Today we’d like to introduce you to Autumn Walker.
Hi Autumn, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I am a mental health therapist daily and a content creator during nights and weekends. My work and passions are a manifested blend of trials, errors, and wins. Like many stories, mine has come with several twists and turns.
My story of becoming a therapist started before I knew I wanted to be one. I identify as an empath, so the ability to feel others’ feelings and understand their subjective-objective experiences always came naturally to me as a child. I also recognized my genuine curiosity about human behavior early too. At first, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, then a veterinarian (very empathic of me), but that all changed when I enrolled in my undergraduate program to study psychology: every course, lesson, and lecture connected with me. However, the “Counseling: Theories and Practice” course reeled me in. From there, I caught a glimpse of my professional trajectory.
In addition, my experience as a Black woman from the inner-city did not protect me from bearing witness to the socio-political crises that plague Black and Brown generations after generations. I could share the countless times I encountered some racial trauma, but that would only inflict more harm on me. Instead, I channeled my frustration with society’s oppressive system through my content.
I created The Soul Reasons on Instagram after being emotionally exhausted from the media and conversations about the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. The purpose behind my brand is to curate educational content related to mental health wellness and bridge it with social justice.
I founded Benita Beauty by Autumn on Instagram to defy beauty “norms,” encourage self-love and introduce a new way of celebrating wellness. It is also my way of paying homage to my late grandmother and mother, who shared their middle names, Benita. According to the family, it was meant to be a variation of the Spanish word “Bonita,” which translates to pretty. After a life-changing health condition that altered my appearance, I realized how healthcare and cultural definitions of beauty both fall victim to systemic oppression. On that platform, I post information related to trends, products, and inspiration. I speak to an audience who understands or is learning that natural beauty starts within!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Nothing worth it comes with ease. As I sit and reflect on the obstacles that popped up along the way, I find it difficult because I have mastered living in the affirmative. Though, my biggest challenge to date is my mother’s transition in 2018.
Since my mother entered the spirit world, blessings continue to unfold, and I know that she continues to play a role in every aspect of it! Months after becoming the first in the family to earn a Masters’s in Human Services (the apple does not fall too far from the tree, as you can see) and a year into my master’ program for counseling, she went to her next life with my younger sister and I now holding the responsibility to be each others’ protectors. My world has not been the same since. As mentioned before, living in the affirmative has allowed me to see the light in the darkest hours.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
At my core, I’m a waymaker and gamechanger. Though I find incredible joy in being a therapist, I feel the most authentic when creating content. I enjoy dishing all of my knowledge, skills, and lessons to anyone willing to listen. I enjoy using social media as a delivery platform because I have become acquainted with so many people from various parts of the world.
I am most known for my passion for healthy skin and healthy minds for Black and Brown people. Yes, two very different topics but important nonetheless. I am a bit of a health nut because I firmly believe health is wealth. Therefore, I spend time addressing physical health (skin and beauty) through Benita Beauty by Autumn and center on mental health topics using The Soul Reasons platform.
I am most proud of my consistency, to be completely honest. There were times when discouragement and disappointment almost got the best of me. Yet, at the most random moments, I will get a heartfelt message thanking and applauding me for doing the work in this digital space. That keeps me going too.
So many brave souls have decided to put themselves out there to display their talents and skills using a public platform. I have seen an influx that has stumped with the question, “how are you going to stand out?” I realized that the harder I tried to follow specific trends to get the likes, the more disconnected I felt from my craft. Currently, my creative projects and content capture my unapologetic, relatable persona. I’m honest and loyal to my values. Before I produce or curate anything, I always check in with myself to ensure it resonates with me. Then my audience will feel that vibe and connect with it, too, because they can now see their authentic selves through other means. That is what sets me apart from the others—simply being myself under any circumstances.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I am who I am today because of my tribe! I could not have been this far without my system’s support. I am grateful for my angels, who protect and direct me. I am grateful for my family, who continue to model a resilience I could only embody half of. I am grateful for the teachers who saw the light in me and steered me on a path of academic excellence despite the lack of access and resources. I am grateful for my divinely chosen friends, who remind me that soulmates do not always have to come in the form of a partner. I am grateful for my spiritual warriors who prayed for me when I failed to turn to prayer myself. I am grateful for my mentors, who showered me with affirmation and insight. I am grateful for every client, follower, and reader because they give me more reason to press forward. I am grateful for every rejection, as it was just redirection. Each group has helped me to propel forward and grabbed my hand whenever I started feeling myself falling backward.
- Website: www.benitabeautybyautumn.com
- Instagram: @benitabeautybyautumn and @thesoulreasons