Shanti Das, aka the Hip-Hop Professional, is best known for her work on the careers of Usher, Outkast, Toni Braxton, and TLC. But now she’s working to make sure our communities are heart healthy.
(Image: Photo Credit: Courtesy of Shanti Das)
A former executive at LaFace, Arista, Columbia, and Universal Motown, Das is now a National Power Ambassador for the American Heart Association. She’s bringing awareness to its EmPOWERED to Serve campaign to improve health in multicultural communities.
“One of the goals for me being the national ambassador is to really help bring about as much awareness as I can particularly for the American Heart Association with this being a multicultural initiative,” said Das in a press release.
“I want to use my influence in the entertainment industry to spread the message and to help create healthier lifestyles and open up opportunities and access in our urban communities.”
In the first episode of “Take Me Home,” a documentary series for the American Heart Association, Das goes back to her Atlanta neighborhood to explore food deserts and the link between unhealthy diets and heart disease.
With a family history of high blood pressure and heart disease, Das felt called to speak out about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. She’s also beginning to work with local leaders in Atlanta to bring healthier food options into urban neighborhoods.
Earlier this year, Das stopped by the Black Enterprise office to talk about her heart healthy mission:
After spending three-and-a-half days at Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar in Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center, I am energized by the desire to release the untapped potential within myself and the enthusiasm I felt from my fellow attendees.
“Clarity is Power,” said Robbins, as he worked the crowd of more than 14,000 people from 72 different countries. He told us that positive thinking is not enough to get motivated, and it is then that I realized my attitude toward motivational speakers and/or life coaches has forever changed. Robbins, and his disciple Joseph McClendon III, teach us that there is nothing wrong with our lives—it’s our emotions and meaning that matter.
(Tony Robbins. Image: Flickr/Randy Stewart)
“We don’t live how we want, we live how we think we should,” he said, “there’s a common force that’s driving and shaping all our emotions and actions. It determines the quality of our lives, and ultimately our destinies.”
Gathering the Courage to Do the Infamous ‘Firewalk’
By the end of day one, I felt ready to face my fears, and the anticipation of learning how to conquer them over the course of this seminar had my heart racing. But first, the firewalk. Walking across a bed of hot coals was just as much of a challenge as it was a vehicle to overcome my fears. Although some UPW participants said they didn’t remember the walk, I remembered it vividly, along with the instructions that were drilled into my head (although I did forget to repeat the mantra, cool moss).
(Image: Darcel Church)
I was determined—why would I sign up for this seminar if I wasn’t going to take full advantage of everything it had to offer? As I chanted, “yes” over and over again and clenched my fists, I walked across the coals with my head held high and the feeling that the only thing holding me back from doing anything I want, is me. The feeling was invigorating, and once I [wiped off my feet and] celebrated I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The weight of feeling like I am an underachiever, and not taking advantage of the gifts I was given. One of the most important things I learned that weekend was not to fight fear or ignore it. If you keep fighting fear, it will get stronger, and you will get tired, and there will be no progress.
Obtaining a New Mindset Among Entrepreneurs and Influencers
Joseph McClendon III had us adjusting our body language, shaking our asses, and vowing to flush out our system and live a healthier life. After repeating the words, “I Freaking Rock!” over and over again, everyone in the room believed they were amazing. I was inspired by the incredible UPW team and speakers such as Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof coffee entrepreneur; The Iceman, Wim Hof, a Dutch daredevil; and cardiac surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry, who all consider themselves ordinary people, but have done extraordinary things. For more than 50 hours, I laughed, danced, cried, and sang with people I had never met before. I witnessed more than 14,000 people, cheering each other on without discrimination, or negative energy.
(Image: Darcel Church)
It has been more than a week, since the event ended, and my fellow “Unleash The Power” attendees are still hyped by their experiences, and have remained in a peak state. I am in awe of all those who post about their progress and how dedicated they are to staying connected with one another. Each day, I can feel my fears dissipating as I get stronger and stronger. I am unleashing the power within.