This story was originally published in Sunday magazine
Sonya Renee Taylor is, she says, the kind of person to have many homes, including Aotearoa, where she has lived since 2017.
The American author of The Body is Not an Apology is in demand as a keynote speaker and is currently writing a children’s book, rehearsing for a theatre production and co-writing an American production. She is also collaborating on an e-course and is in talks for a television series.
“If I were to just lean into my alliteration, I’d say, I’m an author and activist, an artist and an apostle of radical self love.” She lives in Dairy Flat with her airedale terrier Baldwin.
“I’ve been very intentional that I don’t work on weekends. They are time for me, my friends and family, time to centre and just sort of ground myself. I grew up going to church and while I do not go to church I still try to keep the energy of gratitude and reverence and connection in those days."
I’m usually awake no later than 8am. On the weekends, I may languish in bed a little longer, but because my dog is, like, “no, get up lady”, I’m out of bed by 8.30 and ease into the day. Baldwin’s a puppy so yeah, puppy energy.
I’ll make a golden tea latte or smoothie or fresh juice. Then I check in on my social media and communicate with most of my family in the States via an app called Marco Polo, so I wake up and listen to all of those messages.
I’m more of a brunch than a breakfast eater. I love croissants and fresh fruit but also, I love cheese grits, and they don’t exist in Aotearoa so I’ve had people who love me ship me boxes. It’s polenta but more of a hot cereal. I shred the cheese into it with a little bit of garlic, salt and pepper and then it’s like this yummy, tasty, garlicky cheesy hot cereal.
I listen to my astrology podcast and tidy up around the house. The astrologer’s name is Jessica Lanyadoo. I like that she does a combination of an advice column and astrology. I find astrology to be a fascinating tool in understanding energy and how energy is moving in our individual lives and how it is moving in the collective.
I may take Baldwin to the dog park and then go grocery shopping. Sundays always include buying fresh flowers for the house. There are some wonderful dairies that have great flowers in Herne Bay so I’ll pick up my flowers – and an ice block – and then I go to the grocery store and stock up.
I come back home, put my groceries away and start on dinner. My soul food Sundays usually involve some meat. Last weekend it was smothered pork chops and gravy with macaroni and cheese with rice and cabbage. Sometimes it’ll be macaroni and cheese, candied yams, salad and fried chicken. It varies, depending on what I’m in the mood for.
I’ll usually have my dinner and a lovely glass of wine. I’ve been a fan of Valli pinot noir lately. By then I’m probably going to want to watch something on television. There’s a show called Last Man Standing, which I enjoy and then the series Insecure. Sometimes I will take a bubble bath and I’m usually in bed between 10.30pm and 11pm.