HI! I'M KENA
(Pronounced "Kee - nuh")
I am the example that you can be whatever you want to be, whenever you DECIDE to be. I'm an artist, a holistic healer, a wellness warrior, an influencer, a student, a teacher, a coach, and a mom. One thing is for certain, I live life on my own terms and have made it my purpose to teach others how to do the same. However, I was not always this way!
I am Kena, This is me....Unmasked:
As a former Division I and international basketball player, life seemed pretty amazing. I was prepared to chart my course, live life on my terms and definitely not get a "regular job." That worked great, until I met him. Life changed forever.....
Seventeen years ago I found myself in a very physically abusive relationship that almost took my life. A year later, I was pregnant and homeless. For the first seven months of my pregnancy, I moved 7 times while in a program for Domestic Violence victims. Despite my abuser's efforts, and lack of support from some key family members, I gave birth to a beautiful, handsome, strong, baby boy. And that's when life took on new meaning. When it was no longer about me, but about this precious human that was depending on me to provide the best life possible, but more importantly, to be healthy, healed, and whole to do so.
That did not happen right away. For the first 12 years of my son's life, I was in survival mode, AKA suppress everything because I have a child to raise mode. I was making it happen, barely in some instances, but making it nonetheless. Living above my means to give him the best opportunities, in the best neighborhoods, in the best schools. It didn't matter, I would figure out how to make it happen. And I did. I worked HARD. And I mean hard!
To the outside eye, I was living life! I was modeling and acting, landed a few national spots. I was an actress and contributing producer on an Emmy-award winning web series (I still am). I was being invited to speak to young athletes, to Domestic Violence victims, and sat on fitness panels to encourage the masses to adapt a healthier way of living. Parties, red carpets, dinners, brunches with friends -- I was "balancing" life and my dreams (leaning HEAVILY on my village), while being a mom.
I leveraged my athletic background to become a Zumba and group fitness instructor. I studied to become a certified fitness nutritionist. I became a certified personal trainer. I did all that while working full-time has an HR professional, eventually working my way up to an executive HR role at a boutique firm in Maryland. I taught classes 3-4 times a week, bootcamps, trained private clients, launched a virtual fitness app, and rarely missed ANY of my son's activities or games.
I was tired.... I was burnt out.... I was not living authentically... I was tired of surviving... I was ready to thrive!
To thrive meant I needed to heal -- truly heal. I could no longer ignore or suppress! I quickly realized that a HEALED version of myself meant that I could be a better person for me and for my son. By healing, I could empower others to do the same. I could heal the collective!
And that journey of evolution, of healing started the day my son and I almost died in a car crash. Life took on new meaning and I immediately made some shifts -- emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually. As I learned, I taught my son. The more I learned, he learned, and the more we grew together.
Our diets changed. I finally started applying my nutrition certification to my own life. I studied herbal medicine, both formally and self-taught. I created and held space to offer my herbal blends as a healing modality to my inner circle. I found an amazing therapist and reader. I developed a mediation practice. I cut back on activities and people that we not allowing me to grow and focused more on healing my family. I decided to invest in yoga teacher training, the transformation I experienced during those 200 hours cannot be described in words alone. I became the best version of myself (which is an ever evolving journey, by the way.)
When you heal yourself, you heal the collective!
Simply put, I evolved into the healed woman, mother, herbalist, author, consultant, speaker, and friend I am today. I offer myself to those that need my voice the most. To those that need my various healing modalities the most. I am not waiting to be invited to the table; I boldly walked into the room, pulled up my chair, sat down, and led the discussion! I am here for you!
That's me, Kena, Unmasked!