Fear often gets in the way of expressing our voices in the world. Too often we hedge, keep our voice private or doubt its value altogether. You know the feeling, right?
Every woman I work with has experienced being silenced. Usually, it happened early, and repeatedly. These experiences lead us to conclude that our voice and our wisdom is crazy, not important, illogical, or unnecessary. We decide this in order to conform and make our way without conflict.
It’s not that we don’t speak. We do. It’s that the voice we speak is the voice society wants us to speak. It’s not our authentic soul voice.
Life unfolds around our silences, until we stop and transform them.
Questions to explore:
- How do you dismiss your own voice? Your own wisdom?
- Do you silence your deep Self by staying busy and always in the ‘doing’ mode?
- Do you know your worthiness?
- Do you try to be perfect?
- How and when were you silenced?
- How do twist your ‘truth’ to please others or to conform?
“What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak…. It was born in the moments when we accumulated silent things within us.” –Gaston Bachelard
When we are young, we assume beliefs about our self that align with how others treat us. When we are dismissed, told to be quiet, belittled, then we will absolutely adopt habits that do this to our self. We become our own silencer. The habits that silence us can range from overeating to overachieving to underachieving. The intention of each being the same: to silence the voice of our deepest wisdom, our soul’s voice.
We do this to avoid being judged, to avoid being seen, to avoid conflict, to avoid being alone, to avoid being shamed.
There’s a chapter in my book The Life That Woke Me Up Was My Own, called ‘Crazy’ where I describe an incident that formed a pattern which silenced me. I had shared with my father and sister some of my spiritual wisdom and was called ‘crazy’. Though they were not trying to literally make me think I was crazy, because I was seven years old and had just experienced the trauma of my mom’s death, a self-concept began to develop for me that went something like: Keep your spiritual wisdom to yourself. Don’t share it. You might be crazy.
It took some years of conscious healing work to bring the fullness of this unconscious self-concept to conscious awareness so that I stopped silencing myself with these false beliefs.
The culture silences women in subtle ways and not so subtle ways. Recently, Amal Clooney, a top international human rights lawyer spoke at the U.N. and most media outlets reported only about the yellow suit she wore, her ‘baby bump’ and how was the wife of George Clooney, only briefly mentioning the brilliance and importance of her argument. A subtle silence that is ubiquitous based on identifying women as a ‘body’ and nothing more.
The silence runs deep. A client said to me this week, “I want the voice that’s under my shame.” She’s a successful, wise woman yet there is still a layer of silence she is aware of. The voice she is bringing forth is an embodied voice.
There is a world of difference between a voice that speaks from the neck up and one that arises from the depths of bodily knowing.
The voice of your Essence is an embodied voice. An embodied voice is one that listens to the body, the child within, the heart, and the soul. An embodied voice is way more powerful that a voice that speaks only from the head up. Our world is crying out and ready for many more embodied voices.
I look forward to meeting you.