Soultry came to me one August afternoon on the porch at my mother’s house. I had just moved home a few days ago after living in the south for 8 years. I was outside with the dogs soaking up the setting sun, sipping a glass of Malbec letting reality drag me down into the present. I was 25, living back at home, and starting over. I was angry, stressed, anxious, confused, sad, lonely, uncertain of what my future would look like. This for sure wasn’t in the plan.
I was in search of something familiar. Comforting. Welcoming. Fun. Carefree. I needed love girl (in my LL Cool J voice).
One of two things happen when you have a need for something that isn’t readily available.
1. You ignore the need, and press on per usual.
2. You create what you need and share it with the world.
While my initial idea of that “something familiar” in Soultry, has blossomed into the current butterfly before you, A LOT of STUFF was unpacked, sorted through, processed, healed to get to this point. I had to learn to love myself- mind, body, and soul. (Insert Anita Baker) through soulFULL practices.
*Disclaimer: SoulFULL practices will not look the same for everyone.
I’m a giver by nature. It genuinely brings me joy to make someone else happy.
I was able to combine my passion for cooking and creating with making people happy and Soultry was born. Initially I wanted to create strictly food. Those dense, stick to your ribs kind of meals that I learned to recreate after years of working in the restaurant industry. After I made my famous Shrimp & Grits one night, my mom said “Alysse, that was delicious, but heavy.” There was the spark, the ah-ha moment. I started researching, playing around with recipes, and successfully created “healthier" meals without sacrificing flavor. My test meal was Mac & Cheese for Thanksgiving. My previous recipe called for a cheese sauce from scratch which started off with a roux (flour, butter, and liquid -I use beer) along with heavy cream, butter, and lots of cheese (duh!). I used cauliflower instead of flour as a thickening agent for my cheese sauce. Would it pass the test? Especially at Thanksgiving. This was risky business. I watched eagerly as everyone piled their helpings of mac & cheese next to the turkey and dressing. Someone was sure to notice. The first few moments were silent as everyone shoved perfectly selected bites into their mouths. I waited until everyone had their fill to reveal my secret. Complete and utter shock! Clueless, all of them. SUCCESS!
That was a long-winded story behind one of my soulFULL practices. Cooking. It brings me joy. Whenever I’m stressed, sad, anxious I try and turn to things that make me happy. (It took me years of therapy to understand that). Being active is another thing. My most recent found love is powerlifting. Nothing like getting under a bar and lifting some heavy shit. Writing- helps me process the never-ending narrative playing in my head; and the blog was born.
All of my soulFULL practices are routed in fueling my energy. My energy to show up every day and be the best FULL version of myself. What's that saying? "You can't pour from an empty cup." Some days are better than others, but when I stop and look at what is actually making it a “bad day,” I find it’s usually outside of myself. I cannot control the world, only my response to it. Instead, I channel that bad juju and create something good. That may look like a delicious homemade dinner with friends, a PR on my deadlift, or my next blog post.
I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you and hope that you find or rediscover what fuels your soul and do it with your whole self. Live a Soultry life, filled with purposeFULL self-care. Unapologetically.
Love & Light
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