Voices and Quiet.
It’s been a while since I communicated with you but I have felt your presence very close.
Since my father passed away in April, I have felt the need to stay IN QUIET and the idea of writing at all seemed somehow elusive. That is curious since I know for many people, writing is deeply therapeutic. Yet for me, it’s a way of communicating and connecting with people. It’s a way of being in active relationship with them. And somehow during this time, I needed to stay still, stay quiet and be in relationship with myself.
And it seems to me as I notice this shift now inside myself, as I move from this quiet period in to one of being more OUT LOUD again, it’s as though I’m re-connecting with a different part of who I am, with the voice that cannot be ignored. It’s my OUT LOUD voice, the one that says, you have something you want to say to the world, it needs expressing. Go express it.
It’s interesting that as I emerge from this quiet period, I’m re-visiting what being OUT LOUD means. I notice that often people report to me that they’ve had an OUT LOUD moment. For example they’ve taken centre stage and sought the spotlight when normally they avoid it. Or they’ve been prepared to stand up for what they believe in when before it hasn’t seemed worth it.
I notice they identify these moments with pride and want to share how it feels to be so vocal, so out there, so visible – it’s as if they’re being called forth and it requires some courage – and sometimes some support – to answer the call.
And yet when they do, they seem to experience both joy and peace all at once.
It can be painful to hear your voice yet not listen to it. It can be sad and frustrating to listen to your voice yet not give it expression.
By contrast it’s healing and cathartic to express yourself fully and honestly; it doesn’t matter if it’s through speaking or writing or singing or painting or any of the many other ways we humans have to show what we have inside. Our thoughts, our ideas, our creativity need an outlet and we feel alive when we communicate them to the world.
And yet sometimes we really do just want and need to stay quiet. To be reflective and contemplative. To retreat in to ourselves and take care of the hurt place within us. And that’s a form of self expression too. We see this need given structure and context through silent retreats, prayer and spirituality, perhaps like me, through the appreciation of simple pleasures, a lovely meal, the sweetness of a pretty animal or the beauty of a flower – which can also feel like a prayer.
Out Louders, if you have a voice that needs expression yet you’re scared or reluctant to let it be heard, please answer its call. Please be OUT LOUD.
But on the other hand if you need to be quiet right now, answer that call too. If you’re suffering pain or loss or sadness and the idea of engaging with the world seems too much or overwhelming, then a spell of retreat and quiet reflection can be very healing.
I understand that surrendering to that quiet can feel scary, you may fear that you may never emerge again. Or that it’s a lonely place. I understand because I’ve had that feeling too. But take courage – there’s nothing to fear there. It’s simply our way of taking care of ourselves and it’s a peaceful and enriching place full of love and connection.
Go there if you need to and when you are ready, when you hear your call, please return to us. We are waiting for you.