Let's get to know, Larissa Parson, in this week's SOULACY Spotlight
Larissa Parson (she/her) is a joy and justice coach, podcaster, and writer. She helps her clients move toward radical self-love, body liberation, and joy, so they can thrive. She does this through group coaching, 1-1 support, and embodiment/movement classes. Larissa’s intersectional identities include Black, biracial, queer, chronically ill, and mom to twins. She lives just outside Durham, NC
Let's jump right in...
Who/What are you watching or listening to right now? What has you interested in them/it?
I tend to do more reading than watching or listening, but I recently enjoyed Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime because I love a good fantasy epic, both on screen or on the page. I've been listening to How To Raise a Feminist Son, by Sonora Jha, on audiobook, because I have two cis-boys, and I want them to be feminists (they're pretty good at it, but the older they get the harder they have to push against the culture). I cannot WAIT for Ted Lasso Season 3. Because it's delightful joyful, and dark, all at the same time.
How to do you spend your free time?
I read a lot! I also love playing Animal Crossing New Horizons, taking long walks with friends, eating delicious food, basking in the sun by the water (not nearly as often as I'd like!), and doing nothing at all.
What was your first business and why did you start it?
This is my first business, but it's changed a lot since I started it! I started teaching movement in late 2016, after getting burned out on high school English teaching. I wanted something that would stimulate me intellectually and physically, while also providing the time flexibility to homeschool my kids.
What book changed or greatly influenced your life and why?
The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor put words to all the things I'd been trying to articulate as part of why I do the work I do, and gave me more clarity and insight into how to do it (and life) better.
What is your favourite quote? Why?
"Your body is not a problem to be solved." And basically any variation on that sentence. Despite how our culture tells us we're broken, and that our bodies are problems, our bodies are our homes.
What's the scariest thing you've ever done in your business?
Starting it in the first place was terrifying. Moving everything online during the pandemic was terrifying. And in the last year, creating a title for myself (joy coach) that I don't see out in the world much felt like stepping off a cliff.
What has been the biggest mindset shift you've had since you started your business(es)?
I've had to really dig into finding a sense of worth in myself that doesn't rely on other people's perception of my worth.
What excites you right now - outside of your business?
I started taking Aikido lessons last spring and I had to take a long hiatus while I recovered from surgery last fall. I'm really excited to get back into it--I just love working with a jo and feeling my body do new things.
What is the legacy that you're creating?
My legacy is not limited to my immediate family and friends; it ripples out from everyone I'm in contact with. It's a legacy of authentic connection and joyful embodiment.
Favourite time of year? Why?
I love late spring--when plenty of plants are blooming and it's nice and hot (a good time for a beach or lake trip), but when I haven't been oppressed by 100 days of humidity yet.
Who/What's making you belly laugh right now?
When I need a guaranteed belly laugh, I rewatch an episode of Ted Lasso.
What big, wonderful, cannot-wait-until-it-happens goal are you working toward or dreaming of right now?
I am dreaming of having a second home on water, somewhere--maybe in the south of France, or Portugal, but I'd take a gorgeous lake in North Carolina, too.
When overwhelm creeps in, what is your go-to solution to moving beyond it?
Rest. Diving into a book or playing Animal Crossing, or taking a nap, or going for a walk with a friend, or hanging out with my kids. Anything that involves resetting my body and mind.
Best business advice you've ever received? Did you follow it when you first heard it? Tell us about it...
Kelly Diels says all the time that a business isn't truly feminist if the business owner isn't thriving. I've been trying to keep that in mind as I build my business, which means that I might grow more slowly, but it's always sustainable, physically and emotionally. When I hit plateaus, I take time to increase my capacity before leveling up.
What do you have going on in your business or coming up soon?
I'm inviting folks to join my online connection space, The Slow Burn. It's where I combine movement, conversation, and journaling to help women who want to live in a more just world come home to their bodies with joy. And from April through June, I'm offering 1-1 Delight Diagnostics to help folks get clear on where joy is missing in their lives--and take small steps toward more joy.
What's the best way for people to spend more time with you and learn more about what you have going on?
Find me here. I'd love to connect.
Larissa is a featured writer inside our RELATE Special Edition · April 2022