Courage in Voicing

Courage in Voicing

“COURAGE is not always a roar. Sometimes it is the tiny, quiet voice that says “Tomorrow I
will try again….”.

I led a session this morning focusing with a client on the importance of courage in communication. It is a theme close to my own heart. Some may say “Really? Courage? I haven’t had a problem saying the things I want to say.” To this I say-how wonderful!  For many of us though, the contrary is true and it is the all too familiar sensation that arises when asked to speak. Especially if it is different. It kind of starts in the gut, the whole butterfly in the stomach sensation and can quickly become nausea or other strong emotions as well as mental flappability.

Courage can come in many forms. It doesn’t have to be loud and strident. It can be quiet.  There can be courage in stating our truth with the utmost of grace.  It is immensely powerful. Stating our opinion does not have to cause anguish or angst. 

The way I see it is that courage is like a muscle. We can exercise it. The more we do “it”, the easier courage is to use the next time. On the other side, it does have possibility of becoming stagnant if we have not used it in a while, or if the mountain seems too high. We have hundreds of opportunities a day to be courageous. How many of these do we use this and how many opportunities may slip away? (Since this is my first blog post, I too have to be courageous on a daily basis!).

I have been personally exploring the courage in using my feminine voice in a musical context. I have been a “singer” for a long time. Aware from the age of 8 that I could “sing” and that others didn’t, I have performed many times. Especially as a child, teenager and young adult. The more adult self has not “performed” as much. It had not been as pleasurable. I had not the courage to be so self exposing all of the time. The sense of expectation had heightened. The gravitas attached to it had increased. This is certainly in the process of transitioning.

This year, I am a Resident Artist with Victoria University exploring the voice in many different forms and contexts. It is a wonderful environment to explore fully some of these themes in detail.

Recently I teamed up with a couple of musicians who showed me how they had had to be  courageous. To say “Yes”: to be instinctual and brave. My courage arose when I was supported (both by them and me) in such a way that I was able to surrender into the music. No expectation, no pressure. A sense of playfulness and delight and wonder in what would come next. So for me, it was being incredibly vulnerable in relation to the openness of my true vocal expression. In it, I feel immensely exposed, yet paradoxically incredibly delighted in the state where I can explore the beauty of music through the “instrument that is my voice”.

This courage transported me to a state where i could have resided infinitely. In Bliss. In union with another human being. And in union with my true self and it’s true expression. 

For courage leads me closer to where I long to be. To be in a state of grace and joy. And so I am making better friends with it, making amends.  I am also going to make friends with his oft overlooked offsider: in the style of Tennyson’s Prufrock, the part that whispers “Do I dare?” For he resides in the shadows and shows me when to use this muscle that is courage.