Season 2 EP#71 Empowering the BIPOC Community Through Sound Healing with Sol & Sound
In this episode of Your Story Medicine, I welcome Janelle Ross and Jasmine Amirah. In 2020, the two longtime friends founded Sol & Sound, a Los Angeles-based sound healing festival for the culture featuring a live DJ set, immersive sound bath, afro-ecstatic dance, breath work, live music performances, BIPOC marketplace, and more!
Main Topics Discussed:
- Defining “sound healing”
- Providing entrepreneurial opportunity to the BIPOC community
- Building a business with social impact
- Getting clear on your vision for life
- Deciding whether to monetize your event or initiative
What are you celebrating about yourself today?
Jasmine: I am celebrating that I'm alive. It's a brand new day. I'm happy to see that the sun is shining and today means that there's a new opportunity to seize life, to, to liberate myself, to empower myself and to see what I'm capable of.
Janelle: I'm celebrating the little things in my life that I have overlooked or may not always remember. I've got an amazing background, amazing family, an amazing friend, and I get to live each day, pursuing something that I love doing. So I'm living in that gratitude and I'm celebrating that space.
How would you describe your medicine?
Jasmine: Spiritual practices. You have to practice them every single day in order to feel the benefits. I have a lot in my toolkit, from meditations to visualizations to prayers. My strongest combination of medicine would be this chakra meditation that I do every single morning where I move through each chakra and I balance them all. And then right after, I write down what I'm grateful for, and also my affirmations for the day, setting the tone for how I want to feel throughout the day.
Janelle: Love, which I think is the ultimate healing component. Self-love allows for compassion and forgiveness, and it allows us to understand our vulnerabilities as humans. There's no pressure on yourself. You're vibrating at the love frequency, and I think that this frequency is the ultimate healing experience.
How have your own spiritual upbringings led you to create Sol & Sound?
Jasmine: My family is a mixture of different religions. My grandmother on my father’s side was Catholic. My babysitter growing up was a Jehovah's Witness. Both of my parents are Nation of Islam. For as long as I can remember, I was always always trying to dissect these different religions and find the common denominator. I decided at a really young age to take what I resonated the most with from each of these religions. I’m a free spirit. I don’t want to be bound by anything. I’m going to take what resonates with me and let those things take me down my path.
Janelle: I never had a formal base. I went to church as a child but was too young to remember most of it. I do remember loving the choir. It was always about the music for me. My mom actually told me that I was her most spiritual child. I didn’t know what she meant, because I was just being myself and never really related to Christianity. I found myself praying to God to come to me in a language I could understand, in a way I could receive Him. That led me down my own journey and I met many beautiful people and spiritual leaders. I read books. At the end of the day, I learned that the source comes from within me. I’ve learned to trust that guiding voice in myself and to build a relationship with that voice. As for how Sol & Sound began, Jasmine and I had been best friends since high school and in 2020, right as the pandemic happened, she and I wanted to do something entrepreneurial. This was also around the time George Floyd was murdered and, for the first time in history, Black people were at the forefront of global support. It was a really interesting time to be a Black person. Jasmine said that we needed to do something at that` moment. She suggested a sound bath as a way for us to help raise the mental health of Black people. That led to an idea to have a live DJ with us along with the sound bath at the park. At the same time, we decided to support Black businesses by creating a marketplace at the same venue. 50 people came to that first event.
Why did you focus specifically on BIPOC?
Janela: Because nobody’s doing it! We can’t wait for someone else to give us what we need. There is a lack of representation of People of Color in the wellness space. The beautiful thing about this type of work is that all you need is yourself. You don’t have to pay to see a professional. This is also the next step in our healing for BIPOC. We can only go so far externally. Going inward is the way forward.
Tell us about your vision of expansion and how Sol & Sound is establishing itself as an actual business.
Jasmine: We’re established as an LLC. The heart of Sol & Sound is giving back to our community; however, we also want to be compensated for the work that we’re doing as well. We wanted freedom with our business structure. Impact and giving back is always going to be the core of Sol & Sound, and our goal is to be a large-scale wellness festival. I encourage any entrepreneur to follow their intuition, to do their own research, and to figure out what makes sense for them. We started out as a free sound healing festival, but we listened to our intuition throughout that journey.
What are you doing to stay grounded and what have you learned to release?
Jasmine: Meditation. I’ve been learning to release limited beliefs, and the past so that I can be grateful for the opportunities that are right in front of me.
Janelle: I’m a Pisces so staying grounded is difficult. We flow, we’re emotional, and we’re creative. I think my biggest source of grounding is accountability. I’ve learned to release being in my head all the time.
If you were a future ancestor, what would you tell yourselves?
Jasmine: You go first. Trust the journey, enjoy the journey. Everything that you want to happen happened.
Janelle: Everything you need is already within you. There is nothing that can stop you except yourself. Find a way.
Conclusion: Opening your soul and embracing curiosity paves the way for your life’s vision. Once you get curious about what you could create in this life and what kind of legacy you want to leave, you prepare yourself to make an impact and connect back with your ancestors.
Action Integration: Slow down and try to remain grounded in the present, anchored in the present, anchored in love, anchored in your power. Get into that flow state, and realize that everything you desire is already here.
Learn more about Sol & Sound:
Visit their website: www.solandsound.com
Follow them on Instagram: www.instagram.com/solandsound