Rolling Out

Umar Johnson delivers powerful mental health message at Pure Life Fest

Johnson reminds audience of his versatility

One of the most talked about men on the internet,Umar Johnson, Psy.D., also known as Ifatunde and King Kong Consciousness, always takes a beat to remind people who he is.

“It’s interesting, because the way he was viewed pre-pandemic … pandemic time was just [different],” Jamillah McWhorter, a model and gardener, told rolling out after one of Johnson’s speaking engagements. “Seeing it shift with TikTok … I love that. Even me being a supporter, it’s still so funny, but I think that people are warming up to him and his message. Obviously, us here, we love him, but everyone else is warming up to the message he’s trying to spread.”

The “here” McWhorter referred to was the Pure Life Fest, created by Alana Fairchild of Nu Earth Living. This Pure Life Fest was held in Atlanta on June 20 as a Juneteenth celebration and featured multiple artists and performers who focus on spirituality and higher-frequency consciousness. Johnson headlined the event by speaking about becoming spiritually enlightened by downsizing your ego and considering your mental health. It was the perfect blend of one of the generation’s leading voices with an educational psychology background.

“The Pure Life Fest was off the hook,” Johnson told rolling out after the event. “Thanks to the sisters for inviting me out. I was humbled and appreciated speaking on the spiritual topic, as opposed to my regular revolutionary messages.

“I enjoyed it; great energy, great performances, great vendors. Everybody had a positive attitude. Everybody’s mindset was on the one. I enjoyed this. This is a perfect way to kick off the summer with the start of Cancer [astrological’ season, the summer solstice. Of course, [June 21], we got the full moon in Capricorn. So this is the time for us to get ourselves right. Because if we’re not right with the universe, we can’t get right down here on earth, either. As above, so below.”

Johnson’s lecture included a quick reference to one of his hilarious viral mantras, “consciousness over cookies.” He also called ADHD “Ain’t No Daddy at Home Disorder,” but the overall message was a call to the community to reflect. Reflect on your service to others and the intention behind that service. Reflect on relationships and why you are in those relationships. He also offered his own definition of depression and anxiety, saying depression being upset about the past, and anxiety is being upset about things that haven’t happened yet.

“We’ve got a crisis of depression in America,” Johnson said. “… depression and anxiety are the same diseases … what we’re supposed to be clinging to as spiritually inclined folks is the here and now because it’s the only thing you can control, the here and the now. It’s the only time you can do something about your situation. It’s the only way to improve your life, forgive somebody, fix your business, or improve your relationship with your parents. You can’t do anything about yesterday and have no control over tomorrow.”

Johnson, who said he has to check himself and plans to remain the most humble person in the room, took pictures, signed autographs and spoke with individual attendees who wished to throughout the night. His efforts were not in vain.

“It’s historic,” Kelly Johnson told rolling out at the event. “It’s moving. It’s tribal because his voice has power. He’s also using his voice to build a school which we need. We need infrastructure in our communities. One day, I want a healing and gallery space where people can learn meditation, do yoga, buy art and learn how to create art.

“I feel like Dr. Umar is the shining sun, shining bright for us and leading the way.”

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