On Having a Voice

About a year ago I found myself in a bizarre scenario. I wasn’t familiar with who I was or what I wanted out of life, and I wasn’t even familiar with how to treat my own self. I started seeing myself as a person who deserves to be treated poorly because that’s karma for my mistakes. I started to believe that every poor action I took would be made up by someone else harming me back. It makes sense on the surface because it seems like it all evens out and creates balance. But what was actually happening here was the exchange of negative energy for more negative energy. That’s not to say that every choice I made was a negative one – but attitude and respect (especially in regards to yourself) can carry negative forces regardless of that choice. So essentially I was draining myself of any positivity and allowing myself to absorb the negativity in return because “I deserved it.”

Girls, we do this a lot. We think that because we’ve made bad choices we deserve the backlash that follows – or we sink to lower levels to match that of the boy we are dating because we think we don’t deserve better. Or we don’t believe that better could possibly be out there. Waiting for us to find it. Waiting for us to stand up and say “I deserve better” because this phrase isn’t stuck up, this phrase isn’t indication that you’re high maintenance, and this phrase doesn’t mean you’re a bitch for taking no bullshit – no, this phrase says exactly what it says: “I deserve better.”

But it took me a long time to believe that I deserved better. It started with yoga teacher training at CorePower Yoga. When you sign up for this program they ask you for your “CPwhY” word. This word is supposed to represent why you signed up for the program and what you hope to achieve by the end of it. I chose empowerment.IMG_2315.jpg

Empowerment: the giving of an ability; enablement or permission. 

In my case this was for giving my heart a voice, for unblocking the mental limitations I chained myself down with, and for giving myself the chance to prove to myself that I am worth better. Empowerment meant more than just giving myself the power and strength to make positive change. It was about completely re-wiring how I looked at myself and treated myself.

It was 4 months of absolute shocking and vulnerable experiences. I learned that despite my previous belief (that I was a better follower than a leader), I could lead and inspire others. I discovered that when I let my voice be heard, I felt empowered in my own world. It felt good to give myself the permission to be vulnerable and raw and real, both to myself and others. This used to be my biggest fear – that I would give myself permission to be raw and I would get turned away or shut down. So many times I’ve tried speaking my truth to others and it was thrown back in my face. Or worse – disregarded and neglected. But this community, this practice, and this space; all these things allowed me to strengthen that voice and let it shine. It took some fine-tuning to awaken a language that was of higher vibration, but eventually I realized my voice held significant power over my energy and it should never be trapped.

Once I began giving myself the permission to open up, I began to notice that I wasn’t just a shadow in a room full of people. I didn’t deserve to sit quietly and take every insulting hit that was swung at me with grace thinking that this is how people become stronger. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Well I think there’s a piece missing to that statement. It implies that getting stronger is passive and all that is required is getting beat down and not dying from it. But nothing positive can come of absorbing negative energy unless you find a way to expel it in a constructive form. For me this form became my voice. I’m not saying I cuss people out now, but it comes down to the little things, like being able to say NO; being able to say I don’t like that; being able to say this is NOT what I want (or the opposite, this IS what I want); being able to say this isn’t right; being able to say I deserve better.

There is power in your own voice. YOU are the one who convinces yourself that you’re okay with something when you’re not. YOU are the one who decides you deserve poor treatment even though part of you knows you don’t. So be careful not to disregard what your heart says just to appear “strong” on the outside. Think about a time when someone hurt you and apologized and you said “it’s okay.” No – it is never okay. Even words like “I forgive you” hold higher vibration, higher power than “it’s okay.” So it’s been re-organizing my language in this way that’s allowed me to see my own value and respect my truth.

For this I am thankful. Because I know wherever I end up in this world, my authenticity is what guided me there.

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