Liberating the voice is about moving beyond second-guessing and the fear of what ifs? It’s about allowing the flow of our truth to come forward and releasing any investment we may have in the outcome. It’s about using our mind and heart together in such a way that incorporates our caring intention, while carrying greatly for the words we use. It comes more from focusing on what we feel and our intention for the conversation, than using our mind to plot and strategize.
It’s a little like surfing, although I have never surfed, but I get the sense that it’s a unique balancing act of not getting ahead of the wave so that it overtakes you, and also not falling back to where the wave leaves you behind. It’s the careful balancing act that keeps you in the sweet spot on the crest of the wave.
Liberating voice is much the same thing. Using too much intellect and we get ahead of the wave and it overtakes us. Cutting the flow of communication because of fear is letting the wave pass us by. When we can stay in the sweet spot of balancing courage with release of outcome, strength with gentleness, and heart with mind, like watching a skillful surfer our conversations become beauty in motion.
There is a caveat though, or dare I say two. The first is that to find the sweet spot we have to be willing to venture deeply into our intentions for each and every conversation we engage in. For many this may take years of work to reach the spot where intention becomes crystal clear. It took me many years to reach this place. Not having crystal clear intention is what causes nine tenths of the drama in the world. It’s because at times our words are saying one thing, but unconsciously we are saying another with our intention, which comes through in inflection, body language, choice of words, and vibration. For some people, much work is required to move past the confusion of intention to reach the sweet spot in which the voice can be fully liberated.
Many indigenous people use a talking stick, just as we do in our workshops. It’s a practice in which a stick is passed from person to person. Only the person holding the stick may speak and no one interrupts a person when they hold the stick. This construct forces a different form of communication in which listening and feeling is enhanced. It’s a practice that we give our participants to help nudge them toward the sweet spot of liberated communication in which intention becomes more and more clear.
Did I mention there are two caveats? Oh, yes, I almost forgot …
When you speak your peace with gentleness, compassion, truth, and clarity you will often find that there are people who will not like what you have to say. This is where you must have the courage to stand by your words and release any investment in the outcome. All you need to do is speak your peace. It’s up to the recipient to decide what they will do with it.
Some wise advice I have heard related to speaking our truth is to first ask the following three questions: Is it true? Is it kind? And, is it necessary? If the answer to these questions is to the affirmative then by all means liberate your voice.
Tip of the Week
Search for one thing that you have been feeling and yet have not given voice to. It could be with a co-worker, your hierarchical superior at work, your significant other, your children, a friend, etc. Preferably a small thing, but a thing that’s been nagging you and you haven’t been able to vocalize. Then ask, is it true, is it kind, and is it necessary? When you have found your one thing that you can answer yes to those three questions then gather your gumption and give voice to it. Here’s the important piece. Search for and find the gentlest way possible in which you can say it, then say it without investment in the result, and then watch what happens. This is an internal process and so it takes practice. That’s why I always advocate starting with small things. If it’s true, kind and necessary then you can’t screw it up, regardless of how the other person reacts. So give it a try.