Our 4 Black Poets to Know series continues with a personal favorite of mine, Alexandra Elle! Although I was already looking forward to writing this piece, the motivation to begin found me in a far more divine way than usual– much like the way Alex Elle’s words always seem to find me.
A moment ago I stood at my kitchen counter, steeping a cup of tea and wondering if the healing journey I’ve been on would ever simply end. Why is there no finish line? Why don’t grief or pain or discomfort come with an expiration date? I opened the worn copy of After the Rain by Alexandra Elle in my hand hoping to shake this cloud and return to writing. Quickly, I thumbed through the pages until a paragraph on page 46 stopped me in my tracks and gave me the answer I had been searching for.
“’Why can’t there be a destination in this self-healing work? Why does it have to be an ongoing process?’ I asked my friend…She reminded me that I knew how this process worked, so why was I dwelling on the pain of what couldn’t be changed?…I needed to accept that, until the end of my days, I’d never be able to silence my suffering, all I could do was try to soothe the suffering.” – After the Rain by Alexandra Elle
As the goosebumps rolled over my skin, my shoulders dropped with ease and my once busy mind found comfort.
That is the magic of writer, Alex Elle.
Throughout her preteen years, Alex Elle began writing as a form of therapy to help guide her through anxiety and depression. Years later, Elle became a single mother at 18 and realized she wanted her daughter’s life to be different from her own. She cultivated a home built on healing, support and prioritizing self-love. Through her own healing process, Elle began posting quick and insightful self-affirming notes to Instagram. Her A Note to Self exercise not only helped build her audience but allowed her to see how many people resonated with her self-healing journey. Shortly after, Elle published her debut poetry book, Words from a Wanderer in 2013.
Whether it’s one of her books, guided journals, or a Gentle Reminder gracing your feed, Elle’s words have a way of providing the honesty you didn’t know you needed. Alex Elle’s work in any form is a wonderful read—her poetry has a way of washing over you like a fresh breeze, helping even the most hardened of hearts soften with hope. Elle’s brutal self-awareness paired with vibrant prose encourages every reader to face uncomfortable truths within themselves page after page.
What makes Alex Elle’s work so refreshing is her unrelenting vulnerability. Her willingness to openly reflect and share her healing process so truthfully is a level of bravery most only aspire to reach. Yet, Elle’s gentle and empowering language easily reminds each reader that brave healing is always within reach. Her career has allowed her to blossom into a self-love advocating multi-hyphenate. As an author, podcast host, breathwork coach, writing to heal facilitator, business owner, mother of three and wife, Alex Elle strives to prove that you too, hold the power to create your own joy while continuously healing.
Of all the avenues for Alex Elle’s magic to find you, her most recent book, After the Rain, is my favorite by far! This memoiric guide through self-healing includes 15 lessons disguised as short chapters covering everything from time and love to validation and identity. If you are really looking for a shift in perspective, I suggest pairing this read with her In Courage Journal for an extra dose of self-healing. This dynamic duo has helped guide me back home in so many wonderful ways and I have no doubt it would be a perfect road map for you, too!
“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.”
– Alex Elle
Featured image by Farrah Skeiky
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