Free your voice

Gary Wright: Light of SmilesMY PLAN TO POST each week of my Writing from the Chakras course hasn’t panned out, for all the reasons I talked about last week. I have good things to say about every week’s lessons—the Jewel and Heart chakras have a lot to teach me, and I’ll do a future post on each of them if I get a chance—but this week’s exploration of Vishuddha, the Throat Chakra, was particularly profound.

I don’t know if it’s a common pattern or just a coincidence, but I’ve noticed that so far, I seem to operate with confidence from the even-numbered chakras (Sexy, Heart) and get blocked with the odd ones (Root, Jewel, Thoat). It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues through the remaining chakras.

The Throat Chakra is where I have been most blocked for most of my life. Vishuddha is, of course, all about communication, our voice and all that goes with it. Its element is the sky. (Meditating on this chakra, I couldn’t get Gary Wright’s “I Am the Sky” [from his Light of Smiles album, 1977] out of my head.) It’s not unusual for writers to have strong issues going on here. I found that, in my case, writing acts as an alternative to speaking.

It’s a control issue. Writing allows me to organize my thoughts in an orderly way, making sure I’ve made myself clear before releasing the words into the world. There is a safety in this. There is also a dark side. When I use writing as an alternative to conversation, it becomes one-sided. It’s censored and impure. There is an inherent unfairness to it, a cutting off of oneself from criticism. What should be dialogue becomes monologue.

Set Your Voice Free by Roger LoveWhy is speaking so hard? Why does my throat close up, seized with terror at the thought of speech, of telling a hard truth, of expressing feelings, of rocking the boat? I know in my head that the hard conversations are worth it. I know it from experience, from those few times I’ve ventured there.

The words stack up inside of me, whole edifices constructed of words and sentences, clever phrases, skyscrapers of words rehearsed and not, born of emotion, reaching toward my throat, pushing the air out, and they get stuck. It closes up. The words, trapped on the other side, the in-side, with no way out, fall back down, far down inside me, deeper, making it harder each time to dredge them back up. Where is the hook that will lift this part of me up and out?

Why does it emerge only when I no longer care, when there is nothing left to lose? Then it’s easy. “I don’t think this is working out.” “I’ve made up my mind.” “I don’t want to talk about it, no.” Never “Let’s talk about this.” Never “I want to try to work this out.” (I want to say, “Never ‘I love you'” because it sounds so dramatic, but it would be untrue.)  Never a fight.

The words come spilling out sometimes, as inevitably they must, but in writing. Cutting, snide, begging to be read between-lines—it’s so easy, I’ve set it up so well. My words hurt, intentionally if not fully consciously; but yes, still intentionally inflicting harm, telling the things I was too afraid or stubborn or lazy or paralyzed or just unable for whatever reason to have a conversation about.

Dave X Robb and MonaI made a promise to myself after that, a manifesto of sorts. I would never use my writing in that way again, as a weapon to hurt, to humiliate, to say indirectly what I was too cowardly to tell you to your face, allowing you a comeback, a conversation for once. Live and learn.

My manifesto contains not just this prohibition, but a call to action, a call to love. My writing, my voice, my expression, my being is about love, nothing more and nothing less, for there is nothing more in this world.

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