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Shakira Johnson | Atlanta, Georgia | Unfolding

Content Creator | Interviewer | Health Coach | Business Owner

Owner of 15btwn – teaching ways in which to navigate the medical system and sharing ways in which your health journey is ultimately your best journey.

I am in the height of my life, the very beginning stages as I position 15btwn in the social media arena. When I talk about my greatest accomplishment thus far, I lead with my story in feeling like a woman who is now in touch with her inner spirituality, femininity, and true authentic love. I couldn’t say that several years ago and as I see it, to have confidence and a zeal for life, which is a lot to unpack here are two necessary ingredients for needed sustainability. I am currently going through a divorce. I entered a marriage that I knew upfront didn’t allow for grace, but I just didn’t understand to what extent that intolerance would show up. I married in 2010, and our marital challenges were in full bloom so on the surface it looked like painful sex for me, “if we as a couple could get beyond this then our life would be perfect.” In 2016/2017, we decided as a married couple to give up meat and become vegetarians. This was easy for me, and it felt natural. I started to feel changes with my body and noticed that my menstrual cramps were not as painful, meaning on a scale of 1-10, I was no longer a 10 and was more a seven (7). I still had a heavy flow, but the reduced menstrual pain level stood out for me.

In 2018, I found a Nurse Practitioner, by the name of Victoria Ajiboye, who examined me and diagnosed me with having fibroids and a large fibroid. During the examination, she stated no wonder I experienced pain with sex (I can’t begin to unfold all the stories and doctors I reached out to for answers only to have it slapped to say it’s all in my head, it makes my heart ache). I mention Victoria by name because she doesn’t really understand that she was my light, because I was so close to giving up.

Victoria also remarked that my heart rate was extremely high. My husband interjected and said I was under so much stress with work. She looked at me with such concern and said (I’m paraphrasing here) that I needed to make a change because my life was at risk. In the 10 years that I lived with my husband, I was consumed with guilt, exhibiting hair breakage and grief. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it was God that brought me through because 10 years is a long time and can sometimes feel like eternity when it’s filled with abuse. By no means did things get easier for me after my diagnosis, but I had something to fight for and turn around.

I opted to have my fibroids removed in April of that same year via Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA by OBGYN and Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Elizabeth Stewart. When learning that fibroids contributed to my anguish of painful sex for so long, I started to do research or at least ads started popping up on my Facebook account about women healing their fibroids naturally, which opened my insight into a whole food plant based (WFPB) lifestyle. Although I gave up meat, I still consumed sugary drinks, dairy, and junk. As I started to learn more about WFPB eating and implementing changes to my diet as well as exercising, my period flow became lighter, my cramps were now maybe a three (3) on the scale and I started to think better of myself and felt I had the strength to leave my marriage.

I have moved from the Midwest part of the State to the Southeast. 15btwn documents my journey, establishes a platform where I can speak with health care professionals, offers my services as a health coach, and shares many ways where others can begin to make healthier lifestyle choices. We should be living life with ease, even when we are hit with a “catastrophic blow” and yet it sounds so strange. I have a desire in which I would like to take 15btwn and I devote every single day working towards that desire even with a full-time job, going through a divorce, starting/managing a business and networking.

I don’t have a large following or an engaged audience as I would like to have, but that’s not stopping me from putting my best foot forward or showcasing work that’s filled with love and care. I don’t follow the doctrine of once I achieve this milestone of notoriety then I will produce a certain type of content, or I will begin living my life. I’m producing content to the best of my ability and improving on my ability so that I can improve on my content. This will be my continued cycle and I do it because I love it and get so much enjoyment out of it. What I’m doing now, I didn’t think this was possible for ME.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

My biggest hurdle was getting started. To me getting started was exposing myself to an unfoldment and development period that I felt in the early part of my life should happen privately. To break this down further, although less challenging, is learning technology and opening up about my most personal and intimate “struggles” as a woman. It’s still foreign to me to talk about my sex life as a married woman, because we are constantly being bombarded in every way possible that almost every woman out there is having the best sex, commanding the bedroom, and chewing bubble gum. However, I had to coach myself and say it’s more than about the sex.

In terms of technology, I reached out for help, which I have received more than I could imagine. I am getting more and more comfortable asking for help from credible resources. When I first started using IG, I Googled, how to send a DM…to me that is hilarious.

What books are you currently reading?

I’m not reading a book now, but I am studying various topics on women’s health and health in general, so I am reading medical books on holistic health. I did receive a recommendation to read “My Naked Parts: Celibate & 40fied,” which is available for pre-order on Amazon by BOUQUI Folayan | Apr 18, 2022. I will purchase the actual book, once that becomes available for sale. I am 45 and although I’m not in a relationship, I’m not lonely and have enjoyed this period of quietness, reflection and deep meditation and prayer.

What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

I would advise to never look at your current disappointments as your forever path in life. We are all individuals, here to create and live the life that we desire in our hearts and souls. To get the most out of life, you must continue to evolve, which is a signal for growth. Don’t feel sorry for yourself and “stay” in that position of hopeless surrender. It’s never about the destination or even where you are, currently in life (stagnant), it’s who you become in the process in walking towards your destiny.

Social Media Handles & Website

YouTube – 15BTWN

IG/FB/Tiktok – 15btwn (Twitter is the same handle, but I’m unable to tweet, message, follow, etc and there is no support to assist)


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