Jump in, watch, and enjoy my high vibrating conversation with artist Asa Soltan of Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset.” You can watch the interview in full below, or read a part of it here. Find Asa’s love tips published in my Mommy Noire column here. More excerpts coming.
If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch on YouTube.
Self-Worth Dialogue with Asa and Abiola:
Abiola: Can you teach us the yoga hook move that you shared on-air that was good for stress?
Asa: Sometimes it’s okay to blow off. But whenever you’re about to build up, slow down, take a breath. And just double hook while you’re breathing. Breath in, hook. That’s tai chi. There’s a move where they go like this. Breathe in, close your eyes.
Abiola: I was feeling great to begin with but I’m feeling a bit better. Thank you for that tool. I wanted to talk about physical beauty. You talked about your hair and being open to other people’s expression of beauty and you’re curvy and gorgeous. On one episode I think you revealed that you were the only, maybe the only female cast member who still had her original Persian nose.
Asa: When you’re on TV, you have to be boxed no matter what. You’re either the drunk, the crazy, the psycho, the weirdo or something. I get the box of the weirdo which is I’m okay with because I feel a little bit familiar with that box actually.
Abiola: Weirdos unite! Yes, weirdos. Let’s do it.
Asa: Always, weirdo until death. You know what, natural beauty. I’m actually surrounded like my mom was always a natural beauty. This is just something that I grew up with.
The only thing I might do like I blow dry my hair. It looks cool straight too. But I really like to take care of my hair. I didn’t get a nose job and this is the reason. I was doing this project where I was actually documenting our beautiful Persian big noses with a profile because everyone was getting a nose job and we’re going to forget how gorgeous our noses were.
You see this face? This is my profile. My people looked like this for 5,000 years. I don’t need to make myself look more Caucasian or whatever it is that happens to be in the beauty standard of what’s considered beautiful. I don’t need to put myself through that.
Now, am I dissing people who do? Absolutely not. My closest friends have nose jobs, all kinds of jobs. I don’t care. But for me, I feel okay in the way I am and I feel beautiful and I want other little girls to feel the same when they look in the mirror. They don’t have to go do anything to be beautiful. If they want to, that’s totally cool with me but they don’t have to.
Abiola: Right now there are little girls who are looking at you and saying, “Wow, she looks like me mommy. There’s my nose. It’s okay. She looks like me.”
Asa: Yeah, see? I actually really love my nose. Jermaine always says he loved my nose. He didn’t want me to touch anything in my face.
Abiola: You’re gorgeous. Keep it all. What does self-love and beauty mean to you?
Asa: It means accepting yourself. There’s a bunch of things that turn into this – loving yourself doesn’t mean having to feel fabulous. It’s not even such a big deal. It just means lhave compassion for yourself. Take it easy on yourself. You are amazing the way you are. That’s where we start. Past that, everybody can improve on everything and you should always work on yourself. But you’re really amazing and you can do anything you want. That’s what self-love is starting at that point.
And getting all these negative voices out of our heads whether it was your mom putting you down, whether it was the bully in school, whether it was from another culture, living in a different culture who think you’re weird or whatever it is. Getting all those, shedding all those negative layers. If you’re an onion, shed those layers that are outside of you that have nothing to do with who you are. Then, when you get to the core which is pure beauty and pure love, that’s your divine self – that’s who you are.
I think that’s the most important thing for people to realize particularly young women in our society. It’s a very, very tough – our society is very tough on women, very tough.
Abiola: The other day I saw this woman and she was gorgeous. I was staring at her – in New York City and I realized it’s because she had wrinkles. I’m not used to seeing wrinkles because everyone’s face is like pulled back. I was like, “Why is this older woman so stunning?” And it was wrinkles that was just beautiful to look at.
Asa: By the way, that’s a good point. I think that’s another thing in America that’s hard. I think it’s very difficult for women to age in America. I live in LA but I know all the big cities are like that. It’s very different in Europe in that sense. Even in my culture, in the Iranian culture we have a whole – in the Persian culture there’s a whole system in place for your grandparents as they grow older and they move in with you. It’s a beautiful thing. Then when there’s younger children in the house, they grow up with their grandparents learning something we can’t learn from anybody else.
Abiola: I agree. I just lost my grandmother last year. She was in her 90s and she was this rocking rolling, kick ass woman. Yes.
Asa: I’m sorry to hear that but she’s in a beautiful place.
Abiola: She is and she’s right here. I feel her energy all the time. And energy, Asa is everything. Everything is energy. Everything is vibration.
Literally you are the living embodiment of everything I teach. It’s like next talk I give I’ll just be like, “Class look, Asa. Let’s watch.”
Asa: That’s a very sweet compliment. Thank you so much. By the way, what we’re doing right now with sisterhood. I mean, there’s these words and people throw them around but it’s so important for women to not put each other down and uplift each other because we are sisters. I’m not a hippie. I’m not saying this because it’s like ‘feel love’ or whatever. But it’s very, very important. We are very connected. We go through the same things and we’re beautiful. Why tear each other down? Let’s lift each other up and find ways that we connect.
Especially on TV, it really bothers me. I don’t like it when women fight in these weird ways and insulting each other all the time. I don’t like it.
Abiola: It’s literally that level of criticism that you talk about that we see on TV that I say it’s violence. That is violence.
Asa: It’s actually abusive. You know what, you’re being abusive towards yourself. Forget the other person. When I spew things at you, I’m really abusing myself. How are you different from me? We’re really one.
Abiola: It’s all a mirror. Quantum physics teaches us that there’s only you, there’s only one in the universe. Whatever world you see is the world you created. If you believe that the world is a negative hateful place, you have to look at here. You’re projecting that forward.
Asa sees the world as a beautiful place because that’s who she is and that’s the world she creates and projects for herself.
Asa: Absolutely. When you meet a beautiful world, if I tell you you’re so beautiful, I’m not taking anything from myself obviously. Because if I see beauty, it’s a perception. We can spread beauty and love. Again, this is not a hippie thing. I hate when people think it’s some frivolous…
Abiola: It’s not a hippie thing. It’s actually the next stage in our evolution. I really strongly believe that the kind of – it’s yin and yang. It’s active and it’s doing and the being. We need both. We’ve been such a doing world up until now, the masculine energy that now we’re all moving into this being energy.
Asa: I’m so thrilled. By the way, for me it’s an absolute movement. There’s a different breed. We’re connecting and it’s a movement of love and positivity going and connecting to our divine self. That’s what for me Diamond Water is about. I want to put a piece of what I believe into the world and share it. There’s no better way of doing it than with water to me. We’re 75% water and we need it.
By the way, what you said about unity people often ask me, “How do you meditate? What’s meditation?” I think a really good way of meditating if you’re new to it, all it means is being still, closing your eyes and connecting to the oneness that exists in the world. Whether that’s to you, whether it’s God, whether it’s the universe, whether it’s what connects us, that’s all you need to do. Every day spend 5 minutes before you go to sleep or when you wake up and just connect. Connect to everything around you. I think it’s very beneficial.
Abiola: Yes. And it will transform your life. Beautiful. Well, I have one more question related to that then. How old were you when you got that, that you got what we see, this sense of self-acceptance? When did you get that?
Asa: I really have to tell you, I was always this way. I was this way as a child already. But I think maybe as I got older I understood it more. We all have everything we need. We’re born with it. What happens is we hack on layers around that we can’t find it anymore.
I think the process of connecting to that is shedding versus adding on. It’s not even knowledge that you need, it’s just things that you need to get rid of – mis-knowledge or misinformation. I think once we shed and just go to a more pure self, that’s where the truth is.
Abiola: That is where the truth is. You remind me of my favorite Rumi quote. ‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’
Asa: Absolutely and it’s out of fear and usually it’s out of fear. I think back to our original thing, the very first thing you started talking about. I really think the secret is to be fearless as you can. You have nothing to lose. You really don’t.
Abiola: You really don’t. Like Asa sat there, the woman said, “Well how much money should you get?” And she said, “I’ll take $10,000.” Because you have nothing to lose.
Asa: I know what I’m worth. I won’t ask for $20,000. They may not have the budget. I was like $10,000 but of course that was also going to be with two business class tickets and a five star hotel which adds up to maybe $5,000.
Abiola: It’s awesome and it is about knowing what you’re worth and that’s part of what it is with drinking Diamond Water that you deserve the best. This is your temple. Why would you not put diamond energy in your temple?
Asa: Basically, ladies and gentlemen, don’t wait for anybody to tell you what you’re worth. I’ll tell you right now and you know yourselves anyway. You’re absolutely amazing and you can do anything you want to do. You just have to start. That’s all you have to do. Your fear is stopping your right now from starting. Initiate it and the rest will come. You have to work hard and if you have passion and you work hard you will have success. But you have to do those two things.
Abiola: Yes, beautiful. The only two keys you need to get whatever you want, begin and continue. How can we support you Asa? How can people support your work and what you’re doing? What’s going on in the Asa universe?
Asa: You’re so sweet. I’m not here to sell anything. Obviously, if you want to tune in to my world and connect with me, connect through any of those social media. Music is on iTunes under Asa Soltan. If you like to try Diamond Water, we finally caught up with individual orders. Shipping now is only to 1 to 10 days. 1 week to 10 days. You can get it at realdiamondwater.com. We’re hoping that at the end of summer we’ll have distribution and people will be able to go buy it at stores too. Right now we ship it.
I’m also working on a book which I’m very excited about. I’m working on a new art project and it focuses on veils – women and veiling in my culture. I’m really forward at all times at 100 miles an hour.
Abiola: That’s so beautiful. Well, thank you so much Asa for the lessons, my sister. I look forward to continuing to indulge in all of that Asa-ness in the planet.
Asa: You’re so kind. Thank you so much for having me. I love your energy. You’re wonderful.