Melyssa Barrett: Welcome to The Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around diversity, inclusion and equity. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share, or is actively part of building solutions in this space. Let’s get started.
Shari Foos is a licensed marriage and family therapist who holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and a Master of Science in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. As a sought after expert on the subjects of relationships and meaningful connection, Shari’s writing and commentary have appeared in a range of online and print publications, including Real Simple, Huffington Post, Thrive, Shondaland, Women’s Health, and Bustle. We’re all susceptible to a certain amount of influence that can negatively shift our self perspective and our perspective of dissimilar cultures and people both near and far. So whether those influences come from our own community, popular culture or machine learning, artificial intelligence, there’s little we can do to avoid it. This week we’re going to talk a little bit about the narrative method. And Shari’s going to let us in on the practice of relational awareness and business education in everyday life to build meaningful human connections and reframe perceptions of others through storytelling. Please join me in welcoming Shari Foos.
All right, so this week I am excited to have Shari Foos with me. I am so excited. I never thought I needed a marriage and family therapist, but I think everyone probably does these days. So I’m excited to talk to you and I have a personal interest, I think because most people know that my husband was a storyteller, and a lot of, I think what you’re going to talk about I actually have seen in practice and can probably testify in some instances as to the efficacy, just because I’ve watched him for so long. So I am excited to have you here and would love to hear you tell us a little bit about the practice of relational awareness as we think about diversity, equity and inclusion and how we can create better connections.
Shari Foos: Fantastic. Well, thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. So when you talk about getting better for yourself, we do internal work, right? So maybe we do mindfulness or yoga or meditation, or go to one-on-one therapy or talk to a friend and all those things work and they’re powerful and they’re important. However, we are beyond our own understanding of ourselves dependent on meaningful connections with other people, and everyone you encounter is a relationship. It doesn’t matter that it’s short. We all have had short relationships, but everyone you interact with, everyone you work with it still counts.
So let’s learn the skills that make the communication so much better, that we not only avoid negative interactions, but we expand our capacity to share meaning in moments in our lives, in a supermarket checkout line or at work with someone who you are never even informally introduced to. So relational mindfulness is really about using an awareness of yourself and your surroundings and the wonderment of the world around you and other people, and the appreciation that everyone has a mind and an experience unique to them. And no matter how much we may feel, put it out or confused about a relationship, they’ve got the same thing going on. And then the final piece of awareness and wonder is empathy and that spells awe. So for relational mindfulness, we can live in a state of awe and notice and appreciate and experience ourselves in relation to others.
Melyssa Barrett: Oh, that’s awesome. I love that awe. I would love to just be in a constant state of awe.
Shari Foos: Yeah. Well, so would I. I mean, that’s the thing. And I really think it’s so important for everybody to know. I guess Dalai Lama and there are a bunch of other people, I’m sure they get to a certain level of just a plateau of evenness and love. Well, I’m not there. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there, but what I do know is that we all struggle with the same internal insecurities to different degrees at different times. But because we all know the entire menu of emotions, when we’re listening to someone else, when we put ourselves aside, we hear them, we can imagine from their perspective.
So even if someone does something that it just feels unfair to us, if we listen from their perspective, we might be able to understand their thinking. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need to clear things up between us, but that understanding is really helpful not just because you understand that maybe there was no malicious intent, but also because it’s that kind of understanding that makes us feel known. “Oh, I never would’ve thought of that. That’s why you did that.” When we feel known, we can be loved for who we are. When we don’t really reveal ourselves because it doesn’t feel safe or we don’t want to be vulnerable, we’re kind of alone.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, that is so interesting to me because I think it also… There’s this level of curiosity that you have right to have to ask some of the right questions, and sometimes we don’t even ask the questions so we can’t get to know anybody. So can you talk a little bit about… because these days there are so many things that people are talking about with respect to like microaggressions and some of the negative messages that are coming through. Can you talk about how we can combat some of those knowing that you have this relational awareness of it? And what do we do with that?
Shari Foos: That’s a great question. And I think, in addition to microaggressions that we may be aware of, there are all kinds of things that can hurt other people’s feelings. Obviously a racist or a sexist or whatever innuendo may be obvious, but here’s one way that it’s really not hard. If you speak about things that are trying to communicate with other people with an awareness that they’re not you, you can use shorthand with your friends but you might not be able to do it with someone who you’re just meeting. And to try and put yourself in their position even as you’re speaking, your brain is capable of doing a lot of things at once, and this is a skill. Now on the other side of it, I would really urge all of us… And this is the hard part because we’re really broken into teams in a lot of ways, me against you. If everyone would be willing to take a humble step back and realize… I don’t know about you, I make mistakes all the time.
Yesterday I almost ran into a car because I was looking at my phone. I had to stop short. It was impossible to stop short, but I did. You know, the humility of realizing, what am I doing? If I don’t care about myself, it’s one thing but what about those people who are innocent? So it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being willing to have a broader mind about things. If we could explain to people who say things that are offensive in an optimistic way, “I just want to tell you that that pushed my buttons,” or… Obviously, it depends on the situation exactly how you approach it and in some situations it may not be safe to say anything. But when you have the opportunity, because it’s someone you love or someone you work with or someone that you know you care about and you care about your connection with, it’s important to be able to say, “This is why I found that way to say what you were communicating hurtful or offensive,” or, “It made me feel unsafe,” or whatever that is.
Because until we realize, we cannot assume that other people understand the things that offend us. Right? When I was younger, if someone told me I was fat, I would’ve been terribly insulted, or if somebody told me I wasn’t a good singer, I would’ve been really hurt. But as time goes on and you broaden your understanding of who you are and who you’re not, you can become more tolerant because you realize other people aren’t living their lives thinking about how you might feel. And that’s not just because they’re selfish, it’s just they’re living their life, so I just think we need a little bit more openness to learning. And like you said, the wonderousness, the curiosity, oh, wow, well, tell me why that’s not a really good word?
Melyssa Barrett: Right. Yeah, and I think it’s so interesting because I talk about my husband, but he was such a lover of history. And I think what was interesting to me is as he could talk to anyone and everyone, he would be able to talk about their history.
Shari Foos: Wow.
Melyssa Barrett: And in a lot of cases, they didn’t know their own history, so it became a really interesting dialogue and me watching, it’s like, “Wow!” You know, people are curious, nobody knows all their history, and then to be able to really think about other people’s history that you don’t know really gives you a whole new appreciation for kind of walking this earth, right? In terms of-
And so I love the fact… So talk to us a little bit about the narrative method and kind of what that is, where it came from because I find this so interesting.
Shari Foos: Well, I’ve been interested in groups ever since I was in high school and I was depressed and some teacher noticed to me, and the next thing I knew I was in free counseling one on one and in a group. And what I discovered was that because I was young, I was probably about 15, I was having these deep conversations that I would think about and really not have anyone to talk with about. And at that age, I started to realize that the depth that everyone has, if they have access to it is so connective and so healing for all of us in part, because we can recognize ourselves in each other’s circumstances. So as much as the one-on-one therapy or a one-on-one relationship provides something that no other relationship can, but so does a group, because a group represents a safe family that really cares about each individual and wants to hear them on their own terms.
And if you can feel safe in that environment, talking about vulnerabilities, even if it’s hard to get there because you grow to see that it becomes safe in this environment. So that was at my core, and then I became a therapist in my late thirties. I went back to school, and I loved and still love that. I’m a marriage and family therapist, and I’ve for private practice. But in 2012, I was living in New York city and I discovered a program at Columbia University in narrative medicine, and narrative medicine was conceived as a way to teach empathy to doctors through identifying with characters they would read about in literature. So the program was steeped in social justice in every minutia of trying to imagine what it is like to be the patient, or the immigrant patient, or a patient of color, or whatever differences there might be, and to take nothing for granted, including it’s not okay if you’re a wonderful doctor, but you have a careless bedside manner, it doesn’t work.
People get better when doctors have eye contact or when doctors ask this about our story. But especially if it’s something that we’re just learning about with our health and you don’t know what to ask first, if you’re made to feel like you’re wasting their time, it’s hard to remember what you wanted to even say. So I knew that I wanted to work with people immediately that I wasn’t going to do something that involved, here’s some books to read and then come back. So I started using videos, really short videos in groups of people, whether it’s veterans or just random people, people who don’t have homes, but people of all kinds of populations who could have a common ground based on this video that we just saw.
So we’d look at a video and then people would go into breakouts, and I’d give them a prompt and they would share a story that that reminded them of. So that became the core of the model and we still do that. We do that for free on Thursday nights at five o’clock Pacific, and we invite everybody to come, you just sign up the second before at thenarrativemethod.org. So that’s how it started. And we also would include writing prompts, and so now we have separate writing groups. So there’s one on Sunday mornings at 8:30 Pacific for an hour. It’s short, short form, nobody’s judged, nobody’s criticized, it’s just good fun. But it’s really about learning to open your creative channel without getting in your own way, without fear of getting in your own way, because really if anybody’s judging anybody it’s themselves. We also created opportunities for people who follow us to create their own groups because you don’t need a license to use your humanity.
So we have these two decks of cards, Deck 1 and Deck 2, and you can get them online at thenarrativemethod.org. And you can use these cards to create an instant group or a one on one with another person, or you can use them for writing prompts. So our dream is to eliminate isolation from the human condition, and that could be done. I don’t know that there are any real practical steps that we you take in this moment, but why not? We just have to live in communities where people communicate and care about each other.
Melyssa Barrett: So in a lot of ways, through your cards, you’re actually creating the opportunity To practice that skill of curiosity-
Shari Foos: Definitely.
Melyssa Barrett: … which is awesome. I mean, I love the fact that you talk about triggering stories because everybody has a story. And you talk about your journey of how you got to where you are, but there’s something in you that brought you to that. And I think it’s so wonderful when people can tap in and really understand like how did you get here? So I love the fact, I know you’re doing so many different things with respect to the practice. Specifically, one of the things that I love is that you seem to be focused on gratitude, all the positives. And so, I don’t know if you want to talk a little bit about that, and how did you even get there?
Shari Foos: Well, how I got there was when my baby was an infant, we were sitting upstairs talking with another mom and her baby. It was a summer day, there was an open window, I had my arm around her and just somehow in a split second, she was 90 degrees at the window. So I just went like that. She had no idea, no one in the room would’ve had any idea, but in that moment time stopped and I said to myself, “What would I have done if God forbid she had fallen?” I would be on my knees to God, “Give me another chance. What can I do?” My life would’ve been over. And what I realized right then is that there are so many times every day when we have a close call. It could be little, it could be you didn’t press send, actually that could be big. Or like I did yesterday, I stopped short, I almost hit another car.
So I have made a practice in the last 25 years that every single time I almost slip the littlest or the biggest thing, and I take a moment to express my gratitude. I thank God, or just thank whatever you thank, and I don’t stop. I just keep going because it’s worthy of that. Well, what I discovered was in addition to making me more aware, that becoming this hyper-aware of your good fortune makes it impossible to see yourself as unlucky. You’ve survived every day so far, many times you didn’t know how you would do it. We still don’t know how we’re going to do it, but I think especially because life is so challenging and there are so many things that get us down that are beyond our control, to be able to take control of our awareness, to realize that we have fortune in our very life, that’s where it all begins from here to here-
Melyssa Barrett: I love that.
Shari Foos: … a great computer.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, I love that because it’s so true. I think sometimes we also get caught up with something like that happening, and then we stop. We don’t push through to the gratitude, but we feel the pain, the consequence, the trauma of it and we kind of get stuck there in some cases. So I love that.
Shari Foos: Yeah. [crosstalk]. Oh, shoot. Okay, good. Now I got to go do this, you know?
Melyssa Barrett: I love it. Radical gratitude, I love it. So what other things can we do when we think about kind of an alternative approach to diversity, equity and inclusion? You talk a lot about just being able to change the way we do things and interact with people, especially if they’re dissimilar than us. So with that, how do… You know, if we’re working side by side with folks… I mean, I’ve had CEOs and other folks ask me, should we ban the discussion of politics at the office? Because there’s such divisive nature of opinions and things of that nature. But how do we get to a place where we can actually have human connection so that we don’t have to avoid each other?
Shari Foos: Absolutely. When we work with companies, the ideal thing is to work with the entire company. And depending on how large it is, you can work with sections and then all come together at a certain point. When people talk to each other and share who they really are and the experiences of their lives, they feel closer to each other. When people are all in a classroom told, “Don’t say this. Do say this, blah, blah, blah, blah,” you freeze up it, it takes away your capacity for creative imagination. So rather than being right on the money… And by the way, there are many circumstances where it’s really important to say, “These are the rules, these are the parameters,” but I don’t think that’s going to change anybody. What changes us, what opens our minds is the opening of our heart. And I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, it’s happened to me where I feel like, oof, I can’t stand that person.
And then I don’t know, we’re both in the same corner, for some reason we start talking and it’s like, “I’m such a [inaudible]. It’s the coolest person.” And I love having that experience and being reminded that you can’t judge somebody from something superficial that you’re seeing. Maybe it was a bad day. Maybe they’d been that way for a long time, but there’s always a reason, there’s a wound somewhere. So when I see that happen in our groups that we work with, because people are having the experience of feeling heard and seen for who they are and appreciated for who they are, some of their acting out or faulty perceptions really start to shift and they feel better and others feel better about them. And to me, it’s just humans being human together, whether it’s at a business or a university or any kind of group who are together in some capacity.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, that shared connection really… And it’s not always from a place of vulnerability, right? It can be just learning about somebody else’s culture, or how they grew up or any of those things that kind of tap into what I call the 3D nature. Because even when you told a story earlier and you were talking about holding your baby in your arms, and you feel like you were there because you tell the story with graphic detail about the day, and where you were. And you kind of help people go there with you, and which I think is part of that whole human experience, which I just love that you’re talking about kind of storytelling and how to reframe those perceptions.
Shari Foos: Definitely.
Melyssa Barrett: Let’s pause for a moment, we’ll be right back. So are there other things that you think we could do better or that… You know I always look at myself first. It’s like I was in fact, trying to learn more about other cultures. I’ve traveled a lot, but you can always learn something about another culture. And so are there other things we could be doing to kind of transform ourselves into better people, as we think about diversity, equity and inclusion?
Shari Foos: I think that there is something that all of us regardless of our backgrounds in western cultures share, and probably in a lot of other cultures as well. And that is the negative impact of what we call the cult of culture, the constant onslaught of media, social media, ads. We all know where all those things are. It is so damaging, and I have to say this existed long before the internet. Particularly for women and people of color, there were these messages of how far you can go, how much you were allowed to exist, and those messages were loud and clear. I believe that when people think about all of the shame and negative messages that we all get… Nobody looks good enough, that’s for sure. Nobody’s smart enough. I mean, I doubt that even the billionaires think they’re rich enough, but we all get this message and we don’t have a typical way to process this in groups.
If we did, if we talked about it, then half the people are going to say, “I know I feel the same way. I really don’t like looking on Facebook at all these happy people that have things that I don’t have. It makes me feel badly about myself.” And so nobody is impermeable. Nobody is so confident that negative… Especially if it’s subliminal, negative messages are impactful and they hurt us. But when we can talk about that, we see that we have emotional similarities, that we are designed for the same capacity. One of the reasons that people act in racist or other judgemental ways is because they’ve never taken the time to take that idea out of wherever it’s attached and look at it on its own merit. Is that really true? And if not, then what has gotten in the way? Is it something I was told or taught or something I figured out from the cult of culture? But whatever those prejudices are, limit us. I don’t care who you like and respect, you will be less of your potential if you can’t see the world in a broader sense.
We can’t fathom what 8 billion people are. We can’t fathom the earth in relation to the universe, but the closer we can get to living in awe, I’m telling you, you’ll be happy. So some of the videos I was thinking of when you were talking about it before, but we’ll look at the most fascinating science videos where you have a super sensitive microscope looking at a bug’s head or a leaf and it’s just so fascinating and that’s mind expanding. So whether it’s people from different backgrounds looking at common issues, or just science or fascinating new learning, it doesn’t matter, the idea is to experience new ideas together.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, I love that. I had a recent guest on, Vernita Naylor and her daughter Nikita, and they co-wrote this book called Speaking in Colors and it was all about communication and the colors of communication. And you could take a test and kind of figure out. I think I was yellow and red if I remember correctly, but they had others that were purple or blue or whatever. To me it kind of reminded you a little bit out some of the personality tests, but it was specific to kind of the way you communicate. And maybe you communicate differently at work versus at home or whatever, but anytime I’ve ever seen somebody that really talks about storytelling the way you are to be able to generate the kind of conversation from a story, there just seems to be so much of a different connection you can make as you experience that with someone else.
Shari Foos: You just said it, it’s experience.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. I mean, it’s really… And so I keep thinking of my husband because I’m like, “I never thought…” The depth and the appreciation, the gratitude that I have now of course has been passed away now four or five years, but it is amazing to see when people do it right and they actually are able to connect how much of an impact they make on their legacy, the people they leave behind. And quite frankly, that is awesome if you have the ability to do that.
Shari Foos: Well, and I would add to that. Yesterday I was working with a group of unhoused women and they had real diverse backgrounds. People may not realize that getting into that circumstance doesn’t mean you’re a drug addict, but in any event, some people were really articulate and their stories got through in that way. But there’s this one woman who just kept saying all this stuff. She said so few words, but so much came through, through her effort, through her body language, her breathing, her emphasis on the words and it… So you don’t really have to be rehearsed at your… In fact, it’s better if you’re not, because if you’re rehearsed, you’re not feeling it. So it doesn’t matter how good your language is.
I’ve communicated with people who I don’t understand a word they’re saying. I mean, obviously I don’t know if they really get everything I’m [inaudible], but people understand certain kind of an attack or an eye contact or touching yourself or whatever it is that really syncs up your brains because we know. We are hardwired to receive stories. Think of it as when your phone’s not plugged in, it doesn’t work and that phone needs to work. So when your receptors are not hooked into other people for too long, a period of time, that’s when you experience loneliness. There is nothing more important for thriving other than physical sustenance and human connection. And it’s not nasty human connection, it’s meaningful human connection.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. I love that you talk about loneliness and the human connection, because I think people don’t necessarily realize how powerful it can be. Like I spend a lot of time talking to CEOs, a lot of networking types of events where people are networking together, but they’re getting some of those human connections through coaching or networking or other things. And I find it really interesting when somebody says they don’t want to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion. And so it’s like-
So it’s odd to me because… But I think there are ways that we need to as you talk about kind of expand your mind.
Shari Foos: I think it’s also the limitations of language. So right now, I mean, to say diversity, equity and inclusion, everybody has some idea of what that means, but to talk about getting to know people and how interesting it is when you discover people’s similarities and differences, it’s like all of these subjects that have just become fight or flight, knee jerk reactions, “You say that, I don’t want to know you.” I have the same reactions at times. So again, it’s so important that we can forgive ourselves and offer forgiveness to other people so that rather than canceling each other when we make a mistake, trying to correct each other… Now, if somebody does something maliciously, then that’s completely different. But I think we have to allow a range of lameness. You know, I’ve embarrassed myself over all kinds of things in my life, I don’t like it-
Melyssa Barrett: I think we all have probably.
Shari Foos: And I think it’s like if you just think about that, think about a time when somebody forgave you for an embarrassing blander and just pay that forward.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah, that’s awesome. Pay it forward, pay it forward. So I’m going to go back because normally at the beginning, I kind of start and talk a little bit about how you got to where you are today, but I know you have such an interesting story in terms of your pivots and twists in your life. And I just wanted to maybe see if you could give us a little bit more into your background in terms of how you got to be doing this and what your journey looked like.
Shari Foos: Well, I was born in New Jersey and my mother had graduated high school. My father went through eighth grade and he had a terrible chip on his shoulder. He had fought in the front lines and the war and his brothers thought, of course he would die so they took all his stuff and he just had a series of heartbreaks. That said, I wasn’t there, and I don’t know if it was the way life was sort of interpreted for him by his parents who had lots of kids and weren’t so present, or it was his own nature. But we all know of people that have had awful things happen and they take them to another level with a determination to be the exact opposite. So I feel sorry, but anyway. So he was very cruel and that really shaped my life. And I remember being four years old thinking I get in trouble every day, but I know I’m not that bad.
And I think at that time, I started to have an awareness of my soul. I wouldn’t say that I had any awareness of how to call it, but that there was some sort of inner soothing capacity, and at some point started to say, “My life will get better the older and older I get.” And it turned out that because of a lot of the defenses I had developed, I really was a late bloomer and had a lot of trouble presenting myself to the world without defensiveness. And so I wanted to be a performer and I did that for a bunch of years, but I couldn’t do it full on because even though I was really confident of my talent, I was also so insecure. So between it being a very difficult thing to do and these disabilities, I had myself. But the more I worked on myself, and I always went to therapy, the more I started to identify the difference between the way I was seeing things and what was true.
And I will say that I am still on this path. I can’t even tell you when I got there, because I don’t think I’m there, but I’m much more comfortable than I’ve ever been before. So I quit college because I worked for one day on a movie set and I came to LA and I just got a job, got an apartment and just struggled in kind of low level things until finally I was writing television shows and radio and so forth and doing salons, which were really the template for the workshops that we do. Salons were artists would come together late night clubs and connect deeply, and then there’d be a burst of a band or a poet or whatever. But at a certain point, when I was writing these shows, it was fun and I was making good money for the first time, but I had this like [unintelligible], this doesn’t matter.
So I decided to go back to school and finish my BA and from there, I just started to realize I want to be a therapist. And so that’s what I did. And until I added on this other dimension, the narrative method, the only other was I did something like the… In 1999, I founded a program at Antioch University where I had gotten my BA called the Bridge Program and it’s still going. It’s a year long in the humanities for free for people living in poverty. So that’s really been a tremendous beautiful organization with a wonderful impact on so many people.
Melyssa Barrett: Wow, that is awesome.
Shari Foos: With all that-
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah.
Shari Foos: So I think all those things, and honestly the greatest single influence would be my husband who’s just an incredibly loving kind person who’s just devoted to making the world a better place. And I just learned so much about him, not from him telling me, but from his example.
Melyssa Barrett: Absolutely. That’s awesome. Nothing better than a living example. And I love the fact that you talk about just such your journey and all of the twists and turns to it, because I think a lot of times for people that may be early in their career, we’ve always… At least I remember being brought up and people asked me what I want to do when I grow up, and it was like they expected one answer, one thing. And you know, you went through two or three, at least in your story, which is awesome in terms of when we think about transitioning and connecting with people in the arts and really the social impact that you’re talking about, which is where I’m so focused, because to me, diversity, equity and inclusion, it’s great if we can have an aware of it. It’s even better if we can actually make an impact and do something in the community so that we’re actually curing some of these issues that we have.
Shari Foos: And also for people to know that it’s a thrill. It’s not some course you have to take, it’s thrilling. You can see a better world.
Melyssa Barrett: Yes. Yes. And that’s what’s so amazing. I mean, even after… I don’t know if I had mentioned this to you, but after George Floyd, we had a lot of kind of listening meetings where we would just kind of open up the conversation. And it was so interesting to hear from different ethnicities on their views and their experiences. You know, immigrants coming over to the United States and their stories, I mean, it was an amazing way to actually create relationships with coworkers that I never would have before.
Shari Foos: That’s so great.
Melyssa Barrett: So it was an awesome experience, and I think we don’t… That’s not typically what you do at the office, so-
Shari Foos: But I think we should.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah.
Shari Foos: Because I mean, this has really been underscore during the pandemic. That’s your life too. Your life isn’t before and after you go to work. And I think that’s one of the main reasons why there’s been the Great Resignation. People want to work somewhere where what they’re doing and how they’re doing it matters, especially now with climate change and all the challenges that we have. We don’t need more divides. Imagine if 8 billion people were all focused on doing some particular job that they loved doing toward improving the climate situation, as opposed to… I mean, I’ve no idea how many, but if every single person worked like ants, we’d get something done.
Melyssa Barrett: Yeah. Wouldn’t that be nice? That would be awesome. Well, Shari, it has been awesome talking to you, and bless God, I think we’re going to be fast friends for sure.
Shari Foos: Absolutely.
Melyssa Barrett: And I’m looking forward to the narrative method, the cards and kind of just embracing. I’m looking forward to even your session tonight-
Shari Foos: Yay.
Melyssa Barrett: … that I plan on joining. So I want to… I definitely am one of those people, I’m learning myself and I think it’s awesome that I can meet wonderful and fabulous people like you doing what I enjoy, but also really learning what people are doing. And celebrating you and what you’re doing in the world is awesome, so I want to thank you for what you’re doing and I look forward to more conversations in the future.
Shari Foos: Me too, and I honor what you’re doing. This show is so important. Thank you for doing it.
Melyssa Barrett: Thank you so much. Thanks for joining me on The Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.