From the Heart to The Tongue; 3 Tips for Making Your Voice Heard and Your Soul Sing
It seems like my entire healing career has been about this: rediscovering my voice, healing the wounds getting in the way of using it, and practicing using it out loud for the benefit of others. Today I’d like to give you some powerful practical tools for your journey; tools that’ll inspire you to express your voice until your soul sings.
“You move the words from your heart to your tongue.” My acupuncturist was trying to describe how to say what I needed to say to my husband and make it feel like it was coming from a true and unapologetic place inside me, without judging or attacking him. No small task if you understand the difficulties of communicating when you’re afraid; when you’re so triggered you feel small, powerless and paralyzed.
I understood what she was trying to teach me. But still, when she role-played with me, she always came up with gobs of extremely amazing, just-perfect, feeling words. I found myself asking if I could just record her so I could memorize it and regurgitate later. But that wasn’t the point.
The point was to center myself in my own wisdom, intuition, and essence, and speak from that place, no matter what I was feeling during one of our frequent arguments.
“I always get so defensive,” I admitted to her. “I either fight back, or run away into the bedroom and hide,” I continued to say, “I can never seem to talk to him in a way that’s mutually beneficial, or that doesn’t trigger some horrible reaction in him.”
I’d been trying to communicate with my husband for twenty years. You’d think I would have learned a thing or two in my psych classes, healing classes and networking classes about good communication skills. And he’d certainly learned some stuff in his leadership classes that could have helped. When it came to talking about the things that mattered, however, we failed, over and over again; always letting the other person know what they were doing wrong and what they needed to fix.
It turns out, I’d need another level of awareness and a fierce discipline of it to be able to communicate in a way that felt like it was coming from my heart, and not my ego.
I’d have to be okay being wrong if I wanted to be happy. And I’d have to be courageous in my attempts to speak about what mattered to me, even when I thought it would trigger an argument. Oddly enough, getting a divorce wouldn’t fix our communication problems. In fact, after we separated we’d have to engage more than we did before to sort out finances and kid issues.
One day, I sat and thought, “ha-ha, jokes on you – now you have to talk to him more.” So, I conjured up my wise goddess voice and she said, “okay, now you have an opportunity to get really good at this!”
And she was right.
My opportunities became apparent every time we’d get on the phone to make arrangements, sort out paperwork, or create plans for the kids. I dreaded it every time. Until I realized, I could do it differently.
What did differently look like?
It was softer, more in the moment, used more feeling-words, and was highly aware of feeling triggered into defense mode. A different way of communicating meant I didn’t rehearse or think too much. It meant I would have to practice the awareness I preached, and then adjust when it didn’t go well.
As I happily move toward the other side of the tough parts, I’d love to offer you all struggling with speaking up in your relationships some ideas about the awareness you’ll need to move words from your heart to your tongue and allow your soul to sing in the process.
Here are three ways to use your voice in a healthy way and be out loud in the relationships that matter the most to you:
Stay present, in your body, first.
If you’re coming from a centered, grounded, embodied place, your words will feel lighter, freer and truer. When you’re speaking from this more soul-driven place, your words will come from a place that serves your highest good. Speaking from your soul doesn’t come with regrets.
Speaking from this embodied place is how you move your words from your heart to your tongue.
Speak about the way you feel.
When you speak from a feeling state nobody can really give you an opinion about it, because they can’t feel what you feel. Talking about what you feel, instead of what you think keeps the conversation about you, rather than attacking someone else. Speaking about the way you feel; even and especially when those feelings are vulnerable, softens the conversation and helps to bring the charge down a notch. As soon as voices are raised, tensions heighten, and then… trigger alert!
It takes a certain kind of warrior to speak from this centered and relaxed place. It takes practice but it will change everything.
Don’t over think.
If you think too much about what you’ll say, or how you’ll say it, or what perfect words you want to speak, it’ll be much more difficult than speaking from the grounded, embodied and feeling state. You’ll add meaning and baggage onto the voice that just wants to be heard. Instead of over-thinking or analyzing the situation, try speaking from a place that’s more sensation-driven. And instead of thinking at all, while the other person is speaking, remember to listen first.
Making the mistake of not listening and instead, thinking about what you’ll say next, will kill a good conversation.
One last thought about speaking from your heart and being brave in your conversations: it takes time, energy, effort, and courage. When it comes to this kind of effort, make sure the person you’re speaking with matters to you. If the relationship is toxic or abusive, you’ll need more resources to deal with it than these. These thoughts are for a willing, open and aware partner who’s willing to meet you halfway on the journey. Who’s willing to listen. And who’s willing to not always be right.
When you begin to move your words from your heart to your tongue you’ll feel free. You’ll feel no regrets about what’s been said. You’ll feel your worth, right inside of the conversation.
You’ll remember you matter and your voice and soul deserve to be out loud in the world.