We had the good fortune of connecting with Akira Houston and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Akira, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I had recently lost my father due to complications with his health. I was in a dark place of not really knowing how to help myself in dealing with the loss. I remember sitting in my living room in Inglewood CA when the vision came to me that I would start my own Health and Wellness business centered around solo travel and self care. Traveling was always something I did growing up. I grew up an airline brat so we always moved from city to city and traveled frequently in between those moves! When I lost my father, I felt like I lost a part of myself. So in a way, building my business around travel, wellness, and self care has been very cathartic to say the least. I always knew I wanted to be able to help others but I also knew that I was not able to help anyone else until I helped myself. I had to pour into my own cup before I could fill others!

What should our readers know about your business?
I am the Founder and Owner of Healing By The Hundreds: a movement focused on tiny yet mighty changes that promotes self care for overall health and wellness. HBTH was Established in 2017 after the loss of my father. However, after dealing with my own recent health battles of breast cancer it has taken on new purpose. I realize now more than ever that health is wealth and that all the material things and money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you are not healthy enough to enjoy life and all that comes with it!

I had to make a major life decision when I learned about my diagnosis. My doctors gave me the option of chemotherapy, radiation, or a unilateral mastectomy. I chose the latter after about a month of contemplating my options. For those who are unfamiliar, a mastectomy is the removal of all breast tissue to prevent cancer from coming back. I also came to the realization that I had to make MAJOR changes in my lifestyle. This included making fitness, nutrition, and self care my number 1 priorities. I find that documenting my journey through platforms like YouTube and Instagram holds me accountable to myself as well as hopefully being an inspiration to other women! I am so proud of myself for staying consistent even on the days when I just didn’t feel like it. When motivation runs out it’s discipline that propels me forward. Honestly, I am no different than anyone else but what sets me apart is my story and my experience. Everyone has their own story to tell and that is what makes us all unique. We all have a purpose and when you find it that is when the magic can happen!!

Keeping my faith, showing gratitude, and prayer are a few of the things that have kept me going. I have recently published a Gratitude Journal “Attitude of Gratitude” and my hope is that it will inspire others to focus on the things they are grateful for. It is in those difficult times where focusing on the good can change your entire perspective…if you are open and willing to receive it!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Yessss!! I feel like a tourist in my own state so I love everything about this question:) Ok so literally, every time I go anywhere in Cali I feel like I am in a completely different experience. There are so many things to do and see from the beaches to the mountains that the list is limitless. For the purpose of this I will try and narrow it down a bit! Since travel, sightseeing, and fitness are high on my priority list (and my circle of friends share common interests) I would probably recommend Griffith Observatory first and foremost. This is seriously a top attraction because you can hike the hills of Griffith, see the entire city of LA for miles and miles, get in some amazing photo ops and even tour the inside of the observatory if you are into all things like planets, stars, and just outer space in general. The best part of it all is that it’s FREE! With the exception of paying to park and paying to take a peek at the planetarium show everything else is complimentary.

We could get a lot done in a week so I have to throw in taking a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and Melrose Avenue to get in some good eats and some shopping. Disclaimer: I am a foodie..I admit it! So a few of my fave spots to eat are Toi (Thai Food on Sunset Blvd )Bossa Nova in West Hollywood (Brazilian Cuisine), Mozambique in Laguna Beach, Katsuya or Kabuki in Hollywood if you are feeling like sushi, and honestly it wouldn’t feel like LA if we didn’t hit up a taco truck in downtown LA on Taco Tuesday! Another low cost hidden gem is taking one of the bus tours off Hollywood Blvd where they drive you around to some of the local celebrity hangouts and you even get to see where a few celebrities live. We could wrap up the week and catch a movie at the historical landmark El Capitan Theatre then hit up a few local spots for some happy hour drinks!

And of course, you wouldn’t be California Living if you didn’t get to a beach while you are out here! Some of my favorite spots include Santa Monica Pier for the rides and games, Huntington Beach and honestly anywhere in Malibu is a win! This is all just the tip of the iceberg so my advice would be to just plan another trip back to Cali:)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
OMG! It definitely takes a village so shout out to my close network of friends all around the globe and my accountability partner who inspires me to keep going even when things get tough. Also a special shout out goes to my fiancee for daily words of affirmation, for being my road dawg as we explore life together, and for taking care of me when I experienced my own battles with my health. I am always and forever grateful to my family and my mom and dad for never putting limits on what I can achieve and for always showing me what’s possible!

Website: www.akirahouston.com

Instagram: @healingbythehundreds and @akirarashaun

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/user_details?fsid=SrTVnx4MekxMjn-IoZMsmQ&userid=t58r8YVNlRZL5paQwm1brA

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG3gyF52mj8ClMZj_Nl1QpA

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