I was saddened to hear of Aretha Franklin’s passing this week. What an amazing woman. I’ve always loved her music but I also realized that there was so much more to her than her music. Her artistry and voice have been seen and heard by millions. She’s won numerous Grammys and awards and received honorary degrees by esteemed colleges. She has shown us how to be an advocate for social justice and freedom often quietly and behind the scenes. Her Grace, beauty, and talent will touch many generations to come!

As I’ve listened to her music throughout the years I realize it is timeless and has significance now. Songs like RESPECT, (You Make Me Feel Like) A NATURAL WOMAN, and FREEDOM have touched me deeply. So how does her experience affect me and you? Given that each one of us is individual and unique I know that our experiences will vary. However, I thought I would share my insights and invite you to explore your own. I would love to hear them as well!

As I’ve reflected on freedom and respect I believe that some of the reasons we volunteer to be here on the Earth plane is to experience freedom, respect self and all life, help others, and be the best we can be – being more loving, accepting, kind, and compassionate. We also come to speak our truth and shed the many layers of illusion of who we aren’t! In other words, we come to become more of our truer nature which is our Divine self that which is Source and LOVE.

How we live and express ourselves is really up to each one of us. Some people show others how by example through their own experiences. Once again, Aretha did that both publicly and privately. Many of you are doing that now. Perhaps it’s not on a public or world stage but more privately. This doesn’t make it less significant. Think about the ripple effect when a stone is thrown into water. The ripples are far reaching and limitless, yes?

Many of you have offered your love and support to friends, neighbors, strangers, or family members, right? Maybe you’ve provided a sincere presence and listened when they’ve gone through a bad time. Perhaps you’ve been asked for your opinion and insights and it’s made a difference to someone. By your example you have shown someone how to be present, respectful, kind, and compassionate. You may never know how many lives you have touched! Feel your soul sigh and how it resonates as you feel the truth of this. Remember how FREE you felt in those moments and how effortless it was. How beautiful as you’ve expressed your authentic self.

I feel fortunate that I live in the United States where we have gained many rights and freedoms as a result of our Democracy. It has been hard won by many who have gone before me. Examples are readily available for us to follow. Use what feels right for you! For me, I write, teach, provide insights when asked, listen, channel information and healing, and help in other ways when it feels right! Does this make sense? For you, it will look different – not better or less than – only different!

I invite you take some time and dive deep within! Yes, your guides, HS and even your Cosmic Navigator will help! Take a few cleansing breaths and focus on your heart space. Feel your thoughts quiet. Perhaps give them a time out for a little bit! (LOL) Once you feel settled then ask, “What does freedom mean to me? How do freedom and respect show up in my life? Is it about what’s going on around me or within me? What am I willing to change to feel free?” Remember, you are FREE to choose!

I can be reached at VictoriaBarna.com.