Sarah Durham Wilson is a former music and arts journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, GQ, Vanity Fair, Vh1, Flaunt, and Interview Magazine. Two years ago, she left her magazine career in New York and L.A. in search of herself. She now lives in the Berkshires where she writes, practices Reiki, and runs DOITGIRL, an inspirational newsletter with a spiritualistic, pop star bent.
As a lifelong music fan, Wilson says lyrics have always been the most powerul medium in her life. “I painted every inch of the walls of my bedroom with lyrics. It was a lot of Pearl Jam and Hole. And growing up in Charlottesville, a lot of Dave Matthews. I realize now music was my dharma, the lyrics were my mantras. When my parents split when I was 12, I turned to music. When my mother died when I was 17, I also turned to music. After my engagement fell apart – to a lead singer —I was too sad to talk to my friends and family, so I just kept making them mixes to tell them how I felt, like what part of the process of it all I was in. I really didn’t even talk to them—I just sent mixes. Also, that’s when I truly surrendered to the power of pop music. Kelly Clarkson, Pink— those girls can write a break-up song.” That was also when she started to finally face the big questions “the ones I had been running from for so long.”
Now, Wilson quotes the empowering words of female musicians everyday and often in her newsletters. These days she mixes Rumi with Beyonce and Adele with the Dalai Lama. “It seems to work for the kick-ass women who are attracted to DOITGIRL. But I don’t mind using Springsteen or any other dudes for inspiration— as long as they are equal opportunity.” Wilson believes all women are potential rock stars in their own lives—“but most of us are side stage, watching our boyfriends- the men in our lives- live and play. They get to mess up. They get to put themselves first. They get to walk away from bad situations. Not us. The rules suck. For a very, very long time my self-esteem rested on men’s opinion of me. I just didn’t know any other way.” She says her intent with DOITGIRL is to get women to put themselves back in their own spotlights and center stage. “I cannot stand to see other women and young girls doing what I did for ridiculously long—watching life through the glass, from a little box. Punishing and apologizing for myself for feeling pain, or for even expressing myself in anyway at all. I was an approval addict. And I cannot bear to watch women compete with each other when we should all be banded together.”
“It’s true what the Dalai Lama says,” says the 32-year-old writer and Reiki master. “Western Womenwill save the world. But first, we have to save ourselves. Self-love is a quick jump to Universal Love— like the Jitney from the City to the Hamptons. We should all be at the wheel –driving our own lives. I think so many of us are stuffed in the trunk- with Fear and Self-Loathing driving. I know I was for all of my twenties. I know I still find myself in the trunk some days. That’s why DOITGIRL is as much for me as anyone else,” says Wilson, who has lived in N.Y.C., Omaha, L.A., Martha’s Vineyard, and now resides in an old red barn in the Berkshires two miles from the Kripalu Yoga & Wellness Center and Tanglewood.
“It’s a journey, an endless evolution. I think about the first day I was consciously kind to myself. It felt really weird. But that moment everything started to change, because self-love is transformative. If you love yourself, every single aspect of your life will change for the better. For me, having lived so long as my own worst enemy, I ran out of choices. It was as if that fear-based idea was true, that the world really was flat. I felt like I fell off. Nothing in your life really works without love.”
“I know self-love isn’t ‘cool,’ and I know some people think I’ve gone crazy,” she laughs. “But I also know- thanks in part to the newsletter- that I’m not alone. I do think celebrities like Russell Brand, who openly talks about meditation, or Lady Gaga, who champions self-love and individuality, are bringing in a new wave of honesty and enlightenment about how hard it truly is to be human. For me, I see someone like Lady Gaga or Beyonce like living Statues of Liberty— torch-bearing women symbolizing strength. I think it’s no coincidence that these women- Gaga, Adele, Nicki Minaj, Florence, Beyonce, Katy Perry— are so popular now. It’s time for women to find their strength. I love using them as examples of “Doitgirls.”
As far as the name of her newsletter? “It’s supposed to be fun and silly. I think it just serves as an instant punch of inspiration to conquer whatever you’re facing at that moment. I want the women who read this to know that they are capable of all. Unfortunately, I think a lot of women are afraid to live out loud, be seen, heard, messy, alive. So the name is really like a kick in the pants—or the lycra bodysuit.”
Let’s set fire to each others’ hearts and not each others’ feet. I think about the women, leading the witch hunts. I think about the ones, actually setting the torch aflame, or casting another out. As if they could destroy and banish their own wet and wild femininity, their own freedom-seeking truths, by casting out, or burning a woman of the earth.
I don’t have to try to too hard to remember the past life pain for modern witch hunts happen all the time.
We all come from the same wound. Let’s allow each other to come home to our places of power, to return to our thrones. Let’s let each other back in, let’s help each other heal & rise.
Her rising is Your rising.
**** Dear you who have been burned,
I was too. We don’t have to cower in fear or point the finger anymore. We don’t have to hysterically rally each other against each other anymore. We dont have to drive the strong & wise & beautiful & independent & strange out - anymore. We don’t have to send them away because we can’t look in the mirror at the raw delicious creative sensual sexual wild mirror of true femininity - anymore. Let’s look at each other in awe and not in fear. Who told you to fear each other to compete with each other that a powerful woman was a bad woman.
We don’t have to see one woman’s light and call it the devil. We don’t have to witch hunt because we were once witch hunted for our voices that spoke truth for our beauty as powerful as the sea our wisdom as wise as the earth for our strength to birth life, and our magic to change the world.
I dont have to see you as a threat anymore. Your largeness only makes me reach higher your brightness only lights my path further. I choose to see you as an example of pure possibility, as a light, as the feminine unbridled, as a hope, as a symbol of our power, healing, sisterhood and evolution. Thank you for your light- for your big beautiful life- that has pierced the dark sky of patriarchy and shown the way out.
Let’s inspire each other, Not Put the fire under each other.
Dear you who have been burned, I was too. Let’s heal and no longer hurt each other. Because we share the same wound, we were burnt at the same stake.
I love your fire. Burn bright sister. It’s my fire, it’s your fire. If I set any fire to you - Goddess Bless you- it will be in your heart not - at your feet.
Let’s inspire each other not put the fire under each other.