Three Exercises to Express Your Inner Voice

 

Your voice is alive. Your voice is a living, vibrating, moving thing that you form from thought and express with sound.   Expression is a human right, and we can use our voice to protect and promote the rights of others. Throughout history, people fought for the right to speak.

Illustration by Emma Jenkins

Illustration by Emma Jenkins

Our voice is strong and clear on some days, tired and weak on others. Sometimes we are silenced by fear, and other times we silence ourselves because we don’t feel safe to speak up.  Your voice matters and it is helpful to practice using your voice, empower others to speak and listen as you wish to be listened to.  

Have you ever lost your voice?  Either physically or have been silenced?  I ‘lost’ my voice recently, and I felt vulnerable. At the time, I wasn’t using my voice to express my feelings towards a close family member. I avoided the tough conversation and instead silenced myself. That led to internal self-directed anger, and I closed myself off to hearing what my relative had to say. 

My mind was in a fixed mindset—a fixed mindset equals a stuck mindset where it is easy to view ourselves as (1) a victim of ‘life happening to us’ or (2) that nothing will ever change. I was able to work through it and create a growth mindset by doing exercises and asking myself about the root of the issue. Some of these exercises are below. I invite you to use them in your own way. 

Mental Exercises – What does your internal Voice tell you?

  1. Golden Rule Yourself. Do I speak kindly to myself?  To others? 

  2. What story do you repeat to yourself?  How does it keep you stuck? Focus on some of the positive aspects of life and grow that story!

  3. When do I feel silenced?  How do I silence others?


Mind-body Exercises – Get Your Nerves Up and Create Your Own Support Before Speaking

  1. Notice your feet and body connected to the physical support of a chair or the floor. . Settle into these supports.

  2. In both men and women, the nerves of your voicebox is connected to the nerves of your pelvic floor. So, sit tall or stand straight – support yourself without no bracing. 

  3. Notice the rhythm of your breath.

  4. Take 5 breaths in through your nose as if you’re smelling a spring flower.

  5. Hummmmmmmmmm the exhale.  This is called Bee Breath (Brahmari is the classical name).

  6. Repeat this nasal inhale/humming exhale for 5-10 Bee Breaths. If it doesn’t feel good, return to natural breathing.

  7. Notice how you feel.


Communication Exercises – Deep Listening

Communication has two parts: speaking and listening. Deep listening is one of the most important aspects of communication. Deep listening is hearing and creating the environment to actually hear what is being expressed.  

  1. Listen to someone speak while keeping eye contact. 

  2. Listen to someone speak without nodding your head or commenting.

  3. Listen to someone speak and notice if you plan what you’re going to say while they are still speaking.

  4. Listen to someone speak and take a breath before replying.  Speak while staying grounded. Take a breath.

  5. Don’t judge the process. You are building your communication skills in a very skillful and mindful way. 


At the end of the day, if you seek inspiration, look to history and to our recent times of people who haven’t had a voice or are publicly silenced. Let history inspire you to take action today in your own life.  Speak to express. Listen to be heard.