Speak Your Truth

VISHUDDHA 

Throat Chakra
Color: blue
Element: ether/space
Mantra: I speak
Too much feels like: dominating conversation, inability to listen or yield
Too little feels like: inability to express yourself, placating people instead of speaking your truth

I start every yoga class with sighing out on sound.  If you’ve taken my class before, you most definitely heard me say, “Inhale through your nose and exhale sigh it out haaaaaaa”.  How many people actually sigh out on sound?  MAYBE one person.  Why are we so cautious of releasing our voice in space? It’s vulnerable.  It’s who we are and we are afraid that others will judge the thoughts and sounds leaving us.  To stand in front of a group of people and speak your truth is INCREDIBLY scary and vulnerable and revealing.  I get it.  As an actor and as a teacher I do it on the daily.  Every single time, it terrifies me.  What if what I say doesn’t make sense?  What if it sounds fake? What if these people think I'm stupid or naive or silly or too young or too idealistic? It’s my job to speak in front of people and reveal my thoughts, experiences, my truth. So, my need to speak what I know is true, my need to positively effect whoever I’m helping has to be greater than my fear.  

How exactly do we cultivate that need and the courage?    

The chakra system is a ladder we explore from the bottom up.  With first chakra, we learned how to create security and safety.  Chakra two taught us how to tap into our creative and emotional impulses.  The third Chakra revealed to us our own power, the things that we want, and how to take action in service of that. The fourth chakra opened our hearts, taught us about forgiveness, compassion, and joy. From that firm foundation or security, creativity, power, and compassion, we can start to express what is our truth. Start off small with actualizing your existence through sound. How many times have you said your name strongly, slowly, with confidence?  Speak who you are; have the courage to be seen.

We have an inherent need to be seen, heard, understood.  Even if it is terrifying, we want to feel connected to other people. When we feel like we are not heard, we start to push. I mean that in both a literal and figurative sense.  Watch children when they feel their parents don't understand them.  They usually get frustrated and cry and throw a temper tantrum.  As adults, we do the same thing but express it differently.  Some people raise their voice and push sound out.  Some people dominate conversation by cutting others off, refusing to let others speak. 

The throat Chakra deals with listening and speaking, encompassing both sides of communication.  Cultivating a strong sense of self and a belief in what were are expressing is incredibly important. It is equally important to hear others. One of the greatest gifts we can give another person is our attention.  Start to listen compassionately to others. Instead of figuring out what to say next, can you look in their eyes and hear the words they are saying?  Can you ask your mind to stay with them instead of wandering to the notifications on your phone or your to-do list.  In the first four chakras, we learned how to show up for ourselves.  Can you start to show up for others in the same way?

J O U R N A L I N G

Uninhibited expression of self is key hear.  You might experiment with asking this questions out loud and recording your answers on a voice memo.  There is immense power in speaking things into existence.  Sometimes, we don't realize the thought or feeling patterns we have until we start speaking.

  1. When are times you feel like your voice is not heard?  What is your reaction? Physically, what happens in your body.  Emotionally how do you respond?  What are the thoughts come up?
  2. When do you feel comfortable speaking or hearing your own voice?
  3. Imagine that you are about to speak, give a big presentation or perform.  What are some of the negative and doubting thoughts that enter your mind?  Write them down no matter how silly you feel. Create an affirmation in opposition to each doubt. Changes your perspective and practice the internal environment that bolster your courage. (I.e. Doubt: I don't know enough.  Who am I to speak to these people? Who am I to be an authority on this topic?  Affirmation: I have the knowledge, the education, the passion, the experience, and the insight. My ideas and my truth are valuable and enough)
  4. Look back at the conversations you've had with the most important people in your life this past week. Do you notice any patterns?  Do you dominate conversation? Do you placate them by speaking what they want to hear instead of your truth? Do you
  5. How do you practice compassionate listening? Do you give the other person your full attention? When you respond do you respond with kindness instead of purposefully hurtful words?
  6. What qualities would you like to cultivate? Right affirmations as if they were already true.  Speak them aloud to yourself as if they were already true.