This month the Intuitive Writing for Healers workshop women have been blogging their hearts and souls onto the page. If you missed the introductory blog, please read that HERE.
Now, introducing Karen Tasto and her amazing story!
6 Practices for Freeing Your Authentic Voice
My path to freeing myself has included a gradual and powerful journey from quiet, good girl into my brave grown goddess self with much to say and a voice that knows how to express herself. Here I’ll give you practical practices that I have found most helpful in unmuting my voice. It all begins with your inner self.
I was a shy, quiet, and sensitive child raised to be a good Catholic girl. I was afraid to raise my hand in class for fear of being wrong and humiliated. It only took one teacher one time in third grade and I internalized it to mean that it was not safe to risk speaking up. I learned to sit in the middle of the classroom so as to become the most invisible.
I was also a middle child of five bookmarked by extroverted high drama siblings. I let others do the talking while I did the watching. I learned to squash down my needs, my opinions and most of all my feelings. Expressing feelings would raise eyebrows and disrupt the established system.
As I shut down my voice, I lost myself. I was labeled “quiet” everywhere I went. As much as I hated being called that, I let it stick. I even fed it. And it left me feeling suffocated and small. The more one is labeled anything, the deeper she/he plunges into that role. The label gets reinforced all around, so the harder it becomes to climb out of it.
I felt my opinions didn’t matter, and ultimately that I didn’t matter. I felt trapped under an ocean of thoughts and feelings, so drowned out by fear and “not enough” thinking, I could never quite get my words to surface. I told myself I didn’t have anything important enough to say, so why bother.
I carried the “quiet” persona into my marriage where I unconsciously allowed my more talkative husband to take up more of the space in our relationship. This meant I did not express, much less identify my needs. His feelings became my feelings. I told myself he had the bigger problems, the most pressing issues. My stuff could wait. My “yeses” were often really “no’s”.
Thankfully, the Universe led me to yoga teaching when my kids were small and I was looking to do something that was just for me while a stay-at-home mom. In the seat of teacher and in this safe space of a yoga studio I could gradually begin to speak my truths, first to friends and then to a roomful of strangers.
Slowly but surely my confidence with my voice developed in the yoga studio and it then translated into my relationships. I eventually switched from muted to unmuted. It’s more like the volume dial keeps turning up bit by bit. When I was hesitant to speak up, I would imagine I was setting a place for myself at a round dinner table with everyone equally spaced apart and that helped me to speak.
I began to live more in my body and less in my head where the false beliefs and thoughts can continue to propagate unless you do something to switch them to truth.
I began, with the help of groups and therapy, to feel my feelings as they arose and to actually give voice to them. Once I tapped into my body and feelings, words could flow. And when I remained in my heart, I could express my truths bravely and effectively.
Gradually I found it harder and harder to not speak up than to remain quiet and in the background. I still, when I find myself in a new setting, have to challenge myself to speak up, to raise my hand, to ask questions. I’ll even sit up front. Is it easy? No, but I refuse to step back into that “quiet” old self.
I love the quote by Anais Nin, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
As I became more verbal, I took my power back. I freed myself. I became more of my true self, one who does matter, who does have valid opinions, feelings, needs, and even desires and dreams. My journey has had its bumps and bruises, and I am still growing into the bold and powerful person I wish to be. It can even be pretty darn messy a lot of the time. But it’s so worth it because I am worth it!
I’m no longer that little girl afraid to raise her hand in class. The chokers around my throat, the armor around my heart have been dismantled. I now make sure there is equal space for me at every table. And that’s the key…I make sure. I own this responsibility. It’s not up to anyone else but me and I can sit anywhere I please and know I will be seen and heard. It has taken some big leaps of faith to step out of hiding and find my lost voice. And here I am writing this, leading women in sacred circles, coaching others on this very topic, and putting myself out there in bigger and bigger ways.
6 Practices for Freeing Your Voice to Free Your Soul
- Feel your feelings as they arise. They are simply energy needing to move through us and teach us something. Stop dismissing and repressing.
- Journal your feelings (I feel…), your needs (I need…), and your desires (I deeply desire…). This is my number one journaling practice and I encourage the women I work with to do this one. Once you can do this for yourself, it carries over into your relationships.
- Come out of your head and drop into the sensations in your body and do it often. Especially feel into your lower belly, your solar plexus and your heart.
- Claim your space in a relationship by taking up the time and room you need for sharing so the relationship is balanced and you feel heard and seen.
- Get it out! Yell, scream, curse, cry, chant, sing, dance, twirl, shake…anything to move your energy.
- Come to know and believe that you matter. Your feelings, your beliefs, your words matter. Work with a professional, if needed, until you can feel it down to your bones.
You do matter and the world needs your big, brave voice now like never before!
Schedule today your complimentary life coaching session with me to explore how to feel your deep sense of worth and find your brave voice!
Karen works as a professional life coach, Reiki master/teacher, & sacred circle facilitator. She also teaches workshops and leads retreats. Her spiritually-based life coaching helps women tap into their innate wise self so they can find their brave voice and show up to life with confidence, joy and purpose. Her signature offering, Women Healing Women, is an 8-week self-discovery program guiding women while in sacred circle through deep soul work and into outer manifestation.