The art of speaking


  • ‘Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness’

    Caroline Myss

Last week I wrote about how listening can empower us all. This time I want to explore how we project our voice into the world. How speaking with consciousness can also build our capacity to connect to the source of our being. Through the way we connect to ourselves, being mindful and taking ownership of our feelings and needs as we speak, we automatically “touch” others deeply, allowing them to come alive through empathy and a sense of shared humanity.


The truth is most of us exist in our own stories, day and night. We convince ourselves of the arguments we make up in our heads to keep things as they are, to see life as we have always seen it. We repeat the same stories to others, mostly expecting external confirmation of the opinions and ideas we have nurtured for so long. Most of us are not interested in having our worldviews transformed by others.  So why are we talking, constantly? Distraction has its purpose in life, of course! But in the end we get so used to this disconnection that we drift far from who we are, and from each other.


Which brings me to this: we can make the choice to exist in the moment, in the space we’re in, with the persons we’re with, in the bodies we have…. and connect to what is alive in us there and then. We are, at a deep level, constantly in flux, even though we resist this and try to preserve our reality through our words. And the now is ultimately the only truth we really need, that truth which we know deep inside, moment to moment, when we stop to listen to what is alive and ever-changing, inside. And this truth holds many riches.


This is a bold step. We have all heard a million times about the benefits of ‘being present’, of ‘living in the now’. But we all know that trying to make space for silent meditation in our lives is a difficult task. Well, we all talk a lot, constantly, so why not use the opportunity of practicing all this mindfulness stuff when we are hogging others’ attention when we speak?! We could start by simply being aware of what we are actually saying to ourselves and to others. In this precise moment, how does what I am saying resonate in my body? Does it really make sense to me, deep down, or is there something clashing? We all know – our bodies don’t lie.


There is a whole world to be discovered if we are willing to learn as we speak: we can understand ourselves better by making the effort of being present to all of our words, to the feelings we are dealing with at the precise moment we are speaking (not yesterday, not last year)… ultimately by being present to what we are really longing for as we speak. If we are not there to hear ourselves, how can we expect others to hear us?


I say this is a bold practice because it requires an immediate courage to step out into the world in full possession of our minds, hearts and bodies. Courage to be willing to “rewire” ourselves by slowly letting go of the words, the concepts, the ideas, the thought patterns that imprison us (and others) day after day. It requires courage to look at our truth and speak with intent and precision, fully aligned with what we see inside. It is a naked courage: the protective armor is gone, and yet we are stronger.


It could be a dance. When we are fearless to show this kind of reverence for our own soul in this manner, others feel freed to do the same. We show others we are in charge of our lives, and they are enticed to take charge of theirs. We all long for connection. True connection is not about words said with no real intention into thin air. True connection is about soul. It is an art to be mastered every time we are gifted with another’s presence.


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