The Power of Voice: Speaking from the Body
By Mary Desaulniers
We are all familiar with the power of intention and the energy of thought. Just as important, if not more so, is the power of voice"the momentum that emerges in our voice when thought is aligned with belief and belief with the body.
How do we speak? Does our voice sound high-pitched and nasal because it is coming from our throat and not from our belly? When thought merges with body, the voice rings with an authenticity that is undeniable. This kind of authenticity moves mountains, makes believers of skeptics and inspires listeners with passion. And it is something that can come naturally to all of us, if we allow it because I saw it in my 4 year old grandson, Sebastian.
This past summer, my grandson marked the far end of our backyard as his "spot." It was an area adjacent to his tree-house, well-protected by fence, trees and shrubs. The grass was sparse below the trees and it was this area where the soil was rich and thick that he had the most enjoyable moments digging for earthworms and potato bugs which he lovingly placed in glass jars lined with grass and soil(his mother had taught him to love all forms of life). There they stayed for the afternoon before they were returned to earth, as gently as children were tucked to bed by a dutiful mother.
One Sunday in late September, when the leaves had covered up half his spot, Sebastian decided to turn the spot into a park for worms and birds, which to him, meant that the leaves had to be raked to the sides, the shrubs trimmed to allow for space and the grass dug up to make way for a larger clearing.
For a moment, my heart dipped. It seemed so much trouble"this trimming and digging; besides, he could easily hurt himself with shearers, rakes and shovels. The "school marm part of me decided this was not something we would do.
"You can play in the leaves as your dad did when he was your age, I suggested.
"I need a park from here to here, he insisted, using his toy shovel to mark a line from the treehouse to the large maple.
"But parks are filled with leaves and grass!"
"This park is made of dirt, he said emphatically. Then looking directly at me, he added, "Get a shovel, Grandma, and start digging. We have a lot of work to do!"
It was the defined momentum in the way he spoke, his voice coming not only from the pit of his belly, but from every cell, every pore in his little body, that make me chuckle. "Yes, Your Majesty! I said, surprising even myself that I did not protest any further, but walked towards the house and retrieved the shovel from the shed. Together we worked quietly, efficiently under the trees, our energies now combined and focused on one thing"carving out what has since been named, "Sebastian's Park." A white birdhouse now hangs from the maple tree. His dream of a park for worms and birds has come alive.
There is no doubt that our voice, like intention, can turn thoughts into things. And this being the case, what can we all do to increase the power of our voice? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Make a tape recording of your speaking voice, Listen to it objectively. Is it warm and rich? Is it high-pitched and nasal? Is it a whining voice? Be honest in your assessment because this is the first step in developing awareness that can lead to change.
2. You can improve the tone of your voice by identifying the authentic self within your body. This self usually resides in the "pit of your stomach." We speak of "gut "feelings and these feelings come from that part of you that is beyond conventions, beyond ego. Honor this self and he/she will emerge in your voice.
3. Start a journal. Writing is the most effective way to release the inner voice. In my school-teaching years, we always had a journal writing component in the classroom"uncensored writing from the depths of the body. Sometimes parents would question this practice, their assumption being that uncensored writing does not improve grammatical skills. They"ve missed the point. The purpose of journal writing is to find the voice"the authentic voice that we have buried beneath layers of conventions.
4. Develop an awareness of the impact you make on others when you speak. Watch for the intensity of your belief in what you say. Use this as a gauge for your voice. Watch for your tendency to speak too much and too quickly when you are nervous or hedging. Cultivate a knowingness of what it is you want to say and then, like Sebastian, speak it from every cell of your body.
Your voice, like your thoughts and intentions, is a tool to create the reality you want. Use it to excavate the authentic self; use it to release authentic power.
Copyright 2005 Mary Desaulniers
About The Author
A runner for 27 years, retired schoolteacher and writer, Mary is now doing what she loves--running, writing,helping people reclaim their bodies.Nutrition, exercise, positive vision and purposeful engagement are the tools used to turn their bodies into creative selves.