Most of my life I was afraid to speak up. As a kid I was often told to be quiet, and quiet I did become. I kept my opinions to myself and remained quiet enough to ensure I wouldn’t ruffle any feathers.
Saying my throat was blocked is an understatement. And in 2005 when I first picked up Caroline Myss’ book Anatomy of the Spirit, I knew my throat chakra was the weakest link in my energetic anatomy. So I started working on it through affirmations. I started practicing speaking up for myself.
With my newfound awareness I knew that I had the power within to strengthen my ability to speak my truth and to allow that truth to emerge in all areas of my life—especially in my creative pursuits.
Speaking your truth happens by paying attention to the voice of your heart and intuition, and allowing that truth to be spoken.
Speaking the truth is integral to leading a happy life that’s honest and fulfilling. It’s also essential for any creative work you want to bring into the world: from how you show up at work—daring to share your opinions and artistic flair—to the colors you choose to decorate your home or wardrobe, creativity permeates every corner of our lives.
You see—in creative work you can do what you really want or do what you think you’re supposed to do.
One choice will give you inner freedom; the other will leave you with a slight undertone of suffocation.
The more you suffocate your voice, the harder it is to breathe. And once you stop breathing (creatively), your work and life lose their shine.
It’s not worth it.
This quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic (which I recommend for any creative, or anyone who’s curious about living a more interesting life) sums it up eloquently:
“Be careful of your dignity, is what I am saying. It is not always your friend.”
If dignity is a mask—I’d rather not put one on. And although I feel this way—it doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
As humans, we have a basic need for love and acceptance. From a spiritual perspective—love and acceptance come from within—irrelevant of what others think.
But we are not spiritual robots. We’re people.
That means we’re bound to have moments of caring what other people think about us—even if our brain knows we shouldn’t.
At some point or another fear trickles through our veins, and the thought of criticism or actual criticism—can lead us to quiet down, wanting to hide, or mask our true voice.
And that’s why it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you have to be dignified—proper, follow the rules of decorum, and keep it quiet enough that you don’t ruffle any feathers.
But when you only speak through the filter of the dignified voice, you lose your voice.
Our true voice is the undignified voice. It’s undignified because it’s not trying to seek approval of others. It just is. It’s raw, pure, and true. It doesn’t aim to please, or worry about what others will think.
Your true voice is not anything you have to seek out or find—it’s there with you all the time. All you need to do is let go of needing to be dignified. Let go of walking on eggshells wondering if what you’re doing is “OK” or the “proper way.”
In a society full of masks and rules, it’s a liberating act to shed the masks of dignity that aren’t truly you.
Once you quit carrying the heavy burden of dignity—you free up so much energy that can go towards your creative work and building the life you desire.
A 3-step-plan to speak your truth:
- Awareness. Anytime you feel stifled—it means you’re blocking your voice and giving your power over to dignity (doing what you think is expected at the expense of your well-being).
- Change your action. If even just once. If normally you’re afraid to say no to a request you don’t have time or desire for—say no. Every time you speak your truth it gets easier and your throat chakra will strengthen.
- Trust your feelings. Your soul speaks through your feelings in various forms—which you can think of as intuition. The next time you have a decision to make, place both options in your mind. One option will feel heavy—that’s the option of dignity and logic telling you why you should choose Option One. Option Two will feel good in your heart and create a sense of ease and lightness—and yet within a few seconds it’s very common for logic to pounce in and remind you of all the reasons you should choose Option One. This is the scary moment where you can choose the truth of your intuition or continue to carry the heavy burden of dignity—what’s expected (whether those expectations are real or imagined, placed on yourself or by another).
Speaking your truth isn’t always easy. It’s a daily practice that gets easier over time. It gets easier because you can end your day knowing you’ve been loyal to your soul. And in that there is freedom, happiness, and more energy to put towards creating the things that matter to you—things that feel good and authentically you.
For more tips on taking conscious action to create your soul-inspired work, get a copy of The 5 Keys to Start and Finish Your Projects/. For a meditation audio for clarity, click here. For more about Tova visit www.tovapayne.com. And stay tuned for her new book Soulful Entrepreneurship coming out later this year.
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