“If you live your life with kindness and giving other people great energy, that beauty and great energy come back to you.” – Beyoncé Knowles
“The more we let love flow through, the more we have to love. This is the inner glow that sages and saints of all ages seem to share: the wash of their love over everything before them.” – Mark Nepo
Authors note: I’m often asked how I come up with ideas for articles, and the truth is that inspiration can come from anything. For today’s post, that inspiration is Beyoncé Knowles. Long-time reader Danielle saw through social media that I’d gone to a Beyoncé concert, and she asked me if I would write about my experience. In continuing with the theme of being playful, and having had quite a powerful experience, I said sure! So, this one’s for you Danielle. Thanks for reaching out!
It had already been a full day by the time we jumped on our bikes and headed to see Beyoncé perform at Soldier Field.
I’d spent the morning outside at Heritage Bicycles & Coffee writing a love letter to myself. Around noon, I went the other direction and mentally visualized what would happen to my body after I died (more on this to come in the future), before doing an hour-long float in a sensory deprivation tank at Float Sixty.
Add in an hour of inspired journaling, several adult beverages, and a brilliant late-afternoon sun bursting through an overcast sky, and the scene was set for a magical evening.
Everything I Know And Believe In One Simple Idea
As we rode South, I paid close attention the other people on the lakefront path.
There were runners of various speeds enjoying the break in the rain, some who looked like they were training for a race, and others who looked as if they’d been through a mental race before even making it out the door. There were bikers training, bikers cruising, groups of friends laughing and shoving each other, and an older couple walking slowly with their eyes downcast.
With each passing face I found myself reflecting on the fact that, no matter what our various backgrounds were, in that moment, we were sharing the same space. I started trying to make eye contact with each person and tell them, without words, “Hey! What’s up? Glad to see you here!”
It occurred to me that living a life of happiness and meaning boils down to one simple idea: share love. If the word love makes you feel funny, then share positive energy, or light, or laughter, or spirit, or God, or divinity, or mind, or being, or creation, or life, or WHATEVER you want to call IT. The name is not important, just share as much of it as you can with everything and everyone who crosses your path. Be a vehicle and let it flow powerfully through you.
It’s a message that’s been shared and embodied by all of the great spiritual teachers and leaders, including the one we were on our way to go see.
Beyoncé Knowles: Powerful, Pure, Authentic Self-Expression
I obviously knew who Beyoncé was (I can do a mean single ladies dance), and we’d had her Pandora station on the Sonos for a few days, but I was not prepared for what awaited us as we neared Soldier Field.
The crowds flowing towards the stadium filled the air with a powerful, intense, almost hive-like energy. Inside, the atmosphere was heightened by the vibration of the speakers, so strong they shook your body in the farthest corners of the building. The people attending, mostly young adult women, wore a mix of club attire and t-shirts proudly stating “slay,” or “fierce.”
Observing, and feeling, the crowds, it struck me that Beyoncé is much more than just a talented artist – she’s an extremely powerful embodiment of authentic self-expression. If Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is an intellectual encouragement for women in leadership, Beyoncé’s being is a visceral, emotional understanding of what that feels like. It’s something I didn’t appreciate just from hearing her music, but it was apparent in the faces of the people at the concert. They were there to witness, experience, and share her commanding, powerful presence.
The energy of the stadium was mirrored in the sky above, with dark clouds hovering ominously throughout the warm-up acts before unleashing torrents of rain on the crowds below.1 But being soaking wet did little to dampen the spirits of the crowd. As the speakers came back to life and images flashed on the video screen, the place went absolutely bonkers. Screaming intensified with each image that flashed, “Oh my God, that’s Beyoncé!?!” until she finally took the stage to a deafening roar.
She sang and she danced, fiercely, passionately, and non-stop. I’m in pretty good shape, but I would have been winded after just one song of either singing, or dancing, and here she was doing both with boundless energy. In between songs, she told the crowd how grateful she was to have been given the opportunity to grow with her fans, for their support in her growth, and for allowing her to share herself and do what she truly loved to do.
At one point, after finishing a song, she just stood there. And everyone started screaming. And then she kept standing there, so everyone started screaming even louder. And then, she smiled, and the crowds roar intensified. It was one of the loudest moments of the whole night, even with the speakers completely silent and Beyoncé not doing anything but just being.
How We Can All Be Like Beyoncé
If we thrive by connecting with other people and sharing that life force which flows through us, there’s a reason why so many people are drawn to see Beyoncé.
Later that night, I wrote in my journal, “Wow! Beyoncé is an absolutely phenomenal expression of pure-self flowing powerfully through a human being. The love that people come to feel through her created an absolutely electric atmosphere. I want to be a vessel for that, too. I don’t know what to call it, but I know some of its characteristics. It is spontaneous. It is playful. It is pure. It is powerful. It is loving, and joyful, and beautiful, and present.”
We can’t all be Beyoncé, but we all have something to share. It doesn’t have to be as grand as performing in front of thousands, but it can be in the small actions that fill our days. Practice connecting, on a very human level, with everyone you have the opportunity to share this journey of life with.
Be present. Make eye contact and truly look at others. Smile. Laugh. Give amazing hugs. Tell someone that you love them. Go support the people and the artists who are out there sharing themselves, and that move you. Allow yourself to be moved, and to receive just as much love as you give. When you’re in a crowd, allow yourself to feel part of a larger, collective whole.
For more encouragement and wisdom, let’s turn to some of my favorite ideas from the Queen B herself.
Inspiring Wisdom In The Words Of Beyoncé Knowles
- “It’s really about who you are, and the human being, that makes you beautiful.”
- “The ocean makes me feel really small and it makes me put my whole life into perspective… it humbles you and makes you feel almost like you’ve been baptized. I feel born again when I get out of the ocean.” Read more: The Power of Perspective
- “If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.”
- “I know I’m stronger in the songs than I really am. Sometimes I need to hear it myself. We all need to hear those empowering songs to remind us.” Read more: Personal Reminders & Powerful Mottos.
- “Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”
- “I felt like it was time to set up my future, so I set a goal.” Read more: Four Steps To Success
- “We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves.”
- “Take all the rules away. How can we live if we don’t change?” Read more: There Are No Rules.
- “When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”
- “The reality is: sometimes you lose. And you’re never too good to lose. You’re never too big to lose. You’re never too smart to lose. It happens.” Read more: Why Mistakes Should Be Celebrated
- “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world.”
- “Do what you were born to do. You just have to trust yourself.” Read more: Being The Best You Is Not Optional
- “It’s easy to hear the voices of others and often very difficult to hear your own. Every person you meet is going to want something different from you. The question is: what do you want for yourself?” Read more: What Do You Want?
- “I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to be on, it’s myself.”
- “The best thing is looking back and realizing how incredible life is. If you don’t take the time to think about or analyze your life you’ll never realize all the dots that are all connected.”
- Fun story: As we waited for the show to start, a roar started from high up in the back corner of the stadium. My first thought was, “Oh shit! I bet it’s raining.” My second thought was, “Is Beyonce going to parachute down from heaven!?!?!” But as the roar spread outward from the initial corner and grew louder, drops began to lightly fall. I tried to give my rain jacket to Kristen, who denied it, said “GO!” and pushed me towards the aisle. We ended up being one of the first one’s in the tunnel, finding shelter just a few seconds before the skies really opened up and started torrentially downpouring. [↩]