Beyoncé, Shakti, and Unlocking Genius – Upspoken

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Beyoncé, Shakti, and Unlocking Genius


Photo credit: Beyoncé, Netflix

Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary and live album offer us further evidence of the creative genius revealed when we fully embrace our womanhood, unapologetic Blackness, and right to pleasure. Black women are ready to claim center stage.

Homecoming, aired April 17th, 2019 on Netflix and revealed the vision for Beyoncé’s historic performance at Coachella, curated with the awareness that she was the first Black woman to headline for the legendary annual festival. Not only did she succeed in creating a spike on the Coachella timeline so large our creativity can never again be ignored, she empowered Black women everywhere to access, harness, and create from their sensual, powerful existence.

Long term Beyoncé fans such as myself have watched her evolve throughout her career. My first glimpse of the Beyoncé we are currently witnessing was boldy introduced to the world when she released Drunk In Love, forcing us all to google search the meanings behind surfboard and watermelon. The years prior had been full of personal and professional transitions ranging from releasing her father as her manager to having her first child. She gave us an intimate look at this time in her life through her personal documentary, Life Is But A Dream. We witnessed the outcome of these major life decisions when she dropped her appropriately self-titled album, Beyoncé. Unapologetically sexual and complex, her lyrics and images invoked the presence of Shakti, the feminine energy tantric practitioners believe holds the power of transformation and creation. Not only has Beyoncé’s creativity expanded with each subsequent project, but she has consistently invited Black women everywhere to join in and play with her, igniting the Shakti energy within each of us.

It’s important to note that raising awareness of our sensual, creative energy involves embracing shadow. Often, we seek the comfort of emotions and experiences we perceive as good, avoiding emotions such as shame, guilt, and fear. We spend copious amounts of money seeking strategies that promise perpetual happiness, hoping to escape the truths hidden beneath the skirt of our existence.

Like Shakti, Beyoncé ripped off the veil of idealism and created the visually and spiritually stunning Lemonade, putting her business in the street as a lesson in pain, redemption, and growth. We took this journey with her while braving the shadows in our own lives and searching for lessons that could lead us to light. Her willingness to stand emotionally and artistically naked before the world taught us that there is no light without shadow. There is no peace without pleasure, no happiness without grief, no courage without fear. It’s in the shadows of our life that we expand, push, and create the most powerful versions of ourselves for the world to witness. It’s in the depths of our pleasure that we discover how creatively infinite we truly are.

If you haven’t watched Homecoming, grab a couple of friends so you can watch and discuss it together. If you have watched Homecoming, listen to the live album and you will enjoy it in a new way. If you’ve watched and listened, go back and invite your shadow to experience it with you. The world is waiting to see what the two of you will push forth and create.