My whole life I’ve had a voice. I’m chatty. Expressive. Verbal.
I love to share my thoughts and connect ideas and feeling with words, both written and verbal. Recently I’ve been thinking about how I can use that as a strength towards something meaningful that will leave this earth in a better place, because I, me, Heather... walked upon it.
My whole life I also actually felt I needed to suppress my voice. (As I write, I already envision the critical voices of others saying “Oh boy, do you ever”)
I even felt self conscious about the sound of it. Too squeaky, hoarse, gravelly, perhaps a little too loud. Taking up too much space. All of that.
People used a lot of words in our family. My parents liked to talk. Listening to my dad’s many stories and playing scrabble with my mum was my norm. I was raised in part feeling my value was in what I did, how my brain computed, and the language I used to communicate.
Words became coping skills for me…as well as artist’s tools. I was a sensitive intuitive child. I don't really ever recall anyone asking "How did that make you feel?" but I tried to tell them anyways. To release all the many feelings inside of me...with words in attempts to feel understood and connected. I created and expressed myself in any way I could to feel seen and heard. I was curios too. I asked lots of questions. Teachers and adults seemed to find that annoying. People didn't seem to want to reveal themselves as much as I did.
It's taken time to learn my use of words is not perceived as an all together bad thing by others. I wrote a book after all! I've been told people can learn things from me. I can teach. I can help others to open up. That to be so open and expressive is also a gift and I should embrace it.
When I was writing my book The Natural Eclectic, I had an amazing editor that caught me censoring myself in the process. I literally envisioned others picking up my book and reading my words and rolling their eyes mocking me, so I kept editing myself out of my own story. I was shocked to discover how loud a voice my own self critical voice was.
One day she said Heather, this is YOUR book. You have an opinion. It’s a good opinion. You’ve earned it! What will make your book interesting is the stories you have to tell, the vulnerability and the life lessons you share.
Some of you that are very private may think hmmm, you don't seem like you censor yourself at all? You may even feel uncomfortable with the openness in which I share in this blog today. But in my own way I did, I do. Yet I'd rather risk being known and understood than feeling alone or misunderstood.
Now when my own judgemental self talk kicks in I say shhhh to her. Shhh to fear. Shhhh to feeling exposed, vulnerable and judged for the me I am, that I cannot suppress. I treat myself with compassion and in learning how to do so I have become more compassionate with others.
I am learning to temper myself to allow others the space to speak. To allow pauses so I don't overwhelm others with my rush of thoughts. Having lived with an introvert who suffered depression and at times was very withdrawn or withholding taught me a bit about that. Yet, at times as I tip toed around in my own home I also thought…why am I forced to suppress and stifle myself when I cannot force you to speak up or find a voice when you don't feel like it? Always feeling the need to water myself down to a tepid temperature so as not to overwhelm felt unfair. Especially in my own home I had created for myself, and had invited them into.
The time I’ve spent alone these past three years helped me to get comfortable with the absence of words. To be with my thoughts and feeling inside of myself and not to give them, myself, away…to just anyone.
I can be with silence. I can be silent. I can be alone. I can let others be alone. I can feel peaceful in the presence of others that don’t feel like using their voice. But I will not become less of who I am just to suit others comfort zones. There is a difference.
Now that I’ve done much soul searching, healing, grieving, and feeling … a different voice is surfacing.
In getting quiet I found my deeper truer self.
My naturopath shared something that moved me this week. He said... that you share so openly is a gift. Your voice and message is very powerful. Just remember that you also share so much with just those eyes of yours. Without saying anything, who you are radiates from them with such energy...they say so much all on their own.
I want the value of my words to come from that same pure energy and passion within me, about things are are truly valuable. My path is becoming clearer. It’s a green path. I've been walking on it for a while but now I know protecting our natural environment is my greater purpose. I've already taken some steps that feel right for me. Changing my consumer choices. No longer eating animals. Making my own beauty care products out of sustainably sourced essential oils. I want to help create awareness in others. To INSPIRE them in ways that moves them to make changes also.
Four years ago I wrote in my journal...
“Nature never lets me down. It always uplifts me. When I am in it, I have no expectations, hurts or disappointments. There is no struggle of ego. No upsets.
It entrances me, draws me in, grounds me. Quiets me, restores me back to my full true creative and curious self”
All this hold trues today, though I can hear sadness in those words. Not so much about the outer world but my experience within it.
The tables have turned now. I feel joy, hope, strength, empowerment, resilience and a never ending source of growth and energy within me. My soul feels green. A renewable resource! Ok enough about me now!
It’s the outer world, the environment and Mother Nature I feel sad for now. WE are letting HER down!
I'm ready to speak up on Mother Nature's behalf to help her and all her creatures. I hope you'll speak up too. Quiet or loud, soft or gravelly, gentle or assertive, its a message that matters and needs to be heard. I am committed to making my own life and the world around me a greener place. With cleaner oceans and environments so species can thrive instead of just trying survive. To be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. The birds, the bees, the whales, the trees.
Hope to see you along the path....