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Meet AJ Smith of Soul Rehab in Studio City

Today we’d like to introduce you to AJ Smith.

AJ, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
For the last two years, I had the name “Soul Rehab” and I knew it was going to be a vehicle of encouraging people but I wasn’t 100% sure how. It wasn’t until the top of the year that I realized how I wanted to structure it – which is a community for women who are pursuit of their own healing. We all have encountered trauma and pain and that is what often leaves us living as half versions or jaded versions of ourselves. I officially launched back in January and then the podcast came at the end of March. The podcast is an affirmation podcast with episodes that are usually 5-7 minutes long. The entire point is to speak into existence who we are and not who our pain has made us to feel to be. The entire thing is produced by Black Sheep Soup Productions. They provide dope beats for the show, which makes it an upbeat vibe. Too often in the wellness community, everything is super spa-vibes, which is cool but I wanted to throw some energy into that space. Some joy.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Is anything worthwhile ever easy? No, absolutely not. The journey hasn’t been easy for a plethora of reasons, but the main being you cannot present something to the world that you have not first encountered yourself. I had to go through my own Soul Rehab that is still evolving. I had to learn to heal and confront pain and speak into existence who I am even when all I could see is broken pieces.

Ironically enough, I actually launched Soul Rehab during one of the hardest points of my life. It’s like God knew I was going through one final big lesson of my own Soul Rehab and it made everything I put out that much more real. I was living everything I was writing. It was no longer some marketing prompt, but survival steps I was using to get by myself. I think that’s why people connect so much with it… because it’s real. It’s from my heart to everyone else’s.

The logo of Soul Rehab is a minimalist lion. My name actually means lioness of God in Hebrew. When I think of healing, I think the image of a lion showcases it perfectly. You have to be bold and relentless in pursuit of what’s yours. You have to be protective and territorial over your peace. We were never called to live these half ass lives full of occasional joys and mainly lows. No, we were created to be joy and live in joy. Everyone gets thrown a shitty hand at some point in their life. It’s up to you to play the cards you’ve been dealt and then play to win.

Soul Rehab – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
So Soul Rehab is a wellness brand that exists to support women as they walk through the fires of healing. Many times, healing is glamorized and shown as doing yoga, journaling, and diffusing some lavender oil. All very nice things, but all external things that have little to do with the real work. Soul Rehab is an online community that reminds you of the warrior within. It embraces the messiness of healing and roots you on along the way. Think of it as your bad ass support group.

We have our online community via Instagram. We also have our online “journal” where people can anonymously submit things that they need to get off their chest because sometimes you just need to vent. We have had people vent about relationships, abuse, and so much more. It’s beautiful to see the safety these women feel to open up. Creating that safe environment is our goal on every level. We also have our affirmation podcast – Soul Rehab Affirmation Podcast. Finally, I do one on one sessions with people who want to take their Soul Rehab even deeper as a certified life coach who specializes in transformation.

What sets us apart is that it’s all real. It’s raw. I don’t post on a schedule. I pay attention to the flow of things. So, when things are posted, it’s coming from a real place of urgency. It’s like the words have to get out of me and to someone else. Also, I’ve never seen a podcast setup like ours. Most people spend time talking on podcasts, but ours is literally a to-the-point podcast that caters to anyone on the go who just needs a pick-me-upper, an instant mood booster.

I am most proud of the community we’ve built. There’s nothing like seeing a message when someone says, “You have no idea how much I needed this.” People feeling seen is the entire makeup of Soul Rehab – to know that you are not alone in this healing process and you can and will overcome all that has tried to hold you down. Pretty soon, we will be having meetups where we collab with other amazing individuals in the wellness space to create space and just be. So, stay tuned for that!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Being voted team captain of my basketball team in 8th grade. I was new to the school and had been there less than a month. So, the fact my new peers voted me on was super validating, especially considering I had spent the entire year on the bench the year before at my old school. Also, when my little sister was born. I also wanted a little sister and was literally ecstatic when it happened. I used to blow on dandelions as a kid and make a wish for twin sister. Well at the age of 12, that dream came true! To this day we look almost identical even though we have over a decade in between us. Love you, Sage! And Michael too.

Pricing:

  • Life Coach Sessions are $30/session

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Aspen Cierra Photography
https://aspencierraphotography.com/
@aspencierraphoto

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