Ayshabintmahmud: Sister layinka! It’s a pleasure getting in touch with you. your audio’s, video’s, featured TV programs, your writings have been quite motivating and inspiring. Would like to know more about you, and what you’re passionate about?

Layinka: Thank you for inviting me for the interview and giving me the space to share a little about myself to your readers. It’s an honor.

I’m a woman of Nigerian origin; I was born in Lagos and brought to the UK when I was 2 years old, and I’ve been here ever since (except for a year where I worked in Cairo, Egypt). I’m the mother of 3 little people, currently aged almost-14, 11, and 2, who keep me grounded and are an additional avenue for me to grow, which is key for me because one of my core values is growth. I’m passionate about operating and living from a heart-centered place in pursuit of His pleasure, and that comes about through the process of personal development, growth, and forward movement.

A: Subhanallah! That’s an amazing hustle, may Allah ease your task. You are known to be the founder of  Evolve and Emerge. What is Evolve and Emerge? The hikmah behind it, and what made you come up with the initiative?

L: Ameen! Evolve & Emerge is my ‘brand’ as it were, and it is dedicated to helping Muslim women discover and evolve into who they truly are beneath all the layers of who they believe they should be. Through my work, Muslim women unclip their wings, free themselves from limitations, and fly in the direction of their goals with the strongest sense of self, so they live with intentional purpose as who they are not just what they are.

The hikmah behind Evolve & Emerge came from my own inner work and emergence. After living for years, doing great things externally, yet living with self-doubt, self-blame, and negative self-talk externally, I know what it’s like to operate from a place where you’re one person on the outside and another person on the inside, and how much that weighs down the soul. Coming out from that, and continually evolving even as I’ve emerged as my true self, I have a mission to help other women who may have lost themselves to their labels and responsibilities. And through giving back, I’m always giving to myself because it is a blessing that fills my cup.

A: Being a wife, mother, transformational coach and playing other roles in your life, How do you handle stress and pressure? And What is your source of motivation to move on?

L: I have a routine where I take myself off social media for the last 7-8 days of every month, as a way to offload and re-center myself. This is a huge way of de-stressing the noise of the world and really listening to the song I know my heart continually sings. When it comes to pressure and stress when moments like that occur, I take time to ask myself, “What’s most important here/now?” and that allows me to focus on what requires my attention and I know everything else can be seen to when my priorities are straightened out.

A: What challenges do you face Interacting with people from different part of the world?

L: The greatest challenge in interacting with people all over the world is the language bad while many may see this as a perk, it’s a limitation is transcending boundaries where English isn’t available.

A: what is the greatest change you’d love to see in the world today?

L: The greatest change I’d like to see in the world is for us to love ourselves. Far too many of us fail to love ourselves, and instead live with low self-worth and lack of self-esteem. This shows up as people portraying a self that isn’t truly them, either in an overly loud way or an overly timid way.

A:  what advice or words of motivation do you have for other sisters?

L: Hmmm… my greatest advice would be for sisters to ask themselves: Who are you when you’re not consumed with what you are? This question can bring up many interesting answers, especially for those who’ve felt that life, responsibilities, loss, and pain have caused them to lose sight of themselves.

A: jazakillahkhairan sis! Thank you for your time.

L: Ameen, Thank you for having me.

Go get your copy of Evolve & Emerge Here.