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danyelle beal
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Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!
Helen Keller
Book Recommendations
- The Body Keeps Score
Bessel van der Kolk
- The Other America
Martin Luther King Jr
- Rock Steady
The Whispers
- Closer Than Friends
- Expressions
- Leela James
A Change Is Gonna Come
- Tell Him
Lauryn Hill
- Just Fine
Mary J. Blige
danyelle beal

During the month of March, honored guest danyelle beal joined us as a guest on Tipsy Unicorns to share her story and inspiration with our crew. We are excited to share the following gems gathered from this episode. Check out her reading recommendations, listen to her music selections on our growing playlist, and then get ready to unpack this gift of an episode!

Reading Recommendations: 

  • The Body Keeps Score - this book is essential and instrumental in being able to help those with trauma. Examines trauma in a different way that helped her understand that we hold on to everything that doesn’t feel good and makes us hurt - even subtle trauma - our bodies hold on to these things and react even when we’re not in danger. 
  • This Will Be My Undoing - discussed the intersectionality of being Black women in America and all that encompasses. Has been able to define what she has been going through her entire life. What she was perceiving as racism and microaggression were about her being mixed, she didn’t realize that it was about her being Black. The author describes it as being like a kaleidoscope, not a monolith. Gave her the freedom and authority to let herself know that she didn't need to do anything to prove her Blackness to anyone. 
  • The Other America - part of MLKs speech - on Audible read by Wanda Sykes - it’s so applicable today - there’s so much hope, but it’s also painful because you can see how little progress has been made over the years. We’re still in the hamster wheel. This message makes her, and she hopes it makes us want to be, do, and show up better. 

Need to examine and dissect overt and covert behavior. 

Stop going to your privileged neighborhoods and brush other people’s problems off. We are all socially responsible for each other… it’s not us versus them… it’s humanity! This isn’t politics, it’s a human issue. People are dying unnecessarily and we all need to care about it!

There is a connection here to the white dominant narrative - overly empathic women who feel and respond emotionally to everything - this response is suppressed through punishment. 

Music is the one thing in her childhood memories that bring her joy. Every happy memory is associated with music which she realized because of being asked to share with us. 

She shared a memory associated with punishment. Rock Steady - loved this song, was compelled to dance, was laughed at, punished, and felt as this was a reflection of her not being Black-enough. 

Song Recommendations:

  • Surface - Salt n Pepa - memories from childhood
  • A change is gonna come - any version - Sam Cooke original - recent movie A Night In Miami - the song is central in this movie about the deconstruction of racism. Hearing the fictional perspective with this song was amazing. Leela James. Wayne Brady. 
  • Lauren Hill - favorite artist - she loves her to her core - singing is a childhood dream of hers. Tell Him - hidden track on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album. The song is talking about love. Loving herself and loving other people. She learned to sign ASL by singing this song. She expressed wanting to hear our reflections after listening to this song. 
  • Just Fine - Mary J Blige - everything in the past, let it go, and move on with your life. She feels as though this fully encompasses her current place in life. Even though she's feeling fear she still continues to move forward on her path and feeling proud of her mindset. Despite all the trauma and ugliness, she's living fully as herself at this moment. 

How to take our collective experiences of oppression and turn them into liberation?

She's finally in a place where she can articulate her experiences. For so long she has not felt she had a voice and music has been a method for her to learn how to use it. Opportunities like being on this podcast give her a chance to reflect and articulate these things. She shared she has gone through most of her life thinking there was something wrong with her and having to code-switch. 

When she started in this field she was so full of shame. She learned from a very early age to put on a mask and present herself in such a way that was digestible for other people. She has been exhausted for 23 years. She didn’t realize that part of her exhaustion was overcompensating. 

She was diagnosed in college with a cognitive processing disorder. When she was at risk of not passing a class an instructor provided resources for her to get testing. This affected how she was showing up but she still had to over-compensate.

Having to code switch contributed to her burnout. This showed up everywhere and impacted every aspect of her life - marriage, motherhood, profession. 

As she's starting to find her voice and share her story, she is learning to show up unapologetically. When she shows up in a deep authentic connection, that is where the good stuff happens. 

Listening is a huge part of collective liberation. We need to be able to listen to every perspective. There is something to learn and there is wisdom to be gained. She believes that hurt people hurt people. She sees this all the time. She wants to offer grace. This is the heart work. This is so important to her because she used to be angry. People did not understand that she was broken. Once she understood that about herself, she could see those patterns in others. 

Three tips for emerging activists:

  • Flippin’ Listen - don’t do enough of this - always have a comeback - need more - sometimes we focus on the behaviors we don't like instead of listening to what’s being said
  • Learn - being humble and understanding that no matter how much you consume or take in there will always be more to learn
  • Show Up and Do Something - in June 2020 she was afraid to stand up, speak up, and join the conversation. She didn’t feel like she had a voice or could contribute to the conversation because she wasn’t "Black enough". She struggled to do anything. She had to work through that. 

Gifts of Generative Gratitude:

  • Black Lives Matter - She first became fully aware of this issue when Trayvon Martin was murdered. When she followed this and saw the injustice, it was devastating as a parent. 
  • Susan G Komen - breast cancer - her godmother was diagnosed and got a double mastectomy - she was one of her caregivers - this experience was life-changing because she was able to see cancer and the challenges within the healthcare system for Black women.

A gigantic THANK YOU!!! to danyelle for accepting the invitation to be our guest this month. Please listen to and share this episode, give a gift of gratitude, and join us Saturdays 10AM Alaska (11PST/2EST) for Radical Action Circle where we will be sharing her wisdom and centering her perspective as we engage in our work as emerging activists and self-proclaimed change catalysts.

Share a gift of gratitude for danyelle beal Below

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