"my true self" // Truth Tribe interview: Sheree Angela Matthews

Sheree Angela Matthews is fiercely dedicated to authentic living, even when it hurts. She’s hit rock bottom and found a way to rise again, truer to herself than ever.

Also known as Wild Soul Woman, Sheree is a freelance writer and artist living in the United Kingdom. She says, “Living Wild Studios is the space where I stand in my truth, listen to my inner voice, and share what I know.”

 
 

I’m so impressed by how Sheree has embraced her shadow side and dares to tell her complex truth (via self-portraiture, poetry, and prose).

She believes that “too often within society, we pretend to be someone we are not. We play the game, swallow our voices, and attempt to fit in. In the process we lose parts of ourselves, the parts that make us unique and allow us to shine as we truly are.”

What a gift to welcome Sheree to our Truth Tribe with her feature interview in The Phoenix Soul: INNER TRUTH

  Blackout poetry by Sheree Angela Matthews

Blackout poetry by Sheree Angela Matthews

Living Wild Studios came about because I needed a home for my creativity. Before, I was advised that to be a “success” I had to focus on one thing–one genre/art form. Therefore, I channeled all my energy and attention into poetry. I succeeded, but with success defined on other people’s terms such as publications, residencies, awards, etc.

In the process, I lost myself. By squeezing myself into a box, easier for others to define me, I denied a whole heap of myself. My true self.
— Sheree Angela Matthews, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Inner Truth

Sheree rediscovered her inner truth by embracing herself as Creatrix, expressed via many forms: photography, paintings, visual journaling, poetry, and more. 

 
  visual journaling by Sheree Angela Matthews

visual journaling by Sheree Angela Matthews

 
Living Wild Studios is my permission to explore my creativity. No end product in mind. Enjoying the journey, being true to myself and how I want to express myself is what’s important. My creations are my soul speaking to me with love.

We’re not taught how to love ourselves. If it’s expressed at all, it’s seen as arrogance as it’s usually in relation to what we do or produce. When I talk about loving myself it isn’t connected to what I produce. My love for self comes from just being. In a world where your worth is measured by your busyness and what you can produce, it’s strength to feel worthy by being you.
— Sheree Angela Matthews, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Inner Truth
  self-portrait by Sheree Angela Matthews

self-portrait by Sheree Angela Matthews

Sheree's self-love and worth have been hard won. Her book, rubedo, is the story of a traumatic time when she “had no choice but to rise” from a “crumpled and raw heap” as her true self. She says,

Writing rubedo was part of my healing process. In May 2015, I was accused of being a plagiarist via Facebook. What followed was an attack on my professional and personal capabilities. It got really vicious on social media, without any space for me to speak. I was silenced.
— Sheree Angela Matthews, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Inner Truth

Stories about Sheree twisted into untruths. She was bullied and shamed publicly. Sheree explained,

rubedo was my phoenix moment. From the beginning of this traumatic experience, I issued an apology for the mistakes I’d made. I apologized privately to any specific writers I felt I’d offended. And then I went quiet. The public lynching continued on without my presence. That is not my story. It was never my story. I never claimed the term plagiarist and never will.
— Sheree Angela Matthews, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Inner Truth

In true phoenix form, Sheree found healing among the ashes:

  image by Sheree Angela Matthews

image by Sheree Angela Matthews

What I’ve learned is that being true to yourself, no matter what the cost, is what’s vital. In order to live with yourself, you have to accept all of yourself, faults and all. Only then can you look yourself in the eye with love.
— Sheree Angela Matthews, Truth Tribe, TPS: Inner Truth

Phoenix soul, what stories about you have been twisted into untruths? How do you maintain, clarify, and claim what is actually your inner truth?

Are you able to "look yourself in the eye with love"?

Sending extra encouragement your way, phoenix.

with love,
Amanda