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Meet Javionn Nolla of J.Malakhi in East LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Javionn Nolla.

Javionn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Self-Care Is Sexy AF by J.malakhi came to life due to a culmination of lived experience that leads to me understanding the need for and importance of Self-care. It’s hard for me to say exactly where my journey started. I could say it started right after college when I began to transition. I could say it started when I quit both of my jobs in Chicago and decided to leave my car, family and everything I knew for the last 24 years of my life to catch a one-way bus to Baltimore, MD to start over with only $50 in my pocket. There are so many different starting points to my journey because there are so many experiences that lead to where I presently am today.

My journey began when I realized there was more to the world than what I was originally taught. The first step of my journey was deciding to take a single step out of my comfort zone. Little did I know this single step would end up being the catalyst for discovery. This one step soon turned into the leap of courage I would use time and time again throughout my voyage across the US and deeper into self.

Deciding to leave home was scary by itself, but leaving my car and stability behind made it ten times worst. Taking this same leap of faith multiple times over a 6-year time span, I was constantly faced with seeing myself. What most people don’t realize is that when you move to a new state where no one knows you it can be liberating, at first, but eventually you are forced to really see and face yourself. Seeing the good, the bad, the ugly, the uncomfortable. Needless to say, I was depressed, far away from my comfort zone, and had to find a way to be ok. It was like being in a self-induced quarantine where I forced to sit with myself constantly for years on end.

It was during my time of being alone and constantly starting over that I realized just how important taking care of me was. At the time, I didn’t realize I was transitioning in many ways at once, but when I look back, I see exactly how my past experiences have lead to where I currently am. Being alone in different states broke me down. Constantly going through similar challenges, I eventually realized that I was the common denominator. I was the person holding me back and in order for me to move forward, I needed to face myself and heal those parts of me that I feared the most. It was through facing myself, crying it out, and eventually seeking out therapy that I was able to slowly put myself back together again. I don’t remember the exact day everything clicked for me, but it did. Once I had awareness of self, I was able to use my vision to see that I wasn’t alone. What I soon realized was that many people were tired, confused, overwhelmed, and unhappy in a lot of ways.

I started to ask people questions like “How are you feeling today?” and to my surprise, they would share openly and honestly. What started as me just trying to be a friend to those around me turned into me realizing I had a passion for people and an intuitive understanding of what they might be experiencing because of my personal experiences. My question because to shift from just “How are you feeling?” to “What does support look like for you?” or “What do you need right now, and is there a way you can find the resources to support you?” I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I was just asking questions that I thought made sense, however, during this process I also found that people were starting to realize that the main issue was they were neglecting themselves and their needs. I decided to implement self-care in my friend circle. I began doing my best to ask the people around me what they needed and honoring the needs they had for themself. I’ll never forget the conversation that leads to the brand name. I was texting a friend. I asked her how she was doing and right away she apologized for taking a long time to respond due to her being overwhelmed and needing time to herself. My response was “You don’t need to apologize. #SelfCareIsSexyAF.” It was at this moment I realized Self- Care is what many people not only lack but feel bad about implementing due to the society we live in. I want to change the ideas people have about self-care, self-love, and beauty in transition and evolving.

Has it been a smooth road?
This journey has not been an easy one but it has been a beautiful challenge. One of the main obstacles I faced was myself, my internal dialogue, and what I thought I was capable of. Moving from state to state was also a challenge. Some probably want to know why I moved so much to begin with. Well, the only way I can answer that is by saying “Spirit.” I was being led by an energy or power greater than me. I would receive the message in a dream, constant random messages that would appear to me and via my inner knowing. Some would also refer to the inner knowing as intuition.

I also struggled with the opinions of others at a point. I really used to care what others thought. One day, while doing some inner work I remember having a conversation with myself. I told myself “ You’re a visionary, everyone isn’t meant to see or understand your vision. So, it’s ok if others don’t ‘get it’, they weren’t blessed with the vision, you were.” This understanding helps me a lot when it comes to second-guessing myself or worrying about how others may perceive me.

One obstacle I faced while being in LA was someone busting my car window open in the art district while I was working out. The thieves stole my backpack with my journal and business ideas/ notes. My journal had all the stories of my journey to LA which I wanted to turn into a movie or novel at some point. I was furious, but eventually calmed down and decided to refocus my energy on what I had control over.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Currently, Self Care Is Sexy AF is a brand by J.malakhi with self-care in mind. We want to know ‘How you care for you?’ and we help others discover additional ways that they can care for themself.

We’re still in the building stages, however, we mentor youth and provide peer support for adults. We also offer distance Reiki Services. Reiki itself is a Japanese technique used to enhance healing of the physical body, as well as the emotional, mental, and spiritual realms or state of the body. Reiki is used frequently for stress reduction, relaxation, and well-being. We also participate in speaking events throughout LA geared toward the youth.

As a company, we are most happy with our ability to give others a space to talk about what they’re experiencing and finding unique ways to overcome personal challenges. What sets us apart is the fact that we are students – as much as we are teachers. We don’t believe in pedestals, we meet people where they are and embrace them as they presently are. Transition and transformation can be scary some days and beautiful on others; regardless, we embrace all humanness. We know we are all on a journey of learning and growing. We do not judge, we see people for who they are and where they are in their journey without allowing them to be limited by it.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I believe LA is a great place to start a business. There are so many resources and people to learn from here. As long as you’re open to learning and adapting along the way, the sky is the limit.

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