I love connecting with interesting, creative peeps and Kimberly Brown of Manifest Yourself is no exception. We met through Twitter, go figure, and have been conversing ever since. I love her blog, love that she’s transparent about a lot of her lifescapades, and from her interview, I see that we have a lot in common!
So I present to you…5 minutes with Kimberly Brown Enjoy!
1. Your tagline is interesting – ‘An overachiever learning it’s okay to achieve.’ What significance does that have for you?
When I first launched Manifest Yourself back in June 2013, I felt that this space was an area that I could merge my natural instinct to be an overachiever with maintaining my well being and not stressing myself out all of the time. Basically saying that it is okay to relax and put your health first because sometimes the stress is just not worth it. In many situations it is okay to just be, and not stress going above and beyond.
I recently updated the tagline to “a lifestyle + wellness” blog to reflect more of what I write about now. Like with any blog, it begins to evolve over time and I thought my tagline should be something that is clear to anyone just landing on my site.
2. What does “being uncommon” mean to you?
Being uncommon means being bare and fearless. It takes a lot of gumption to go against the grain and allow yourself to be uncommon and free from peer OR societal pressure. It sounds corny, but sometimes I think it is hard to be yourself with all of the things that are constantly influencing people everyday.
3. How did “Manifest Yourself” come about?
I had been blogging on and off since February 2011, but after my co-blogger on my last site decided that blogging was not her thing, I wanted to re-brand and re-launch a site that I could call home. Blogging has always been an outlet for me to fuse all of my interests and my professional background. That’s exactly what Manifest Yourself has become.
4. What’s one moment in your life that required the most courage?
Oh gosh… this was very recently. Before the holiday break, I got my naturally curly hair straightened so it could blow freely in the wind on my caribbean holiday break. (Kidding…sort of.) When I went to the beach and opted to go all in and get my hair wet; my curls didn’t come back. After throwing myself underwater, conditioning, shampooing, and conditioning again… my hair barely had waves.
I waited till I got back in the US to deep condition and see if my beloved curls would come back. You know, it could have been the salt water. Right? Wrong. My hair began to shed by the handful every single day. Before I lost my mind, I went to see my favorite stylist who I affectionately call the “miracle worker.” After taking a close look at my hair, she determined that the person who straightened my hair must have added a keratin straightening cream or relaxer to my conditioner. le sigh
My options were to A:) keep my now extremely thin hair to preserve my length, but be too ashamed to wear it in any style besides a bun. OR B:) cut it all off and have short hair for the first time in my life. I opted for plan B.
This may sound simple for many people, since doing the big chop is so normal now-a-days… but for me this was epic. I have been natural since 2007…and never had hair shorter than my chin.
Cutting my hair symbolized strength, courage, and a new fearless beginning.
5. What piece of wisdom/advice did someone give you that has worked really well for your journey through this thing called life?
Recently, I was told that you can “unchoose anything that you chose” and it’s okay. Like many people, I am my worst critic and I really feel overwhelmed with guilt when I don’t finish things I start or if I change my mind about something I share on the blog. This simple saying really gave me a sense of comfort that it is more than okay to change my mind and there is no reason to feel bad about it.
6. What is the one thing you most want to be known for?
Inspiring people. I love speaking to groups on almost any topic, and my goal is always to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. In my 9-5 job, I work in a career services office, so every single day, I am meeting with alumni and students to help them navigate their career choices. A large part of that is confidence building and helping clients realize that their dreams are achievable. With my blog, I try to do the same thing by sharing some of my own shortcomings, struggles, and triumphs. I want my readers to know that they can do whatever they are struggling with too.
7. When you were younger, what did you want to be, do or have when you grew up?
I wanted to be Whitney Houston. Period. I was adopted as an infant, and the name I was given at birth was Whitney Patrice. In my mind, I knew that Whitney was my biological mother and somehow we would be reunited on Oprah. Years later, I was reunited with my biological mother and I found out that she attended the Whitney concert that year, so while Ms. Houston may not be my mom, she is my namesake.
8. Name one weird habit of yours? Do share!
I have an obsession with keeping my notes and planners organized and clearly written. I have been known to re-write a whole notebook full of notes because I felt my handwriting was sloppy.
9. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Besides mind reading? I’d want the power to be 100% fearless and shameless. Imagine what life would be like if you weren’t afraid to try anything once? – Providing that the superpower still allowed me to have common sense, of course. (I can’t help but think of Beyonce’s song called Superpower now…)
10. Where can we stalk you?
Kimberly Brown is the Founder and Editor of Manifest Yourself, a lifestyle and wellness blog, where she not only talks about getting fit, but she aspires to help others help themselves in all aspects of their lives. She writes about fitness in a weekly Journey to Wellness series, mindfulness, beauty, and anything else that crosses her mind. With a master’s degree in counseling and an enthusiasm for health and wellness, Kimberly fuses her interests to educate and inspire communities through her blog and speaking engagements. When Kimberly is not busy blogging or manifesting herself, you will find her enjoying all of there is to do and eat in New York City. If you would like to get in touch with Kimberly, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over to you…
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Kimberly. Please connect with her online!
Want to participate in this series as a featured REAL Uncommon Chick or know someone who’d be a great fit? Get at me!