Quantcast

‘Sistas’ Star K.J. Smith Listens To The Voice Of God In Times Of Uncertainty

"I silence my mind. I turn off my TV. I turn off my music and I listen."

Finding Balance

In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.

As the leading actress in Tyler Perry's Sistas on BET as Andi Barnes, and shooting back-to-back with Omar Epps and Nia Long in Netflix's Fatal Affair, K.J. Smith has put in the work to solidify herself as one to watch in the acting sphere. Born Khaneshia JaNea Smith, the Florida native is best known for her breakthrough role in Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey's trailblazing drama series Queen Sugar as Lena Evans.

There's no doubt the starlet has a lot on her plate. "I am a busy woman. Now, if I made excuses, I wouldn't have time for self-care," she told xoNecole exclusively.

"I feel like one's cup must be full for one to perform effectively and efficiently, at anything one does. If you want to continue to thrive as a professional, caring, loving woman in society, you have to make time."

For this installment of "Finding Balance", xoNecole caught up with K.J. Smith about her faith in God when she needs reassurance, admittedly being a workaholic, and why detoxing isn't the best for her digestive system.

xoNecole: At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause and finding balance in both your personal and professional life?

K.J. Smith: I think COVID-19 really put everything in perspective for me. I am a workaholic. I enjoy what I do, and I enjoy doing it often, so it never feels like work. When COVID-19 took over, I realized that there were some other areas in my life that I was neglecting. I am trying to be more active by creating balance even when my work life gets hectic.

What is a typical day in your life? If no day is quite the same, give me a rundown of a typical work week and what that might consist of.

A typical workday for me is waking up to text messages from my manager and publicist, followed by emails from production and agents. I roll out of bed and have a cup of delicious coffee, then I sit and meditate for 10 minutes with positive affirmations playing in the background. Next, I stretch for five minutes and do my work-out of choice for 30 minutes, then I'll hop in the shower. I complete a series of interviews via phone or Zoom. I always call and check on my mommy and sister. I work on either projects that I have coming up, or projects that I am currently working on, by studying my lines before physically going to set. Lastly, I unwind by catching up on my favorite binge-worthy shows. I often fall asleep on the couch.

What are your mornings like?

Mornings are incredibly quiet at my house. I like to watch the sunrise and sit in silence sipping coffee.

When you have a busy week, what’s the most hectic part of it?

The most hectic part of a busy week is remembering my calendar and balancing my schedule. It can get confusing remembering what days I must do what. For example, I am on set wearing a blonde wig and the next day I need to rock my natural curls. I am always being mindful of the energy and effort it's going to take to pull those things off from day to day.

Do you practice any types of self-care? What does that look like for you?

I am a self-proclaimed self-care guru. The primary self-care rule for me is boundaries, when you set clear boundaries, one will not have an issue making time for oneself. "No" is my favorite word. I will gladly say it without explanation. I truly believe this is another form of self-care and self-preservation.

"'No' is my favorite word. I will gladly say it without explanation. I truly believe this is another form of self-care and self-preservation."
kj-smith-smirk

Collette Bonaparte

How do you find balance with: Friends?

I always set time aside to call or FaceTime with my friends. It's so important to me. I need encouragement from my friends, as do they do from me.

What about health? Do you cook or find yourself eating out?

I cook for myself when I'm at home but I'm usually not at home, so I often eat out. I try to find choices that work for my day instead of trying to stick to a specific diet. If I am going hiking or dancing for eight hours, I give myself grace for what I ate that day.

Do you ever detox?

I don't often detox. I find it disturbs my digestion track because my digestion system is used to a certain routine. If I fast for a certain amount of hours, my body will heal itself, and I prefer that method.

When you are going through a bout of uncertainty, or feeling stuck, how do you handle it?

I listen to the voice of God. I silence my mind. I turn off my TV. I turn off my music and I listen.

What do you do when you have a creative block on a project or feel like you have to clear your head before going into a project?

I will journal as my character when I am having a hard time understanding my character's point of view or I feel mentally blocked on a project.

Honestly, what does success and happiness mean to you?

Success and happiness means peace of mind. I feel like you can have all the money in the bank and have all the material things that you want, but if you don't have peace of mind, you can be in hell on earth. So, success means alignment and peace of mind.

For more KJ Smith, follow her on Instagram. Watch BET's Sistas on Wednesdays at 9/8c.

Featured Image By Collette Bonaparte

This article is in partnership with Xfinity.

Those who have experienced an HBCU homecoming understand the assignment. Students, alumni, and family of a Historically Black College and University gather to partake in the excitement of celebrating the heritage and culture of the school. It's a time of joy, honoring traditions, and for some, reflecting on the good ol' days. Homecoming weekends are spent eating well, laughing plenty, and enjoying the sights; and there is plenty to see! (Spoiler alert: Sleep is not on the syllabus.)

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Summer is coming to an end, and it's officially time to start the fall activities. And with the start of a new season comes new movies and shows. One, in particular, is the final season of Netflix's Dear White People, airing September 22. A great thing about this show is that it sparks healthy conversation. Past seasons have explored topics like double consciousness, sexuality, and the Me Too Movement, but it's done it in a way that still allows the show to feel relatable and fun.

Keep reading... Show less

Period pain. Lawd. Could there be something that is more annoying, especially since it happens every 28-30 days? Like, c'mon. If you've ever wondered about the science behind it all, basically, we need our uterus to contract, so that it can shed the lining that accumulated, just in case we conceived in between cycles. And so, what basically happens is, the prostaglandins levels in our system increase which trigger inflammation and also period pain, so that the blood is able to flow from our bodies.

Keep reading... Show less

One of my favorite things about the changing seasons are the new vibes and new energies that change welcomes with it. September represents a transition from the white sand beaches, bottomless brunches, and undeniable romantic vibes long nights, festivals, and impromptu road trips often thought of when we think about the summer. In its place comes romanticism in a different approach. Pumpkin spice anything, the excuse to cuddle up, and the leaves of the trees turning warm shades sparks joy in a different way as fall begins. Perhaps what I am most excited about though are the 2021 wellness trends that come with it.

Keep reading... Show less

A few days ago, I was having a conversation with some folks about songs that should've been official singles yet never were. One of the ones that I shared was Mariah Carey's "All Alone in Love" (a song that she wrote when she was only 15, by the way). To me, it's a perfect way to intro this piece because I have had enough personal experiences and counseled enough people to know that it is very possible to be in a relationship with someone — and still feel quite alone in it. Not because your partner doesn't love you. Not because they're up to some totally f'ed up shenanigans. It's just…even though you signed up for a true and lasting partnership, somehow you now feel some of the very words that define what being alone can feel like: unattended, detached, unassisted, semi-compassionless and perhaps even abandoned on some levels.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Lucky Daye Is Doing It For The Culture, From The Soul

Every so often, an artist comes along who seems to be a physical manifestation of all that we are.

Latest Posts