The courage to speak up

You might be able to relate to the idea of finding the courage to speak up. Between my personality type, and events that happened over the course of my life, I’ve never been outspoken. I realized how much this has hindered me only in the past year.

Since then, I have been working on developing my voice through working on my throat chakra. Let me begin with how I came to do this.

A story of rejection

This story is personal, but I share it in the hopes that it inspires you and helps you to use your own voice. When I was four, I was adopted by my grandparents. Without sharing the personal details of my real parents’ story and struggles (as that story is not mine to tell), suffice it to say at a very early age, I experienced the ultimate rejection: my own parents gave me up.

Now, circumstances were that my real parents wanted the best for me and gave me up to have a better life.

About four or five years later, I overheard my aunt and mom (I always call my grandmother Mom) talking about what kind of person I’d grow up to be. My aunt insisted that because I had a difficult beginning, that it was highly likely I’d grow up “to be trouble,” and that my mom shouldn’t have adopted me.

I didn’t know it then, but suddenly the reality of another possible “rejection” loomed in my mind. I never told my mother and aunt I’d overheard them. But standing in that hallway, I clenched my fists and resolved to stay out of trouble. I promised myself that I would make my parents proud of me, and never give them any reason to regret having adopted me.

Avoiding conflict as a tool

I already had a propensity to avoid conflict, but now that became a very important tool. If I didn’t speak up and I didn’t cause conflict, then chances were I wouldn’t be rejected, especially by my family. This idea was reinforced by western society: women who are outspoken aren’t to be trusted, they’re difficult, or they are mean. I didn’t want to be associated with any of those things, and so I learned to suppress my voice.

Church, Community Service, Sports

I did everything in my power to be the “good kid” – never talking back, always trying to be helpful, and never showing or expressing negative emotions – anger, bitterness, especially. Next, I became heavily involved in the church I was attending at the time, delving into numerous committees and activities.

Still, I took piano lessons, and played sports. I was Peppermint Patty, and Mrs. MacAfee in high school plays. Participated in community service projects. Advanced placement classes fueled my desire to achieve at high levels – enough to have the credits necessary to graduate a semester early from college.

There was a cost to this zealousness. I felt profound sadness and even despair at being rejected by my middle school classmates, and later by many of my high school peers. They just could not relate to the girl whose parents owned a nursing home, was “too holy” and had to stay extremely focused on being successful. I tirelessly resolved to continue on the path I’d laid out for myself. My peers not understanding this ultimately didn’t deter me.

Not outspoken and hard on myself

In not being outspoken, when other people took offense at something I did or said, I took it personally – to the point where I’d brood for days. But I’d never “address” the offended, either – out of fear. I would suppress it all. I did everything I could – subconsciously – to try to make everyone like me, to avoid rejection at all costs. It hurt that I couldn’t make most of my peers understand. And yet, I didn’t really understand all this myself back then.

In doing all this, I became relentlessly hard on myself, pushing myself when I was tired or even had strep throat numerous times.

A blocked throat chakra

Having strep throat like that, and almost always losing my voice when I had a cold were extraordinarily symbolic of my suppressed voice. As I went through my meditation teacher training in 2018, I realized that this contributed to a wholly blocked throat chakra.

The throat chakra is an energy center located at – you guessed it – the throat. Its energy color is turquoise.

The developed throat chakra

If you have a developed throat chakra, you are a masterful communicator – both verbally and non-verbally. You know your purpose. You are a creator (in the arts). You are also a good listener.

An open throat chakra allows you to speak your truth, albeit in a way that is inviting, and not hurtful. This is also the “gateway chakra” to eliciting the rise of kundalini, the “coiled serpent” of energy that rises from the base of the spine and flows up to the crown chakra.

A blocked throat chakra

If you don’t have an open throat chakra, you might talk a lot, but you don’t say a lot of things that are truly meaningful, or you might not listen well. Silence makes you nervous, and so you over-compensate by talking more. (I recognize myself here in that I used to be more like this.)

A blocked throat chakra means that you might have issues with your throat or mouth: thyroid disease, mouth sores or dental issues, loss of your voice when experiencing a cold. Other symptoms include acceptance in telling lies or participating in gossip. There’s a chance that you have trouble expressing yourself adequately – in either being too harsh with words, or in underutilizing them. A blocked throat chakra inhibits you from expressing yourself when you feel that someone has done you wrong.

Developing the courage to speak up

I only became more aware of the throat chakra through my teacher training, but also with the self-awareness that develops through an established meditation practice. I became aware of my fears, and my own ego that felt threatened by conflict.

I set to work to open my throat chakra.

What can you do to open your throat chakra?

Join a Toastmasters Club

For the past six months, I have been learning to speak in front of people and set aside the judgment I might feel as a result. I’m becoming more skilled at speaking and communicating. In fact, I recently went and told a true story at a local venue to the theme, “love hurts.”

Meditate (of course!)

You can meditate on opening your chakras. You can find specific throat chakra music or guided meditations online.

Chanting

Related to meditating, is chanting. The word “hum” aligns with the energy of the throat chakra. You can repeat this as a mantra in meditation (only) or adopt into your daily life as an affirmation and “hum” it to yourself as you go about your day.

Sing

Singing, in general, is good for you. All people are drawn to music in a way that resonates more powerfully than spoken speech. It’s also a great way to help open your throat chakra. So sing your heart out!

Use your voice

If you know you will need to use your voice in a situation, practice beforehand. A mirror works great for rehearsing. Practice can help you come up with a diplomatic and helpful way of saying things, rather than coming across as crass or hurtful.

Wear more turquoise hues

When you wear a certain color, that amplifies the energy of that particular chakra color. In the past few years, I’ve worn A LOT of purple and I feel intensely spiritual. But now it’s time to develop the throat chakra.

courage to speak up

Drink and eat more liquids

Drinking more water or tea, in addition to eating foods with higher water content can also help cleanse and activate the throat chakra.

Listen to a guided meditation

As I mentioned before, you can find these around the internet. However, I’ll create a “part 2” to this post and create a throat chakra meditation for next week.

References:

The Throat Chakra
Speak Your Inner Truth with the Fifth Chakra
8 Powerful Ancient Practices for Supercharging and Healing Your Throat Chakra
Throat Chakra – Visuddha
7 Ways to Balance Your Throat Chakra
Throat Chakra – The Fifth Chakra

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