I was told growing up that I shouldn’t have too many opinions. I slowly internalized to believe I didn’t have a voice. Until one day, a friend said, you have a voice. You just haven’t uncovered it yet.
I think we were all born with a voice.
My baby brother of 13 years younger would ask endless questions and share his life so passionately when he was a kid. Now he’s a teenager, he’s muted himself. Perhaps it’s the authority figures, peers’ judgment, and self-consciousness, it seems like we lose touch with our inner voices through the years.
As I have been developing workshops and sharing more of myself through writing, I’ve been sitting with this inquiry of what is mine to express?
I asked myself a series of questions. Do you have conviction in what you are sharing and trust your knowing? Does taking up space make you shrink small? Are you willing to express regardless of how you are received by others?
Each of the questions brings up some terror. Doubt is here. Oh hello. Self-judgment is here. Yes. Fear and shame too. A wanting to hide. All human things, and all wanting to protect me. I took a deep breath and thanked them, and my system relaxed. Giving space to my voice is finding my center. A place where I can express my truth with conviction. Not everyone’s truth, just mine. In a way, it is dancing with danger; by giving a part of myself vulnerably. I do it for the aliveness, to birth something through the speaking of it.
The voice is the intention. Don Miguel Ruiz said words are more powerful tools than we give credit for. It can be a wand used to create, inspire, and bring together; or a sword used to lie, cut, and destroy. The power in owning our voice is to use its gifts wisely.
Cultivating Space I believe that space is something we are all looking for, whether we know it or not. A place to be heard, a space to belong, or a space to just be. Without space, we wouldn’t be able to explore what we believed in or what to express. So in my experience, I first needed to give myself space to discover what is true for me. Once I can hold my truth firmly, what I needed is courage. “Cor” is rooted in Latin for the heart. My heart pulls on me to speak.
I’m hosting an event and holding space for women to Find Your Voices on December 4th, 2020 with FlourishingAll, a platform for women to help other women flourish. You can sign up here. This is a space to learn tools to learn to listen deeply to ourselves and be in touch with what wants to be expressed in you.
Your voice matter as a woman, particularly in today’s world. I hope you will join me and other fellow women in finding our voices. I end with a poem from Maya Angelou:
Caged Bird A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn and he names the sky his own But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.
Coach Abby Wen Wu is an Asian American coach who helps individuals get unstuck by working with their body, and she teaches her clients somatic awareness to tap into their own knowing. Her goal is to give you tools to become unstuck yourself and no longer need her in the future. She is skilled at helping others navigate difficult communications, relational conflicts, and empowerment.