International Junior Miss Australia 2015: Shakira Rush
Shakira is not your stereotypical pageant winner – there is much more to this beauty than meets the eye. Creative blood has always been flowing through her. She has been dancing her socks off since she was just 4 years old and was awarded a full scholarship for school because of her talent. One year later she began speech and drama lessons, and finally she started singing when she was 8 years old.
Performing wasn’t Shakira’s only creative outlet. A favourite pastime of hers was going to op shops, buying second-hand clothes and then creating something beautiful and new with them.
She is hardworking. Shakira has been working as a dental assistant for over 7 years and she specialises in assisting the dentist for oral surgery cases and paediatric cases. When she isn’t at work or practicing for pageants, Shakira relaxes by tuning out watching TV or walking her cute-as-a-button dog, Dommy.
Shakira has a beautiful relationship with her sister, Atarah. They are so close, Atarah could be mistaken as her surrogate pageant mum! They have been working together for almost two years.
We are thrilled that Shakira was able to take time out to answer our questions.
Shakira, thank you so much for taking time out for The Mindful Collective’s Mindful Moments! Would it be correct say you’ve always had a passion for wellness?
I would say yes, I have always been healthy. My parents have always provided me with healthy food but until recently I hadn’t realised the importance of eating healthily. You don’t get sick if you stick to a healthier diet! You have more energy, and your skin and hair just looks healthier compared to times when you have unhealthy binges.
What form of meditation do you prefer and why?
I would have to say my favourite form of meditation would have to be walking Meditation. I love spending time with my dog ‘dommy’ and just forgetting about my busy life and just enjoy the fresh air and time with my dog. Something about seeing my dog so happy just makes me forget about everything going on in life.
What are some changes you’ve noticed in your life since beginning your mindfulness journey and how have these helped you achieve your goals?
Spending months and months of practicing your walk, organising fundraisers and getting yourself bikini body ready just to show those judges and everyone else in those short few minutes on stage everything you have been working so hard to achieve. However if you’re not in the right mind set or your caught up thinking things like ‘am I good enough?’, ‘ have I done enough work?’,’ Am I going to embarrass myself?’ That time on stage can fly by all those months can go to waste and you won’t fully enjoy the moment. You have worked hard so you want to enjoy every second of it. I started my mindful journey to help me get in the right head space and to fully live in the moment and not worry about anyone else but me. Because I am doing this for me. You would say the changes I have seen i I am not caring about anyone else I am living in the moment. I don’t get caught up in negative thoughts. I just be me and enjoy being me.
We all need some crazy powerful stress-busting tools and techniques – we would love to hear works for you!
When I am about to have a stress attack I will go sit by myself somewhere quiet, listen to some relaxation music and just do deep breathing. If that doesn’t work I will just go for a little walk. It always clears my head.
Shakira, we have to know, what is your secret nutrition weapon?
It’s not really a secret, however I try to eat a balanced diet. I avoid processed foods as much as possible. My secret weapon would be buying fresh food from local sources (local famers, Rocklea Markets), they are also quite competitively priced.
How do you express your creative self during your busy life?
I have always loved being on stage since I was little competing in dancing, speech and singing. Nowadays I use pageants as a means of self -expression and creativity.
Pageants generally have been viewed negatively for creating bad body image in young girls. However, from my experiences with pageants I believe this to be untrue. I have witnessed and experienced the empowerment and self-confidence pageants can boost in young women. I feel pageants give us tools we need to express matters that are important to us.
Pageants teach us that in order to get others to respect us or matters which are passionate about, we first must respect ourselves.
Do you have a quote you live your life by?
“You never get a second chance at a first impression.” Pageant Academy
Who Inspires you and why?
I would say my biggest inspiration is Audrey Hepburn.
Today, Audrey is still regarded as one of the best female actress of all time. In Audrey’s later years she stopped making movies and started dedicating her life to working for UNICEF. She went to some of the most poverty stricken countries in the world. Hepburn’s first field mission for UNICEF was to Ethiopia in 1988.
She visited an orphanage in Mek’ele that housed 500 starving children and had UNICEF send food. On the trip, she said, “I have a broken heart. I feel desperate. I can’t stand the idea that two million people are in imminent danger of starving to death, many of them children.”
In October 1990, Hepburn went to Vietnam in an effort to collaborate with the government for national UNICEF-supported immunisation and clean water programmes. She is an inspiration and that is why I look up to here. She is true beauty inside and out.
To keep up with Shakira’s journey, follow her on Facebook!