Have you ever worried about speaking your loudest, most radical version of you? Me, too. I’m a radical feminist and I’m done shutting off my voice.
It’s been a hot topic for me lately. Over the last two weeks, I’ve talked with my besties, my coaches, my mentors, and even my clients about it – about showing the world my wild, loud, radical me, then tying that version of me to my coaching.
This morning, all those conversations, plus my internal ones, came to a head and I identified and started confronting that fear.
I’m not a morning person, but after going to bed relatively early (11pm instead of 1am) and spending a restless night, my eyes popped open at 6am. I woke up feeling both worried and anxious, and my heart was pounding.
So, I went into the kitchen, grabbed my phone, and came back to bed to meditate. This is not my normal m.o. Usually, I’d ignore the voice telling me to do some of my favorite guided meditations. In case you wondered, this is what strangling your own voice looks like.
Today, I honored that voice, grabbed up the phone, started InsightTimer and loaded up my favorite guided meditation: Long Mantra of Avalokiteshvara with Ajahn Achalo. It’s a Buddhist chant, and I have no idea what it means. I just know that the chant and the music and the words instantly calm me down. I chanted along and settled down a bit.
I was searching for more, so I moved to Maria Gullo’s St. Patrick’s Prayer in the Christian Tradition, ‘I Arise Today….” When I listen to this meditation, I envision myself surrounded by a field of white, cleansing energy. It is also a call for protection because it refers to our angels surrounding us.
Still not enough. I looked around in Kate James’ tracks and found a new one: Connect With Your Inner Wisdom. It helps us connect with our 3 brains: intuitive gut, heart, and intellectual.
Bingo. I love Kate’s voice and her approach. As I moved through the intuitive gut part, tears started falling. At first, it was just a few, but as she went on and I went deeper than I normally do into a meditation, things started coming up.
Radical feminist means speaking up.
Things about speaking up. Things about not feeling safe when I show my most outrageous Becky-ness. I started bawling – and it felt good. I could feel the fear and I let it roll over me.
I surrendered to a feeling that I recognized from every stage of my life. (Beyoncé is singing “You Won’t Break My Soul” from my MAD! Workspace playlist right this minute and here come the tears again).
The thing is, I have a giant, out-sized personality. I’m sure my mom and my brothers and sisters will testify that that’s been the case since I was a tiny girl. When I was younger, I saw the world differently from my peers and had a willingness to share it (all the girls reading this say it together, “Until I was 12” which, for me, was in 1968).
Then, like many girls, the older I got, the more I felt the need to suppress the loud outrageous (authentic) part of me. And, when I didn’t suppress it? When I let out that outrageous voice? I was laughed at. I was ignored. I was ostracized. By adults and by my peers.
It sounded like this: “What’s Becky doing now?” “Where did that come from?” “Are you serious?” All accompanied with eye rolls so hard, it’s a wonder their eyeballs didn’t get stuck.
But, this fabulousness would happen, too: “Wow, Becky! That’s exactly what I was thinking!” Or, my personal favorite, “I never thought about it like that.”
Resetting – so many times.
And I’d reset. It’s so exhausting to constantly reset. To dig out our most powerful radical feminist voices over and over again. To insist on speaking our truths. That exhaustion keeps the door open to our fear of rejection.
You know, that fear of rejection is so blasted hard to eradicate. When the fear is combined with the absolute necessity of being a “good” girl, doing the right things, staying physically safe when on our own in not-dangerous-for-guys places like downtown Atlanta, and the biggest thing of all – not getting pregnant, it’s hard to find that voice.
It’s hard to reclaim our power. It’s hard to stand up and say loudly “I don’t think so! I’m smart. I’m savvy. I’m worthy of attention. I can change the world.” (Now I’d tell that younger Becky that she was changing the world every time she spoke up).
You have value. We have value.
So, I’m releasing my outrageous radical feminist voice in the world. The voice that insists that every human has value. Every human. The voice that speaks to women saying “Your voice has value. You have value. Your presence on this Earth adds value wherever you land. And you have an absolute right to be appreciated for your unique and powerful value.”
Stay tuned for my post next week where I will explore the oh, so pathetic attempts to keep us locked in a binary, patriarchal society. I am woman. Hear me roar.