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Speak from Your Heart

“Where the lips are silent, the heart knows a thousand words to speak.”

                                                  –Rumi

What happens in your life when you speak from your heart? If you gave your heart permission to speak up, what would it say?

Among many unfortunate words that entered my ears as a child, then morphed into unwanted guests in my mind, and eventually shape-shifted into nasty squatters that made the truths of what I observed and lived run and hide were these: “I will listen to you when you actually have something worthwhile to say.” Because this was spoken by an important person in my life, I allowed this sentence to become a self-imposed gag around my mouth. Internally, I began a silent search for what might be considered “worthwhile.”

Learning to silence yourself, to barely be seen and definitely not heard, can become a coping strategy among bombastic, loud, bitter, critical, domineering, clanging bell people. You might still silence your voice in meetings, in quiet moments with beloved ones, or when you erroneously believe you have nothing worthwhile to say. You might even be silent when people really know you have something valuable to share. Fearful of uttering worthless puffs of syllables into the air, you hand your tongue to your fluffy cat for safekeeping.

As a child I stopped counting the number of times people asked me, “Does the cat have your tongue?” At a high school slumber party as we crawled into our sleeping bags, I vividly remember a classmate ask me, “Do you ever talk or are you just quiet by nature?” I mumbled some incomprehensible syllables. Once again, shame burned deep inside me for I felt caught between a rock and a hard place. Regularly damned for speaking and then feeling ashamed for not speaking became quite a communication landmine. Often feeling sacred safety in a classroom setting, I learned quickly the rewards of being an excellent student. Almost all other situations persisted as places where I conveniently lost my voice often followed by being harshly judged or criticizing myself for not

speaking up or putting my foot in my mouth.

Do you notice where you feel safe or worthy to speak up, to share an idea, to offer a suggestion, to ask a question, to feel the resonance of your own vocal cords in your throat? Do you talk out loud to yourself while in nature or in the privacy of your own home? After you speak with others, do you question everything you just said, running your words through a mental flour-sifter of doubts? A quiet search for worthwhile words may lead you to a wonderful destination.

All of that silence as a child, young adult, or adult can gently guide you eventually to your heart. You might notice it feels easier to listen to people who speak from their passion and lived experiences. The uplifting podcasts, Ted Talks, and beautiful songs sung can inspire you to listen with a reverent presence. Anytime clients, colleagues, or beloved ones speak truths from their hearts, you might get goosebumps or another good feeling. Your body can become a tuning fork for words warmed by love and honesty, spiraled through the vocal cords, and uttered with lips, tongue, and breathe out the mouth. A soft, tender, raw, and real experience of resonance takes place. You discern the source of your own valuable voice.

Many eagerly await your heart infused words for they will be moved by your truths, ideas, and passion. Break your sound barriers. Others will be inspired to listen when you speak from your heart for that is where an unwavering love heals your fears and shame, courage dances with vulnerability, compassion holds grief in its strong arms, and the magic of long-held dreams begins to come alive. A vision for your life can emerge transforming your experience of being human, heard, and vibrantly here. Welcome home.

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