I am pleased to announce that my newest book, Soul of My Voice, is now available at Lulu.com. Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. This text was written as a workbook/journal to accompany my first book, Soul of Voice published in 2016. However, Soul of My Voice is just as effective as a stand alone book, chuck full of essays, poems, quotes, photos, writing prompts and mandalas. Happy reading (and writing, and coloring, etc.)!!
How many times of you been in this situation where you wanted to say something, to speak up, to make your opinion known, yet for one reason or 100 more you kept quiet? I think each of us has had at least one of those experiences, and they are not fun. However, from cultural theoreticians to stand up comics this phenomenon is commented on time and time again. One of my favorite quotes by Jerry Seinfeld is: “most people would rather be in the box, than give the eulogy.”
So why is it so difficult to speak the truth of who we are in a public arena? Several things come to mind. One reason could be that a person feels shy, another could be the person is cognitively challenged. More often than not however, it is my opinion that it has something to do with shame and self value.
Margie Warrell in her article: Is it past time you engaged in a “Courageous Conversation?” states that “difficult conversations take skill, strategy and a sincere desire to do good…. Your ability to speak up about issues that weigh you down is crucial to your success at work and in life.” She then offers these ten suggestions to boost your courage and skill at speaking the truth of who you are and how your feel:
- Check your ego, set your intention.
- Mean what you say.
- Set the emotional tone.
- Be vigilant of Victims and Villains.
- Facts first.
- Discuss the “Undiscussable”
- Don’t stoop.
- Counter defensiveness with humility.
- Be clear in your requests and commitments.
- Stay future focused.
According to Ms. Warrall, the kinds of conversations that require honesty and deep listening (courageous conversations) are what ultimately lead to strong relationships at work, at home and among friends and family.
This is the first post of several on the topic speaking up. Please let me know what you think.
Every once in a while I enjoy surfing the web to discover who has a birthday on a particular day. I did that this morning and was giggling to myself as I saw not only Peter Gabriel but also the late Tennessee Ernie Ford. I believe I giggled because of the immense playfulness and artful exuberance of Peter Gabriel’s video and live performances and the rich baritone and silliness of Tennessee Ernie Ford, who always blesses my “little pea-pickin’ heart!”
Peter Gabriel’s compositions, like “In Your Eyes”, remind me of our global responsibilities as artists. And even though the challenges of today’s planet can sometimes seem daunting, Gabriel’s inspirational compositions and singing voice allow one to feel that anything is possible! It’s the same feeling I get when I hear Tennessee Ernie sing “Sixteen Tons.” The lyrics speak of the poor laborer who “owes his soul to the company store.” Probably a good analogy would be that of today’s 21st century American owing his or her soul to the bank mortgage or credit card balance—no matter how much you work or pay, you still owe. Yet, he sings with such richness and joy-filled positivity, one feels that they, too, can get a jump on things.
Happy Birthday to you guys! I am grateful for your social consciousness, big hearts, and superb musicianship!!