Let joy be a carrying tool in hard times.
Wumi Oyewole has a vision to create a world full of radiance, creativity and confidence. A mum of two sons and married to Adeyinka, Wumi is currently contracted to work in local government and works from home in the field of children’s social care. After taking a long time out of traditional employment, she became engaged in entrepreneurship and community-based work which led her to found her own social enterprise, Radiant Ambitions CIC.
This community interest company commenced trading during the global pandemic. One of the objectives held by Radiant Ambitions CIC is to address the social and economic barriers that women face in Barking & Dagenham. It offers online face-to-face or group workshops to improve the lives of women.
During her break out of traditional employment, Wumi retrained in health and beauty 7 years ago and decided last year to extend her training into aromatherapy which developed her passion in the subject of well-being. The concluding part of her training in aromatherapy coincided with the timing of the global pandemic.
It was here that she developed some free, community-based workshops called ‘The Joy of Personal Well-being’. She approached the broad concept of beauty from a layered angle and concentrated on the physiological and emotional aspect of well-being and beauty. Through this journey, she found that she could approach beauty and well-being beyond its surface level and empower others beyond its superficial, conventional angle. She also utilised several other platforms on social media such as YouTube and Facebook to spread her knowledge and encouraged the recipients of her content to improve their well-being through several ways, including the use of aromatherapy. She promoted and focussed on wellbeing as an avenue to instigate a joyful state of mind.
Carlos Santana said that, ‘if you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment’ and it is a sentiment that’s deeply shared with Wumi in her approach to managing difficult times. Her message is that, ‘we can build joy from within to get us through difficult times’ such as this pandemic. This is predicated on her belief that joy is a prerequisite to resilience – ‘if you do things that bring you joy then you can build resilience’.
We spoke of the connection between the senses such as smell and how that can be used to instigate certain emotions, for example lavender essential oils for calmness. We spoke of the mentions of frankincense and myrrh in the Bible and how the smell of burning incense is used in religious settings for prayer or to create a particular emotional atmosphere. We spoke of the use of tools to direct or support one’s emotional states.
This is often an overlooked area that could be a useful tool in assisting with our self of well-being and thus something that she would give particular focus to in her work with her community during this pandemic.
Some of the advantages that Wumi acknowledges from the current situation was the opportunity it gave her to focus on her passion project, designing journals which would help girls to enhance their emotional wellbeing through joy related activities.
When asked about some of the daily practises she implements to help cope during this time, Wumi shared that she is particular about the amount of news she consumes. She makes it a point to be well-informed but not to indulge excessively on things that may promote undesired or ‘negative’ states of mind. She manages to work from home by taking breaks when necessary, drawing from her faith frequently and taking the time to explore the things that bring her joy.
One of the visible components in Wumi’s gift to her community is the message echoed in her work with her company, one that emphasises the personal significance of faith, joy and self-care.