After “Formation” and Lemonade, it seems “Beyoncé” is on everyone’s lips these days. So maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised to note recently that even before her latest wave of output, Bey had been namechecked by none other than Pema Chödrön. Quoth Pema, in her 2014 commencement address to Naropa University (later published in her book Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better):
How many here have seen the new Beyoncé music video? Track one is called “Pretty Hurts,” and wow, does Beyoncé capture on this music video what it feels like to feel like a failure, right? It is so raw. She puts it all out there, and you figure she must know what it feels like to feel like a failure, even though she is a roaring success and everything is going her way.
Beyoncé couldn’t have made that video if she hadn’t had some real experience of knowing what it felt like to fail to the degree that the woman in “Pretty Hurts” felt. So sometimes you can take rawness and vulnerability and turn it into creative poetry, writing, dance, music, song. Artists have done this from the beginning of time. Turn it into something that communicates to other people, and out of this raw and vulnerable space, communication really happens.
(Reprinted from Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better with permission of Sounds True.)
For much more from Pema on what to do when life hands you lemons — or worse — see our all-new Pema page, featuring her best teachings from Lion’s Roar, helpful Pema quotes, and much more.