Are you loving yourself a little deeper this month?
When I thought of what February would mean for me & my She’s a BEAST guest, Radical Self Love came to mind. Who radiates this, who is true to self love? I didn’t want this month to be simple (well nothing is ever simple in my world) I did want one feature that stirs my soul so good, a Woman with a pure everlasting essence. Imagine the feeling of bliss, truth and security don’t feel it yet, you will by the end of this feature. Lovers, this February feature comes with an abundance of love and gratitude A-lan Holt is love, magic, she is a poet, playwright and a mama. As we open our hearts to being radical in our self love, keep reading as A-lan tells us about her journey in self-love, her recent piece of work and those feel good moments. Let’s get started!
(photo by: Zakkiyyah Najeebah)
hmm: Hello A-lan and thank you for being with me, I have my own idea of what radical self love is what does radical self-love mean to you, what does it look like and how does it feel?
AH: Radical love is the habitual practice of opening my heart. As a writer and poet, I believe my job is to feel what I feel, when I feel it. To trust that those feelings are valid and important and most of all curative.
Radical love means trusting that Creator wants me to feel good. Period. When I do feel good, I know my heart is open, I am align with my God. I’m eating and sleeping right. I’m writing and loving who I need to love. It feels good because, it is good. I am good. My heart is open.
When I feel less than good, I try and honor those feelings, too. When I feel less than good, that’s my spirit’s language of expressing where I might need to make adjustments. When I feel ‘not so good’ that’s Creator again, attempting to help me find my way back to myself— back to good. This is radical love.
hmm: You are a busy Woman, can you talk about your own self care practice?
AH: When I feel sad, I cry. I welcome tears more than I ever have before and wherever they may find me: in my bedroom, at the office. I try to allow my feelings, because if I don’t I know they will manifest in other ways. For my family it’s addiction and diabetes, very serious manifestations you get what I’m saying? I am a Black woman from a family where tears are not viewed as strength. I’m trying to shift that culture within myself. I call it weeping work. It’s been the best self- care I can give. No funds required.
hmm: Still to this day the Japanese Garden in Chicago is one of the most serene and peaceful places I love to be. Where is somewhere that makes you feel free?
AH: Right now it’s my home in Woodside, California. It’s intimate and abundant. It’s in the mountains, a bit off the grid, it’s a work-in-progress which is what I love the most.
I share it with my daughter. I’m enjoying raising her in nature where it feels safe and supportive. I am honored to be living with some incredible folks too; artists, earth scientists, friends. I’ve attracted something really good here. I’m thankful for it. For them.
(A-lan with her sweet Indigo. photo by Zakkiyyah Najeebah)
hmm: I believe that those we surround ourselves with play a huge role in our own self love, how do you feel about this?
AH: Relationships show us our tender places, for sure. They provide opportunities for coming together with a lot of clarity and expanded strength, but also for growing apart, heartache, that side of the coin too. I believe all of it is process, it’s all useful. Relationships are incredibly useful for identifying the places our heart still has left to grow. I try and do the things I need to do to attract the right people. Slow down, move my body, smile often.
I’m also learning how to be more discerning. I’m most excited about sustaining relationships that make me feel honored to be alive and well.
hmm: Of course I have to give a mention to your beautiful piece of work “Moonwork” this book is so good. I will definitely link where readers can purchase a copy. So this book, it’s emotionally intense, in such a way it makes you examine your own life. Was this your purpose, was it more of an emotional cleanse for you in writing this book?
AH: Moonwork is a collection of poems I wrote over the course of five years in response to a writing prompt: “invest a narrative in someone you do not know”. It happened to coincide with me meeting the father of my first child. I wrote these love poems from the first moments I met him, all the way through the birth of our daughter, and onward through the ending of that relationship. Moonwork was not written to be published, which is perhaps why it feels so honest, so open.
(A-lan's book Moonwork photo by Nikki Boutté)
My main goal with Moonwork was to leave a record behind for my daughter, Indigo. I wanted to tell the story of her divine creation, to express my deep love for her father, to try and connect the dots as to why we are no longer together, of the self-loving woman I had become in the process. I’m thankful I’ve written this book for her. I’m glad it resonances for so many others as well.
hmm: Do you have specific self goals for this year?
AH: My two words for the year are gratitude and excellence. I’d like to continue practicing gratitude, saying thank you for the little things. I got that from one of my favorite writers Hilton Als who once said, “if you want to live a life of grace, try living a life of gratitude”. It’s been an easy and grounding ritual, and it has brought so much goodness into my world. And excellence, to continually grow and learn and get better at all the things. In particular, I want to show up as best I can for my art practice. Writing and creating community.
hmm: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
AH: “Just keep living” was my Grandmother’s favorite phrase. It has stayed with me even now, 17 years after her passing. Just keep living, has pulled me out of holes I thought were too deep. Just keep living, has given me perspective especially after life experiences such as motherhood. It’s been the most resonant advice for sure.
hmm: Any words of wisdom for anyone reading this that needs a bit of motivation or good vibes?
AH: Remembering that we are good vibes, and finding rituals that remind us if we forget. My rituals include feeding myself. If I’m feeling far from my good vibe I try and feed myself more earth foods less human foods. What I mean is fruit, greens, nuts, water. That’s often the fastest and most sustainable way I’ve found to transform my vibe when it feels off. That and movement. If you feel stuck, move!
A Woman that is living Bold, Stylish & Free, subtle yet unapologetic. Giving thanks to A-lan for her words, good vibes and the reminder to honor ourselves at any moment. I am truly thankful. If you would like to connect with A-lan visit her website at http://www.a-lan.me
If you are interested in purchasing Moonwoork you can get your copy here Moonwork
To you, thank you for being with me for reading and keeping me inspired. Feel free to comment, share and connect with me across social media @HelloMsMitchell. Be well, love hard and I will be with you soon.