The signs have led me back to where it all started … my voice. I started this blog because I wanted to write weekly and push myself to be vulnerable. That realization came after I found my voice two years ago, which is why my blog is called the Illuminated Voice. I am shedding light on a voice that was silent for far too long. My voice is a quiet voice, because I allowed it to be small for years. Finding my voice was the inciting incident that lead me to start opening up more, being vulnerable, letting go, facing fears and ultimately taking a leap of faith.
Improv was the vessel that lead me to study my voice, finding my voice was the vessel to live bigger. In true fashion, this summer in improv, we were doing a voice exercise that I was uncomfortable doing. I could not resonate at the level that I wanted. I decided to step back into voice class for one day to deepen my voice. I uncomfortably struggled to get through each exercise. At one point we had to stop the work all together because of how my discomfort manifested physically – my whole body felt uncomfortable and I felt sick. My instructor told me that I am resisting the work and that it’s coming from a deep place. Frustrated I thought, what could I be resisting now? A few weeks later, when my improv class ended, my instructor said that I am still observing myself within scenes versus just being. I knew what this all meant.
There is a deep rooted fear of fully being my unfiltered, vulnerable, authentic self in mixed company. I have always assessed my environment before I interact with it. Years of not being given the space to be and being judged, overtime brought me to habitually monitor myself. I’ve never followed the crowd, but I know how to blend in with it. I do not need to stand in or cover myself for self preservation. My hardest moments last year, involved speaking up on three different occasions under conflict, because when I was a kid, I choose silence. While I was afraid, I trusted my intuition and my voice to say only what needed to be said and stand my ground. The more I settle into myself, the more I see a playfulness that I haven’t seen since I was kid. I have found a humor and a voice that pays homage to my mother. Up to now I just thought I had her heart.
Despite this oldest fear of mine, I walk towards it because I don’t want it to define me or hold me captive any longer. I feel that letting go will help my creativity expand more. I owe it to my voice to resonate in the way the universe intended for all our voices to resonate. For the women who may not know the value of their voice, who have been silenced by their culture, or are on the verge of discovering their voice – part of being equal is speaking equally.