AMBASSADOR JULIA JAMILA VON BRIESEN

Julia Jamila von Briesen, Pink Flower Lake and Sabra are unofficial, JJ nickname; Charlottesville, Virginia

Places you've lived?

Santa Fe, New Mexico- caretaking for aging grandma, teaching preschool and playing with my band in bars. I straddled all the age groups and loved hiking with my aunt and uncle, getting goofy with my band, doing puzzles and watching Antiques Roadshow with my grandma. This was pre-ABD but I would have worn it for each activity if it had existed!

Trucke, California- mountains (snow, hiking, epic point-to-points!), water, music, family and friends. Need I say more? 

San Francisco, California-by the time I moved to San Fran, I was sporting ABD every damn day! I biked everywhere in the city and beyond, studied to become a yoga teacher, taught yoga at the SF juvenile detention facility and learned to love really excellent coffee. I surfed  (enough to sometimes ride a wave) and also ran a ton and loved the Calistoga to Santa Cruz 24 hour running relay. 

Charlottesville, VA- home sweet home. I moved back to VA to go to grad school (masters in public health and social work) and am now working as a Child and Teen therapist. Over the past few years I have delved into kite-boarding and last year ran my first ultra-marathon (all while sporting ABD!). 

 

What are your hobbies and sports?

What are hobbies and sports?!?!? LOL. Life, for one. Like Mary Poppins says "to every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun and snap, the job's a game!" That makes every endeavor an adventure! Sports-wise I have an affinity for board sports, generally, including snowboarding, wake-boarding, surfing and kiteboarding. Other ways I love to move my body include running, yoga, hiking, kitchen dance parties and a good 15minute HIIT workout. I also like rest days:) I am a songwriter and love playing music and performing with a band. I like opening the fridge, especially when there's not much food in it, and challenging myself to create a delicious and nutritious meal with whatever is on hand. Finally, and most importantly, aligning my every-day activities and goals toward social justice is paramount. And underneath this all, I practice meditating on impermanence and death. If I can stay present to the truths of mortality and change, my engagement in what I am doing has higher levels of compassion, love and joy.

What would your ideal day look like?

I just had my birthday and it was great. I practiced yoga in the morning (with my mom!), ate a delicious breakfast that a friend delivered and my fiance prepared, had five sessions with kids and teens, completed walking therapy (therapists need therapy, too!) and then did a Zoom workout with friends and family (ABD and Co. were there representing!). I took a bubble bath and had a fun time with friends and family watching Jeopardy over Zoom. Later, I enjoyed one of my favorite dishes served here in Charlottesville and melted into couch snuggles with my man. My ideal day is any day I am present, full of gratitude, contribute in some way, move my body and relax. It changes but the biggest components for me-- no matter where, when, what, how or who--is presence and gratitude.

A crash/failure and what you learned from it and a success and what you learned?

Huh, crash/fail is not a paradigm I think from often. I tend to experience setbacks as an opportunity to bounce forward, to tap into my resilience. I think it's important to be mindful about how I define success versus how society defines success (or failure, for that matter). Crash/failure equals "woops/learning" in my book.

How were you introduced to ABD?

I was lucky enough to attend Burning Man with my brother and his wife who gifted me a pair of hand cut rubber earrings. I wore them all the time and was so thrilled to watch the idea of bike tube recycled jewelry grow into a company! The dual-concept of sustainability and adventure it encourages are aligned with the way I aim to live my life. It really is jewelry I feel 100% good about wearing.

How do you relate to your ABD jewelry?

It's an extension of my body, really. I can wear it in the ocean, on the mountain tops, playing a show, working, taking a bath. I do take my earrings off to sleep, but you'd never know it because I put them right back on in the morning! Any time I go out (which is less frequent now in Covid), I get compliments on my earrings! They are part of who I am and I am so grateful.

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