Taylor Allie is many things, our favorite being creator/EIC of the bright Well Wildflower, a woman of color wellness collective. Well Wildflower and Taylor are vibrant but mindful, soulful but fun, and encouraging while challenging – all things we at RXY are in strong support of. Get into her interview with us below for thoughts on why wellness is important, especially for WOC and the space Taylor hopes Well Wildflower comes to occupy in our hearts and minds. You can follow her and her endeavors on Twitter and Instagram @bloomwithtaylor and @well_wildflower.
Tell us a little bit about your background. Who are you and where are you headed?
I’m Taylor Allie. I’m the creator/editor-in-chief of Well Wildflower, an associate expressive therapist, and a clinical mental health graduate student at Johns Hopkins University. French fries, yoga, writing, podcasts, and laughter make up some of my favorite things. As far as where I’m headed, I’m endlessly journeying in the direction of abundance, so I’m sure that wherever I end up will be in alignment with my desire to bring the same to women like myself.
How did you get your start in therapy and wellness? Who or what inspired you?
I wanted to be a lawyer growing up, a political change agent because I was good at getting others to shift their perspective. But when I was a senior in high school, I discovered the concept of mindfulness through some readings that a friend introduced me to, and that was basically all she wrote. Being of service to other people was something that I was naturally good at. I was always the friend to lean on in darker moments, an empath of sorts, and because it brought me joy I decided to venture into a space that would allow me to feel that sense of fulfillment on a regular basis. Interestingly enough, the access gap for women of color within the realm of mental health is my driving inspiration.
Creator of Well Wildflower, talk to us about what Well Wildflower is and why you think layered wellness is so important for WOC.
They say not to call your work your baby because that is indicative of unhealthy attachment to it, so I will say that Well Wildflower is my submission to the universe. It is the live-and-in-color manifestation of living purposefully while simultaneously encouraging and advocating for the same in others. Well Wildflower is a women of color wellness collective that works to infuse positive mental health and mindfulness into the lives of those in the margins seeking access to their higher selves. Insight on how to live a life that is layered with holistic wellness is imperative for women of color because of the consistent societal attempts to ignore our power. Well Wildflower provides these women with a safe space to learn, celebrate, and empower themselves through a representative community.
What does wellness mean or look like to you? What is wellness at the margins? How can women be more intentional about cultivating, seeking, or creating wellness in their lives?
Similar to women of color, wellness is multidimensional and looks different for everyone. For me personally, wellness looks like switching my daily to-do lists from having 18 tasks to 5, using yoga to get into my body when being too cognitive grows overwhelming, meditating every morning to be sure that I have control over my energy, and practicing gratitude for all that I have and all that I am positive is to come.
Wellness at the margins is so exciting to me because it can be whatever we want it to be. I am most proud of this framework because of its inclusivity of women who do not particularly align with conventional forms of expression. So in essence, wellness at the margins is an infusion of all the things women of color do to bring themselves back to center. From dancing in the mirror to being intentional about our quiet time to listening to podcasts that affirm our experience.
In thinking about some of the key ways that women can be more intentional about crafting their own wellness practices, it all starts with going inward. Most of us already have go-to activities/spaces for when we know we need to rest or restore, so it’s about paying closer attention to what those are and how we can add to them in a way that serves us even more than they already have. It is also about unlearning some of our more maladaptive habits in order to shift into a space where we can be more receptive to new practices that can be of benefit.
What opportunities do you see for women/women of color/girls like you in the wellness space and how do you intend to positively influence the arena?
It’s key to point out that I have never thought that there wasn’t enough room for women of color in the wellness space. Instead, I think that there is a lack of people that are willing to incorporate us – and that is where me and the other women of color in the wellness world come in. We acknowledge the blooming potential in the women that we represent and we host a compassionate space for them to step into their growth. I do not intend to be a positive influence by healing, but by letting women of color know that they have a place to do it for themselves when they feel moved to.
What message would you give millennial WOC trying to break into your fields?
Simply put, although the work is not to be taken lightly and there are no SparkNotes for mindfulness and mental health, there is no reward greater than strengthening one’s love for self.
What can we expect from you and Well Wildflower moving forward? How can we be of support?
You can expect to see consistent outreach from the women of Well Wildflower on all social media platforms as well as some community events that are to hit the DC and NY areas over the next few months. Imani and Hana, two of our leads on the Well Wildflower team will be launching their podcast ‘Malibu’ on black girl friendship and fellowship very soon, and there will also be some exciting brand collaborations that we will be revealing. You can also always expect there to be a plethora of content on mental health/mindfulness, physical fitness, beauty/skincare, and design – all of which are by and for women of color.
The best way for anyone to be of support is by engaging with us whenever you feel moved to. We love the interaction and discourse that takes place within and because of the work that we are doing, and we rely on the conversations that we have as a way to help establish collective consciousness on important topics for the culture.
In the end, how do you want your story depicted? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want to be known for not being impartial. I want to be known for creating and leaving something behind that is far bigger than just myself. It is my ultimate hope to be depicted as an intricate and necessary part of the whole.
Just for kicks:
- A Seat at the Table or Lemonade?
Shit lol. It depends on the day but I probably lean more toward Lemonade. ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ is an eternal mood.
Podcast or Blog?
These are hard. I’d have to go blog but it’s a 49/51 split lol.
Instagram or Twitter?
Twitter. I love conversation. It ignites me.