MuMu Mansion, or Melinda Alexander, is a force to be reckoned with. Her story of hope and resilience positively reverberates everywhere where she goes, creating a force that encourages womxn of all ages to listen to their intuition even when life seems to be it’s most difficult.
We’re humbled and honored to welcome Melinda to MOTHERSHIP, where she’ll be hosting a panel on self-love, toxic relationships, and feminist dating. Until then, check out her words below.
You just came out with a book, Getting Free. Have you always been a writer?
I have. I kept a journal throughout my childhood and young adult life, and sporadically again as an adult. I have them all and looked through them a few years ago and had a really emotional reaction to the fact that 90% of what I wrote was about boys. My whole life. I’m still processing what that even means—on the one hand it speaks to my experience level—I’ve been processing this love shit for a LONG time. But on the other hand it highlights out how much of my life I’ve spent thinking about not just men, but anyone, other than myself. I think I’ve turned out pretty dope and self reflective, but I wonder who I might have been had I been thinking about—and loving—myself, instead of giving so much of it away.
I also went to a lot of college. I was on the scholarly route for a long time and wrote some great essays and a long thesis I’m pretty proud of. So I think I have a strong writing muscle, that’s just come out in various ways over the years.
The book comes from a very personal place for you. Was it hard to share such a raw exploration of your journey?
Not really. I had actually written it all already, and shared it on Instagram over the years—so the initial feelings of vulnerability had already been felt. I’ve always been an over sharer— I tell strangers in Trader Joe’s all my business. And while I used to feel shame about being so open, it has turned out to be a great gift on social media—a place where most people do their best to keep up facades. I made a conscious choice to not use it in that way—to share what was raw and real for me at the moment. And I think folks appreciate that.
Tell me about the title, Getting Free. I feel like there is a lot women need to “break free” from. Where you thinking of anything in specific when you named the book, or is there a broader meaning?
The motto for my work has been GET FREE since the beginning of @MuMuMansion. There is so much we as women, and a society, are fighting to get free from. It ties in my commitment to collective liberation and social justice, with unhealthy/abusive relationship dynamics, my Buddhist practice, and my commitment to living freely in our bodies whatever they look like. When I launched my online program last year, I starting using GETTING free because it felt like a verb, like a work in progress. And that’s what this book honors—what getting free looked like for me over the last 4 years. I’m still getting free, everyday, in new ways. The work is never done.
What’s been the most surprising lesson you’ve taken away on your life journey thus far?
That’s a deep ass question. One for sure has been the shift to understanding how much beauty there is in bullshit. I think I spent a lot of my life in fear of things falling apart, trying to avoid pain, thinking that was happiness. But the truth is I wasn’t that happy then, and when things did fall apart, I learned the most about myself, and the human spirit. It was SO bad, that it literally shifted my relationship to fear. What is there to be afraid of at this point? I lost it all, was in SO much pain, and I was okay. I survived it. Came out wiser and freer. And I immediately saw the silver lining in the pain. That’s been one of my greatest gifts—through that pain, and all the pain since—being able to see the lesson, the opportunities for growth. It takes the sting a way, just a little, if you get something good out of the bullshit.
Many of our readers are aspiring writers. Do you have any words of advice for them, or anyone else looking to accomplish a big dream?
It’s corny but just do it. Start it. Life is long—and we have plenty of time to work on the things that excite us—but waiting for the perfect time, or a burst of sudden confidence, or people’s approval keeps us from creating. The book took years to write—I didn’t even know it was going to be a book. But I was writing and sharing on Instagram everyday—which grew in to a book. And honestly, the book writing process is HARD. Ask anyone who’s published a book—it just is. But we can do hard things. And this book reminded me of that. That I’m a bad ass—and even if it takes a lot longer than expected—I can do really difficult shit.
It’s easier said than done, but having some faith in yourself and your own ability is probably one of the keys to “following your dreams.” And limiting social media time. I think it can be inspiring, but I also think it’s a breeding ground for insecurity and comparison (and a time suck). I took social media breaks a lot throughout the process to focus on not just finishing the book, but on listening to my own voice which can be hard when we spend hours a day scrolling through what hundreds of other people are doing and thinking.
What are you most looking forward to in regards to your time with MOTHERSHIP this year?
Seeing new faces in my city. I’m an LA native and it’s fascinating to see how the city and scenes changes—especially as feminism becomes more popular. Feminism wasn’t a popular movement when I was growing up. So seeing women sexuality liberated, taking no shit, with body hair, and some political awareness—makes me really happy. I just wish more of them also cared about women in prison, at the borders, and black women/trans folks being killed by police. But maybe we’re moving towards that—albeit quite slowly.
I’m also excited to see Chani Nicholas. She’s combines social justice and astrology like no one else. She’s a fav for sure.
What would you tell your 25-year-old self?
Don’t marry him.
What’s next for you?