A Formal Invitation (and Encouragement) To Speak Your Truth.

A Formal Invitation (and Encouragement) To Speak Your Truth.

 One of my biggest life lessons has been learning to find my voice. As a young girl I found that the easiest way to not get shouted at was to keep quiet. Later, I found that my voice got me in trouble with authority (I was a bit of a handful at 16.)  I learned that if you call a policeman a jerk while he is writing you a parking ticket, he will write you another, more expensive one, and threaten to haul you off to the station. (I will not call policemen names, I will not call policemen names, I will not call policemen names…)

I learned that the young men I dated were often not ready for my passionate declarations and the accompanying emotional drama. 

The lesson I took away? My voice gets me in trouble. So shut up.

My grandmother confirmed this theory years ago when we last spoke, just before she died.

“You know what’s wrong with you Deary?” she said, “you’re too smart for ’em. You need to learn to keep your mouth shut.”

Well, I’m a great listener, if nothing else, so guess what I did?

{crickets, and a dog barking in the distance}

Yup. I shut up.

I stopped expressing (and listening to) the things I knew to be true. This annoying habit wreaked havoc on my love life, professional life, my self-esteem and creativity for several decades. And I would venture a guess that I’m not alone in this.

So my new year’s resolution? My #1 goal for this year?

 

To Speak. The. Truth.

 

I make this commitment publicly. You are my witness. It’s not an easy thing to do.

Here’s a truth: sometimes when I hit “publish” on a blog post, I writhe in anxiety for days. I’m unsure how my words will land, and fear your judgement, criticism and ridicule. Or worse, being ignored. I imagine you rolling your eyes as I share my internal world because at a time in the past, that’s what I learned to expect.

But guess what? I’m suddenly ok with you rolling your eyes. I don’t want that, but I finally get Anais Nin’s powerful words:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin

It is so painful to squelch that urge to shout at the Emperor, “You’re naked!” You know, that feeling when you know 100% something is true, and yet you choose not to say it for political reasons? Or fear. How about this one: you’re too afraid to say, “I love you” because you don’t trust that you are worthy of that same love. Why on earth would we choose to live that way?

Well honey, I’m not choosing that anymore! and I don’t want you to either.

Listen to, Speak and Live Your Truth.

Your heart knows how to lead you. You just need to listen to that voice – the voice of your heart, and then be its translator. Think of yourself as a simultaneous interpreter.

The best way to develop a relationship with this voice is to give it the respect of your attention. Carve out time daily to listen to your heart – this is essentially what contemplative practice is about. Whether it’s getting on your yoga mat, sitting on your meditation cushion, taking a silent walk in the woods or opening your journal to download mental noise, daily practice sends the message that your internal world is worthy of your attention.

One of the main ways I’ve learned to access the voice of my heart is through journaling. I’ve done this practice religiously since age 11. Not because I thought it would get me anywhere, but because my journal was the only place I could safely share my feelings without being ridiculed, criticised or left.

You (um, I mean we) may not yet be able to speak this truth out loud. That’s ok. Simply acknowledging the truth and honouring it is a big step in the right direction. It’s a work in progress for me as well, and I invite you to join me on this journey.

Are you ready to speak your truth?

 Try doing free-writes using the following prompts:

  • Do you ask for what you want?
  • Do you ask for what you need?
  • What feelings don’t you dare to share?
  • What happens to your voice when you feel vulnerable?
  • Do you speak up when it hurts? Why or why not?
  • What would your inner wisdom tell you?
  • Or, instead of writing, express your creativity – paint or draw something
  • And, follow me on this blog to get free resources (and share it with your friends!) to develop practices that will guide you finding your own authentic voice. 

Learn to identify and listen to your inner wisdom through a daily practice. When you find the voice of your inner wisdom, you show up authentically in the world so there is less struggle. It takes energy to maintain a facade! When you let go of that struggle you can then speak your truth. I look forward to sharing this journey out of the self-imposed silence with you!

What makes you hold your tongue? Where do you hold yourself back? Share with me in the comments below!

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4 Responses to A Formal Invitation (and Encouragement) To Speak Your Truth.

  1. Your words continue to inspire, Kim. Each time I read any of them…
    Thanks for having the courage to speak up:)

  2. Funny timing isn’t it with freedom of speech under threat by religious fanatics? The atmosphere is making this mission feel more important than ever. Thanks for your great work in helping women find their voice. YOU are an inspiration. xxx

  3. What a fabulous post Kim. Well spoken! And also nice to know that I’m not the only one who gets anxious after hitting publish. 🙂 Here’s to more truth telling and more voice finding the world over. Blessings, Sonia

  4. Hey Sonia..thanks for the show of solidarity! funny that the world seems to be struggling with the same issue at the moment…freedom of speech. So important to be able to speak one’s truth without fear of being condemned. Nous sommes Charlie! Wish you all the best…xxx

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