The Healing Powers of Movement
Interview with Phoebe Leona, author of Dear Radiant One
Phoebe Leona is a dancer, speaker, author, yoga teacher, and transformational guide who helps us feel more embodied through somatic, movement, and expanded awareness practices to become more empowered in who we are, who we are becoming, and our having a greater sense of belonging. She has been a teacher and guide for most of her life, but it was after a year of extreme loss in 2013 when she found herself in the vast open space in between her old life and a new life, that she dove deeply into her practices and began her company, nOMad to help others through their own transition and the spaces in between. Throughout that time, Phoebe also developed her movement/somatic practice, Mvt109™ for students to fully embrace the freedom of moving in their bodies, transforming old patterns and reclaiming the vibrations & stories they want to bring to life. Phoebe also finds joy in sharing her story to help others in their healing. Phoebe tells her story on her TEDx Talk, her podcast The Space in Between, and her multi-author international bestseller Caged No More. Her newest book, Dear Radiant One, partners with GracePoint Publishing.
Liane Buck: What Inspired you want to write Dear Radiant One?
Phoebe Leona: After my dad died and I went through a sudden divorce in 2013, I knew I had to write this book. It was a somewhat unbelievable story, even though I lived it. First, I wanted to make some sense of it for myself. I wrote a very emotional first draft in 2016, but it wasn’t ready for anyone to look at yet. When I finally came back to write it in 2021, I found a way to not only make sense of it for myself but for it to be a service to others.
Liane Buck: Who did you write this book for?
Phoebe Leona: This book is for anyone who has held a story close to them and has been scared/ashamed to share it or hasn’t fully processed it yet, and anyone who is looking to be seen in their story and wants guidance as a way to recover, heal, and transform.
Liane Buck: Are there any unique life experiences that shaped how you wrote this book?
Phoebe Leona: Yes. This entire book is based on my own life experiences. How I approached storytelling by writing letters to emotions came from a practice I was doing in my journal for years to help process emotions. I also knew I didn’t want the story to be told literally to show how the past of my childhood was affecting the present or the more recent past. Instead, I wanted to show how it was all connected.
Liane Buck: What was your creative process for writing the book?
Phoebe Leona: My process for the first few years was writing chapters that were stories I was living through as I processed them. I wanted to capture the emotions in real-time, so I could tap into them when I was ready. When I sat down to write in 2021, I reviewed them and used them as references. I saw how writing the letters to the emotions would allow me to feel them again and layer in the more recent stories woven into the emotional tapestry. I knew this story was not just about me, so I needed to turn the focus to the reader at some point. That was when I added sections that offered the reader a way into their own story. And how they dance with their emotional landscape and then provide resources for the reader to utilize as a way to recover.
Liane Buck: What was your transformation after the book?
Phoebe Leona: I had been a part of a multi-author book that was published in the summer of ’21. I remember how angry and resentful I was that I had to go through so much trauma to write something that could help others. There was probably a lot of fear in there, too, about how it would be received. By the time I got to publish Dear Radiant One, I had been able to go through that whole journey with my editor, who allowed me to be seen and held as I processed these vulnerabilities. Since then, I have felt a massive weight of my past life lifted with a deep knowing that it is out there to serve others. I have to say; I can’t remember feeling this happy in a very long time. The saying, “the truth will set you free,” is real!
Liane Buck: What do you hope the reader will receive from this book?
Phoebe Leona: I hope the reader receives whatever they need. They might need to receive a story about someone who came out on the other side of a traumatic childhood that inspires hope for themselves. It might be that they need to receive an understanding of their own emotional landscape that has hindered them in some way. They might also receive tangible practices to befriend their emotions and change how they relate to them. Finally, they might just need to simply receive a new perspective. I hope the reader finds that whatever they need in this book is some kind of elixir for living the human experience.
Liane Buck: What are the core lessons?
Phoebe Leona: The core lesson in this book is that everything is connected. Our past, present, and future are always embodied in our humanness, whether we are conscious of it or not. When we become aware of them, is when the transformation occurs. Another core lesson is that emotions are not bad or good. Emotions are all necessary, they are simply energy moving through our bodies, and we get to choose how they participate in our life when we become more self-aware.
Liane Buck: What makes this book unique?
Phoebe Leona: I think the letters to the emotions as a way to share a story makes this book unique. It allows a way into my inner emotional landscape with an invitation into the reader’s inner emotional landscape to reflect upon and see from a different perspective.
Liane Buck: How do you want to make an impact on our world?
Phoebe Leona: I really feel called to make a big impact on our world, particularly right now as the world is in a never-ending swirl of Chaos. As I was unpacking my relationship with Chaos and felt like I was finally getting to a place of stability in reconciling and recovering from my addiction to Chaos, I saw how I could be of service to others as we went into lockdown two years ago, and all the events that followed for us collectively. While others have felt like they are in a snow globe, I have been steady and ready to be here, as if my life experiences prepared me for this moment.
Liane Buck: What are you most curious about right now?
Phoebe Leona: I am curious about creating new experiences and co-creating with other artists to share our collective stories. It feels necessary to create more art right now, and I want to find a new way of doing it to make the biggest impact. I have really loved creating multi-dimensional experiences around my book that involve dance and poetry performances and interweaving my embodiment movement practice, Mvt109™, to get participants to embody their own story. It has been a lot of fun and has made a huge impact.
Liane Buck: What was the biggest challenge in your process of emotional recovery?
Phoebe Leona: My biggest challenge is simply to trust the process. I had made huge leaps and bounds from when life cracked me wide open in 2013 when I was called to an emotional recovery journey. There are still days when I question the recovery and ask if anything has changed. It doesn’t take long to shake that off when I look back at old journals or reflect on past relationships with which I no longer engage. A consistent practice full of emotional recovery resources and a healthy dose of gratitude goes a long way.
Liane Buck: What are you most proud of?
Phoebe Leona: I am proud of this book in what it represents as my personal healing and where it is about to take me to help others. I have done a lot of reflecting recently on how far I have come (and, in many ways, how I have come full circle) to be the person I am now. It has been a celebration of myself in many ways, and I feel that is a gift not many people get to fully experience in their lifetime. My hope is that I will have the opportunity to provide that space for others through this book and the experiences that unfold from it. If I am successful that way, then I will know it all wasn’t in vain, which will make me most proud of my accomplishments.
Dear Radiant One is available on Amazon