Our third Find your Y&B superstar is Gemita Samarra - proving that it’s kindness that makes you badass. From her career in extreme sports, Game of Thrones actress and stunt woman, Gemita has found her truest calling helping and sharing with others globally through her charity “My Name is Human” project. She balances her giving by restoring through mediation and yoga.
What would you say is your “why/Y”
I find purpose in growing and helping others grow. Whether that’s as simple as learning something new, or teaching something, or something more like working on humanitarian issues.
I find purpose in learning new skills and helping others grow. Whether that’s something as simple as learning a new language or if it’s more complex in helping someone through the struggles of a humanitarian crisis. I have to be learning, sharing and doing something all of the time.
When was the moment you realised you’d “B/Become” it?
I hit an all time low in 2017, I ended up homeless and living on the streets of LA. But when I finally got through and out the other side relatively unscathed, I felt a second wind of life hit me and I realised my purpose was in helping others. Since moving into humanitarian and charity work, I have never been more proud and happy in myself. I didn’t like the person I had become when working in film/tv.
How do you keep you “Y” fresh and inspired i.e. travel/learning etc
I’m inspired by the people I work with on a daily basis. I work with a lot of children, and children who have experienced more hell than most people on Earth put together and they are so full of love and positive energy. Nothing is more powerful than being able to give the opportunity for a new life. I also keep myself motivated by remembering my purpose, and learning as much as possible on the way.
What activities/hobbies led you to your “Y”
Originally I got into charity work through producing documentaries. I ended up getting very frustrated with filmmaking as I wasn’t seeing the impact I wanted after the films came out. So I went back to the same places I worked in and found that they didn’t need a camera crew and the whole world to see and judge them… they needed schools, hospitals, houses, food security…. and that’s when I put media to one side and started working hands on.
How have Yoga/Meditation helped in keeping you on track to be cool enough with yourself/focused to follow your Y.
As rewarding as my work can be- it has a lot of weight to it on the other side. I have to balance the energy through meditation and sometimes physically through practicing yoga. I’ve also been teaching mediation and basic yoga to children and families in refugee camps in Turkey and Greece, which has been incredible. I’m no yoga instructor… I’m just a bendy person with no agenda, other than a mission to make their life a little bit easier and a little bit better.
Do you feel like Yoga/Meditation are instrumental in your becoming - in what way?
I used to do a lot of high intensity sports and extreme sports, and I still do.. I just don’t push it as hard. I used to want to surf the biggest wave and climb the biggest mountain and walls, and I felt like I was constantly trying to prove something. Whilst living on the streets I found that I didn’t have the motivation to do anything and everything became about preserving energy. It was actually through yoga, skating and surfing that made me feel more human again and I think this subconsciously played a large part in getting my life back together.
Best piece of advice or words that made you just go for it and follow your dream or keeps you inspired
You are totally in control, no matter how much someone or something makes you believe otherwise. And to never feel guilty or weakened for starting again. You’re not failing if you’re still trying.
Your own piece of advice on being brave/cool/comfortable in following your Y and Becoming it
I started to care a lot less about what anyone else thinks about me. I was never really about that anyway- but it’s so empowering and rewarding to feel genuinely proud and happy about who you are and know you are so true to your mission.
What song/band/music makes you feel excited/brave/resonates with your Y
I listen to a wide range of music, and I often learn new languages through music too, so it’s an eclectic and global mix! It totally depends on my mood too.
How do you feel about New Years resolutions
I understand how and why they appeal and motivate others. It may be because I’m not a big party animal that I don’t really celebrate the turn of a new year. I spend most of time around New Year on my own, thinking and reflecting on the past 12 months and trying to loosely map out the 12 months that lie ahead- but really I think I only do that because I have too much time on my hands as no one else is working, so it grinds me to a bit of a halt! Probably needed… however I’ve spend most of this holiday learning Arabic, studying my diploma in psychology and organising my projects for the new 3 months!
Favourite Books/Podcast to keep you inspired
Michael Pollan is one of my favourite authors for anyone that is interested in learning about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds. I think he’s an incredible journalist and it’s rare to find someone that articulates non-biased factual information as well as he does. A friend of mine bought me ‘Women who run with wolves’ for Christmas, so I’m getting really stuck into that at the moment and loving it. I often read about 5 books at once and alternate them. Either that, or I don’t put it down until I’ve finished it!
What has finding your Y/Purpose brought to your life?
It’s brought me strength and knowledge that I can share with everyone I meet in my life, and I honestly can’t express how happy I am with the direction of my life, the people that have become a part of my life and I’m still excited about all the unknowns that are yet to come. Having suffered for many years with mental health, I chose the unmedicated route and it’s finally paying off.
Check out Gemita here: