Beyonce and Beyond by: Michele Risa

We have an extraordinary number of events hitting our senses- from COVID, to guns, to abortion, to climate alarms like fires, droughts and floods, to famine, to war, to immigration, to forced labor and sex trafficking, to race and gender discrimination, to name a few.
Is this new? No, much has been happening for decades or centuries.  
Why does it feel so overwhelming? What’s different?  One factor is that many issues are no longer below the surface. Instead, they are right in our face.  Like chicken little, we feel the sky is falling!
So how do we survive?  How do we navigate all this? I hear, “Don’t listen, it’s too stressful.” Or “The world is coming to an end anyway.” Or “There’s nothing I can do.”  
Nope. I believe we can and we will.  Here’s how.
But first, I just listened to Beyonce’s newly released, “Break My Soul” and here’s what I heard, “…Looking for something that lives inside me…I’m taking my new salvation…I’m building my own foundation…”
So excuse me while I jump up and down right now, but it sounds to me like she is harkening us to go inside and find the treasures- the answers, the truths- that have been placed in the BEST hiding place- inside our heart.
What treasures have I found there?  Compassion. Forgiveness. Kindness. Acceptance. Strength. Confidence. Perseverance.Resiliency. Flexibility. Humility. Creativity. Enjoyment. Curiosity. Insight. Wisdom. Growth. Honesty. Dependability. Excellence. Wealth. Wonder. Laughter. Joy. Health. Beauty. Grace. Respect. Courtesy. Altruism. Community. Friendship. Freedom. Trust. Peace.
How did I find them? As a result of a painful experience called cancer. The pain woke me up. It forced me to see who I am…who I chose to be, and how I chose to answer the question, shall I live or shall I die? And how I chose to navigate through the challenge!
Here’s the secret sauce that kept me going…going with a smile: I was certain that if my soul was presenting me with this experience, then there MUST be benefits, too.  As the list suggests, there were many, many benefits. So back to Beyonce, who said, “you don’t seek it, you don’t see it.”
One other painful experience that offered me treasures was COVID. Treasures like: stop being busy, stop running, slow down, witness more, see who people are and who they are not.  See how connected we are.  See how we are in this together.
But how in our polarized society do we acknowledge our connection or even speak to each other? Every month I gather strangers from all over the world who are willing to try this. Here are some of the treasures they said they discovered: 
 - I felt valued, feel a release, at peace and safe. ~ Melanie 
 - I felt accepted by the listener, that I was being honest, true and genuine to myself, accepting who I am, the true me. ~ Irene
 - I felt most genuine, sharing something authentic which separates me from much of the world. ~ JM
Though we often enter a conversation and hope the other person is sincere, polite, listens, etc., we demonstrated how just by BEING that, the other person is INSPIRED to be that, too!  Or as one person said, “ What we put out, comes back!”
Might this be the “secret sauce” to create a new, improved world? One last time, back to Beyonce, who said, “We go ‘round in circles searching for love.”  Might we instead BE that love for ourself and so INSPIRE others to be that, too?
We are riding the waves of change. This means that the way we discover solutions will look a bit different from the past. Change is bitter-sweet.  We say goodbye to some of our tried and true methods and begin a new phase. 
So I invite you to join one of our monthly “Healing Conversations” to discover what is for me the ultimate treasure: To be the master of your destiny, and the creator of your reality…who models dedication to transition, reflection, and evolution and in so doing, inspires the world.  Together it’s a lot easier.  A lot more fun. 
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