Spiritual Development

Page 28

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Finding Your Voice
By CinnamonMoon

What keeps your voice held in silence? For me it was fear, I had to face speaking in public and
was so self-conscious about that. I took speech classes and they gave me ulcers. I learned to be
an auctioneer and was so doubled up with pain that it put me in the emergency room with
another ulcer. The stress of public presentation was a lot to work through so I understand what it
is to be shy, believe me.

It occurred to me that public speaking and internet posting are a lot alike and when I think of all
the silent voices here I see a need for a little encouragement. Out of nearly 300 members how
many of us actually speak out and how many of us simply read? There are so many reasons we
resist speaking out in public aren't there? We may fear that what we want or need to share is too
personal; that our questions are going to be embarrassing; we're too shy, we can't find the 'right'
words, we can't be clear enough; someone will make fun of us or we'll be judged poorly, oh there
are so many reasons we sit in silence.

Yet there are just as many reasons to speak out. Someone else may need those same answers, be
dealing with the same type of situation, be struggling through a similar experience, so many
benefits. So we can reverse that list and find all the reasons we need to speak up. If we don't
share we waste our knowledge. At the same time I see by the view counts that there's an awful
lot of intake going on, a lot of reading what others have to say. Why should any voice be muted?
It's always amazed me how difficult speaking can be. I used to struggle with that so much in
public and online too at first…what would people think? I'd get this pressure building in my
chest, it felt like there was a fist in my throat cutting off my air supply, I'd seize up and freeze
with stage-fright when I had to address a group of people. It was my fear, I had to work through
it, had to 'do it anyway' because of the line of work I was doing. I had been put in charge of
doing workshops and I was so concerned about the presentation that I blocked myself in a major
way. How would it sound? Would I squeak? Would I trip going across the stage? Would my skirt
stick in my butt when I turned around to grab something? Image, sound, and other people's
opinions were dominating and blocking what I had to share. I asked myself 'why?'

It wasn't until I stepped out of that box and realized that what I had to share was more important
than the presentation that I began to relax. And with that my presentations became very
comfortable, for me and for those I was sharing with. I knew the topics and information I was to
share very well, I was good at asking questions and sharing while interacting with people in
casual settings or in classrooms, why should this be any different? All it was comprised of was
sharing information and simply exchanging knowledge. In a casual setting I really enjoyed that
interaction. I realized the secret to finding my voice was to enjoy the topic and those I shared that
time with.

I got over my insecurities this way too. If I messed up in some way I treated it casually and let
out a good belly laugh at myself even poked fun at me. I had fun with my mistakes. In that the
fear shattered and I began to speak comfortably. If I got tongue-tied or squeaked I found the
humor in it and laughed at myself, made a joke about being unable to control the words and
when my tongue wanted to talk all by itself. I recomposed myself while others got a chuckle. I
addressed the fears when they came and told those listening that I felt afraid. Let them see my
humanity, they all knew what it was to be afraid themselves, we've all felt fear. If I made a
mistake I owned it and laughed it off, corrected myself and kept talking. Before you knew it I
wasn't self-conscious anymore and I was on a roll. You couldn't shut me up! (Still can't! And I'm
known for being an old windbag but I enjoy the conversations and that's all posting is

Here at Spirit Lodge we gather to develop our spiritual awareness, to grow in understanding, to
understand our abilities and how to hone them. We come together in like-mindedness and there
is absolutely no reason not to interact, in fact by not interacting we complicate our progress and
hold ourselves back making the time it takes to achieve our goals much more drawn out.
It is vitally important to your discovery of Self to learn to speak out in support, in uncertainty, or
in differing views on matters. In this way you honor yourself and those you keep company with.
There are several members learning to find their voices here at Spirit Lodge at any given time
and it's important for us to encourage those quiet voices to speak. Learning to come forward in
this way is important to them and it's important that we learn to identify and assist them when we can.

With all your experiences in life you each have so much to share, and spiritual experiences are
no different. By all means share what you can with others. And if you are going through an
experience the odds are someone else who hasn't found their voice is too. By asking questions
about what you're experiencing you're helping them as well as yourself.

We gain our knowledge in a myriad of ways and it's always good to share with others or present
it for others to discuss for a clearer understanding. By incorporating our experiences in attaining
that knowledge we bring wisdom through too because the experience teaches us how to handle
that knowledge. When we gain insight or enlightenment, a gift or an enhanced ability we are
going to be spiritually tested. That's another experience we can share…our mistakes along the
way or the successes we have, both aspects of assimilating help others learn by example. In this
way they can adjust their own perspectives and everyone benefits. If no one shared we sure
wouldn't learn much so do strive to find your voice and use it.

Don't worry about the eloquence of your words, the perfect analogy, just use what comes to you
naturally to express yourself. If your words are unclear to others be open to discussion and
further explanation but don't feel intimidated by style. You're fine the way you are and your style
will evolve with you as you grow. It takes time. *Soft smile*

Theory and experience lead us into the exploration of knowledge. In that we learn what to do or
what not to do gaining our wisdom that way. Sharing the lessons we've learned, the teachings
we've received, and how we learned to apply them to our lives helps so many others who are
struggling with those things we've passed through. So voice is important, you're important, and
it's important that you're heard, not just for others but so that you will learn to recognize the
value in yourself and in that trust yourself more too.

Speaking out rather than sitting with a silent tongue does much more for everyone in such
beneficial ways. You know where your wisdom lies, all you have to do is share it (large or small)
and then let go and let others absorb it. If they ask questions you can often take things further and
perhaps into new directions. As that happens you'll find the other person has something to share
with you…learning comes from the exchange of sharing and receiving.

There are many teachers among the community here at Spirit Lodge and there's a reason for that.
While the spotlight belongs to Spirit, all of us have something to offer making that light a little
clearer for those who are struggling to focus. If we can help them adjust to the light of Spirit then
we've done them a great service and sometimes it's just a little jiggle they need to grasp
something, or perhaps a direction pointed out where they can search for their answers if we can't
provide them.

All of us are students, we never stop learning, and all of us are teachers…we have much to share
with one another. No single person is going to hold all the answers so where teachers gather the
answers do too. No one is above another here, we all bring something to the community and
finding your voice is part of that.

It's in the humble sharing that comes from the act itself that some of our greatest insights will
emerge. Maybe what we're learning isn't exactly what the other person has experienced but it's
close enough for what they're sharing to turn a light bulb on for us. Suddenly we have an "ah-ha"
moment where we jiggle something into place. The smallest comment can often have the greatest
impact so it's not important how much or how little you share, it just matters that you do what
you can.

Your voice expressing thoughts and feelings or confusion is going to echo someone else's same
concerns. The exchanges can have great impact in the most beneficial ways. So often I get
inboxes from people telling me things they feel to be too private for the boards and I will
encourage them to share more openly in whatever ways they can for these very reasons.
When you find your voice to speak aloud in the company of others or to post in a thread or even
start one with a question of some sort, an exchange of information or insight begins to take place.
If we can share a technique we've learned we can help someone learn how to do that themselves.
We pass skills and knowledge on this way instead of doing the work for them which is what
Spirit asks of us…to empower others by showing them how to do things themselves. Otherwise
we stand in their way and limit their self-empowerment ability by keeping them bound to stasis.

Questions are important; they draw out the answers.

Many times we find ourselves with a weak voice. Unsure of how we're presenting or for some
other reason we speak so softly that others have to strain to hear us if they can at all. Soft voices
have power if you whisper at times, but if there's a strong wind blowing or the environment is
busy you need to raise your voice to accommodate that. I don't mean you have to shout and get
all worked up, but do speak with some strength to express the conviction you hold, the passion
you feel, those are the volume controls you can adjust.

If you're excited about something share it. Those who have been there will be excited for you as
will those who are approaching their own exciting experiences. Spirituality and the course of
study you follow is filled with exciting new adventures no matter how seasoned you are. These
events give us plenty to talk about and the simplest of things can expand into the greatest
insights. Spirit is always seeding us to sprout something for ourselves.

Voicing what we can…sharing, that's what teaching is all about. We lead by example through
those who have learned to walk their talk. In this each and every individual who witnesses the
way we walk our path can see the myriad of ways demonstrated, take what feels right to them
and follow the path they are meant to walk themselves as opposed to getting side-tracked on
someone else's path.

Each person in this community has a specific journey they must take in life, a path to walk that is
'right' for them. That's for them to discover and our sharing allows them to find their way in their
own way. All we have to do is help them find their way to Spirit, keep the light shining there,
and they'll see the path before them and walk it. It's that simple...all it takes is speaking out to do
that sharing, or asking for directions on where to get started.

Where that path we are walking leads us is where we need to go but sometimes we need
direction. So asking questions, using your voice to find direction, is going to bring forth answers.
If you don't ask no one's going to stop to provide the answers you need because they're on their
own path and focused. But if someone says: "Pardon me, do you know where I can find
________?" someone will stop and point the way they know or give you direction to find
someone who can. Bingo! Help just arrived. Voice is important.

We don't have to try to remake anyone or force our ways on them either, only to accept them as
they are and share what they are able to hold. By this 'able to hold' comment I mean not talking
over their heads and sharing things in the capacity their understanding can embrace. It can be
simple at first and then waiting for more questions as a guide if you're not sure how far to take
something. Based on the questions they ask, and the way they ask them, we need to adjust our
knowledge to adapt to that.

If our community is to benefit fully from what we have to offer then the attention needs to
constantly focus on those questions, guiding them toward Spirit, and their individual
developmental needs. Asking and answering come with our voices…be they spoken or typed. I
just want to encourage everyone to speak out, become more active, and grow together. Feel free
to question and to express your thoughts and feelings. It's very empowering, and it attracts others
to you in the best of ways…ways that help and bring such wonderful insights.

Conversation needs to have both a sender and receiver…questions and answers, excitement and
shared experiences to validate us and in conversation those roles shift back and forth. It's
amazing what comes to light and it's what makes Spirit Lodge and our community so rich with
the wealth of knowledge here. We have so many teachers among us, some learning to teach,
some well-seasoned, and everything in-between. We have students in those same positions so
wherever you fit you're in the right place and you're a part of the community. Speak up, join in,
and know you're most welcome to do so and to grow with us.

If we're in a tunnel and trying to expand our vision to get out of it the voice of others will offer
the way. Maybe it's your voice that can help someone find their way out of their tunnel. If
something you share is not what the other person needs, please don't feel invalidated or rejected,
what you share will always benefit someone and it may be someone who is lurking, who is
hesitant about joining our community and just the thing they need to hear to prompt them to step
forward. It may be someone who's going to come along in the future. Perhaps it's a new member
in the making just waiting for what you have to say to take that step.

Your voice is vitally important to you and to all those around you, it holds a beauty of its own
just as it is. Remember, you hold things others need to hear, and questions that others are waiting
to find answered. Speak out with your concepts and thoughts, with your questions, and find your
voice. You'll find it grows stronger with each step you take and one of these days you'll be
saying something extremely profound: "Wow! Did that come out of me?" And one day we won't
be able to shut you up either. What a grand day that will be! Have fun with your voice and use it,
you have it for a reason.


Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

Cinnamon Moon
Text: © Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.) 2000-date
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