Be Seen, Not Heard – 7 Tips for Talking

You’ve likely been speaking words since you were 2 years old.

Parents are eager to hear their kids speak early and get excited about the very first word.  They encourage words such as mom, dad, ball and dog.  The very first word is a milestone for every parent.  As more words are learned and repeated, the child is more likely to express themselves through words.

But then, there comes a time when one or both parents become exhausted from the constant babble.  Kids have a tendency to ask the same question for the millionth time or go on and on about a toy they love.  And often, at early ages, kids like to cry, scream and practice using their voice in a loud manner.  It’s a normal part of childhood.  

But for some kids, who are now adults, their experience has been challenging.  They experienced excitement, clapping, and awe when they spoke their first word.  Only to hear the parents tell them to “be quiet”, “not so loud”, “use your inside voice” or (the worst in my opinion) “kids are to be seen and not heard”.

Now, you may not remember all the ooh’s and aah’s of your first words, but there is a good chance you remember the disappointment when being told to not speak or be quiet.  And the more you were told this, the more you turned into your own dialogue and created a habit of not speaking.  And to be fair, it’s confusing when you are told by one or both parents to “be quiet” but then encouraged to speak up in school or when asked a question like “who ate all the cookies without asking?”.  For a child, this becomes a roller coaster of social navigation.  And sadly, the likely outcome is that the child grows up thinking that their voice only counts when someone is an authority figure.  This type of behavior molding creates an adult who doesn’t have the courage to speak up or loses the self-esteem to voice their opinion.

Signs of Not Being Heard

If you have made it this far, chances are you are falling somewhere in this category.  

Here are some symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Scared of speaking the truth because of being rejected
  • You always aim to please everyone
  • You have a difficult time speaking up for yourself regarding your own choices
  • You feel unheard and misunderstood in most circumstances
  • Your self-expression is minimized and people fail to comprehend you
  • You speak too fast or too slow  
  • You feel insecure about your own decisions
  • It’s difficult to find the right words to express yourself
  • Have or had a stutter

For many adults, acknowledging this behavior is not easy because it means that you have allowed yourself to be minimized or downplayed.  

Finding the Source

Finding out the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of not being able to speak your voice is not always necessary though it can help to understand ways to open up and start finding your voice.

The easiest way to do that is to think back to the earliest childhood memory of being told to be quiet.  You want to find the earliest memory even if it is only a few frames of memory.  Because as you work to unravel the mystery of your disappearing voice, old memories will surface and that will be your opportunity to let them go in a healthy way.

Once you found the earliest memory, replay it a few times in your head.   Use all of your senses.  Identify sounds, sights, smells, spoken and unspoken words, etc.  Each time you replay the memory, let each of the senses get softer or diminish in intensity.  You want the memory to start fading away while acknowledging it existed.  You are basically allowing it to fade in the distance and bidding it farewell.  This process may take 1 day or several weeks depending on how much it impacted you.  There is a great chance that emotions will follow and know that it is okay to feel them.  It’s okay to have sadness, anger or even fear.  But each time you feel them, you will get to know them more and more until the emotions from that incident are no longer feeling so big.  Rather, they fade into the distance too.  And then you can look back at this memory as if you read it in a book or it was someone else’s memory.

There are many other ways to go about this process of letting go of a memory so that it no longer affects you emotionally.  I find this process to be the quickest and most accessible.  Feel free to experiment with other options such as journaling or burning the memory.

Bring in the Healing

Now for the important part: healing the throat and voice so that you can feel confident in speaking up when YOU decide to speak.

#1 Singing

This, for me, was the absolute most difficult aspect of opening up my voice.  Not only do I have a pretty bad singing voice (as I am told by my kids) and am tone deaf, but public or even private singing was mortifying.  I would rather show up naked on a stage in front of 1000 people than sing in front of 2.  For me, this was one step I couldn’t take until I took some other steps to heal.  However, if you love or even like singing, this may be a great way for you to challenge your voice.  Singing to or with others can be somewhat vulnerable and will help loosen you up to use your voice but in a fun way.  I have finally gotten to the point of singing by myself in front of other people knowing that it is okay if my voice is not great – it’s the intention behind it.

#2 Yoga

There are certain yoga poses that can help open the throat and voice.  Rather than performing in front of someone, yoga gives you the opportunity to move energy in the throat chakra.  Some poses are Lion pose, Fish pose, Bridge and Plough.  Since these movements revolve around the neck and spine, be sure to follow protocol to avoid injury.

#3 Scream

A seemingly easy, yet mentally difficult way of opening up the throat chakra and voice is by simply screaming.  Now you may be scoffing at this one as, as I mentioned, it seems super easy.  But I promise that some of you will have a very difficult time with this one.  One way to start is by screaming into your pillow.  It will be the easiest because it won’t alert people or cause stares.  Then you can progress to the shower since the running water will mute the sound a bit.  Then you can try screaming in your own home (hoping nobody calls the police on you!!).  The most difficult step is screaming outside, preferably in the woods or mountains.  Once you conquer this step, you know you’ve made progress.

#4 Feeling Blue

One big stepping stone for me was wearing a blue stone right below the Adam’s apple.  I wore this necklace for over a year.  And I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t looking in the mirror when it happened, but the necklace just broke into a bunch of beads that fell all over the ground.  My time was up for me wearing the blue stone.  Blue is associated with the throat chakra.  That doesn’t mean you have to wear a blue stone as I did.  Just consider what you can wear on you that is blue.  Pants, shirts, dresses, scarves, hats, or even sunglasses.  You can always carry a blue stone in your pocket or as a bracelet or ring.  The idea is to see the color as often as possible.

#5 Oh That Smell

Forget the synthetic perfumes and sprays.  Try an essential oil dabbed directly on your skin.  Not only does it smell fantastic but you don’t get any of the toxic leftovers.  And there are scents that correlate with each chakra that can help you in aligning them back into balance.  The throat chakra loves the scents of frankincense, lime, cedarwood, and rosemary to name a few.  And if you don’t want to wear the scent you can always surround yourself with it using a diffuser.

#6 Hand Mudra

Hand mudras can also be thought of as hand yoga.  Since your fingers also have their own chakra system, placing your hands and fingers in specific positions creates a circuit to allow energy flow.  One hand mudra for the throat is called Dyhana Mudra and is performed by placing the right hand on top of the left, both hands face up, and bring the thumbs to touch.

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#7  741Hz Frequency

By now you have likely heard about sound frequency.  Different frequencies affect your mind, body, and spirit complex in different ways.  The frequency that will help align your throat is 741Hz.  This can be played in the background as you work, cook, drive, etc.  You can also play it using headphones while exercising or before you fall asleep at night.

What to Expect

Once you have decided to become more vocal, speak your truth and no longer feel self-conscious about stating your personal opinion, just start with one thing.  If you decide to start singing more, do that.  If it feels good, keep doing it.  There is truly no wrong way to go about balancing the throat chakra to give you more flow.  If your intention is to once and for all be able to vocalize, then you will know what is going to work for you and what won’t.  Don’t worry about the specifics.  All the ideas are flexible.  Day 1 you can try the hand mudra while wearing blue.  Day 2 you can listen to 741Hz and then Day 3 you can go back to the hand mudra and a yoga pose.  Its truly up to you how much or little you want to go after your goal.

Which brings us to the next question: how long will it take to feel vocal freedom?  Well, that greatly depends on so many factors.  But, if you experience more than half of the signs and symptoms above, expect at least 1 year.  If you only have a couple of the signs/symptoms, you may be able to heal your voice much sooner.  

Once you are on the path to healing, I want to hear about your journey and how its coming along for you.  Remember, you are unique.  You didn’t come from a cookie-cutter mold.  So be patient with your journey.  Show yourself compassion and most of all, speak up for what you want so that you can be seen and heard.

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