Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Sarah Sapora Interview - Soul Archaeology

Photo Content from Sarah Sapora

Sarah Sapora is a writer, inspirational speaker, and the organizer of body inclusive personal growth events and self-love retreats around the world. Sarah uses her voice to make personal growth relatable to the nearly 70% of American women considered plus size. Online, her tight-knit community includes hundreds of thousands of “80’s and 90’s kids” searching for self-love and wellness free of diet culture. Sarah’s guiding principles of radical vulnerability, self-accountability and tolerance have solidified her reputation as someone who “talks about the hard stuff” with humor and heart. She lives in Las Vegas, NV with her 110lb “lap dog” Eliza, and loves cowboy boots, meditation, cooking, and crochet.

Greatest thing you learned at school.
How to wear overalls with confidence. (Grin) I was a music major and studied performance in school – so I would say that learning how to be comfortable in my own skin when standing in front of people was a huge skill I cultivated in school. There is nothing about presenting or public speaking that scares me.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I’ve always marched a bit to my own drum. As a writer, I used to write “as” other people. I wrote fiction that was me but under a different person’s name. As a marketer, I did the same for brands. At some point in time I realized that I, as myself, had something to say and that it would take bravery to SHOW UP as myself, but that it would be worth it. I didn’t feel this truly intill my late 30’s/

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It is a juicy classic that really transcends genres.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Without a doubt, having women who read my book tell me that they were able to read things I wrote that the related to that nobody else has ever shared. When someone says “This book was really hard for me to read but I needed it so badly!” Being able to connect with people because my vulnerability has made it safe for them to experiment their own.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Buckle up, Buttercup. It will be a wild ride! Also… (lovingly) plan to have income come from other places or figure out how to leverage your book into income because book sales (most likely) generate real income for you.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
My own ADHD. Holy sh*t! It wasn’t till writing that I realized just how hard it was for me to focus!

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Absolutely. The books that have changed my life the most are the ones that have made me feel less alone. Books like Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth and The Truth by Neil Strauss both delt with sticky topics in a way that felt liberating and safe for me. Especially when it comes to non-fiction, I truly think it has the power to liberate us.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
When we tell our own stories, we allow ourselves to process our feelings and our pain. Even if we speak stories that nobody heard and we tell them only to ourselves – they exist only on paper – letting our own stories flow through us paves the way for our liberation.

Can you tell us when you started SOUL ARCHAEOLOGY, how that came about?
I knew in my heart that I wanted to write a book long before I did – I didn’t commit to it in my head until 2018 when I was in the bath one day. I didn’t actually start to write till 2019. I was prompted to put pen to paper by a soul-breaking split from a romantic partner that served as the catalyst for a tremendous amount of emotional growth. Without that relationship, without feeling that love, feeling that hurt and hunkering down to heal through it, I would not be the woman I am today and this book would not have happened.

  • This is the book I wish I had been able to read when I was at my lowest moment.
  • Writing this book helped me realize the terrible ADHD that I have. I never saw what I hard time I had sitting down to focus until having to write this book!
  • I let the women who are profiled in the book pick their “Names” and I truly think they got a huge kick out of it.
  • I wrote this book as if it was intended to be read aloud. I write like I speak, and I speak like I write – it’s very musical in its use of pacing and word choice! This makes sense as I was a music major in college. Pacing and journey played a huge part in how I wrote this book.
  • My “go to” comfort food that I reached for when I was writing hard pieces of this book were ice cream sandwiches. They kind you ate as a child where the cookie would stick to your fingers. Writing this book really illustrated my connection to emotional eating and how, when feeling an emotional stressor, food is the first coping mechanism I reached for.
  • The man referred to as “George” in my book is, no shocker, not named George in real life. I named him after a George Strait song called “Run” that carried me through our relationship.
  • I wrote Soul Archaeology because I believed there was a huge lack of body diversity in the personal growth space. We need to see more bodies of all sizes going through the process of cultivating self-love!
  • Writing this book truly helped my dad and I work through difficult stuff together. I know that parts of this book scare him and yet, it is our healing together that really finalizes the books arch and journey.
  • Grilled chicken. Cantaloupe. Grapes. Pilates three times a week. Gym twice a week. I was ruthless in my prioritizing my own self-care throughout the writing of this book! I knew it would be hard and I am proud of how I navigated the sticky feelings that came up as I wrote.
  • I fought to have my image on the cover of this book. Not because I wanted to see it there for fun, but because I knew that, for a larger woman searching for a book to read that she could feel safe reading, that SEEING ME would make her realize this book was for her. Seeing my larger body on the cover will help other people to know this book is accessible for them!
What is the first job you have had?
I worked as a reception at a deaf Catholic school. That was my first ever real job. The job I worked that entertains people the most is that I am the former marketing gal for Chippendales. Yes, Chippendales.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why?
Political communications. I initially wanted to be a speechwriter. I loved words. I loved the idea of being in politics. I was really enthusiastic to figure out how I could use words to inspire and connect with people. In essence, I’m doing that now, just in a different industry. I ended up being a Music major in college. When it came to study music, I loved musicology – I was fascinated with music history and how music reflected / shaped society at different points in time.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid?
I would choose to be what I was – a child of the 80s. Before the internet, so there was still the essence of childhood innocence, but with technological advances.

Name one thing you miss about being a kid.
Life without social media. Hands down. So much more free!

Best date you've ever had?
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

What is your most memorable travel experience?
My heart is in Montana. For the last two years I have spent a month in a small town in Montana. Waking up and spending time trying to count and identify the different birds. Seeing the sky change. Fly fishing. All of that!

Also, when I was in my early 20’s I picked up and went to Portugal on a whim. The sense of freedom combined with assurance and confidence! Without, you know … knee pain. (Grim)

What's your most missed memory?
My grandmother. Anything to do with her. Staying at her house as a child and coming down the stairs early in the morning to find her drinking her instant coffee and Stella Dora Breakfast cookie while wearing Reebok sneakers and a velour track suit. I miss her every day.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
A breakup with a former partner with whom our relationship was a representation of my deepest core wounds. Without that relationship – loving him, losing him, and working through those feelings, I would not have the self-esteem I do today.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
I like to think I stand up for women I will never meet every day of my life when I share on social media.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with heartbreak. Without understanding the depths of our own darkness, we cannot see the brightness of our own light.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
Ballet. A lot of times I do ballet in my head to help me fall asleep. Specially, the ballet Swan Lake.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I regret that I spent my entire youth believing my body needed to be fixed instead of spending that energy on doing things that built my confidence, strengthened my skills, and made me uniquely me. As an adult, I would say my relationship with my body, my weight, and physical fitness. I wish I had treated my body better so that it would feel better now, so that my body itself and my lack of mobility, was never a hinderance into my creating a life that brought me joy.

First Love?
Junior high boyfriend who introduced me to Led Zeppelin and classic rock in general. We used to make out and make mix tapes. It was classic teenage stuff and so awesome.

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
I once had a dream that the leprechaun from the Leprechaun movie series of the 90s was chasing me up and down the stairs. Halfway through the dream he was replaced with a Zombie version of Bugs Bunny. Scared the daylights out of me – ever since then I have freaked out about walking up staris, thinking that the Zombie Bugs Bunny or Leprechaun was behind me. Truth.

At a movie theater which arm rest is yours?
I lean right. So. Hunger Games fighting over that one if the person next to me leans left.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
My early 20’s as a plus size woman working in Las Vegas as the marketing gal for Chippendales would make for a hilarious movie but also one with a lot of opportunity for soul searching. You would see a character searching for herself, making some really shitty relationship choices, but always (always) feeling hopeful that something great was just around the corner! And, of course, good looking half-naked men. Who doesn’t like that? (Grin)

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Liquid nacho cheese. Really.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
This morning. My mother. I tell people I love them all the time. I embrace how I feel and believe in expressing the words when I get the chance.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
Sitting on the couch with my boyfriend watching an old episode of Homeland, the show on HBO, and watching Mandy Patinkin kick ass as Saul. My boyfriend and I got on track of making up nicknames for his character being awesome. We called him “Saul-A-Geddon” or, when he was wearing a black turtleneck, we called him “Tacti-Saul” after the expression in the show Archer where he calls black turtlenecks “Tactinecks.”

With the help of this powerful guidebook, meet your ultimate You and cultivate real self-acceptance and true self-love in the present moment.

You want to love yourself. You want to let go of feeling invisible or unworthy or alone. You want to break free of others’ expectations (and your own) and live life on your terms . Let’s do it!

In this highly anticipated debut, plus-size personal growth trailblazer Sarah Sapora redefines self-love, offering the knowing nod, the deep cleansing breath, and the older sister wisdom which women of all sizes have been waiting for. Soul Archaeology begins with a simple, illuminating “What’s hurting me right now?” Acting as your guide, Sapora helps you through the sticky, liberating process of self-discovery to uncover your Ultimate You, allowing you Weaving together practical, transformative guidance with her own deeply personal narrative, Soul Archaeology teaches readers to cast off the chains of traditional Before-and-After thinking so often found in self-improvement. Instead, it offers a strategy for self-accountability, honesty, and compassion that can help each of us to grow into our greatest selves–a person not defined by weight or age, but by our commitment to a more loving, honest, and powerful life.

You can purchase Soul Archaeology at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SARAH SAPORA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Soul Archaeology by Sarah Sapora.

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