Black w/ Plants: Health Coach Q&A with Jasmine King

January 2019–January 2020, Black with Plants will publish q and a on mental health + community building with botanists, college dropouts, horticulturalists, plant care specialists, natural hair experts, social justice advocates, sound therapists, etc. across the thirteen hardiness zones in the United States and African diaspora.

What do you want readers to know about your role as a health coach? Or a creative project that you are working on? and the role of community building, and its impact on mental health?
 
I want readers to know that being open is essential for healing. I believe that black women are in need of healing and without working on being healed, we’ll never return to greatness. We have been shushed for being black and shushed for being a woman to the point that we don’t speak up anymore. We can get loud but we don’t speak up for issues that really matter. So to answer your question, I believe eating clean foods will clear our minds and we can start thinking as a community again and not the individualistic view we have been forced to adopt.
 
What about the opportunity to display foliage, etc. online (specifically via IG) first interested you in committing your time and energy to plant care-taking?
 
My grandmother owned a flower shop with her mom for 30 years. I haven’t always been attracted to foliage or even outdoor gardening but once I only ate plants is when I gained an appreciation for them. It is literally what’s keeping me alive. Posting my foliage online is to share that black women are in fact kind care takers and gentle. Maybe I don’t share it for black woman, but for everyone else to realize!
 
What do you think are the five key characteristics of a successful place?
 

  1. Open communication
  2. Bright colors
  3. Consideration
  4. Respected values
  5. Vulnerability

 
Community engagement is a significant obligation of direct service. With that in mind, can you tell us about your experience in engaging with your contacts  day-to-day? Do you notice services rendered positively affecting your contact’s psychological well-being?
 
I am an assistant manager at a tea shop in my hometown and one huge service we enjoy is building rapports with as many guests as possible. We make sure to ask how they’ve heard about us and we also have a frequent visitor punch card even though we’re a small independent business. The team are also close knit so in order to keep a thriving space, we have to communicate openly and this develops psychological well-being. There’s definitely positivity rendered from my contacts well-being. I would have it no other way!
 
Would you be willing to share a memorable moment from 2018?
 
A memorable moment I have from 2018 is feeling the release of leaving a job that I knew I had no business being in. I worked for the U.S. Postal Service for almost two years and the feeling I had on my last day was like no other experience I’d ever have. There was no bittersweet feeling, it was just relief to be done and move forward.
 
Your perspective is invaluable. Thank you for distilling your talents, sharing your time, and a contributing to the local economy. Can you tell readers a little bit about your perspective on securing space for psychological healing and/or wellness?
 
I’m conflicted with this actually. I feel the most secure space we can be in is in our own curious minds. In order to have a rational mind though, I feel that our outer environment needs to be such that we feel free to talk about the thoughts that go on in our minds to best promote healing and wellness.
 
Final thoughts from Jasmine King (@plantbased_lox):

I am living my dream. I help women and men heal by listening to them. It’s truly my gift and I’m so thankful the Source gave me that part of her to share with the world.

 

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