One thing I love about the women of See Jane Write is that they so often take their work beyond the page and find other creative ways to reach the people they feel called to help. Khalia Wilkinson is a great example. A poetess and inspirational writer with a focus on women’s wellness, Khalia blogs at Woman 31 Living and she’s the author of two books — Love Stories: An unapologetic look at love, life and sex in poetic prose, available on Amazon, A Woman’s COVID-19 Survival Guide, which she’s offering to readers for free.
But she didn’t stop there. Khalia has teamed up with the Birmingham Public Library to present Conversations with Khalia, a monthly virtual conversation series for women looking to talk through issues about style, personal wellness, parenting, love, relationships and more.
Because of her dedication to helping women live their best lives, Khalia is the See Jane Write Member of the Month for May 2021. We talked with Khalia about her new conversation series and the secret to self-care.
What inspired you to start Conversations with Khalia?
I saw family and friends really struggle with keeping it all together when the pandemic hit. I even struggled myself. But the thing that kept me going – the thing that I believe kept us all going – was having a safe space to share open dialogue about where we were struggling mentally, and how we were really doing emotionally and spiritually. This inspired me to write A Woman’s COVID-19 Survival Guide, which then led to multiple conversations with women about self-care, wellness, and how we as women could be better equipped to do life in a healthier, more productive way. These uncensored, candid, vulnerable moments of sharing through heart-to-heart Zoom calls soon developed relationships that are now tighter than ever between women who started off as being perfectly good strangers.
So, when Ms. Shakera Stanley with the Birmingham Public Library presented me the opportunity to host a monthly discussion with and for the community, regarding fashion, style, personal wellness, love, and relationships in a fun and real way, I did not hesitate to say yes!
What kinds of conversations will you be having with the women who attend?
We will be talking about matters of life centered on fashion and style, love, relationships, wellness, and self-care. I like to call it a “wellness walk” because the women have asked to walk through areas of wellness together. During our most recent conversation, the attendees were polled and asked that I focus on matters dealing with their spiritual, physical, and mental wellness. They want to know how to begin to make necessary changes within their lives to be their most authentic, healthiest, clear-thinking, and productive selves and I cannot wait for us to dive in!
What are you hoping attendees will get from these sessions?
My hope is that attendees will discover that they are not alone in their struggle; whatever their struggle may be. Everyone manages pain. The question becomes are you managing your pain in a healthy or unhealthy way? If it’s an unhealthy way, well then, I want to help by providing a safe space where community is created, where positive action steps are offered towards intentional self-care, relationships are formed, and women ultimately feel strengthened, empowered, and better about themselves. My belief is that this is how one manages pain and begins to thrive — not just survive — in a healthier, more successful way.
In last month’s session, you said that the secret to self-care is relationships. Explain this a bit for people who missed out on that conversation.
Yes. I believe that the secret to self-care is found in relationships. Why is that? Well, foundationally relationship is at the core of our existence; it is why we are even here in the first place. We come into this world heavily relying on relationship and the human connection to develop and grow. Without relationship survival would be impossible.
So, in the matters of self-care — personal, psychological, spiritual, physical, professional, emotional, and some add environmental and social wellness — we must consider what is the status in relationships that I have, or have decided not to have, or are currently developing with 1) myself 2) others and 3) the Creator or with the high power that I believe in and how are these relationships impacting my wellness walk?
It is within these three relational influences that I believe healthy self-care habits can be fulfilled to live out our best lives. These are exciting points that we will continue to unfold and process through, together during these interactive chats.
What inspired you to join the See Jane Write Collective and what do you enjoy most about being a member?
I have been inspired by the public group, See Jane Write Network for many years. I have enjoyed being a part of the network and experiencing the wealth of knowledge brought to the table by other authors, writers, and creatives, as well as the positive and consistent growth of the group. In 2020, my full-time position ended due to COVID-19, and with my spare time, I quickly ran back to my first love, writing. When enrollment for the See Jane Write Collective opened, it was around my birthday, which for me always signifies a new year. For me, the timing couldn’t have been better. Becoming a member of the SJW Collective was my birthday gift to myself, and I am so happy to have joined! I love the scheduled time that we writers have together to create our monthly goals, receive group coaching, and engage in a writing session every other week. The SJW resource library for Collective members is also amazing! But more importantly, the community of writers and the friendships I have developed have been immeasurable!
The next Conversations with Khalia event is set for Monday, May 24, 2021 at 12:15 pm CT. Learn more and register here. And in the meantime, join Khalia’s Facebook community, Your Life, Your Style and find her on Instagram @Khalia.Woman31.