Jessica Huie is the epitome of Black Girl Magic. A self-made media powerhouse, Jessica has spent the last twenty years building a storied career in the media industry, starting out as a showbiz journalist, then side-stepping into Public Relations where she worked for the likes of Simon Cowell handled PR for Samuel L Jackson, before going on to launch her own agency, JHPR. This would be a remarkable feat in itself for a black/mixed race girl from a working class background entering a space which often excludes non white, non middle-class individuals, but when you also consider that Jess was a teenage mum when she diligently toiled away creating a successful and enviable career, it makes it all the more impressive. Fast forward to 2007, and not content with resting on her laurels, Jess created Color Blind Cards, a multi-racial greeting card and gift company, which made history as the first ethnic greeting card company to secure a presence on the UK high street. An MBE followed, but sadly Jessica’s world came to a screeching halt a few years ago when her beloved father became terminally ill, eventually succumbing to cancer.
Unknowingly, Jess’s grief would serve as an anchor to propel her into the next stage of her life and career – as author and life coach, encouraging us all to embrace our authentic selves and live a life of adventure and purpose. On the eve of the release of her debut book PURPOSE: Find Your Truth And Embrace Your Calling, we caught up with Jess to find out more about her book and her incredible journey so far.
Jess, congratulations on completing your book. You’ve been a journalist and a publicist for quite some time now, so how did it feel to switch roles and expose yourself as the central focal point?
I’ve been really fortunate to have a lovely team supporting me who’ve made it easier for me to not interfere! The entire process has been one of exposure since I began writing the book, it’s a ‘coming out’ of sorts, but while there’s a certain level of angst, the feeling of liberation and just being unapologetically me, makes it completely worthwhile.
For the sake of our readers, can you explain the emotional journey which led you to writing Purpose?
My book PURPOSE evolved out of a piece of writing I wrote days before my father passed on from cancer. It was 3am and I had picked up a pen and scribbled on the back of an envelope in the spare room of my parent’s home. I wrote as a coping mechanism, it was cathartic and when I looked back later at the words which had poured on to the page I felt compelled to keep writing. This book was the result.
You’ve achieved so much in your career from creating award-winning businesses, working with global superstars and being awarded an MBE. Were you reluctant to show your raw vulnerabilities or did you find the whole experience of writing your book cathartic?
Thank you. It was cathartic to write but more than that I felt called to share authentically. There’s something about sharing that connects and empowers us, particularly as women. So while it was far from comfortable at points, I’m at a stage in my life where I’m embracing fearlessness as actually there is nothing to fear.
What is the main take away you’d like readers to get from your book?
I believe that our greatest priority is to reconnect with who we are. The truth of who we are and what is important and meaningful to us. Turning our focus inward and tapping into our under utilised ‘sixth sense’ intuition, spirit, God – whatever you call it, is life changing. It’s where we start to live in a way which is aligned with who we truly are, rather than these identities we’ve all adopted based on our job, our roles or the mind-sets we were conditioned with by our families and society. Life becomes a true adventure and it starts with the decision to strip back our layers and connect with our self. From within that space, we connect with our purpose.
‘PURPOSE’ continually stresses the importance of connection and authenticity. Do you feel it’s easier or more difficult to connect with spirit/soul in the current digital era, where we’re led to believe we’re more connected than we’ve ever been but more and more people are describing feelings of loneliness’ and isolation?
It’s such a personal thing, because the decision to connect with your spirituality comes to people in such different ways. For many people like myself, a major life event causes them to experience some kind of an awakening, which really just means than they are shifted out of doing into being, and become receptive to new information from that frequency. But for others it’s a curiosity which works around ‘normal’ life and a society which still deems the topics of spirit and soul, uncomfortable. We all have to take responsibilities for our lives, and part of that is asking ourselves whether we are fulfilled and living a life which lights us up. If the answer is no and we don’t know what we want to do, what our purpose is, then that is where the exploration starts.
Finding one’s purpose comes so easy to some, but others may take a lifetime trying to identify why they are here and what they are here to do. What advice would you give to those who struggle to find purpose in their lives?
We can’t know what we should be doing unless we know who we are and what we care about beneath the masks we wear. On a practical level the first step is to decide to disrupt your life in the best possible way. Shift yourself out of your routine, explore new environments and activities, be creative, move in different circles to inspire new conversations. Anything to break you out of your norm. Then simply follow and explore the things which light you up. Your purpose will always, always leave you inspired. Coincidentally, as you find yourself inspired you will be connecting with your spirituality. Beginning to experience what makes you feel alive.
And in terms of your life, how would you now define your life’s purpose?
Our purpose evolves. But right now it is to reacquaint and reconnect with myself to such a degree that I am available to receive all of the guidance that I need, in order to live my life in a manner which is the truest expression of who I am. The more I step into me mind, body and spirit, the happier and lighter I become. Sharing that as an author and guiding other women to visibly shine their own light, through my one to one programme and my workshops is the practical way I’m currently called to express that. It’s meant a transition, but that’s the adventure.
PURPOSE: Find Your Truth And Embrace Your Calling is out on April 24, you can find out more and purchase the book here