage of. I was always the underdog too. I was bullied and picked on so, I often felt a responsibility to speak up for the people who didn’t have the strength to speak up for themselves. Growing up, I admired Tyra Banks. I watched Tyra launch this camp that catered to helping build up young girls. I struggled so much with my self-esteem, I always wished I could attend her camp. When I realized that I wouldn’t be able to, I told myself that one day I’d help women of all ages just like she did/does. As many do, I lost my way for a little bit. So much was going on in my life, traumatically, that it was hard to focus. It was one day during my healing journey that I felt called to start a blog. I had no idea why, but I didn’t ignore it. I didn’t know a thing about a blog or where to start. Thankfully, I’ve always been really tech savvy. It was easy for me to figure it out. I knew I’d help others at some point in my life, but I would have never imagined it would be in this way. I’ve been a writing for most of my life, but I started out writing poetry and fiction. I wanted to be the next Terry McMillian or Tracy Brown when I was younger. Writing fiction was my coping mechanism for my pain. But, when I felt called to pursue the work, I did it. At the time, I remember vocalizing to people that I would write to help others and them telling me I was crazy, or that I had not lived long enough to share my experiences. I remember a lot of people telling me that no one would take me seriously at my age. But when God has a calling over your life you learn to ignore all the naysayers. I started because I felt an eagerness to help others. I knew that I wanted to encourage people to see beyond their self-imposed limitations and go after the things they never saw possible. This has all been truly natural for me. I didn’t have the tools or resources to help me cope with all that I had been through. I didn’t have anyone around to guide me through. A lot of my healing was achieved on my own without the proper help and assistance that I needed. I knew in my heart that if I didn’t have it when I needed it, there were so many others out there like me. I wanted to be a voice, and advocate, but I also wanted to be an example that healing is possible. I wanted to be an example that your past does not define you and a beautiful life is possible even after all the pain.
How does your personal healing journey reflect in how you hold space for others?
By saying I love you and I see you without actually saying it, but through action. I do this by keeping in mind that I am never too busy to be there when others need me. I tell my friends and clients, don’t ever be afraid to reach out and speak your truth. I was silenced a lot, which made healing more difficult. I didn’t feel safe to express my pain so I suppressed it. My healing journey was tough so, I remind myself often that suffering didn’t begin and end with me. Be kind because you never know what others are going through. When connecting with others, compassion is important, just as much as understanding and practicing patience is. Healing doesn’t occur overnight. It takes a lot of maturity and understanding to grasp this when dealing with others. It’s also about being mindful. I wore a mask a lot when I was in dark spaces in my life. I do my best to be more mindful and aware so that I recognize the signs in others that reflect who I was when I was unhealed. In most cases, many people are afraid or ashamed to vocalize their pain. When practicing awareness, I am to able to tune into others pain and offer support when needed. These are just a few of the ways I hold space for others.
Why is what you do so important?
Because we’re still creating environments and spaces where our children are having to spend so much of their lives healing through trauma. I lived so many of the earlier years of my life imagining that I grew up without any pain. I imagined not having to teach myself how to be strong or not seeking what I needed through others. Therefore, all this work will forever be important. At least until we get it right. Growth and healing is a constant evolution. If there are people who need healing, my work and the work of so many others will always be necessary. I believe that there are many of us who were put here to do the work of our creator. There are many of us who take our experiences and pain, grow from it all to instill those learnings and teaching into others. Ideally, in a perfect world, we’d birth and raise children who do not have to spend their adult life healing from their trauma. It’s important for me to continue to keep the work going because as a collective, there is still so much growth and healing that is required. We will never stop evolving. We will never not need resources and tools that lead us to healing.
What is your inspiration to continue doing what you are doing? What is the fuel that keeps you going?
I believe that my passion for what I do is what truly fuels me. It doesn’t matter how bad things get, how difficult things feel, I will always feel passionate about curating art that inspires the world. Also, knowing and understanding that the work is never really done. For as long as I feel called to do this work, I will continue.
How does it make you feel when you are helping people heal?
Content. I feel honored. I often feel like if this is all that I ever do in life, I have done more than enough.
What are your visions &/or goals?
My vision is to continue to do what I am doing at the capacity that I am doing it. I try not to look too much into the future because I do not know much of what it holds. I could list out all the goals and plans I have set for my tomorrows, but by the end of today I could be called into a different direction. My only goal is to continue to do what I know and love. I do know that I have a vision for the present and that is to continue to deliver my most authentic self in all the work that I put out into the Universe.
Tell us a fun fact about what it is that you do or something people may not know about you.
A fun fact would have to be that for years I thought that I would go on to be a professional dancer or ice skater. I used to be a jazz dancer, I stopped dancing because my then teacher, Jackie Burgess could no longer teach me. She taught me a lot about confidence, begin secure in my body and allowing it to move rhythmically. Dance class was my first experience with confidence and security. I am a bomb ice skater too. I couldn’t even tell you where I learned to skate to be honest. It started with roller skating and roller blades. At daycare, there were always skates lying around. I taught myself how to use them. I would skate from sun up to sun down when I was kid. The first time my family put me on ice they were in awe of how well I could skate. Also, I always dreamt of being a race car driver LOL.
In one sentence, what is your message to the world?
Find love within yourself first, always choose you.
Amber Janae - Editor in Chief
The Core Magazine