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Hi, everyone, I'm Renee Brown, and this is unlocking us. Today, we're talking to Sonia Renee Taylor. She is an artist, activist and founder of The Body is not an Apology. I think just the title The Body is not an apology is enough to take your breath away.

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But if you need more, stay tuned, because she's coming with a big ass key to unlock some really hard stuff for me and I think for all of us.

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So stay tuned for my conversation with Sonia Renai Taylor.

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I think it'll make a difference.

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All right, so let me tell you a little bit about Sonia Renee Taylor.

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She is the founder and radical executive officer of The Body is Not an Apology, which is a digital media and education company with content reaching half a million people each month. Sonya's work as an award winning performance poet, activist and transformational leader continues to have global reach. She is a former national and international poetry slam champion, author, educator and activist with audiences across the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands.

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She also does a lot of work inside prisons with mental health facilities, homeless shelters, universities. She does some incredible work with festivals and also public schools across the globe.

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Let's just jump right into this conversation because again, just the title of the book, Woo! That'll be enough to get your attention.

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We have to just jump in because I. I have so much. I have so many questions to ask you, I have a ton of gratitude to share with you about this powerful work, so I just want to jump in. But before actually we even start with the book, which I want to talk about, the body is not an apology. The power of radical self-love. Everything about the title, subtitle and photo on the front of this book was screaming, Don't get near it, Bernie.

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It's going to jack you up.

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Like, Don't, don't, don't do it, Bernie.

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Don't. Yes, but I did it and I'm I'm I'm still in pain and all, but I am so glad I did it.

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But before we even start with the book, I want to tell people kind of how we met because there's something important in it, right?

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Yeah, totally.

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So I woke up one morning and I was taking my morning hit of social media, which is not good for me, but I was doing it anyway.

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I take a daily toke to a morning talk. Do you take a morning toke? It's just it's just crap. But I do it sometimes. Yeah. So I saw this really beautiful quote card and I read it and it was a quote card for me. And I was like, we will not go back to normal. Normal neverwas our pre caronna existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack.

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We should not long to return. My friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment, one that fits all of humanity and nature. And then it was signed off Prinny Brown and I was like, God, that is so good. And I and I so did not say that I wish I was that, but I didn't say that.

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And this thing was kind of like fire, right? This quote.

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So I called Genea, this amazing woman who runs our social media, and I said, Have you seen this quote about stitching a new garment because you are so beautiful?

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And I said, yeah, I didn't say it. She her I think her exact. Oh, shit. And I said, I'm going to respond on Twitter with this and said, this is beautiful. I didn't write it. Attribution matters while you start investigating who said it.

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Yeah. And then she came back and she was like, hmm, that is Sonia Renae Taylor. And I was like, OK, great, let's let's fix it. And I bet we've said that you've seen them.

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Probably ten thousand tweets we have. We corrected every time we see it.

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That is incredibly generous and kind. I appreciate you in that massive amount of labor because I it was really interesting. It was such an interesting lesson when it happened to me. Somebody first sent it to me IMiDs and said, Sonja, they're attributing this quote in, you know, and, you know, it was the person I did not know. And they were like, what do you want me to do? And I was like, correct it.

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If, you know, like if you know that I did that, like, just correct the person who said it. And then I started getting lots of them. And there was this moment of. What do I do, what what matters, does it matter? This world knows I said this or does it matter that what was said seems to matter to people? And which one are you willing to focus on? Failure. And so there was a moment where I really just have to have this entire internal reckoning where I was like, I trust that those words are useful for whoever it is that they're useful for and that the use is more important than than the me being named in it, and that if I'm supposed to be named in it, the universal work that all out, that's what I'm trusting.

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And then I let it go. I really let it go. And then I woke up in there with the message in the tweet and several people like Brown tweeted about this.

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And I guess but I read it and I was like, that's awesome and amazing.

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And, you know, and it was this beautiful tension between my own ego and and the reality of the world. And like, you know, what happens to black women's voices in the you know, in the movement of history and the like. What is important, what's most important in this moment? And those were the things that I felt like we're all sort of at play in that situation. And I and I believe in me saying I trust that it will work out.

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The way it's supposed to work out is the reason why I get to be here in this conversation with you.

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And so that magic, your heart is so much bigger than mine. I have a Grinch two sizes too small because I'm like when I see, like, you know, when I see a quote of mine, especially if it's attributed to, like, a white guy, I'm like, dude, you did not say that. I like excuse me. I said that, like, I don't even think, like, what serves the world the best. I'm like, no, sir, sit down.

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Sit down to give me my words back right now because attribution really matters.

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It does. And I think that's what the dance is. Attribution absolutely matters. And whose responsibility is it to correct the record? Because if I spent my life right around, I think right. Chasing all the misattributed things, I'd be that's what I'd spend my life doing. That's why. And what I loved in this moment that you shared in and you're like and we've corrected it ten thousand times is, oh, not what we want is for the place where the power and the resource and the privilege lies to also take on the responsibility of making sure that which should be made right is made right.

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And I really like you and your team have done that. And that's been beautiful to watch.

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It's been incredible, too, because what we do is we we tweet it back with this with the right the same quote card, but with your attribution. And then we have tracked what has been we've done the AB testing on what's more effective.

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And if we say if we say this, these words belong to Sonya, Renae Taylor, can you help us? People are like, oh, be glad to help. You're right. I'll be glad to help. If we carets people, they get really self righteous offensive.

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Yeah, but but if we say we need your help because this is important, people are like right on. It's important. So I just want to say thank you for sharing those words. I'm so glad you brought us together in this weird way.

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Mifune, thank you for being a researcher who's like, you know what we're going to do? We're going to research now. I just like that we're going to look into it like how people are helping with this or not.

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I love it. Amazing. So I'm going to start with this book normally when I can always conscious, like we don't have that much time, get to the meat. But I got to start I got to start talking about this book again. The body is not an apology. The power of radical self-love.

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I don't like anything about this cover. It's you being unapologetic with your body in this beautiful shot. I don't like that. I don't like you telling me not to apologize for my body because I've spent my whole life doing that. And I don't like the term radical self-love.

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So it's like three strikes and I got to read the shit right now. I love it hard, but then I'm like, I can do it.

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I can do that. I actually read the prologue and had to walk away from the book for over a week.

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And you sent me this cryptic, terrible message on Instagram. Do you remember it?

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I did. I said, I believe there's something in it for your journey. That's what I said. That was me.

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That was just mean spirited. I think I want you to know that it was abundant, radical love that made me feel that. Yeah.

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See, that is it for me anymore because I've read the book twice and I know what you mean.

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When you say radical love, you're not crying around. OK, I want to take you to a hotel room.

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So you're in Knoxville, is that right? That's right. I'm in Knoxville. You're in a hotel room. You're with your team. Y'all are preparing for a poetry slam. Yes.

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And you say we were. Black, white, Southeast Asian, we were able bodied and disabled, we were gay, straight by and queer. Well, what we brought to Knoxville that year were the stories of living in our bodies and all of their complex tapestries.

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So you wind up in a conversation with your teammate Natasha, an early 30 something living with cerebral palsy and fearful that she might be pregnant.

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Natasha tells you how her potential pregnancy was most assuredly by a guy who was just a fling and all of her life was up in the air for her.

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For Natasha, she was abundantly clear that she had no desire to have a baby and not by this person. And so somewhere in your career, many of the iterations, you were a sexual health and public health service provider. So this background you write you, this is what you write. This background made me notorious for asking people about their safer sex practices, handing out condoms and offering sexual health harm reduction strategies instinctually. I asked Natasha why she had chosen not to use a condom with this casual sexual partner with whom she had no interest in procreating.

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Neither Natasha nor I knew that my honest question and her honest answer would be the catalyst for a movement. Natasha told me her truth. My disability makes sex hard already with positioning and stuff. I just didn't feel like it was OK to make a big deal about using condoms.

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Yeah. You go on to say, when we hear someone's truth and it strikes some deep part of our humanity, our own hidden shames. It can be easy to recoil into silence. We struggle to hold the truths of others because we have so rarely had the experience of having our own truths held.

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This really. This I didn't feel like it was OK to make a big deal out of using condoms because my disability already makes sex hard.

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Yeah. This just pierced your heart. Yeah, tell me more. Yeah, when she said it, it was this moment where I often have this experience, I mean, they often but often enough where. My response is not a conscious response, it is not a like, oh, I'm reflecting on what you shared with me and I'm sharing back with you. It is something. Outside of me, that needs to say a thing. That's how it occurs to me.

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And so when she said that, what came out of my face just was, your body is not an apology. And I had never said those words. I never said them in that sentence. They'd never been a thought I'd ever had before that moment. But there was something that needed us, not just Natasha, that needed me to know that. There are ways that I had been giving myself away. As a sorry for being in this body, for being this person, and I could see my own being in the Tosches moment there, and there was something they wanted both of us to interrupt that trajectory.

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There was something that wanted to to to halt that experience and in it and it broke my heart. And it's one of those things where any time I tell the story, there's an audible gasp in the room because it's there every time there never a time I've ever told that story.

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And people do not go home because there's something so painful about thinking about this person, not feeling entitled to their own safety, to their own sovereignty, to their entitled to their own pleasure in the way that they determine is best for them. And I think it's not just, oh, that person. I see this moment as that person. There's something in it. I deeply believe that when we hear it, we go.

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I've done it. Oh, yeah, I've done that, I've done. Oh, I see I see myself in Nitasha and that's what happened in that moment in that hotel room was I saw myself in Natasha and there was something that wanted to help that experience from continuing to replicate itself. And I really think that that's how this entire movement, this work has spread is because that thing wants to be halted and something new wants to get created. Got it was.

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It's painful. I mean, it's it's really painful. I mean, I. I wish I would have known that at 18 and 20, and I wish I would have known that, yes, like the times I said yes when I met no, but also the times I said no and I meant yes, that it's, you know. Do you mean like.

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Absolutely. Yeah. The times when we just the times when we don't honor us, that's really all it is, is like, oh, here are the ways in which I didn't. Here are the ways in which I've betrayed my own truth. And and, you know, like in the in the intersection of your work is all of the shame that comes with betraying our own truth.

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Right. And so if there's a if there is a way of understanding our own bodies that can help us betray ourselves with so that we don't have to be mired in in the shame of that betrayal, then. Yeah, like what is that like? Let's do that. And I think that's that's what I think radical self-love is ultimately.

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Yeah.

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I've got to tell you and we can talk about this later, that, you know, you we're going to go through some of the practical, practical, revolutionary practices better than practical revolutionary practices, better than practical, because there's nothing practical about anything in this book.

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But, you know, I'm 54 and you you know, and I'm trying to put these practices into my life. And you say pick a mantra like, could you have a mantra? And you know me like I'm the queen, a mantras man. I got you know, I got mantras on faces, I got mantras, but I've never had a radical self-love mantra about my body before. And so I find myself really in this land of confusion around menopause and what happens in your 50s.

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And so, again, feeling like now my body isn't a new apology.

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It's still an apology. It's just a new apology. But my my mantra that I picked from you is my body is my ally.

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Yeah. Yeah. You know, and then I catch myself saying, hey, VirnetX, your body's your ally and you're engaged in performative shit with your body like mine in the world.

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View the world. Yeah, it's it's crazy.

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OK, so here's what you write at every turn.

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Four days after my conversation with Natasha, the words return to me like some sort of cosmic boomerang. They kept echoing off the walls of all my hidden hurts every time I added a disparaging word about my dimpled thighs that here your body is not an apology. Soniya. Each time I marked some erroneous statement with my bad I'm so stupid, my inner voice would retort, Your body is not an apology. So I so. So I'm like, OK, I get it.

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You've taken my breath away. I've had to walk away from the book and come back. I've thrown it across the room a couple of times. I love it. Yeah. I love.

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Which is I love it. You've done all the things that I tell people they're going to do when they choose blowies.

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Yeah, it's so hard. So then I get to this idea and it's interesting of. Natural intelligence, so I'm like, OK, so you in or so you, so you've got me kind of splayed open and then I'm ready. I'm going to build my self-confidence and I'm going to build myself acceptance. And you're Jesus. You're like, no, no.

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And you start with this story where you hear a quote from Marianne Williamson. An acorn does not have to say I intend to become an oak tree. Natural intelligence intends that every living thing become the highest form of itself and designs us accordingly. Yeah, so what you're positing in this book, I want to make sure I get this right. Uh huh.

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So scary to me is that I don't have to strive for things and achieve more things and accumulate more things.

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I've got to get rid of the stuff that's getting in my way of tapping into.

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My natural purpose and greatness, is that what you're telling us? That's exactly what I'm telling you. And and I'm telling you that that will emerge, that once we remove the obstructions that have us believe we have to try to become, we will just become exactly what it is that we are supposed to be and that those obstructions are not just like our obstructions, that they are a world of obstructions that have been created, that are in between us and our inherent divinity in between us and our innate enough ness.

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And that the work of radical self-love is to keep moving the things that are in the way outside of me and to keep working in concert with other human beings to move the things that are in the way in the world. And that when we do those two things simultaneously, when we do them together, I believe and you know, and I may not ever live to see it, but I deeply believe that we make a different world.

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OK, I want you to walk us through again the two things that will come together to make the different world. Can you walk us through it one more time? Yeah, absolutely.

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So. Radical self-love is an internal journey that impacts our external reality, the internal journey and the inside of me inside, it's inside of you, but it acts the world and the world.

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And the reason it impacts the world is because we are not living in a system of individualism, no matter how much our society would like to convince us that we are. The reality is that we are interdependent, that our experiences impact one another. You. You know, when you've been in a conversation with someone and you leave it and you feel gross, yes, you that did not feel good. That is the impact of their internal story impacting you.

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And it can impact your whole day. That's true. It can change the entire tapestry of the way you were moving through the day. So that's just the energetic level. But the systemic and structural level is that we have built a world that is a reflection of our belief that we are not enough. We have built an entire system that then externalizes our value, my world, I will be good enough when I achieve that, that that I will be good enough.

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If I have this job that pays me this amount of money, I will be good enough if I can hold tight to my identity as white or able bodied or CIS or all of these configurations of what I call the hierarchy of bodies the world, that we have a sign that says there is some top. And my job as a human is to figure out how to scramble to the top. How to try to get there now, what's true is that we also recognize in the system that there are some of us who will never get there.

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We have bodies that will never live at the top of that ladder. So what we spend our lives trying to do is figure out, well, what can I do? Well, I can lose 10 pounds here. I can affect my tone so that I sound more white. I can bear all these things that we try to do. I can subscribe to rigid rules around gender, and I can do all of these things to try to understand my place in the hierarchy.

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So to climb up the caste ladder, to climb up the ladder of bodily hierarchy. Mm hmm.

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What radical self-love invites us to do is to divest from the latter to recognize that the latter is only real because we keep trying to climb all of us.

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Oh, wait, say that again. What radical self-love. Say that again.

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Radical self-love invites us to divest from the latter because the latter is only real because we keep trying to climate and will we stop trying to climb the ladder then we have no more use for the ladder when I don't need the ladder to assess my sense of worthiness, of enough ness of of again, inherent divinity when I don't need that ladder because I understand it as my birthright. I understand it and how I arrived on the planet. I understand it as my own unique form of natural intelligence.

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Then the latter is of no use. The latter is imaginary. The latter is there to give me a thing that I was born with. So what do I need the latter for? What do we need the latter for? If we all understood that we already came here with everything we need in order to be all it is that we are destined to be.

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Let me ask you a question. I want to stay with your metaphor. Yeah, I built a lot of ladders. I'm a ladder builder especially. Yeah. My academic training really is like ladder building 101. OK, so that ladder that's leaning against the system. Right, that I'm not going to climb up, but I've got everything here. What happens to the system when the ladder goes away?

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The ladder isn't leaning against the system. The ladder is the system. Holy shit. Hold on, let me pull myself together here. The ladder isn't leaning against the system, the ladder is the system. It is all the things that we have built to figure out how to attain the top rank. It's all the systems, all of them, and it's all of our place on there inside of them. That is what the ladder is. And so once we undo it, we don't have the system.

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The system falls. It literally one of the most powerful things right now. Today, as we are recording this, the NBA has said we're not playing. We are not playing because we are not going to continue to play basketball while black people are being murdered. If every single NBA player decided we are not playing basketball as long as black people are being murdered, the entire system that is the NBA would collapse immediately and immediately. It would fall. They would not have the infrastructure to figure out how to hire new players fast enough.

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Not in covid. Right. There would be nothing but the collapse of that structure, as we understand it, simply by the choice not to participate in it anymore. That material example is an opportunity, and it does and again, I'm talking about it, it is not simple. It's not easy. I think it is simple. It is simple.

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They just like we know it is simple and it's actually super simple. And that's the complexity of it.

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Yeah, it's super simple. I play it. OK, what happens when we say we're not playing? The entire system falls. That's what happened.

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I read the statistic. This takes me back to something that was like so I had not thought about this for, I don't know, since 9/11. So I started my research like six months before 9/11. So I've really been able to watch how fear has changed us.

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And I remember reading an article comparing the cosmetic and diet industry to the airline industry, what it experienced after 9/11. And the article said something like, if every woman woke up and said, I love what I see, I'm not buying anything, it would be a faster collapse than the airlines after 9/11. It would be within 24 hours. The entire system like like so we are the latter.

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Like, our shame is the latter portion is the latter.

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And if we divest from it, we would collapse all the systems that are built on it.

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Man, this is OK.

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So this is helpful because now I understand there was a part of this book that I felt so I mean, so in love with you, I'll tell you, it has to do with potpies. But because I grew up on potpies for sure.

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Did you grow up on Popeye's?

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Yeah, I hated them. I thought, well, I didn't hate them. I told you the part I hated. I hated the edges and fed the potpies. I like the crust and I like the chicken in the gravy.

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OK, so here's what you say. So so you're you're asking because you say to the reader, OK, well, if this book is not going to help me with my self-esteem or self-confidence, because you say self-esteem and self-confidence, this is way deeper than that. That stuff is fleeting, right?

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Yeah, it's shaky. It shaky ground. Right. Will it at least help me with self acceptance? Can I read what you wrote here?

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Yes, please. Is it weird when I'm reading your stuff?

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No, it's a delight. OK, my short answer is. If I do my job correctly, no, this book is not going to help you with self acceptance, not because self acceptance is it useful, but because I believe there is a port far beyond the island of self acceptance and I want us to go there. Think back to all the times you accepted something and found it completely uninspiring. When I was a kid, my mother would make my brother and me frozen Popeye's for dinner.

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It was the meal for the day. She did not feel like cooking. I enjoyed the flaky pastry crust.

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The chunks of mechanically pressed chicken in a Band-Aid colored beige gravy were tolerable, but there was nothing less appetizing than the abhorrent vegetable medley of peas, green beans and carrots portioned throughout each bite like miserable stars in an endless galaxy.

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Yes, I ate those hateful, mixed vegetables. Hunger will make you accept things. I accepted that my options were limited. Pick out a million tiny peas or get a job at the ripe age of 10 and figure out how to feed myself. Why am I talking about potpies? Because self acceptance is the mixed veggie pot pie radical self-love. It will keep you alive when the options are scarce.

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But is there a life beyond frozen potpies?

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Yes, I want everybody listening right now just to raise their right hand like in honor. I sorry if you've had the band colored melody. Yes, yes. If you've had your chicken pot pie frozen.

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Yet you say that self acceptance is used as a synonym for acquiesces. Yeah, yeah. You're not interested in self acceptance. And I don't want to be accepted. I want to be loved. If you had the choice between love or acceptance, which would you pick.

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Oh, love you pick love.

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Love is richer. It's warmer, it's love does something.

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Oh yeah. Acceptance is an inmate word. It is an inert word. It does not do anything. It stops there now. It just kind of lays there. Yeah. It just lies there. I accept that there's nothing literally there's nothing. It is a passive term. Love is an active term. It is a thing that makes you get up and do something to change something to shift it. It creates its own momentum. I want for the world a love that changes shit.

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That's what I want. I want I want to feel love in a way that disrupts that destroys the latter. Acceptance won't get us there, man.

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It's this. I'm going. I'm going.

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I've had a couple of conversations recently where I just land and in the soft, gritty toughness of bell hooks and love and lovelessness like acceptance is not the answer to lovelessness.

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It is not. If not, it won't get us. It doesn't get us where we need to go. And, you know, in a world that is structured in the way that this this world is not structured like we're indifferent towards you, if if the world we're indifferent towards us, then acceptance might be all right. OK, well, I'd like you to not be indifferent. Cool. I accept you. We live in a world that is structured in so many ways on hatred.

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Oh, God, that's true.

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On a hatred of ourselves, on a hatred of the other, on a deep sense of lack and disconnection. We need something so much more magnanimous, more powerful to shift that experience than accepted.

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OK, so so far, I'm I'm with you, I am the body. My body is not an apology. My body is my ally. I am with you and I stay away from performative shit. But you see performative ally ship with our bodies all the time over social right.

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There is an entire I mean, I think that that's actually much of what body positivity is right now is performative that I ship with our bodies.

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Yeah, I'm not in for it. OK, so I agree that I do think and I even I'm not actually a fan in my research of self-esteem in those things because they're fleeting, they're shaky and they're, they're kind of cognitive inventories.

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They're not real deep stuff. I'm with you so far. Yeah. I'm going to embrace radical self-love. Scares the crap out of me, but I'm going to do it. Man, you posit something in this book that is very provocative that I have not seen any other place and I'm a voracious reader around.

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Shame you tie.

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Radical love. To social justice and body shame. To. Injustice and violence and white supremacy and oppression. So I need you to help. I don't want to invite you. I don't need you. I do, actually. Actually, I'm going to I'm going to go back to. I need you. I will.

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I need you to help me. Yeah, definitely. OK, so I'm going to go back to our ladder, OK, because that's I think that that's really what helps us, right, is if we have all been situated on a ladder of hierarchies.

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Right. That some bodies are better than other bodies. Right? Yeah, that's the premise in the world. There are some bodies that are better than others.

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I ask a question here. Absolutely is, does the somebodies are better than other bodies extend all the way to to to the dehumanization of black bodies by the police? Is that when you say somebody you're not talking about thin or tall, you're talking about.

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And that's exactly that's the problem, is that we have these very sort of limited understandings of the body. And because we have such a limited understanding of the body, it makes it difficult to see all the places where our relationships with bodies are impacting the systemic violences that we're looking at in the world, the part in a world where there is a default body. I talk about this in the book. There is a body that we say is the it's the best body by default because it's the body that we ascribe as human.

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When they wrote the Constitution, they said all men are created equal. They met men. They did mean men, which is the reason why they excluded all other bodies. Right. Because in their vision, who deserved to have equity, who deserve to have equality and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and justice were white men, white land owning men that became the default body of value in the society. And all other bodies got situated somewhere on the ladder of hierarchy in terms of whether or not they were ever going to be, you know, valuable in the world from an externalized position of value.

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Right. Because, again, white and male are not externalised.

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Those are birth. Right. That's identities that we give a sign at birth. Land owning is external and land owning is the way is the caveat that was given to ensure that not everybody got to be at the top because the system requires scarcity. That system demands that everybody can't have access to it, because if everybody has access to it, then I'm not as special as that. Too much shared power. Exactly. Then I got to wait a minute.

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Now I have to figure out how everybody gets no, everybody can't get. So here's who can. Right. So then we constructed a government based off of that. We constructed a policing system based off of that. We constructed an economy based off of that. We've constructed a school system based off of that. We have constructed the systems and structures of this society based off of that default body. And then we needed when other bodies have attempted to disrupt the latter, to disrupt that hierarchy and threaten that default body as the top position.

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We are not gentle in the way in which we control that we know society is not gentle in the way in which it controls that ladder. This society and the structures they're in will resort to murder to control that ladder. And that has always been the case.

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Yeah, because, I mean, it's effective because it creates collective trauma to the entire group of similar bodies. So you only have to do it so often to remind people that that's a reality is what it is.

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Yeah, this is what it is. Right. And to so if simultaneously using both violence as a way to control the ladder and a reinforcing narrative of you will never be at the top because you are inherently not good enough to be. Yeah. And so that is how you end up with systems and structures like white supremacy. And the agents there in the policing system in the United States was initially created as roving agents to collect runaway slaves. That was the inception point of that sort of structure.

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I'm a firm believer that we cannot think that we're going to magically change a structure that was born to do a very specific thing. And so the system when we're talking about what's the connection between radical self-love and social justice is that that system was created from a disconnection of radical self-love. It was I need external orientations to assign my value. And then once I have achieved that value externally, then I will move heaven and earth and all of you other people in order to continue to control that.

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Because who am I without it? Who are we without it?

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It's like I'm I have goose bumps because I'm thinking about Isabel Wilkinson's book cast and I'm thinking about how people went to court and filed like suits wanting to be identified on paper as white, like Asian-Americans or so that they could find their place in the latter.

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Yeah, it's I mean, it's it is the whole policing of whiteness in America has been about trying to attain some closer proximity. On the latter, it is the structure of colorism within communities of color is about how do I get higher up on this ladder. The function of ableism is about how do I get higher on this ladder. All of our systems of isms of oppressions based on the body are attempts to navigate the ladder of social hierarchy based on our bodies and those systems that live within that.

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That ladder are the systems that we're talking about fighting when we're talking about social justice.

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You know, I think the power of your premise and what you write about is powerful because it's the one thing we all have.

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Everybody. You can't do this right without. I mean, it's like you say the word everybody, but like, it's everybody, everybody, everybody.

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And so if we recognize it, if we recognize that we all have a body, it really is the opportunity to make it the great equalizer. It is the opportunity to say, but we all are interfacing. We all have to interface with this thing in order to be in this material realm, doing whatever it is we're doing. So is it possible to have a wrong version of this?

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To do that. Like to to live, is it possible to have a wrong version of a body to do the human experience? The answer now would be yes. The answer would be like we've set it up to believe. Yes, but how could it be true? That can't be true.

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It can't be true. Because if that were true, then those body than other bodies wouldn't exist. If we believe Marion Williamson's premise about natural intelligence, then human bodily diversity is a form of natural intelligence. It means that all bodies are supposed to be different because that is the version that is specific for your particular journey. And what's interesting is we believe that in so many other areas, the natural world, and we don't believe it in the human world.

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And that's the thing I find fascinating. We we believe it about trees. We believe it about dogs and cows and grasses, variety and. And nuance of all of those things, we expect there to be, you know, millions of different kinds of trees, there are all kinds of different manifestations. I have when I moved to New Zealand, I saw a chart of cows. Now in my brain is just a cat, right?

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There are like forty five different kinds of different. And nobody's like it's a hierarchy of cows. No, no, and in fact, we we honor that, like, in fact, I have friends that, like pride themselves on there are 47 mushroom's and 34 of them are in this, you know, thing I made like we love that.

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It's not even just that we love it. We know that it is never true. It's true. In order to have its order, have a thriving world, a thriving ecosystem that works in harmony, we need variants. We recognize that. We know that innately. And yet, because we are so far away from our own sense of inherent knowing of our enough ness, we constructed a world where that's not true for our bodies.

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You know, I got to you write this. You said, Moving from body shame to radical self-love is a road of inquiry and insight. We will need to ask ourselves tough questions from a place of grace and grounding and Jesus to you. You ask tough questions and these little callout boxes that make it very difficult to skip them, even though I did try my best.

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Let me ask you this question.

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I got to find that my note here, because this is this is this was a tweet today and I won't say who it's from. It's from, I think, a public official type person, a journalist, maybe this is the, quote, ideologies, racism, Nazism, don't die even when defeated in war or legislated against. But they are sufficiently shamed so that those who hold such views are not given platforms in politics or media.

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We need more shame. The election is about whether we can return shame to the nation.

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No, no, like I look, I mean, complete and total myth. Yeah. I mean, I look at we are drowning in shame.

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It is drowning. It's like, you know, when people do that scary thing. If you're listening right now where they put their hand like right over there and they say the waters here, like the water's over our nose with shame, it's we don't need more.

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We don't. The problem is that that person, that tweet is actually interested in maintaining the latter stop. They're just like, no. Well, actually, what we need is we just want the latter to look a little better. It's not. It's not. Oh, this entire system is built on this. There's a way in which they believe I think it's similar to the question that you said, which is, OK, so we get rid of the ladder.

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The building is still there. Let's just figure out how we can get rid of the ladder. And until they realize that the ladder is the system, that shame is the source of how the ladder got built.

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Yes, the structure that they would like us to revert to is actually the structure that more firmly ensconced is the experience of a disconnection of radical self. And that will work.

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I don't know what this person is. I don't know their identity. My hunch is they might be a little higher up on the ladder. And so white female, it is useful for them to imagine a world where that would that ladder just feels less shaky. That's really what it is.

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But for all the people that live in identities below where they are placed on that ladder, the thing that they think is going away like, oh, we just shame people and then it goes in the quiet has never done that has not stopped police murders of black people's bodies. It has not stopped deportations. It has not stopped any of those things. What it has done is, is it made it less visible to you person higher up on the ladder, not you, the mother of the black son that's killed.

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Exactly. And so what what what she's really asking for is a world where I don't have to be as impacted by all the things that have been happening. That's the world I wanted to go back to quiet enough that I can ignore it.

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You're asking something so revolutionary of us because what you're saying but I hear you saying and check me on this is the latter.

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Of systemic oppression and hierarchies. Is built on our self-hate and our self-loathing and our shame and the only way we are that system and the only way we dismantle that system is radical self-love for ourselves and other people. That what you're saying?

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I am saying that the only way to dismantle the ladder in the world is to dismantle the ladder inside of ourselves.

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OK, let's move on, because you got you got some practices for us. OK, let me I've got so many. If you all if you're listening, you should see. OK, talk to me about the three pieces. And when we say pieces were like pieces.

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Yes. Yes. Like peace. Not like a three.

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I mean it needs to be like a three piece of chicken or make it a three piece. However you want to have a breast in two ways would be my thing. See, I'm a I'm a two thighs and a leg girl. I got it.

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Yeah. We can split the chicken real good. We would be we would be hooked.

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We would be hooked up, Bernie. So the three pieces are, I believe, the foundation of how we begin a radical self love journey. So they they will not they are like, what's the orientation that I need to take in order to start on this road? And they are make peace with not under these may not be in the order in the book is that it's OK.

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No, but it's making it with not understanding. Make peace with difference actually I think make peace with differences first, make peace with not understanding and then make peace with your own body that those are the the three foundational things you've got to grapple with in order to even begin this inquiry. Because if you don't see if you still see difference as bad, then all the ways in which you are different will always be bad. And all the ways that the rest of the world is different will always be bad.

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Then we will always be back in the hierarchy. We will always be back on that ladder where I'm trying to get out of my bad body into some better body, or I'm always trying to assess whether or not my body is bad in comparison to the bodies of other God.

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That's hard. I mean, I like I'm a pretty self evolved person. I mean, honestly, I am. And that is hard.

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The challenge is here's the thing for me, the trick has been I recognize that every time I'm in that space of comparison, I am in I am I am the cog holding up oppression. I'm going to start doing that.

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I'm like I am the I'm acting like the latter right now and the latter right now. I am the latter right now. I am the latter because as long as my value is dependent on someone's greater or lesser value, then it demands a world where there are people that are less valuable than me.

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Can I ask you a really hard question? I like you.

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Do I have a terrible answer? But I'll try.

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OK, so I so I'm reading these and I'm like, make peace with not understanding. Oh tough for me but I'm, I'm getting that's tied to my spirituality for me personally.

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Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely too. Yeah. I'm like oh my God. I can't write. I can't know what God knows. Right.

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Make peace with your body. I'm really, I'm really working on that. It just keeps changing so much and so fast that like I've got to do a deeper piece that is transcendent of the changes, like, you know what I mean, like it's hard to make peace with difference.

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OK, let me tell you, like, on the face of that, I thought to myself, make peace with different bodies. I think I have that. But let me tell you where I struggled.

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Yeah. And I'm prepared for this to be a hard learning for me. So you just bring it you bring it up.

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OK, so there have been a couple times in public media once a couple of years ago when everyone in our office decided that we were going to do a healthy, healthy January and all twenty seven of us were going to cook and bring meals for each other. And we were going to do like a it was really community building and fun. It was a Tupperware nightmare. But like we were going to do this thing and I was cooking something from, I think a whole thirty cookbook.

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And someone said. Oh, my God, you're doing whole 30, you're a terrible person for doing that and and you shouldn't be doing the whole thing. And then the other day I talked about how for years and years I've been Kaido because that's just what how I feel good. And then people are like, you're a terrible person. Like I push up against. Sometimes I know how I feel. Good. I know that if I walk five days a week, I know that if I eat certain foods, I feel like crap.

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I know that if I carb load, I can't get out of bed in the morning to get headaches like.

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But it seems like I struggle sometimes when people say to me, when you are making choices for yourself that you have checked that are not part of body conformity, you're hurting other people. Yeah, I don't know what to do with that. I mean, is it just that I'm blind to the fact that I bought into something, or is it that we I don't know what to do?

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Yeah, it's I feel like I mean, it is complex and I think that it is it's one that I have grappled with and other people have shared this question with me in different forms over the years.

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And I think that. It is it's a both and and it's a very it's nuanced, what I think is true is that we absolutely it is important for us to know that which is true for our bodies, that which feels true to us. Right. And that there will be times when what feels true to us potentially reaffirms a system that is harmful in the larger world to other people's bodies.

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I think that's true and that there is a delicate navigation between those two things. One of the things that I I don't even know if I said in the book, but I say it all the time is it's almost less about what we do and almost always about why we do it. And if we can be in the why, then the what becomes a lot more easy to navigate the you know, the whole 30 tokito these sorts of things.

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Well, first of all, I would say that anybody starting the conversation with a terrible person is definitely not not not following the conversation from a position that is a radical self-help position because the radical opposition says like I'm not even it's not about your whole theory, it's not about your Akito, it's about the why. And I think that this is the part where the the how. How many layers am I willing to keep pulling back, right, because they're because if my wife is, I feel better.

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My wife is. I feel better in my body. This this absolutely helps me. And the. Which is the specific form, the name of the thing. Whatever is harmful. Then can I get to my wife in a way that doesn't have to engage the what.

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That is harmful. Oh great question. Yes. Right.

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And because if I can do that then I can be in the authenticity of what is true for me and also be mitigating the harm that is caused. But there are lots of things that I think are good ideas on the surface, but they have created a system of harm inadvertently. They didn't necessarily mean to, but they end up being part of a mechanism that reaffirms the latter.

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Right. So. How do I get in touch with my wife and then make my wife align with the way that I get there, that's the work. So absolutely, if recognizing carb loading is going to make you, like, barely able to get out of the bed and definitely don't have blood that's there, that wouldn't be that wouldn't be a radical self-love action. Right. But does not doing that need to be ascribed to this particular thing that also has that is part of a larger system that reaffirms harm.

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That's the that's the dance, and it's a complex one, it is not an it is a complex one and it is an internal one because it requires us to really be with the why. I'm going to take it outside of the out of the conversation.

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I mean, I'm really tracking that. Why what question is super profound like it is.

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It's like why I can't follow a whole bunch of the accounts that have great recipes for the way I eat because ah what is very similar but my ah y's become very dangerous. Yeah. The whys are dangerous.

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Like I don't do scales, I don't do sizes, I just do feel good and be able to move.

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Yeah exactly. And I think that and so again learning like well what's the language that better aligns my Y with the way I want to have the world experience. Are the people who might be harmed by a certain system to experience it? I believe that we can find a way to make our y harmonize with the world we want. I believe we can. It takes introspection. It takes really digging into my why and then it takes saying, OK, so here's this.

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There are things about this that work. I can do those things without ascribing to that system because that system has all the other stuff that comes along with it too. And I don't want those parts.

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So here's the things that I do think that are useful from God that this is so incredible because like I think about all the exercise equipment that I've used over the years up until like two weeks ago that I used basically to dry my clothes on. Yeah, but but my what was something that for a lot of people is great. It feels wonderful. It's you know, they're moving their bodies. For me, everything that drove that was a super destructive.

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A super destructive. Why? Like, I'm just a walker. That's it. I can't do anything else. Fancy, like, that's it. Yeah. And so I get the what in the why. And I think I usually don't talk.

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These are not subjects I take on as subjects like let's have a podcast on, you know, low carb. I'll just mention it in something, but. I can see now how without context, it can be a scary what for people without the Y.

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Yeah, absolutely. And the why what gives us context for ourselves? It gives us context in the world and it helps us decide what is the what that lines up best. Right. With the why. What is the weather. You got to it. You were like my why is I want to move my body and feel good and my what is walking? Because when I buy a bunch of fancy gym equipment, it changes my y my y now is like, you know, because that's what I should do, because I'm not, you know, whatever the Y become, because everybody's doing it.

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Because everybody's doing it, because everybody's doing it right. So lining up our Y and our what is is how we get to the radical self-love motive inside and how that motive externally say it again.

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Yeah. So lining up the what and the why I've never had to practice so I remembering the thing I just say lining up the what and the why is how we align our radical self-love motive.

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God it's so good. OK, I want to talk about these four pillars of practice because they've been so helpful for me. Can we talk about them. Yeah. OK, yeah.

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I feel for pillars of practice. This is let me just read a little bit of the intro, if that's OK. We know that adopting a radical self-love lifestyle is a process of thinking, doing and being. And for me it's like, oh my God, unlearning. So much painful unlearning but changing the way we think act and in our daily lives can feel like an assignment of planetary proportions.

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So the four pillars of practice can help us corral our Whiley thinking. Four to five loveleen action. You're such a poet and give us access to a new way of being in the world. The pillars are taking out the toxic mind matters. Unapologetic action and collective compassion. Me, give me a little overview of what taking out the toxic means, yeah, so and it really does do with this sort of thinking part of the of this of how do we move into a radical self-love way of being in the world every day.

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We are surrounded with all kinds of messages that reinforce the latter. The whole point is keep the ladder in its place, please. And we've been in it for such a long time that we're oblivious to it. Like, it just it runs like static in the back of our lives, but it's not in the back of our lives. It's actually in us and it's in the way that we think it's in the decisions we make, the things we watch, we listen to what we eat, what we won't eat, the machines we buy or don't buy.

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It lives in us. What taking out the toxic does is it first asks us to raise the consciousness, the messages that we're getting so that they're not just like background noise, but that we recognize them. Oh, this is the fifth commercial I have seen telling me to buy extreme trim or whatever, whatever that is. This is the this is I watch this. I mean, I think about it even when I watch the news now, I'm like, there is nothing but how, you know, how many people are dead or how many people about to die.

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That's that is all that I have watched for the last twenty minutes. I see that I see that as information about what it is that I am taking it. Once that's at a conscious awareness, then we actually have some choice.

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You can't make any choices until you're actually at a conscious awareness. Right. And so it's like, oh, I get to say how much toxicity I want to take in or not. Some of it I don't have any choice about. I live in a world right. But there are some things I don't have to do anymore. And so one of the things that I really started doing was I started noticing back in twenty twelve when they had the whole like the world's going to end on December 21st of twenty twelve and I have Hanus apocalyptic anxiety, or at least I used to really extreme apocalyptic anxiety, but I also was very compelled to keep watching things that fueled it.

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And so I'd be watching the like, you know, the seven ways the world might end the every horrible dark show all the time. And I was like, Sonya, notice what this does to you. Stop just for today. And like, don't I'm not going to kill myself to stop forever for the next forty eight hours. I'm going to not watch this and I'm going to notice what that does to my body. I'm going to notice how my anxiety drops two notches.

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I'm going to notice how the sort of compulsive thoughts subside. I'm going to notice that I have more space. Oh, I have more space. What would I like to be doing that doesn't help the anxiety ratchet back up or doesn't help the compulsive thoughts come back? Oh, maybe I want to write a poem. Maybe I want to make a dinner tonight. Maybe I want to go hang out with friends. All of a sudden I open up the space to try something new where that toxic thing was.

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So taking out the toxic is an opportunity to first sort of inventory how much toxic stuff we're taking in and then to create a space where we block that from constantly coming in. And then we begin to think about what we'd like to fill it with.

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It's so I mean, I had a therapist tell me probably seven or eight years ago, I can't and won't continue to work with you if you keep consuming so much news because we cannot undo the trauma in an hour, a week that you're taking in twenty hours a week. And I absolutely yeah. I just stopped and my life changed. And I until this very moment, I, I knew the anxiety stopped and the, you know, having violent images on loop stopped.

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But what I didn't know until right this minute is the I didn't have the word to say the expansiveness came into my life that I was able to fill with nurturing things.

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Exactly. Exactly. And if we don't have the space right now, it's like we're in such a constant loop of it that we can't even see a way out of it. And so part of what taking out the toxic does is it actually reminds us that we have some efficacy. Yes, we have some efficacy over this dynamic. Some of it we cannot do anything about, but what we can what we can have in our purview. Let's go on ahead and try to do something with that and then see what wants to emerge in that vacant yet second space.

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I love that. OK, mind matters. Yes. So now that we've gotten, you know, like we've inventoried this toxic stuff we're taking in, we've got this expansive space. What do we do with it? What what do we want to put in our brains that is different than the toxic stuff that we were taking out and that requires us to get in touch with the way we've been thinking. Because now that we know now that we don't have this constant input all day, we actually are left with, oh, here's the stuff that's just inside my own head.

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OK, what is that and what is it that I can do? What practices can I take to shift perspective, to shift the the angle from which I'm looking at a thing so that I see it as a possibility rather than detriment. So I see it as a thing I can move toward rather than the thing that is hindering me. That is perspective, shift and perspective shift is easier to do when we are not inundated with all the other outside messages.

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Again, it was your therapist saying I can't even deal with the real stuff because every day we got a trauma.

[01:02:42]

Right, the trauma of the last news cycle. So let's remove that so that we can actually get to the other the narratives that are far longer running that desire to be shifted.

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Yeah, and I got to say that I do not think that a system I think the the the news cycle, the cable news cycle is a part of the latter. I'm totally, totally connected to money and advertising. And not consuming that in massive amounts is not an act of radical self-love, in my opinion.

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It can't be. It can't be because there isn't anything in it that is nurturing. That's really the answer. If it does if it isn't nourishing, it's not radical self-love.

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And so I'm pretty certain that anything that constantly makes you feel enraged, fearful, anxious, blaming, you know, blaming, disoriented is not a radical self-love engagement.

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It's not OK to be unapologetic action. Yes. So now you got the space. You've tackled some of the stuff that's in your brain. You shifted your perspective. Now it's time to do something because and I think that this is a really important moment in our own history where we get to be in. That reflects a lot of people are coming to this moment of like, oh, we're in these systems. These systems are harmful. Oh, no, let me learn all the things.

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I want to read all the books, I'm like, I want you to read, read the books, but if you're not prepared to do anything, the latter will stay as it is. You can know the latter. You can see the latter. And if you're not interested in dismantling it through action, then you're actually not of any assistance to certainly the larger structure of creating a radical self love world.

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And so unapologetic action is like, what can I do today? In a way that is I do use the word practical. That is practical, but I like revolutionary better.

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But I mean, if you do this actually it's practical, but if you actually act on it and do it, it's revolutionary.

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And that's what I love about it. It's like, oh, I actually have the ability in my everyday life to do something that is utterly transports. Right. But doesn't really seem like it is. And so what is that? What is that that is taking an old story that I've been in forever and figuring out what actually is my access to personal power in that. And retelling the story that way is that I would like to move my body, but I don't want it to be married to these old, you know, just like body shaming, vicious ways of understanding my relationship to my body.

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Oh, well, what are the things I can do that do feel affirming, nourishing, nurturing? I'm like, what are some of the other tools that are in mind in an apology?

[01:05:21]

I mean, like one of the things you write about an unapologetic action, which is like. Pleasure, pleasure, pleasure. That's revolutionary, that's the place to marry. There's a great book by a friend of mine, Adrian Marie Brown, called Pleasure Activism. And it is about what does it mean to find pleasure as an access to changing the world and pleasure and radicals of love go together. They are peanut butter and jelly. And so what is it that you can do in your own life?

[01:05:56]

Howard Thurman, who was a 19th century theologian, you know, says, don't ask the world what to do and go do that. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that? Because what the world needs are people who have come alive. What leisure invites us to is what makes us come alive in our bodies, what makes us light up, what makes us activate. Because in that activation is the ability is the stamina to change the world.

[01:06:23]

That's right. Yeah.

[01:06:24]

Without it, we don't have the stamina now and it plugs us back in and energizes us and it gives us something to live and love for us. That's that's hard but pleasures hard. Yes.

[01:06:35]

It's like let's just say we got a lot of shame.

[01:06:37]

We have so much stuff about pleasure. And if but again, if we can change our mind matters. Right. Is that which is nourishing, nurturing and fulfilling is an act of radical self-love. Then that which brings me genuine pleasure, is an act of radical self love. So then the question is, oh, shame becomes the obstruction that the latter has put in place to keep me on the ladder. That's the trick, is to keep seeing where the system is trying to get you to reinvest in the system.

[01:07:09]

It's really smart. OK, last one. Collective compassion. Yes. That we need each other. We need each other. This is again, this entire dance we're on is a dance about trying to one up each other so we already know we need each other. The problem is right now we're needing each other in a system of comparison and lesser than and greater than rather than a system of harmony. This work is impossible to do alone. And I think it's one of the things that's the scariest things for folks is because they're like, you want me to take all this shame, all this discomfort, all you want me to go be in community?

[01:07:45]

And I guess the answer is to be in community that the entire structure requires. It's sustained by you being the host of the disease. And when you stop being the host of the disease, the disease actually can't continue to fester, it doesn't grow.

[01:08:08]

And so there's no contact, no call it right. In the book, I talk about the epidemiological triad, which was what I would say.

[01:08:15]

I'm a scientist for one day I looked up, but it's but it's that we break.

[01:08:23]

One of the vectors of how this thing keeps moving in the world community is how we do that in isolation and individualism is how we build a whole system because the system is collective. Biegler, the system has the structure is collective. It is an entire system meant to direct how you operate. If you think you alone are going to beat the whole system, you'll be right back to all the awful feelings you were having just last week. Right. But in community, you one get to have reflected back to you your true self and people who see you.

[01:09:00]

And collectively, you all get to remind yourself that there is that outside voice, that whole mechanism out there isn't the truth. You need a reflection of the truth in order to keep moving in the truth. Otherwise, it starts to get fuzzy.

[01:09:18]

It shake it. It becomes wobbly because the system designed to gaslight you is to tell you the thing you know, you don't really know. That's not true. It is true that you're not good enough. It is true that you need to lose 15 pounds. It is true that you're actually just never going to be pretty as a black, dark skinned girl for you. That is true. The system leads me to believe that community is where I get to constantly have that disrupted.

[01:09:41]

So we need community. We got we need each other, need each other. We need each other.

[01:09:46]

OK, before we get to the ten speed questions, the speed round, I want to close with this quote from you. It's on your last page of the book. Liberation is the opportunity for every human, no matter their body, to have unobstructed access to their highest self for every human to live in radical self-love.

[01:10:06]

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's the world I want. If there was nothing that ever obstructed any oak tree, we would just have glorious forests of vibrancy. They would.

[01:10:18]

That's what a difference is different. Yes. And variety. There'd be different heights. They'd be different shades. They would and they would all be working.

[01:10:26]

What am I thinking right now? There's a root system underneath them that talks to each other and they all keep standing and growing.

[01:10:36]

That's the the world. It's the one that's already available to us. It's the world we started with in some ways. And what if we could bring all that we have learned back to all that already was in the beginning?

[01:10:48]

What might that be? That's what I want to do. That's what I want to go to.

[01:10:52]

I'm going. I'm going with you. Yeah. Let's go.

[01:10:55]

Let's go together then. Oh, and we'll get well, we'll talk about the playlist on our way there because you gave us. So you ready for the ten.

[01:11:03]

The ten rapid fire. Yes. Lightning vulnerability is scary.

[01:11:10]

You're called to be brave but your fear is real and you can feel it right in your throat. What's the very first thing you do? Pray something that people often get wrong about you that I'm never afraid I'm OK.

[01:11:25]

Last show that you binged and loved.

[01:11:27]

Oh, so that I binged and love. Insecure. Oh, God, it's so good. OK. One of your favorite movies? My favorite movie, number one period, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

[01:11:43]

Original or new. It's sacrilege to speak of anything other than the great Gene Wilder. Sacrilege.

[01:11:52]

OK, I'm with you. I'm with you. OK, ok. A concert you'll never forget.

[01:11:58]

Prince in Oakland, California, at the Coliseum, the best masterclass in artistry. Master, the best thing I've ever, a favorite meal. Candy, yams, macaroni and cheese. My mom is fried chicken. Can your mom cook for our journey, like if we're going to go to this place together, can she should she be having to give us our heavenly recipe that I believe that she would she'd figure a way to transmit it?

[01:12:31]

Oh, OK. Yes. Yes, we could. We can act on that. We can.

[01:12:37]

We can. We can. I believe that my mother often has has bequeathed me in her passing with her recipes. And so when I'm really, really like patient and I ask, she will walk me through it. So yes, I think we could still do it.

[01:12:50]

But I would just clear my mind just for those to have a way to get to me, actually, OK. What's on your nightstand?

[01:12:59]

Oh, my goodness. Right. Well, so this isn't my permanent nightstand. What's on it or in it? These are different questions on it.

[01:13:05]

I don't go into it. I don't go in.

[01:13:07]

It gets a rosewater candle. There is a book on Angell's.

[01:13:17]

And a lamp and usually the earrings I had on that day, a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you true joy.

[01:13:27]

You are in my pajamas and my nightgown, sitting in a big comfy chair watching the river out the window.

[01:13:39]

What are you deeply grateful for?

[01:13:41]

Right this minute, this conversation with you, this opportunity to be in this conversation with you?

[01:13:50]

Me, too. OK, you shared a playlist with us. So how do you say, Hezekiah?

[01:13:59]

Am I saying that right as the Hezekiah Walker? Yes, Hezekiah Walker.

[01:14:05]

I just started sobbing.

[01:14:07]

When I listen to that song, I was going to say, did you listen to this? Yes, it is. When I need to just when I need to be in the devotion to the I am to that which I say made trees and bees and honey and fleas and also decided that there should be a song.

[01:14:26]

You, Rene Taylor. That's what I just need to be an overwhelming reference to that. But that's the song I listen to God.

[01:14:35]

So turning around for me, the Sean Mitchell, your overcome song. Yes. Leitchville bigeye, your eighth grade crush song. I love that. Yeah. I still haven't found what I'm looking for by U2, which is your endless nostalgia song.

[01:14:54]

And mine too. We can we can listen to that on cassette as on our drive.

[01:14:58]

Yes. Yeah. And then I forgot about this song until I saw it in your playlists and it just crushed me. Love you. To the letter by Anita Baker.

[01:15:06]

Aha. Yes. It's first of all, the composition of the album is by far my favorite Anita Baker album. And that song is just that. It's so good.

[01:15:19]

It's so so like water flows down from a hill and yellow grows on daffodils. I'm going to learn to love you better baby to the letter. Oh, it's so good.

[01:15:29]

It's so good. I'm like, yeah, love me at least to the letter. Yeah. Love me like that and let me love me like that. Sounds like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Love ourselves like that.

[01:15:41]

Thank you so much for joining us on unlocking us.

[01:15:43]

Oh my gosh. It has been an absolute delight. Like one of the highlights of my existence, Bernie Brown, is to get to have this conversation with you.

[01:15:57]

I hope this conversation. Unlocked some things for you, because I can guarantee you that unlike some stuff for me, including, you know, my body is my ally, my body is my ally, my body is my ally.

[01:16:15]

And I keep saying that until I really get it. Follow Soniya Renae Taylor everywhere at Sunu, Renee Taylor on Instagram. Also at the body is not an apology. Twitter is at Radical Body Love. She's got a patron account at Patrias NORCOM backslash on your Renee Taylor. The book again is The Body is Not an Apology The Power of Radical Self-love. You can get it anywhere you get books. I read it in one sitting the first time and I read it slower the second time because the first time I read it fast because I was trying to dodge death.

[01:16:52]

Also wanted to thank you.

[01:16:53]

Before I sign off today for all the support around the tenth anniversary edition of The Gifts of Imperfection, again, the book that gave birth to this community, I will always be grateful for that. And for all of you, thank you for listening to unlocking us until next time.

[01:17:10]

Awkward, brave and kind.