Writer, multi-media storyteller, artist.
And a woman dedicated to living her inner truth.
Living one’s inner truth is a multifarious thing. For me, it looks like:
- Owning the full story of YOU (your love of feminist theory, your crazy-ass family, your love of turning up…)
- Creating art that expresses your unique vision
- Living the identifiers this world disparages as the exquisite gifts they are.
- Deciding self-care is not selfish and that the world benefits from your abundance, not your martyrdom.
- Embracing the very qualities the patriarchy devalues: your intuition, your body, the power of process, the art of slowing down, and creating a just world for all.
- And most importantly: living your life the way you desire—no matter what some “guru”, lifestyle maven, favorite Auntie, or Steve Harvey espouses.
Living our inner truth isn’t always easy stuff.
We are creating new paradigms; healing forwards and backwards in time by the very way we choose to live our lives.
We have a lot of choices our mothers and our grandmothers didn’t even have the luxury to consider (which is both freeing and frightening AF).
And there are no timelines or linear 6-step plans for living out our inner truth.
There are many external pressures as well.
Sometimes the world–our friends, our partners, and even our communities—really (really) don’t like the way we choose to stand in our authentic power.
We still live in a culture that devalues women who speak up and choose to be free.
(If anyone tells you that getting free isn’t ever lonely, they are straight up lying to you…)
Still, I think this work is a beautiful thing.
It’s exactly the kind of work I am doing in my own life.
And I document my journey here at hanabonanza.com.
Slicing off pieces of my soul to fit into a box never worked for me. My writing is inspired by the Divine Feminine, feminism, and locating wisdom within the everyday. I am obsessed with non-BS self-help and the many ways we can find healing.
I also nerd out on Wonder Woman, The Clash, and think that Helen Oyeyemi is a literary goddess.
Like you, I contain multitudes.
The Tall Black Lady Club:
My main inspirations for art and life are Maya Angelou, Grace Jones and Sojourner Truth–three very different but equally powerful black women.
I live for the multi-hyphenate artistry of Maya Angelou, the daring individualism of Grace Jones, and the almost unbelievable bravery of Sojourner Truth. If I had a personal holy trinity, they would be it.
I’m also inspired by Tara Brach’s meditation and radical acceptance work, the activism of Gloria Steinem, Frida Kahlo, Junot Diaz, Mickalene Thomas, Santogold, Nina Chanel Abney, bell hooks, and Bethany Webster’s work on the mother wound.
Work and Accomplishments:
I’ve had work published in Bust, Bitch, makeshift magazines, and attended the Voices of Our Nations (VONA) Writing Workshop. Currently, I’m getting an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh.
I graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy and was an officer in the Coast Guard for eight years. During my service, I chaired diversity groups, inspected commercial vessels, and served as a Victim Advocate for sexual assault survivors. I also hold a Masters in Community and Economic Development from Penn State.
I’ve been a pageant queen, studied feminine Yoruba deities in Nigeria, and traveled to thirteen different countries.
Today you’ll find me telling stories, teaching meditation/writing classes, and performing as a member of the Velvet Hearts Burlesque troupe.
So yeah, not a typical dossier, but I have always been dedicated to service, writing, and creating art of all kinds. It’s what makes my heart sing.
All in all:
I believe we all matter.
I believe in Love with a capital L.
I believe that pleasure brings meaning.
I believe in what feminism stands for.
I believe in the transformative power of art.
Here’s what I am working on:
- A 30 day body image course inspired by Toni Morrison, the Divine Feminine, intersectional feminism, and the pleasure principle
- A non-BS self-help book
- Writing and more writing
- Storytelling. Speaking. (You should book me.)
- Creating events for like-minded souls
- Making art
- Teaching workshops on emotional/mental wellness, writing, and the Divine Feminine
You can find me blogging and posting about upcoming events here.
You can also subscribe to the smart, inspirational newsletter I send out for equinoxes and solstices. They are chock full of ruminations and my blend of soulful weirdo magic. I think you’ll like them.
And I’m not a player but I do post a lot (on Instagram).
Thank you for taking time to be here with me.
Now, let’s get to finding and living our inner truth with every fiber of our being.