We are almost at the dawn of 2016, (sounds like the title of a space odyssey movie), and too many women are still afraid of what they have to say. They are afraid of their unique points of view and the ideas and thoughts they may have that don’t agree with the status quo. They are alarmed by the sound of their own voices and the expression of their own beliefs.
So where does this fear of our inner voices and self-expression come from?…
Too many things to list here within this post. But I will speak on some of them that I know personally. Though some ideas of femininity have changed, most little girls are still born into a world where as early as we can understand speech, we are taught to hush, keep quiet and be still. We are taught not to be outrageous, too full of color, and once we get to the dating stages, we are taught by society that men don’t like women who talk too much. It’s an all-around conditioning. It comes from those who love us, thinking that they are protecting us from the labels attached to women who are fully self-expressed, such as “aggressive”, “abrasive”, “wild”, “radical”, “bitch”; it comes from society in films, and through music, and the looks received by those of us who “talk” too much and express strong opinions, from other women. Some of these women call themselves our friends.
So how do we even begin to overcome all of this B.S.?…
There are a multitude of ways I’m sure I am not aware of; considering the fact that I’m not a psychologist. But there are ways that I am aware of, and I’m happy to share some of those with you.
Ask yourself the question: “Do I feel stifled in my expression in any way. Do I begin to say things, share ideas or thoughts, and then stop!?
If the answer is yes, then you now at least have an awareness that you have something more to say than you’ve been saying, and that there is a more fully self-expressed “you” somewhere deep inside.
Practice speaking out loud to yourself: Talking to oneself has been labeled as crazy. But the fact is, most people do it, and there is nothing wrong with them or it. Speaking out loud to yourself can help you to become used to hearing your own voice, your inner thoughts. This practice can assist you in getting used to expressing your opinion. You don’t need to speak loudly. Just get used to saying what you really feel in the moment you feel it; not ten years later on a psychiatrist’s couch, which is where your self-expression will end up, if you keep pushing it into hiding.
Write letters: These types of letters don’t necessarily need to mailed. You can write letters to yourself about past and present events. Write yourself letters to express ideas and beliefs you hold that you think are too controversial to share with others. Write letters to those who hurt you and those you may have hurt or offended. Write letters to your deceased loved ones telling them how much you got from the way they lived their lives, or telling them how much they hurt you, or caused damage to your psyche or self-esteem. These letters are yours, so you can say anything you want, in any way you want. Foul language is accepted!
Create art: If it is easier and more natural for you to express your emotions, feelings, and opinions in art form, then make this a sacred practice. Make it a priority to paint, create collages, write poetry and short stories, learn graffiti art. Creative expression is equally as meaningful as vocal expression. More of both will help to loosen the knots inside of you, and help you unlearn the rules of life that were not created by you, but instead given to you by those outside of yourself.
We encourage you this coming week, to try any or all of these techniques if you feel the desire to become more fully self-expressed. Take it light. This is not a test. Think of it as more of a stretching of your creative, vocal, and expressive muscles.
and have fun!