Photo credit: Gaurav Mishra (CC BY 2.0)
Part of self-expression is claiming your originality. You are unique and special and you should tell the world who you are! One of the good ways social media has helped our culture is to encourage originality. People like to be voyeurs and experience the world through the eyes of others.
We’re fascinated with how other people live their lives. I believe this intrigue helps us become more empathetic and accepting of others, and with ourselves. Watching others make mistakes frees us to accept our own mistakes. In the eyes of authenticity and originality, there is nothing more perfect than imperfection. Your struggles can help others accept their own. We rely on each other, to confirm we are not alone and that our negative self-shame can be freed.
As you speak from your heart and from your Soul, remember that although you are not responsible for how others behave or feel, you are responsible to speak with integrity and respect. Saying who you are or how you feel could be detrimental to others. What you say may bring uncomfortable issues to light, but it’s possible to avoid blaming, harmful or derogatory terms, and hurt if you speak with integrity. Integrity supports your wholeness by using truth and high moral standards to deliver your expression.
Emotional Workout: Chanting
If you aren’t familiar or practiced in yoga or similar traditions, chanting may feel awkward at first. Allowing discomfort is part of the healing. Find a phrase, prayer or mantra to vocalize and chant. Start with the simple “Om,” considered a sacred sound and mantra in many traditions, or the name of God or another spiritual connotation. Inhale, and as you exhale, open your mouth and give sound to your phrase.
If it’s a single syllable, hold the sound throughout the exhale and feel the vibration in your chest and around your lips. This practice is best done before or after meditation, after yoga or as a vocal energizer before performances of any kind.
Chanting aligns our spirit to Soul, opens our energy channels and energizes our connection to the divine. It’s a beneficial practice for attaching truth to sound or thought. It is also said to reduce anxiety and relieve depression.
Speaking Your Truth
I once hired a marketing consultant in NYC to help launch my new video series. He made bold claims of what he could do for my company by generating publicity. As a young entrepreneur who was shooting for the stars, I hung on his every word. But months later, my business growth remained stagnant. He did manage to throw a big party in the city on my behalf. Over 500 people came to celebrate the launch of my business. Clearly he was good at throwing parties. At the event, I circulated and did the Host thing, while he and his staff worked the door, collected email addresses for our newsletter, gave out gifts and served drinks. It was a great night.
After the event, I asked for the list of attendees and their email addresses. Increasing visibility is huge in media and the emails collected at the party were to become one of my biggest assets. He dismissed me for several weeks, claiming different excuses. Sadly, I was conned. The people he hired to work my party worked for another company who were in cahoots with my marketing consultant. The staff who collected names was doing so under false pretenses. The names were going to a nightclub outlet who threw parties for corporate companies in the city and needed a fresh list of prospects.
I didn’t receive the list and he didn’t get paid. He made every excuse possible as to what happened with the emails, but I didn’t believe a word from his mouth. A few months later, he sued me. In court, I spoke my truth without reacting to his lies, and delivered my testimony with integrity. It was an easy win.
The Power of Truth
There’s always a benefit when you speak with integrity and own your life. The reward may not be what you expect but it’s often better. From that experience I learned the power of the truth. I learned that my voice mattered and I shouldn’t pay for unfulfilled promises.
There will be people who try to blame you for their lies or wrong-doing, but you do not have to allow them to prevail. You are only responsible for standing your ground in your life and following the path that is right for you.
Other people’s behavior is their business. Focus on how to empower your own life. You cannot expect someone else to be active in your healing or control your actions. Emotional healing is about owning the truth of who you are, what you feel and how you will process and resolve those feelings so that you live free and happy. That’s the responsibility of self. There’s nothing selfish about it. It is the most productive way to use your energy, and the more free and happy you are, the more everyone gains.
Self-Love And Healing Are Needed
If you are still unable to own your experiences, you can be confident that more healing is needed. Making excuses for your life or blaming others for things that didn’t go in your favor is part of denial. Playing the victim in any capacity is a sign that self-love and healing are needed. It is your job, and yours only, to own and work on recovering and reconnecting to emotional health.
You are either speaking your creativity, shame, grief or guilt, or you are suppressing these emotions. Authentic expression requires you to attend to the areas that are afflicted with pain. This is the true definition of owning your truth. And your Throat Chakra will reveal the truth or the imbalance.
Some people have a fear of public speaking. It can develop into a phobia if the underlying issues are not addressed. Performing either reveals a person’s self-confidence or hidden issues of shame and guilt. Performance anxiety can cause the voice to stutter, become weak or small, or the voice will shut off completely. The neck may stiffen; the body may sweat or anxiety might take over.
Others have no problem expressing themselves on stage or in front of a camera, yet they may suffer in personal and vulnerable exchanges like the sharing of their heart. Some may develop a shyness that covers their self-worth, fear of love or intimacy.
How we express ourselves in public or private can be quite different. As we start to untangle the suffering and heal properly, we begin to feel the freedom to express who we are, what we want and our authentic truth.
Communication Includes Listening
Communication goes beyond speaking and expressing who we are. Communication also includes listening. We often hear people speak words yet we do not listen to what they say. Or, we are listening selfishly, waiting to respond with judgments or with our own viewpoint on the matter. We want to impart our knowledge but we have a hard time accepting the voice of reason from another. Being present and just listening can be challenging. There is a subtle fear that arises in the process of listening, and that fear keeps many of us at arms-length from relationships.
When you listen deeply without judgment or selfishness, you will receive lots of information. You will hear emotion and sense the energy of a person’s experience. This can be uncomfortable. What you hear may challenge your beliefs, make you feel threated or affect your own feelings. You may hear that the person needs attention or love that you are afraid to give. What they say may reveal aspects of your own behavior that are uncomfortable to face. Are you willing to accept what you hear? Can you allow others to speak their truth, however different than yours, and truly hear what they have to say?
Good listening skills require patience and empathy. Empathy allows you to imagine the feelings and experiences of others. It’s as if you share feelings with the person, without asserting your own. It’s putting yourself in their shoes. Their perspective, frame of reference and history is undoubtedly different than yours, but being empathetic allows the understanding of their truth. It’s not up to you to like or deny what they say, it is only for you to witness, accept and try to understand. This is empathetic listening.
So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it. —Jiddu Krishnamurti
Deep listening can be challenging in a world of distractions and the desire to make everything rosy and positive. It’s easier to pretend to listen while staying focused on your own agenda. But if you are interested in speaking your truth, listening completes the process.
You become authentic by being present and participating in a relationship with self and others. We can only explore the world from our perspective for so long. Growth and knowledge is gained when we seek information beyond our culture and our personal belief system.
Take responsibility for your own healing and speak your truth. Listen with empathy and intrigue to discover deeper parts of you that yearn to be revealed. This yearning is the call of your Soul. Your response is self-love.
Emotional Workout: Mini Vipassana
Vipassana is an insight meditation that cleanses the mind of thought and distractions that cause distress and pain. Devoted practitioners often retreat for several weeks at a time at certain locations. We will call this exercise a mini Vipassana a Day of Silence and mindfulness. The affects are achieved by practicing present moment living and doing so in silence.
You can practice for one day. Choose any day that will allow you to see the practice through. There will be no speaking or communication of any form. No electronics or texting. You may experience initial fear or anxiety, but challenge yourself to stay through the process.
Choose to do things that are engaging in the present moment such as walking in nature, meditating or preparing nourishing meals. This is a wonderful mindfulness practice, and a time to listen to your inner truth while giving your voice a break!
Find a comfortable seat or position and close your eyes. Take one deep inhale through your nose and then open your mouth and release a sigh on the exhale. Do this up to three times. Close your mouth and return to normal breathing. Bring your focus to the tip of your nose, gently inhaling and exhaling.
For each breath imagine walking toward a small, climbable mountain. Focus only on your breath and the vision of the mountain as you walk. As you approach the mountain, see yourself climbing effortlessly to the top. Inhale and exhale. Everywhere you look you see beauty and nature, and the vastness of the sky. On your next inhale, imagine spreading your arms wide and slightly tilting your head back, heart and throat shining upward toward the sky.
Use this opportunity to declare your truth. On your next exhale, imagine opening your mouth, and at the top of your lungs you will yell out a personal truth. “I want to move!” “I want to be free!” “I’m in love!” “I’m the one who stole the $10!” Whatever you feel inclined to tell the world within the safety of this sacred space, let it roar. You can twirl around, cry, stomp and dance as you yell. But speak the truth and set it free.
©2017 by Leah Guy. All Rights Reserved.
Published by New Page Books,
a division of Career Press. 800-227-3371.
In The Fearless Path, you will learn: * Why “letting go” is the worst advice for healing, and how to really move on. * How to understand the stories your energy system tells about your mind, body, and spirit ― and how to rewrite the script. * How to transform fear and anxiety into love and inner peace. * Why the law of attraction isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. * Find strength and serenity in the midst of a personal storm.
About the Author
Leah Guy is an intuitive transpersonal healer, spiritual teacher, professional speaker, and media personality. She has developed a framework to help people transform trauma and pain into peace and wholeness. She is a sought-after inspirational speaker who has appeared on major media outlets as an experts on topics such as meditation, the mind-body connection, energy-medicine and chakra balancing, intuition and addiction as well as emotional and spiritual healing. Known as The Modern Sage, she is the owner of two companies, Modern Sage, LLC and A Girl Named Guy Productions, LLC, a lifestyle media company. For more information, please visit her at www.LeahGuy.com.