I like to surround myself with brilliance.
So today I was in luck. I got an email 30 minutes before a live Q&A session on radical self love that's offered to subscribers supporting the amazing The Body is Not an Apology and decided to join last minute today.
I’ve had the honor to interview Sonya Renee Taylor for both the 2016 and 2017 Queer Body Love Speaker Series. She’s brilliant, and every time I talk with her I feel like my mind is blown open with possibility.
This time, I got to engage and ask my most pressing questions about how she’s navigated running a radical business aimed at dramatic, real personal and collective change within capitalism.
Her movement, and her business, began with a poem. In that poem, she said that she started a movement.
And now, she is co-creating a movement with the 29 folks running The Body is Not An Apology and the thousands around the world who read and engage with its work.
She jokes with people that she didn’t start a non-profit because she had gotten a masters in nonprofit management. She told me a bit of her critique in the Q&A — namely that the non-profit model is taking the margins of wealth and access and applying it to what those who have made the wealth in the market economy deem the priority. In other words, it marginalizes change.
Her perspective is that for change to happen, we have to ground it in the systems that currently exist, even as we aim to disrupt them.
We talked about this both on the level of business and also personally.
As people who have started our own businesses, we talked about the necessity to decouple money from merit and self-worth, which is what capitalism would want us to believe.
Talking about money and healing our relationship to money such that we can receive it in order to be well supported to our work, while also staying aware and real about the harm that capitalism causes reminded me of an idea Sophie Macklin posted recently:
“I see a healthy relationship with money as one where the charge has gone enough for you to be able to access what you need to do the things you want to do, and has stayed enough for you to keep working towards a different economic system."
You know the charge? The charge around money? The "story" that "money is evil," and then "money mindset" people telling you to disregard that and think of money as neutral? The charge can actually motivate change.
It’s difficult to live with the tension of acknowledging the reality of white supremacy, capitalism etc. And, recognizing it is the only way we can begin to heal it so that external change can come from internal change.
Sonya Renee and I talked about how the road of acknowledging and shifting these massive external systems both within us and through our actions is hard work. Most everything outside of us is set up against us. We will be rewarded by playing along with the system.
And, the deeper reward comes from being more true and more real with ourselves and others about the new world we’re wanting to create — where we’re not there, and where we can take steps towards creating it.
The Body is Not An Apology is truly amazing. If I were to recommend one resource to folks interested in radical self love from an intersectional, radical perspective, this would be it. So I want to take this opportunity to both thank them for their work and how it's influenced Queer Body Love, and also to encourage you to go check it out! And if you're moved to support their vision, join as a subscriber. They’re developing their program and how to extend what they offer — be in on it from the get go!
This is one entry in the November Queer Body Love daily blog writing, where I will be exploring through writing what I see, think, pray, and question. I don’t know what liberation looks like, but I want that for you, and for us. This blog is me sharing a personal practice of being with the question of what that might look like in the hopes that it might be useful. If you're interested in personal support from me as your guide as you explore that in your own body and life, check out my newest 1-on-1 offering, SOFTEN. I can sit with you with so much love and compassion as you orient in the direction of more ease and comfort in your body and with yourself. Together we'll take a stand for new possibilities.