The Silent Voice Within

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buddha.jpgHow do geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen to it, that tells us certainly when to go forth into the unknown.~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

This month of May I am posting each and every day as part of National Blog Posting Month’s May theme…Voices.

Today, as I thought about what to post, I thought of how much I love silence and my hours of silent meditation and wondered about what voice speaks within silence. Then, much to my delight, I came across the quote above by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. That voice within speaks in silence and yet we hear it. There are many kinds of voices…and many ways to listen.

Listen with your entire body. Listen with every cell of your being. You will hear that voice within that tells you when to venture forth into the unknown. And, when you have faith in your own personal creative resource, you know you have everything to you need to be in the unknown.

Want to know more about your own personal creativity? Contact me and I will help you to know, and hear, that silent voice within.

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Maggie Kuhn

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In the back of my mind today, I was thinking about Voices and Speaking Up. In doing so, someone came to mind, a woman who has always piqued my curiosity…Maggie Kuhn. I heard about Maggie when I first saw a quote of hers on a bumper sticker here in Berkeley where I live. This bumper sticker is seen often in Berkeley. The quote is:

“Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind — even if your voice shakes.”

Maggie KuhnI find this quote so powerful for it gives one permission to speak, even when your speech isn’t perfect. Maggie teaches us that we don’t have to be speakers, we don’t have to be polished and perfected, and we don’t have to limit what we say to those who we know will agree.

What I hear in Maggie’s quote is facing it all head on. Standing in front of the very people you fear and speaking anyway forms a powerful image in my mind of no-holds-barred expression. I was particularly taken by her saying that we should speak in front of those we fear most. And then I read this quote by Maggie:

“When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say.”

In reading this, my expectations take a 180 degree turn. I pictured standing in front of those I feared and assumed they wouldn’t listen. But, what if the very person(s) we fear are those that might actually listen to what we have to say? What if we were to step right up to the microphone in front of those we fear and speak, and find out they actually listen to us? How would that change what we are willing to say? How might that change our view of the world and our place in it?

Maggie was an American activist, best known for founding the Gray Panthers movement in 1971 after being forced into retirement by the Presbyterian Church.

Think about what how powerful Maggie’s words are. Another wise woman, Sobonfu Some, stated that women are afraid to speak up and out because they fear they won’t be heard. How often I have heard this from clients. Well we certainly won’t be heard if we don’t speak at all. We all have something to say and to share. It doesn’t matter who we say it to, but we must speak it. Think of Maggie next time you have something to say and find yourself tongue-tied. Then, speak Up!

By the way, the Bumper Stickers are available at CafePress.

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Happy May: Use Your Voice & Speak Up!

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Happy May Day. Celebrations on this day have their roots in pre-Christian cultures. May 1st is also a cross-quarter day, a day half-way between the equinox and the solstice. As for female traditions on this day, in the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

j0409066.jpgThis month also happens to celebrate Speaking Up and Voices in general…at least in two of the circles I run in: the Creativity in Business (CiB) Teacher Training community of 2006 and the National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo.

I was blessed to be a coach and trainer for a second group of people training to teach the Creativity in Business course that was taught at Stanford Business School for over 25 years. I took the course in 2002 and teach it to a variety of groups and individuals.

In our CiB teacher community, we are following a Live-With titled “Speak-up”. A Live-With is a practice that suggests a new way of being in the world with regard to a specific challenge or tool from the course. Our group is now practicing new Live-Withs that are not in the course per se, but continue to challenge us to grow into the fullness of our creative nature.

The purpose of this Live-With is to learn to speak up in situations that one might not normally do so. Sometimes we don’t speak up due to fear or perhaps habit or maybe even unconsciousness. To speak up is to tell the truth, our own truth, even in times when it feels frightening or difficult. It also means discovering what is true.

NaBloPoMo was started by Eden Marriott Kennedy, and, according to the site, National Blog Posting Month is “the epicenter of daily blogging”!The theme for NaBloPoMo this month is “Voices”. Since I have committed to post something every day in the month of May related to this theme, we’ll explore all the ways in which Voices might be experienced.

When I realized the two themes were so closely related, I figured something was up and I had better pay attention and join in the fun. Perhaps it is time to speak up and really use my unabashedly female voice, or maybe it’s time for you to speak up here to tell us about how you are discovering your unabashedly female self.

I hope to hear many other unabashedly female voices this month, so please stop by for a moment and post a comment or just introduce yourself. I look forward to hearing your voice here and enjoying what you have to say when you Speak Up!!!

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Truth, the Body & the Sacred Feminine

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Truth is an interesting word. It has all sorts of baggage with it. My truth, their truth, his truth, her truth, THE TRUTH. We have been taught from a young age that there is a truth, but that it lies outside of ourselves. But in the most simple way, the Truth is just what it is. As Eckhart Tolle says in his book, A New Earth, “The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look elsewhere, you will be deceived every time.”

We are accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for the Truth. The truth of how to be, who to be, how to act, what to do, etc. etc. I have heard from many, many women the question (or one in a similar vein), how can I bring my whole self, my sensuality, my loving side and my intelligence and wisdom to everything I do? To my home, my relationships, and (the place that causes the most distress) to work.

The Truth is that you are already the Truth. The Truth of your Being is what you are. This Truth is alive within your female body. Bringing all of you to all that you do is a matter of realizing what you are and seeing the ways in which your Voice of Judgment (VOJ or ego as some call it) keeps you from expressing the Truth of the wholeness of what you are.

“What is your truth? Ask your heart, your back, your bones, and your dreams. Listen to that truth with your whole body. Understand that this truth will destroy no one and that you’re too old to be sent to your room.” John Lee from Writing from the Body

As John Lee writes, listen to the Truth of what you are with your WHOLE BODY. Learning to be in the body, to feel the aliveness that moves within it frees up this Truth and its expression. Feeling all parts of the body helps to awaken this Truth within, helps to awaken a true authenticity that is You. Then, all actions flow from within.

The stretch for women is to feel the body without judgment. We have learned, in one way or another, to judge ourselves by the way we look. But allow the body to be what it is…a sensing device for the Truth of what you are.

So, as John Lee writes, ask your whole Being, “What is my Truth?” And when you ask, Listen. Then, live it, speak it, express it. Be it. This is creativity. This is the source of true leadership. This is how we will once again discover the Truth of the Feminine.

I have found a practice to be the best way to invite investigation of my Truth through my Body. My practice is dance, specifically Five Rhythms by Gabrielle Roth. The dance has taught me well how to love my body and how to be in it without feelings of self-loathing or denial of the depth of the sacredness of my Being. The dance has re-introduced me to the Sacred Feminine that is within me and within all of Life. The dance has taught me to trust myself, to trust Life and to trust womanhood and the humanity of woman.

What practice do you have to bring your Being back into wholeness?

The Sacred Feminine World, image by JoanLovesPaper on Flickr

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