There is a powerful stirring happening—a sloughing off of shame and self-doubt. The human spirit and voice is being liberated from generations of pressure. People are speaking up to disrupt fixed ways of being and intersectional alliances are forming that have the opportunity to cause systemic change.
Glennon Doyle Melton recently turned me on to a brilliant poet out of London, Della Hicks-Wilson. She captures what I am noticing in my own walk these days:
Darling, you feel heavy because you are too full of truth. Open your mouth more. Let the truth exist somewhere other than inside your body.
Do you hear that?
Let the truth exist somewhere other than inside your body. In other words: Speak up to find freedom.
When we stuff our feelings, thoughts, and knowledge, we are contributing to our own mental slavery. Holding in our truth inhibits the natural gifts we have been uniquely anointed with for this time in history.
This is what I know to be true:
- When I ignore or withhold my intuitive nature, my still small voice, tension, and resentment amplifies.
- My subconscious mind (yours too, it’s straight neuroscience) then becomes fearful, since it has been influenced by generations of social conditioning.
- As a result, stepping outside of the acceptable and benign narrative feels risky. Your physiology may feel threatened when speaking up, calling out injustice, or exposing insidious acts of violence that riddle your personhood and community.
- And yet, the most important truth of all? It is necessary.
So, how do we move through the fear?
I am afraid at times. Moving through that fear is a conscious practice of self-talk. One of my favorite Chance lyrics is “I speak to God in public.” I am in a CONSTANT conversation with the God of my being. As bold and confident as I am, I notice my fear is deeply rooted through an internalized, taught, and trained practice of dominance. What voice is having dominion in your heart and mind that is not of highest and holiest service to your liberation and the liberation of humanity?
No matter what you want or what you say, your freedom is still essential.
We get free by practicing—TOGETHER. You get to create brave spaces everywhere you go. You get to practice being brave and calling out that holy truth in you even when it seems scary.
The more you practice speaking up and sharing your truth, the easier it becomes. And when you surround yourself by bold, affirming and willing practice partners, the work happens in you and around you at a quantum pace.
If you still don’t know where to start, try this:
- Define a topic. Think of a heated topic, one that you are passionate about and feel you have something to add.
- Start a conversation. Find a trusted friend or partner and engage in a discussion. State the way you feel in definitive terms (this might take some practice).
- Do this in person. While social media is a place to “speak up,” it’s often a place to easily negate, shame, or hide as well. Be thoughtful about where you speak, so people really hear you.
- Practice. Practice using your voice when it matters and when it feels like it doesn’t. Anytime you start to feel the stirrings of fear, this is your calling card. Use it.
- Make a difference. Where can your voice be heard the loudest? What and how can you speak up to elicit change and go beyond just being heard?
Like anything, using your voice takes practice. We’ve become accustomed to using our phones as our digital voices, but nothing resonates like your own voice, loud and strong, making a difference—especially to yourself.
Be clear about who you are and what you have to offer. Always speak up. Always be honest. Because someone, somewhere needs to hear exactly what it is you have to say.