Saturday, October 27, 2018

Cleo Wade

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This week I was privileged to sit in the same room with Cleo Wade, poet extraordinaire and self-care guru. The room in the Graduate Hotel, downtown Iowa City, had a coffee shop vibe with lamps lit for soft lighting and lovely decor. The walls were "wallpapered" with real pencils so you felt like you were in a room meant for writing or writers. Our chairs faced a small stage with two easy chairs and a lamp and this is where Cleo eventually came out to chat with us. While we were waiting we could (and did) have a glass of wine and some homemade Iowa popcorn prepared and shared by Iowa native Kate Greer, one of Cleo's friends-the upcoming Cheerie Lane Popcorn. It was mixed with real rosemary buds and tasted delicious.

At about 6:30 Cleo arrived on the platform and talked about life to us. She was soft-spoken, natural, and calm which caused the audience to lean in just a little. She is all about peace, love, and joy and how we can all bring that into our daily lives. In order to share these feelings out to your community, you need to feel them about yourself. She preaches an unusual idea of self-care; it's about what feels right for you. It's not about what you should be doing but what is right for you. Netflix, a warm bath, and red wine might be what you need on a Saturday night instead of a night out with friends or another spinning class.  Learn to pick well at any given moment for yourself.

Here is her BIG Three:

Therapeutic Ritual-This is a little gift to yourself.  Always should feel authentic. We need to learn to console ourselves to be our best selves.
Dedicated Safe Spaces-Places you go to replenish your soul. It might be outside, it might be the movies, it might be your own home. Make sure to visit often.
Relationship Boundaries-Choose your people wisely. Steer clear of toxic relationships. The people you surround yourself should build you up and inspire you.
While these aren't exactly brand new ideas Cleo has a way of saying them to us and her 446k insta followers that make us feel ready to love ourselves a little bit more forever.

She is also an activist and encouraged everyone to vote and get involved right now. Through her Rock the Vote/Gucci's Chime for Change website, she's made it very easy for people to connect and get voting information.


Her stop in Iowa City is one of many on her Courageous Love tour which is more than just a book for Heart Talk; Poetic Wisdom for a better life. She was purposeful in making it a free event with stops in all college towns. While her focus does seem to be on younger souls this audience was a very mixed age range and many of us waited in line to speak with her-she chatted, hugged, laughed, took photos, and signed our books with a constant smile. The night was inspiring and I would love to be in her presence again. And thank you to my friend Rita for your willingness to take off on this adventure with me. Thank you to my sister-in-law Stephanie for sending me the info about Cleo's tour.


Other places to find more Cleo:

Instagram: @cleowade
Cleo Wade
On Oprah
New York Times
Mind Body Green article and another

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