the Holy Energy Making a Planetary Impact
By Jessi Lane
Photography by Justen Christensen
Asma (“Ess-mah”) is a Palestinian Refugee, an entrepreneur, and a military spouse. She is an advocate for holistic healing and mindful living- a fierce protector of her family, of her personal goal and of our planet. She embodies the Divine Feminine. Goop.com tells us, “The sacred feminine energy is nurturing, soft, grounded with strong boundaries, and trusting of her intuition. The sacred masculine energy is present, logical, and focused with a deep desire to protect and build.1” The synergetic union of energies allow us to embrace “all that makes us human and holy,2” according to Goop. “I believe God works and flows through energy.” Asma says. “It’s in everything around us. It’s in us.” Asma grew up in a Muslim household with Christian extended family. Everyone prays for her to “see the light,” she says. “When I was a little girl, I thought God was this enormous giant.” She motions to the empty booth seat next to her in the dimly lit coffee shop, “Now I imagine God next to me all day -that respected fear.”
Her decade-long passion project turned small-batch skincare business, Feel This, is handmade, organic, inclusive, and breaking into new territories. “If it is not of natural source, it is eliminated from our equation,” she says. Los Angeles’ Spectrum News 1 reported in June 2020 that the national cannabis industry generates 150 million tons of waste annually. Feel This aims to reduce that human carbon footprint by reducing the amount of microplastics and toxic chemicals found in skincare products.
She believes every ingredient serves a purpose and says, “we are here to give your skin cells something healthy to feed on.” This mission of clean healthy food was likely derived from Asma’s mother and her grandmother before her. “My mom cooked everything. We weren’t allowed to eat out.” With a wide grin she recounts a friendly negotiation with the local Little Caesars staff. Asma and her brothers would pay for a slice or a couple and receive a whole pie they would then scarf down with their favorite side – hot Cheetos – before they trashed the evidence and headed home for their mother’s delicately crafted meals.
Asma’s mother was a determined woman in a new country. She didn’t speak the language and had three mouths to feed. As she worked relentlessly to provide for her children, Asma kept a watchful eye over her brothers. For some time, they made a home in San Diego but eventually moved to Flint, Michigan. Once she was old enough Asma moved to be near her father who was living in Tahlequah. Her brothers soon followed behind her, but the little family struggled to protect them from themselves. Her father, an entrepreneur, graduated from Northeastern State University with his degree in Mathematics. It was an Alma Matter Asma would one day call her own. But not without experiencing immeasurable heartache along the way.
One of Asma’s brothers had gotten into trouble and hit with pot charges. Because he was a Permanent Resident in Trump’s America and he was deported to Jordan, the place of his birth. “He was on one of the first boats,” Asma powerfully recollects through tears. “My reason to grind is to bring him home,” she continues, “nothing scares me because nothing is scarier than having your baby brother deported.” While in prison Asma’s brother learned to fluently read and write in Spanish and he learned to tattoo. He has gone on to become a high profile skilled tattooer in Jordan with an extensive celebrity client list. Asma will never stop pursuing her goals in the name of her brother. The silver lining lies where, through her beloved brother, Asma met Caleb- her partner in matrimony and in business. He is her constant supporter- quiet, with a sweet knowing smile.
Asma became a mother on someone else’s mission. Pregnant with her daughter, Sophie, Asma moved to South Korea, where Caleb was stationed. A military spouse in unfamiliar territory she had developed a perinatal dermal condition. She reached out to her grandma oversees for relief. In her home growing up, when someone had a nagging cough, it was treated with a spoonful of sesame or Tahini oil. Asma recommends this home remedy to this day. For her rash Asma’s Teta recommended warm olive oil blended with sugar into a paste. Later when baby Sophie developed cradle cap, Feel This Old Fashioned Bütter was too born.
Through isolation and a longing for community Asma discovered Hearts on a Mission, a health and wellness support group of military spouses. Her friend Gia encouraged her to turn her handcrafted home remedies into a marketable product. “You have a gift,” she told Asma. The Hearts on a Mission ladies put their money where their mouths were. “They wiped me out!” she joyfully recounted. With two thousand dollars in her pocket Asma embarked on her relentless personal mission to heal the planet and our bodies, no matter who told her she couldn’t do it along the way- and they told her. “They said you won’t. I said f-ing watch me.”
Caleb and Asma moved back to Oklahoma where Asma personally shattered glass ceilings in the automotive dealership industry. She knocked the machismo out of every service department she touched by excelling in customer service, retention and upsells. Caleb too excelled as a Service Advisor. She lovingly reminisces, “He respected my boundaries as a woman in the car industry.” In November 2018, the couple obtained their OMMA patient licenses. Having lugged the hefty stash of yogurt and mason jars used in her alchemy everywhere they called home, Asma at one point bought a couple of grams of CBD isolate, “just to play around.” She began formulating with her tried and true recipes. There was no stopping her from climbing to reach her goals and continue to shatter those ceilings along her way to the top.
Asma persevered through business licensing, incessant packaging delays and interpersonal industry heartbreak. She went on to single-handedly plug her renowned Feel This product line into one hundred dispensaries. Feel These products include Asma’s famous Lipbôm – voted Oklahoma’s best cannabis lip balm in 2021 by Herbage readers – her incomparable Mineral Sünscreen and Coffee Sügar Scrub, plus Shower Stēamers, Underarm Bâr and other unique skincare food. But this road to the top has not been paved with gold and Asma has had to do some real soul searching as she pivots from the cannabis market to a boutique beauty and spa client list by removing THC from her entire line sans Lipbôm. Nearly all Feel This products are now hemp derived. While pondering the state-required packaging labels adhered to her precious metal tin reading “Women should not use marijuana or medical marijuana products during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects” and “Keep out of reach of children,” Asma began to reevaluate her target clientele. “My real clients are babies and grandmas,” she declared. I had to ask myself, “Do I want 1% of the world or 90% of Oklahoma?” With her eyes on that glass ceiling prize Asma is creating opportunity for herself using all her valuable skills.
Recently Asma and Caleb have launched a new project they call the Alpha Experience Collective offering creative one on one and group training to companies looking to transform their customer experience. Alpha Experience provides data driven results in the form of comprehensive brand strategy, interactive sales training, problem-solution strategies, recruitment and hiring, and many other customer retention and upsell points. The days of working to prove a point are behind her as Asma has written off crying over other people’s opinions.
A natural entrepreneur, Asma has many aspirations to heal the planet and its people including an animated children’s storybook character, Frank, the Alpha Experience Center, and maybe even a clothing line. She also dreams of creating a rehabilitation facility with a voluntary one year sign up that would include dorms, commissary, church and holistic, plant-based therapies because Asma is never doing anything for just her. She arrives for battle waving a banner of all the names of the people she loves and fights for. Even all of us and all the things are around us, for they too are holy energy. FEEL THIS