If there’s one thing I’ve learned from traveling all over the world and immersing myself in different cultures – from Rwanda to Singapore and beyond – it’s that human beings have more in common that unites rather than separates us.
We all want love, empowerment, and hope in our lives. We all have a core of strength and stillness within. And we all face struggles and challenges.
In many ways, when it comes to unity and acceptance across cultures, races, and sexualities — the world is beginning to change for the better.
But there are still many disturbing forces, and the LGBT community often faces the brunt of discrimination and ignorance.
In honor of Pride Month in the U.S., I wanted to talk about how the world is changing – and how the SOS Method can help people from diverse communities feel more respected and appreciated.
Gay marriage is legal nationwide, there are transgender people in political office, and for three seasons Queer Eye has been taking the world by storm with its message of love, open-hearted dialogue, and inclusivity.
This is a very different world than it was even a decade ago.
If you haven’t heard about — or seen — Netflix’s Queer Eye: More Than a Makeover, it’s a revamped version of a show called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where a team of gay men helped straight men revamp their looks and feel better about themselves.
In the current version, there’s a new and charming cast of men from very different backgrounds.
Each of them — Karamo, Tan, Bobby, Antoni, and Jonathan — has a specific area they focus on to help people. Together they transform your thinking about food/drink, home decor, style, grooming, and culture.
What it does for people is life altering.
The Queer Eye cast show people from all different walks of life how to feel better about themselves, prioritize their own needs, and improve all areas of their lives.
They help husbands reconnect with their wives, single people find love, and gay people embrace their identities. They open the eyes of those in rural communities to what life is like for the LGBT community or those who have racial or ethnic backgrounds different from their own. They call the people they help “heroes”. And heroes they are!
They helped people from a small town church embrace all races, sexualities, and backgrounds – including one of their own members they had shunned, a young, African American lesbian recover after abandonment by her adopted family; and many ‘straight’ people reconnect to their self-worth, find new work, new relationships and better health.
The show is inspirational for everyone, it demonstrates the many challenges we all have in common! The thread that connects us all is shown through the cast sharing their own struggles.
Each one is very different, but they’ve all faced various difficulties. They talk about these experiences openly, and help others gain the strength to face their own obstacles.
The transformations they facilitate are truly remarkable, and, I would love to see them include a powerful, life altering self-care technique that could help to assure these personal transformations succeed long-term: meditation.
Despite all the positive things that are happening in society, there’s no question that the LGBT community still faces a lot of unique stressors and discrimination.
It’s not easy to be outside the “norm,” particularly in less tolerant parts of the U.S. and world.
But my experience has also shown me how the power of meditation can make a world of difference both for those in the LGBT community, and people from other walks of life who struggle to understand this community and their own lives.
Meditation helps people connect to the power in their own heart, to greater compassion, understanding and one another, and helps everyone to feel like part of a greater whole: humanity.
one•n•ten and the Power of SOS Method
A few years ago, I offered a program with a foundation called one•n•ten.
It’s an incredible group, dedicated to empowering LGBT youth, helping them to embrace who they are, and actively participate in their communities.
Once a week, the kids would gather together at a community center. I was invited to speak to them, share my challenges from when I ran away from home at 16 -- and what helped me to become a successful entrepreneur, CEO and founder of a global wellness brand.
The facilitator warned me in advance: “I’m not sure you’re going to have an audience. Many of these kids have ADD and half have recently been on drugs or had their families disown them.”
Knowing what they had been through, I spoke about why some people are disconnected and unable to recognize and appreciate others for who they are.
I helped them understand that many people are suffering in their own way, and that they could choose to forgive them for their inability to connect to love. And experience powerfully the love in their own heart.
I taught them that they have the power to offer that love and appreciation to themselves.
As I was speaking to this group, the audience grew, and the kids began coming closer and circling around me. They were enraptured.
When we listened to an SOS Special Formula Meditation, they suddenly became completely still. Both during and after the experience, many in the room were in tears.
Afterwards, one young man said: “I don’t know what you did but it feels like you changed my aura.”
From what they shared of their experiences, the peace and the hope they accessed — and the transformations I witnessed — it was clear they had gotten a glimpse of their own beautiful, remarkable selves, and the power to connect to that within!
A simple and yet effective meditation technique can help people access that place of peace and potential within, even in the midst of trauma and rejection. It can boost confidence, self-esteem, and strength.
It can help people of ALL backgrounds, cultures, and sexualities to better face their own challenges. Meditation can be a transformative tool for those who are discriminated against — and for those who continue to discriminate.
By having a meditation practice that consistently helps to release fear, and empower us, we can begin to understand ourselves better and therefore each other as well.
As with the youth of one•n•ten, even one experience can help people develop the strength they need to accept the challenges of the moment, face them, and move forward as empowered individuals.
When season four comes along, I hope the Queer Eye team considers recommending meditation to the heroes they help – and adopts the practice themselves if they aren’t already doing it.
Why? Because, I think we can all benefit from more peace, empowerment, and self-love in our lives. The more connected we all are, the happier the world around us will be!