We all have a voice. Our voice may not be clear to us or it may be in hiding. We may not like our voice and we may not be expressing it intentionally. But it most certainly is there.
Our voice has many colors and takes many forms. It may be clear as a bell or hidden among the mist. It may be like a solo violinist or more like the many blended voices of a choir. It may be pleasing to the ear or very painful to behold.
However, if you don’t recognize your own voice, you may not be hearing what it has to say. You may not be taking action on important beliefs or needs. You may not be living your life fully.
Where to find your voice
Fingerprints of our voice are everywhere we look, when we know how to look for it. We can find aspects of our voice in:
Inside your mind you’ll find many ideas, reactions, passions, worries, opinions and beliefs. In fact you might find you have several points of view just on the same subject. You might notice a single word, a phrase or a sentence. You might notice monologues, dialogues and chat-rooms.
Dreams, Images, Imagination
Messages come to us in the form of images by day or dreams at night. We can consciously play with our imagination or we can reflect upon what comes into view at other times.
How we spend our time and our money can say a lot about what we value, what we desire, what we allow ourselves and what we prioritize. Competing behaviors may be an expression of unresolved inner conflict. We can behave unconsciously without consulting our voice, or we can learn to recognize our voice in our actions and then assert ourselves accordingly.
How we move, whether conscious or not, can say volumes about us as well. We may be voicing like or dislike, comfort or discomfort, commitment or ambivalence.
As you go about your day, if you notice what frustrates you, inspires you, makes you laugh, moves you to tears or experience yearning. All of this may be your voice telling you what you feel passionate about or where you may wish to put your energy.
Our bodies tell us what we feel by the sensations that get stirred by what we experience and observe in the world. It’s like our body is giving us its opinion on something. It may tense up trying to protect us. It may relax or lean into something. It may be voicing its preference and its concerns.
The sounds we make and how we say things can be very telling. We may be vocalize softly or with more volume, we may articulate clearly or be muffled, we may strike out in high pitch or with a low growl, our voice might sound choked or fancy free. There are a variety of vocal components that conspire to speak much louder than words.
Whether shallow, deep, expansive, held, rapid or slow, your breathe may be communicating how safe and free you are feeling, among other things.
When you find your voice, you need to honor it
It is very important to give your voice the respect it deserves. Sometimes we don’t want to acknowledge it. Sometimes we don’t want to hear what it has to say. Sometimes we just don’t like it. We might find it embarrassing. We might think what our voice has to say is wrong, irrational or even downright mean. We might be terrified of conflict.
But if we try to ignore our voice, it will only get louder. It will only try to get our attention in some other way. We will run the risk of continuing to do things that don’t serve us. We may find ourselves on the wrong end of medical complaints. We may become caught up in unproductive or unsatisfying relationships. We may find ourselves lacking in passion or energy for life.
If we can recognize, honor and express our voice, we can make decisions that help us flow in the direction of our values and needs.
How to listen to the voice you have found
Listen to your voice as an objective observer or scientist. Just the facts ma’am just the facts! If you can listen compassionately – with an eye towards curiosity – lean in and see what it is saying. Remember what we ignore doesn’t go away – it just may act out in some other way.
Remember that just because you are thinking something doesn’t mean you have to act upon it. But if the thought is coming across your mind – it may be trying to tell you something. Perhaps there is something that you worried about, perhaps there’s something you forgot to do, perhaps you have an unexpressed emotion or opinion, perhaps there’s just some junk traveling through. If you don’t pause long enough to listen – it might be hard to decipher what’s important- you might not be fully informed by all of your opinions and points of view.
If during your observations you notice that certain voices are monopolizing and crowding out others – you can make a more informed choice about that too. A worry may be creating repetition in the form of obsessions or compulsions, wasting your time doing things over and over that are sufficiently done, unfulfilled desire may cause you to do things that you later regret – or at times that you would have preferred not to do these things. Perhaps unfulfilled desire is spending too much money or time on something in particular to get its needs met.
If you need help finding or expressing your voice, please contact me!
Lisa T Perry, MEd, LPC, CCMHC, VMT-R is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Voice Movement Therapy Practitioner, who loves to help people find and and express their unique voice.