Before you say anything, first ask yourself:
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
~ The Buddha
What Does it Mean to Speak Our Truth?
In our youth we may have been frequently enjoined to be “seen and not heard.” But while quiet observation, mindfulness and respect are necessary in our dealings with others, we don’t have to keep our mouths shut to maintain a balance of relationships. We can simply speak our truth.
Speaking our truth involves learning to consciously back off from our ego-based judgments and allowing our innate Divine wisdom to inform our words. It takes considerable courage, but can become a powerful way for individuals to take their authentic place in the world. The Fifth, or Throat Chakra, is often considered as the doorway for speaking our truth, giving voice to our creativity, and speaking for and from our true Selves.
How Do We Do It?
Speaking your truth is not just about telling people how and what you think and feel; it’s also simultaneously being open to receiving your higher knowledge of what is most appropriate to say at that moment. It involves listening carefully to ourselves and to others, along with a level of questioning awareness that can become a valuable guide in our speaking and our listening (the answers to the following questions will be most effective if couched as observations rather than judgments):
1. Does our speaking feel angry, righteous, and indignant, or peaceful, centered, and balanced?
2. Are we simply satisfying our ego’s need to feel “right,” or are we taking the time to reflect on what might be most appropriate to say?
3. Are we remembering how it feels to us when we think we’re not being heard or listened to?
4. Are we truly seeing and acknowledging the person to whom we’re speaking? (One exercise for doing this is to consciously relax and try [unobtrusively] to match your breathing to his or hers.)
5. Are we present and open in the conversation? When listening, are we conscious of inner impatience, or of tuning the speaker out while internally assembling arguments to make our point?
6. Are we able to allow some (real or perceived) slight or judgment to rest within us uncontested until we are calm enough to listen to our inner Divinity and speak from the highest spiritual frequency available to us at the time?
7. How is our body responding to this conversation? Are we anxious, or tense, or open and relaxed?
The Practice of True Speaking and Listening
As with many other skills and strengths, considerable practice is required before it becomes second nature to breathe, reflect and pause before reacting, especially to inflammatory words and situations.
Being relaxed, mindful and aware of our breathing during interactions and conversations can help us to avoid knee-jerk ego reactions to perceived affronts or contrary opinions, and allow the Divinity within us to do the talking. It’s also important, when speaking with others, to be aware of those areas within us that feel compelled to blurt or vent-an emotional “button” being pushed; a perceived wrong; the fundamental need to protect ourselves and others; righteous indignation; or simply the imperative need to be heard in some way.
So how do you gauge, in the middle of an actual conversation, whether you’re voicing an opinion based on ego or responding from the perspective of true wisdom? One way to tell the difference is to check in with your body, especially with your Throat Chakra. If this area (or any part of your body) feels closed or constricted, if you have a lump in your throat, if your voice sounds higher or more hoarse than usual, it’s quite likely that your ego is helping you produce your words. These sensations can also reveal inner turmoil brought up as you try to speak, or body-held emotions that are interfering with your ability to express yourself.
If, on the other hand, your body and throat feel open and relaxed you are probably tapping into your source of inner wisdom. By carefully attending to your physical sensations during a conversation or discussion, you can teach yourself to recognize and witness the source of your words, and learn to allow inner wisdom to direct your speaking. In time, this will create a feedback loop: the more in tune your whole being is with what you’re saying, the better you’ll be at recognizing where it’s coming from. It’s a bit like learning to tune a guitar in order to play it; you need to listen carefully, and practice makes perfect.
Many Blessings ~ Melinda