5 Ways to Uncover your Voice and Speak Up with Grace

 

Slowly and over time, I've seen the power of language.

I've started to notice little sayings I've adopted like, "I'll just bite the bullet and do it." When I think about what I'm literally saying it's crazy — I don't need to do be so harsh and why am I doing this so begrudgingly anyway?

Once I realized that even super common expressions are charged up with meaning, I catch myself saying things and I have to ask, "Do I really believe that? Is it true?"

Speaking up truthfully has drastically cleaned up interactions between myself and others - drama-free! I believe that listening to language is key.

Inner and outer language.

Yours and my own.

I like to think of humankind as clothed in so many folds, one within the other all forming parts of ourselves. Within these lies the jewel of our being. Countless processes enveloping us.

Our job then {if we choose it} is to unmask the reality within by removing false identifications.

To take off the masks.

 


 

To access our true nature or "highest self," we go through stages while tearing down the masks of everything we thought we had to be or that we so identified with. They look like this:

1. Superficiality, guardedness, socially appropriate politeness, busy mind, stoic, blind belief. 

2. Emotionality, crying, laughing, intense, anger, argumentative, expressiveness, honest, truthful.

3. Emptiness, no belief to hang on to, seeming meaninglessness, vulnerability, letting go.

4. Awareness, oneness, intuition, caring, falling in love with yourself and the whole world.

 


 

Speaking Truthfully

1. Speak Personally

Most of us generalize what we say as if it's the way it is —  forgetting that we each experience things in vastly different ways. I am the only one for whom I can speak with authority.

All I can really share is who I am, what I think, feel and experience. We all have different brains and perspectives. 

 

2. Consider Realness

It's a gentle and unconscious process that causes us to communicate superficially. We want to be accepted, so in an attempt to do that, we tell little lies to others, or withhold the truth from ourselves in order to prevent conflicts. We are accustomed to being well mannered, and these rules make for workable interactions. But it crushes honesty and individuality as we try to fit our relationships into some pre-existing mold.

By speaking our weaknesses as well as our strengths, we invite others to also feel safe in their wholeness with us.

{Side note on smalltalk}: I've learned that it can be helpful on many levels to comfortably create a space preliminarily for more to unfold! 

 

3. Speak to Reveal - Not to Convince

When we speak in a convincing way, we're sometimes surprised with the hostility that arises in others. We believe we're being loving —  and wouldn't that mean relieving others of their suffering or helping them see the light?

When I do this {and if I'm really honest with myself} I do it in order to feel good myself. It's those times when I can't wait to get in there and say something! 

Knowing a solution equals self-esteem.

But the person I am trying to fix {knowingly or unknowingly} is being hurt because I'm building myself up at their expense. The truly loving thing would be to just be there and listen.

Until we can stop trying to fix others, we cannot listen, hear or experience.

 

4. Be Straight

We can sense when someone isn't bring straight. I've learned the hard way that people could sense my anger towards them because of my mask of not speaking up. Not speaking up verbally actually prolongs and confuses the situation.

When we don't speak because we don't want to upset someone —  we're not being helpful. And there are always ways to say something kindly - if we decide that saying something would be the path of least harm. For example, "I think you're a jerk" can be, "I feel uncomfortable when you say certain things."

Learning how to do this is the art of truthfulness. 

 

5. Listen Wholeheartedly

When people close to us talk about themselves, they are being vulnerable. They are speaking of parts of their self and their experience. Still, it can be very effortful to listen with open-hearted attention. It's a powerful practice to be noticing our busy minds and our triggers as we listen. This is looking at judgements we make about people with little or no experience of them. This is also discarding our idea of "the only and right way." 

It's really eye opening for us let go of our need to say something and to just listen without expectations of what it will be like. 

 

 

In these ways, the personality masks begin to fall away automatically.

Something happens when I do this  —  a deep freedom. And a very real sense of hugging everyone all at once.

For me this practice was kind of awkward or sharp at first as I progressed stages. That would change as soon as I'd let my guard down. I found it useful at first to let someone close to me know that I was working on "speaking and listening truthfully." 

As a side effect, it inspires them to engage differently in the conversation too! So it goes both ways.

I believe speaking up and speaking our truth requires that we listen and honor others as they do that too.

To hang on every word and really appreciate the person speaking is the medicine that we all have to give —  and that we all need. 

 

All Ears and Heart,

Lauren