Interviewed and written by Tocarra Eldridge
Photo by Shimon Karmel
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview artist, adventurer, enthusiast and actress Aliyah O’Brien. This was one of the most inspiring and empowering interviews that I have conducted over my years as a journalist. Her warm and inviting spirit is unforgettable. Nonetheless, Aliyah shares personal insight on life and homeopathic remedies that will enlighten many.
For those who may not know, Aliyah has had starring and recurring roles in NBC’s series Taken, Audience Network’s Ice, Freeform sci-fi drama Beyond, ABC’s Rookie Blue and A&E Bates Motel. She has also played leading roles in movies such as While You Were Dating, Lifetime’s Forced Exposure, Hallmark’s An Ice Sculpture Christmas, and Engaging Father Christmas, just to name several.
Here is what the astonishing actress has to share with the readers regarding health and wellness, along with a brief chat about her role as Detective Christine Rollins, an experienced investigator, in the ABC series Take Two.
Tocarra Eldridge: What interested you to want to seek out health remedies when it comes to having sicknesses and other ailments?
Aliyah O’Brien: Well, it’s interesting because I grew up in that world. It was sort of a natural progression. When I was younger, I never had antibiotics in my life because to my parents thought antibiotics were the devil. [Laugh] With that being said, of course there’s a time and place for that absolutely. When we got sick when we were younger we had this really good homeopathic doctor friend that we would go visit. We also had this book and a big box that I remember loving that was full of homeopathic remedies. If you were to get a cold or something, you would go to the book to look up your symptoms, diagnose yourself and then follow up with the homeopathic remedy. I’m fortunate that I’ve never had anything really severe go wrong health wise, I think that’s a product of my focus on internal wellness and use of vitamins, supplements and superfoods, as well as healthy eating. Also, having a general positive outlook is a really good remedy within itself.
Tocarra: Absolutely. Unfortunately many people are unaware of the health remedies that you speak of and natural health solutions. You just spoke about your feelings on antibiotics, do you have any other thoughts on over-the-counter medication and medication prescribed by the doctor?
Aliyah: There’s a time and a place where those kinds of medications are good for pain management and treatment for numerous things. I think health is an inside job. Something that we need to start looking at is the root cause of things. How do I build a foundation of a healthy body so that I don’t need to be going to get all of these medicines or getting medications to cover up or fix in a pinch. I don’t actually have a doctor because I go to the doctor so little, but I haven’t felt the need for it. I do see a naturopath and other wellness practitioners when need be. Some people think it takes a lot of time, energy and money, but really it’s less expensive to eat good food and to take care of your body, than to have major problems down the road.
I think doctors are amazing and play a very important role in our society. Our bodies are constantly breaking down and they need help, especially for major things that are way out of our scope. My wish is that more doctors were trained to take a more holistic approach to treatment that addressed the root of the problem, diet, lifestyle, mental emotional wellbeing etc. I think it would be amazing if our public schools incorporated more classes on self-love, compassion and belief in self. It would be incredible if the medical system was designed to really empower individuals to heal themselves and address what’s really causing the problems in their lives. Of course the choice is on the individuals too – to want to make change and heal themselves. In a society where we’re always so busy and want things to be fast and convenient, it’s hard to take the time to really look inward and make positive changes. But sadly it might take something tragic like cancer or heart disease to make us stop and really look inward. My hope is that it doesn’t get that far and we wake up more and more to the importance of self-love and what it means to really take care of ourselves – mind body and spirit. Life is for living right?!
Tocarra: Yes, it really is. You are most definitely passionate about personal development. What are some interpersonal tips that you will share with an individual who anticipating making a positive change in their life?
Aliyah: Oh gosh! There’s so many things. I just had an interview that I shared with the woman, the one thing that I do each morning – I think the most important thing first and foremost is that we love ourselves more. I think that it’s hard, and to say that, I’m consistently working on it. It’s not that I’ve mastered it by any means. Every morning I will drink a super food drink, and that’s like a routine that I would do daily. I’ve attached this little ritual with the routine that my wellness practitioner friend Claire suggested. You can do it whenever you brush your teeth. Pick something that you do everyday then attach a self-love practice. My ritual is that I stand with my feet on the ground and I feel self-rooted and connected to the earth. Then, I put my hand on my heart and I start tuning in with myself and with my heart. I start with myself [by saying] ‘I’m willing to love myself deeply and fully today.’ I feel it, I connect with it, and I just imagine the light radiating out of me. I stand there until I really feel the love. Often I will add things… intentions, prayers, feelings I wish to have that day and I find it really helps to voice them out loud (I know, some people cringe at how cheesy they would feel doing this, but that’s part of the problem, we’ve made it weird to love ourselves out loud. I dare you to try it!!) For me it’s very grounding to do this every morning.
Tocarra: Wow, nice! That was some good information right there!
Aliyah: Yeah, and it’s so simple. It’s free, it’s simple and it’s so important. I think a moment of connection like that can change your whole day.
Tocarra: Wow! That’s deep. Many people desire having healthy eating habits. However, I’m sure you’re aware, they have such a challenge when it comes to making those healthy food choices. What advice would you give to these individuals regarding overcoming this barrier?
Aliyah: The advice I would give in general to making changes is to always start small and always have compassion for yourself along the way. Know that, “Yes, I am doing it!” “I’m making a positive change!” Change doesn’t happen overnight; change happens in small daily actions. Make little small choices, and eventually those small choices will add up and become big choices. You don’t have to become like a raw food vegan overnight. That may not even be where you’re headed, but just start including more vegetables. Depending on where you’re at, make small little changes and do some research and eventually that adds up into some big changes. When I do things, at first they are hard and then they become a habit. You have to be gentle and understanding in the process. Maybe it’s tricky in the beginning but eventually it will become a habit. I cut out refined sugar years ago. At first it was hard because sugar is in everything. Eventually I just didn’t even want it. It wasn’t like NO! I don’t believe in, [saying] “No, you can’t ever have it!” Listen to your body and ask your body what it wants.
Tocarra: Aliyah, let’s talk a little bit about you acting career. You were recently cast as Detective Christine Rollins in the ABC series Take Two alongside Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian. Would you like to tell us a little about this amazing character?
Aliyah: Yea! Sure! She’s great! I like her a lot. She’s a pro. Detective Christine Rollins is a secondary detective on the LAPD. She’s earned her stripes, so to speak. She earned the respect of the position that she has. She really is fighting for justice. She’s always trying to uphold the truth and she likes to have a little bit of fun too. She’s fun to play.
Tocarra: In the past you have played other cop/detective roles. What makes Detective Christine Rollins interesting and unique from detective roles you have played in the past?
Aliyah: Well actually, she is the first detective I’ve ever played. I played a cop before and I played like a lot of other professional types [of characters]. In the past, I played a lot of bad girl characters, which can be very fun. It’s really nice and refreshing to play a character that is really is trying to do good.
Tocarra: Playing a detective in film, have you discovered or learned any insight about detectives, like their everyday lifestyle activities?
Aliyah: It’s funny; someone asked me in an interview recently if I’ve done any [shadowing]. I’m like no! But I should! That sounds like it would be fun. At the same time I wonder if real-life detective worlds look anything like TV detectives worlds. [Laugh] I wonder how similar they are? I think I learned a little bit of what it’s like to be a detective through the role, because it’s new to me. Occasionally, there is a word that I have to look up and I’m going, “what does that mean?” It’s very specific to the police force, so I am learning through that and about the investigative process, I’d say. I don’t know that I’ll be solving any real life crimes any time soon.
Tocarra: Thank you Aliyah! This has really been a wonderful interview.
Aliyah: Thank you for giving me the opportunity! I really do feel that my purpose in life is to truly learn how to let my light shine and to inspire others to do the same.
Visit Aliyah O’Brien at www.aliyahobrien.com
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Last modified: June 23, 2023