Learning to use our voice and having the courage to speak out is something that many women struggle with. From the confidence-zapping stories we tell ourselves, to the fear of being criticised by others for saying what we really think, it can often feel safer to stay silent over speaking…
Friday Soul Food: Rise
I’ve been meditating on the song Read All About It recently by Emile Sande. We live in a world where women’s voices are rising, but in no way are they rising fast enough, loudly enough or in large enough numbers. We still silence ourselves, and we still silence each other, in a million ways both conscious and unconscious. And it hurts us in ways large and small, like a million tiny paper cuts to our soul that we may not be able to easily articulate but that pain us to our core.
It’s been a theme I am seeing through my clients, the broader community I speak with, the interviews I have been doing over the past months with women very much in tune with their voice like Tara Moss and Jessica Valenti, and in my work writing my latest book Lead Like A Woman. And I know, as I get back into my PhD research in September, that it is one of the core themes that will run through my entire dissertation.
It really all comes to down to us as women claiming our power. Our feminine power. Not the masculine model of power that we have been raised with as the one version of success. But the softening and opening that comes when we come home to ourselves, to our true essence. It can be quiet power as Susan Cain refers to it. Or it can be loud, roaring power that shakes the ground we walk on. We need both. We need it for ourselves as women, and we need it for the world.
The world is in crisis. And whilst we may look away because it’s so painful to see the dreadful atrocities that happen every day, we are the ones who can help change it. With our voices, our hearts, our strength and the unique feminine power that only we have access to. This power that nurtures, that listens, that brings people together and unites, that looks for peace, that creates harmony and that can heal the wounds that seem impossible to heal.
In her beautiful song, Emile sings:
You’ve got the words to change a nation but you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence afraid you’ll say something wrong
If noone ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?
So come on, come on, come on, come on
You’ve got a heart as loud as lions so why let your voice be tamed
Baby we’re a little different there’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows so stop hiding it away
Come on come on
I wanna sing
I wanna shout
I wanna scream ’till the words dry out
So put it in all of the papers
I’m not afraid
They can read all about it
Read all about it
My heart aches as I listen to this song. It aches for the pain in the world that I can’t change. For the people who suffer so needlessly and for the injustice that is seemingly everywhere. But my heart also leaps and expands as I think of the positive change in the world that is possible when we as women continue to find our voices, as we step into our true feminine power, and as we rise up collectively to create a new world. A world where every woman and child has a voice. Where men are released from their gender norms and can soften as well. And where we are not afraid, we stop biting our tongues, we remove ourselves from the shadow of silence and we step into the light.
What light is waiting for you to step into?
What power are you hiding away from?
Where are you staying silent?
It’s time to use your voice.
It’s time to speak.
It’s time to rise.
Listen to Emile’s song here and meditate on all that can be possible.