Adeline Bird: “Self-Love has more to do with gaining courage, love, and compassion for yourself”
Inspirational speaker, producer and host of the podcast series Soul Unexpected, the Manitoban author of Be Unapologetically You: A Self-Love Guide for Women of Color is on a mission to inspire positivity. During her Book Tour, she will be in Toronto on the 21st October at Black Canvas Gallery for RaWomyn, A Photo Exhibit and Panel Celebrating Women of Colour.
Adeline Bird, you a multi-faceted artist. Could you give us an overview of who is Adeline Bird and her philosophy of life?
Well, as you mentioned my name is Adeline Bird, I am an Afro-Indigenous woman from treaty one territory. I am also the producer and host of the podcast titled, Soul Unexpected and the author of the book Be Unapologetically You: A Self-Love Guide for Women of Color.
At the end of each podcast interview, my slogan is “We are all in this together” because I truly believe that. We learn, grow, thrive from each other as species. This is why storytelling and sharing are so crucial for our survival. Hence, why I created Soul Unexpected. Not only are my listeners learning and growing, so am I. We are growing and learning together, there is something very beautiful and exciting about the whole experience.
Is self-love the new trendy word? Could you give us a brief definition of self-love and explain why you say that it is “underrated?”
The word self-love is nothing new. There are a ton books written about self-love, but I recognized these books didn’t speak the experiences women of color experience. Unpacking what self-love means to women of color can be complicated and feel unattainable because of the unique experiences we experience, such as racism, sexism, and any other “Ism” you can think of. In my book, I invite readers to become conscious of their thought process and build self-compassion. It’s important that we be kind and gentle to ourselves, especially in a world that has the potential to do the opposite. I feel like self-love can be underrated, because we don’t want to come off as “coincided” or “selfish,” Self-love has nothing to do with either, and more to do with gaining courage, love, and compassion for yourself.
You said that “this book is about scraping away all the lies and misinformation women of color have allowed themselves to believe.” What are the common lies and misinformation that women of color tend to tell themselves and why?
Some common lies women of color tell themselves, based on my own experiences as a woman of color is that we are not worthy because of your skin, hair, and/or how we are portrayed in the media. Growing up, I always felt that if I wore my hair straight people would take me more serious, boys would like me and I would “Look” prettier. I recognize that so many other women of color have felt or feel that way as well.
Adeline, as someone who is unapologetically acclaiming her afro-indigenous heritage. Tell us why self-love is an important journey for women of color especially in today’s Canada and also the world?
I feel like self-love is crucial in this world that tells you your life doesn’t matter. The messages that are constantly given to black and indigenous people from the media, to how we are addressed in public and behind closed doors is that we are “Less than.” When we look at the word “Minority,” to be minor is to be less than, even the term “Aboriginal,” the word Ab is a prefix for away, from. First Nations people were always here, why is our government getting us to identify this way? It’s important that people of color overstand the power of words, and when we identify with these words we give them life.
Could you share what was your inspiration to writing “Be Unapologetically You”?
What inspired me to write this book was my frustration with constantly seeing another missing or murdered women on my newsfeed, right down to another black man being brutally beaten or murdered by police. I also love personal development and have not come across anything that was designed for people of color specifically. You can give people the tool to “think positive” but if that person is up against issues from white supremacy and systematic racism, it can feel like work to try live in a more positive light. I give women of color permission to be unapologetic and acknowledge their struggles and experiences, unpack that and move forward. It’s the acknowledgment of our experiences that can heal, we are constantly being told our experiences are illusions, things we’ve made up in our heads. This rhetoric is destructive. I meet a lot of women who come up to me and say things like “thank you for saying that, or sharing your story, I thought I was alone.” That statement right there is why I do what I do.
You will be at RaWomyn on Saturday 21st of October. Any inspiring words about your self-love guide to encourage women to attend the event and come to meet you?
This book is designed for any women of color who has felt less than, who was told she was unworthy. Be Unapologetically You is a book that invites readers to gain self-compassion and love for yourself, your family, friends, community and the world. Women are the catalyst between the spirit world and the physical. Its important to me, as a fellow woman of color to uplift and inspire women to live to their full potential in health and wealth.
More info on Adeline and Soul Unexpected Podcast: adelinebird.com
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Photo Credit: Pierrette Masimango