The 7th Key in the Find Your Voice Process is ‘Being Visible’. 
 
What this means is that you share your wisdom, your creativity, your voice, and your Self with the world in some way.  In other words, you let it be seen and you let yourself be seen.  And not in the way you have been conditioned to be seen, but in your authentic way—the way you decide.
 
Why is this hard?  Why does ‘stuff’ come up right when you are feeling a desire to share something important to you?  Well, there are many reasons.  And on many levels too.
 
The phrase ‘taking up space’ correlates with being visible.  You have to be visible in order to take up space, and you have to take up space to be visible.
 
Taking up space means a few things to me. It means speaking up when you are moved to speak.  It means having the power within yourself to access your deepest truth and to express that truth in a way you choose to.  
 
It means accessing your spiritual courage to manifest your purpose no matter what.
 
Taking up space means saying ‘no’.  It means saying what you need.  It means taking up the space you need in your own home—having a room of your own.
 
Taking up space means honoring your own evolution of Self and expanding into who you are becoming; thus, letting go of those who cannot see you or support you, including your own old beliefs and habits.
 
Why is it hard to take up space as a woman? 
 
There’s a collective history around taking up space so even if your personal history has been fairly benign, our collective history resides in your psyche and impacts your relationship to your power to be visible and take up space.
 
Our history as women is not a history of being safe in our body in the world. If we aren’t safe in our body, we don’t feel safe in the world.  When we don’t feel safe, we are afraid to take up space. 

When’s the first time you were catcalled?
Told your body was not quite right?
Shushed when you were being enthusiastic?
Told you were too emotional?
Ignored when you gave your opinion?
Touched without being asked?
Hit?
Quit eating in order to look small enough?
 
When any of these things happen to you, a subconscious (or conscious) belief forms to the effect of “I’m not safe in the world” or “I’m not quite right” or “If I stay small I’ll be safe.”  The beliefs impact your relationship to your self, to others and to the world.
 
Every woman I’ve ever worked with has had to transform such beliefs as these in order to move beyond them and access her Voice.

 
Historical facts and writings related to taking up space and being visible:
 
“Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” ~ Samuel Johnson 18th century
 
The first woman’s bathroom in the U.S. Senate wasn’t installed until the 1990’s.
 
Women suffrage in U.S. 1920
UK 1928 (full)
Japan 1947
France 1944
Saudi Arabia 2015
 
As late as the 1970’s women in the U.S. were not allowed to own a credit card without having their husband sign for it.
 
The reason I share these historical facts is because it really is VERY recent that we have been allowed to take up space in society from a place of our own power and voice.  Don’t be hard on yourself when you discover inner resistance to taking up space and sharing your voice.  We are all in this together!
 
Keep in mind, though, that in the Find Your Voice Process, we aren’t talking about the loudest voice or the voice that can dominate others. 
 
“Being a silent woman is not about being quiet and reticent, it’s about stifling your truth.  Your real truth.”  ~ Sue Monk Kidd from Dance of the Dissident Daughter
 
We are talking about the voice of your deepest truth.  And what is your truth?  You must take time to go within because your truth is that which has been accumulated in your heart during your life—those things you know to be true because you feel them in your spiritual awareness.

Takeaways

1. There will always be some level of resistance when you move to a new level of visibility. Learn to discern what that feels like for you and make peace with it

2. It’s essential to cultivate Silence (meditation, stillness) in order to bring forth your Voice because this is the key to understanding your spiritual consciousness.
 
3. Understanding our collective history does not mean identifying as a victim but it does mean that you feel a sense of urgency about contributing what you are here to give—your wisdom, Love, creativity, and Light

4. Love your body just as it is. Bring love to all the younger parts of you who may have been body-shamed. Heal that

5. Write in your journal about visibility, taking up space, shame, power, your heart, your beliefs, your relationship to God/Spirit.
 

If this speaks to you and you know you are ready to dive deep into all the aspects of the Find Your Voice Process there are just a couple spots left for our retreat in Oxfordshire.  It’s my last retreat of this year!  Timing is everything!  Trust your gut!  CLICK HERE.