In this interview, I am so honored to be joined by author Sonya Renee Taylor. Sonya is the author of the the New York Times Bestselling book, “The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love.” She just recently released an updated version of that book, and the “Your Body is Not an Apology Workbook: Tools for Living Radical Self Love.” Sonya is joining me to talk all about radical self-love and joy. And, she shares that when we start to love ourselves, we can transform how we interact with others in the world.
One of my favorite parts of our discussion sits at the heart of something that has bothered me about joy recently; the question of “how can I embrace joy if that joy possibly comes at the expense of someone else’s freedom, joy, or access to things?” In other words, where does my own privilege enable me to experience joy when others may not have that same access to it.
In talking about altruistic joy, Sonya and I talked about how this relates to her frame work of “interest buying” or “detriment buying” – in other words, there are things that we do or things that we consume that are in the better interest of all people (altruistic) and there are things that we consume or do that are at the detriment of others.
And here’s where it got really juicy. Sonya shared that she feels that true, altruistic joy is the kind of joy that has no residue. And, this is perhaps one of the most amazing reflections I’ve heard about joy in the 7 years I’ve been talking to guests about it. Here’s what she had to say about it:
“What it brings up for me is: joy doesn’t have a residue. There’s no residue on joy. It’s beautiful. If there’s a residue, that’s information for you. That’s information to say, “this might not actually be best interest. This might actually be detriment by it. There is something on it that is not about simply living into the most joyful, highest vibration of myself in the world. There is something that says, ‘I’m trying to clean up something. I’m trying to fix something. I’m trying to extract something externally because it’s coming from a place of lack or scarcity.'”
That’s what the residue piece is. And so I think if we can start noticing and getting present with the question of is there a residue after I do a thing? And then, how can I let that be an indicator of whether or not I’m actually in a joy practice. Am I in an interest / buying practice? Or am I in a detriment practice?”
Sonya Renee Taylor and I talked about:
– her early joys of creating radio shows with her friend
– slam poetry festivals, and how entering them fed her soul
– how “The Body is Not an Apology” got started
– how the Genesis story in the Judeo-Christian tradition relates to shame and body image
– how to tell if your joy is coming from an altruistic place, or if it may have residue on it
– embracing radical self love
– why radical self love is not easy work
– the indoctrination of all of us in a society where the hierarchy has a vested interest in keeping us from embracing self love
– giving from your overflow, and how that can help you steer clear of burnout
– that choosing to spread radical self love feeds itself, and creates room for more radical self-love