Regina Louise uses her own black growth story to propel readers to success



Regina Louise’s new book is “Permission Granted: Kick-Ass Strategies to Bootstrap Your Way to Unconditional Self-Love”. Photo: New World Library

Regina Louise is a speaker, teacher, coach and author of “Someone Is Someone” and “Someone Led This Child to Believe,” which tell the story of her childhood in the foster care system. Home. Her latest book, “Permission Granted: Kick-Ass Strategies to Bootstrap Your Way to Unconditional Self-Love,” draws on her amazing life and the lessons she learned along the way to help readers make their own. power. We spoke by phone. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What do you think your book says that other self-help books don’t?

A: I have attended so many workshops with the greats and have been in the company of some of the most iconic New Thought leaders. But I wasn’t sure if what some teachers had promised was only available to upper middle class whites. I believed, I believed. But my belief did not necessarily give me back the generosity that I have seen others benefit from. I became a bit suspicious of it. I would go to those places where out of 1,500 people, I would be one of the three black people in the room. So I started to think, why don’t bestselling authors and thought leaders look like me?

Have they ever been tasked with closing the gap to their own disadvantage in their lives? Has any of them ever had to learn to get out of poverty on their own? What about those of us who don’t have the privilege of cutting it short? I need to be the person to inherit a legacy on my own terms and put a stake in the ground of what it means to be a true American. The only privilege that I really have is to start and be a pioneer. No one can take it away from me.

Q: This is the third book you have written that draws on the story of your life. How did you decide which real life episodes to include as “Kick-Ass Strategies” as you call them?

A: You cannot live a life like I have lived and let it not be episodic. There was no continuity or stability, there was no baseline to come back to. I never felt out of place anywhere, but I searched the episodes of my life for all the juice, value, and wisdom that they contain. I have tried to include my own experiences in universality themes, such as standing with dignity.

“Permission Granted: Effective Strategies for Starting Your Path to Unconditional Self-Esteem” by Regina Louise. Photo: New World Library

Q: You write in the book, “I knew deep down that I was the only hope I had. “
How did you find the courage to listen to this voice, rather than the other more negative messages you received as a child in the child care system?

A: I remember one day sitting on a church bench and hearing John 3:16. I thought life had to be worth something if I could believe. If I can believe, then I can live free. And I thought, I believe you. And I think that’s when the Spirit realized itself.

I have always been a huge fan of the song “O Holy Night”. My to-do list is to sing this song with a gospel choir. (Louise sings a few bars.) The magic that happened when I first heard the song was that my soul felt the value of it.

Q: It seems to me that the experiences you relate were about art: words, performance, music. Do you think there was something about the medium that touched you as well?

A: The answer is in the question. The mind was the medium. The mind is the foundation of all language and all art. People say my story is a story of the triumph of the spirit. I became a possibility because I allowed Spirit to overturn all minor beliefs. You are not good because you are black, woman, unwanted, poor. Spirit doesn’t agree with that, so I couldn’t agree with that.

Q: You give readers so many great tools in the book. What is your favorite personal tool on a bad day?

A: I love Lovefirmations. A Lovefirmation is an affirmation generated from me, to me, from my own voice, from my own heart, from emotional goodness. So, I’m not looking for someone to heal me. I have a mirror that has a series of Lovefirmations that are unique to me for what I want and what I need. Now I look in this mirror and say the Lovefirmation I need eg I love you. I want you. I am you. I speak to my emotional self, to my innocence. It’s my favorite in the heat of being ripped from myself. We are triggered and we travel back in time to where this original trauma occurred.

Q: What would your memoir be in just six words?
A: Cinderella Stories are also available in black.

“Permission Granted: Effective Strategies to Start Your Path to Unconditional Self-Esteem”
By Régina Louise
(New World Library; 320 pages; $ 16.95)

Regina Louise in conversation with New World Library Editorial Director Georgia Hughes: A virtual discussion hosted by Napa Bookmine. 7 p.m. Tuesday July 6. Free. Register at

  • Elizabeth greenwood

    Elizabeth Greenwood is the author of “Love Lockdown: Dating, Sex, and Marriage in America’s Prisons,” out on Gallery Books this month.


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