Based of yogic teachings of subtle body anatomy, the throat energy center is called “Visuddha” which translates as “pure”. To own your voice means to be in touch with your truth and to communicate it with clarity and confidence. In the previous post we uncovered how emotions can be helpful in getting in touch with your truth. One thing, however, is to know what your truth is. Another thing is to have the courage to communicate that truth.
I have experienced first hand the struggles of knowing what I want and what my truth is but not having the guts to speak it out loud. Instead of saying “no” to that which I didn’t want I would say “yes”, although it meant going against myself. For fear of disappointing, upsetting, and not accommodating somebody else’s needs I chose to instead sacrifice my own. And while it is possible, and perhaps even easy to prioritize someone else’s happiness over your own, it is not a sustainable way of living which will inevitably backfire at you.
Every “yes” to someone else which means a “no” to myself takes me further and further away from myself. This alienation from the inner voice of my individual truth makes it challenging to get in touch with that truth, and being disconnected from my inner voice makes it impossible to provide the adequate care I need. If this keeps going on for some time one can get burned out, depressed, stressed, and even physically sick.
The reason for this pattern, I learned, is the “good girl” syndrome. A good girl never disappoints anyone (except for herself), she doesn’t say “no” (but lashes out unexpectedly when she just can’t take it any more), is perfect and never makes mistakes (is she even human?), and tells you exactly what you want to hear (even though it’s a lie). Everything she does is meant well, but the results are detrimental. Despite its negative side effects, I didn’t want to stop being a good girl, because I thought the alternative to that was being mean. The opposite of a “good girl”, however, isn’t a “mean b*tch”, but a confident, honest woman with good boundaries.
So how do you step into your power?
- Understand yourself. Learning about yourself and cultivating self-awareness is one of the most powerful things one can do. Look at your patterns and beliefs, reflect on the past and learn from it. Journaling and mindfulness meditation are wonderful tools for that.
- Respect your truth, even if your truth is not something the other person wants to hear. By respecting your truth and communicating it with the people involved, you not only show respect to yourself but also to them. Communicate your truth with kindness and empathy. You’d be surprised by how much understanding people actually have.
- Befriend your anger. Your anger, when channeled appropriately, is the source of your inner power. When anger shows up, it comes with an emotional charge. Anger shows up when someone crosses your boundary. And it is the charge of this emotion that helps you to reestablish this boundary. Think of your anger as something that gives confidence to your words.
- Keep (your) promises. In other words, say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t agree to doing something unless you know you won’t do it. Keep the promises small. For example, instead of deciding you’ll commit to meditating for an hour each day, start with 5 min. These little promises will teach you to trust yourself, and will also teach others to trust you.
- Focus on what you can control. Victim mindset is one of the most disempowering modes of being. A famous quote says that you can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it. A victim mentality focuses on what is out of its control. An empowered mindset is anchored in the present moment and focuses on what it can control.
Journaling prompts for self-reflection:
- Describe how it feels to be in your power. Who are you? How do you show up in the world? What do you wear? How do you talk? Who are you surrounded by? What do you do?
- In what situations do you tend to slip into a victim mentality? What would an empowered response look like?
- In what ways do you sometimes judge or shame yourself? How could you show yourself compassion instead?