One of my goals for the year is to work on opening my throat chakra. For those of you who don’t speak metaphysics, this is really just a whoo-whoo way of saying – I’m working on the skill of speaking my truth more freely.
I like to think my verbal communication skills are on point. One of the things I do for a living is teach people how to be more interpersonally effective. But we all have our blindspots. Even though, I know the steps to effective communication and am skillful in many domains, I have never developed the skill of authentic communication of my story.
I’ve always played the role of confidant and emotional support. As an elementary aged child, I was a sounding board for the emotional distress of an important loved one. In my trauma work last year, I realized how many emotions of my own I had to set aside as a little girl to fulfill this role. This had left me with some deeply internalized beliefs about my worth (I was only valuable when providing support to another person) and my needs (were absolutely the least important in the room).
It makes sense that I then choose a career that actually reinforced both of those beliefs. As a therapist, I have genuine love for my clients. I see the struggles they fight every day. I know how draining the battle is, and I am honored to have been chosen to to be a part of their journey. I am 100% in the trenches with them. But my story is never supposed to be part of the dialogue.
To me this is one of the biggest shortcomings of the Western mental health model. Throughout history the role of life guide (shaman, clergy, medicine women) has fallen to a trusted elder of the community. This person taught generational knowledge through metaphor and shared culture.
They also freely shared their experience, to help others along their path.
Our model doesn’t account for that. For the most part we still function as if a Freudian “blank slate” approach is the interaction style for healing. Let me tell you – that’s bullshit. Healing is much more likely to be found in a relationship rooted in real connection over one of cool, professional distance.
Censoring our stories perpetuates the current cultural climate of shame. It is estimated that over 1/3 of women worldwide will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. The current US prevalence rate for mental illness is 1 in 5 adults meet criteria fro diagnosis with a mental illness (in a given year). These are common experiences for large portions of the populations. We don’t share these parts of our stories because of shame, because we have been taught these things makes us icky. It is only through owning the ICK, that we take the power away from the stigma and we can begin to collectively heal.
I am well aware I chose my career because I was extremely wounded as a child. The protocols for this profession continued a cycle of silence and shame deeply rooted in my trauma.
My trauma experience and the work I have done in regards to it are my greatest asset to my clients. I firmly believe the only way you can truly understand the depth of this work, is to have traversed this journey on your own.
I was trained to believe my trauma and resulting mental health concerns were a liability. For years, I blunted my voice and toed the line. That’s not how I want to live any longer.
At the end of the day, I’m not a therapist, that’s just what I trained to do in my 20’s. I respect the clinical understanding I have of diagnostics and western approaches to healing. I am grateful to have an insider knowledge – I would not have the confidence to move so fully into the coaching world if I did not understand how truly the therapy world fails.
What I am is a healer. It’s what destiny set me out to be. My life, my story has come with great pain. I’ve spent years facing my darkness in that pain. What I have been through allows me to act as a sherpa for other’s journeys. The process of healing trauma – it isn’t taught in a textbook. It’s lived.
For me this blog is a throat chakra clearing exercise. Each time I log in and share a bit of my story, I feel my personal voice growing clearer.
There are all sorts of exercises you can do to work on open throat for authentic expression. Some focus on physically opening the throat while others aim to clear the psychological grasps on it. Here are a few you can try!
Throat Chakra Clearing Practices
- Sing! Sing in your shower or your car. Find a song your spirit is attached to and belt it out as loud as you can. Pitch and tune are not important – the focus in on reconnecting with your voice!
- Scream. Ideally you have access to a location in nature, a place where you can release and return all of the pent up energy to the universe. You can also scream in your car, a closet, the shower, the garage or into a pillow if you don’t have any private space (though be sure to do a cleanse afterwards to release the energy from your living area).
- Recite a poem or the lyrics to a song out loud. Practice verbally connecting to the emotions your spirit feels drawn to.
- Reduce mucus. Physiologically our throat chakra feels closed when our bodies produce too much mucus. Inflammation is a cause of mucus production and many foods can are specifically tied to this – especially dairy, fast foods & soda. Commit to switching sodas for water with lime or hot tea for a week of Throat Love.
- Share your story. Start small and with someone you trust. Listen to who your intuition encourages you to open up to. You might be amazed at how you grow from each other when true dialogue begins to occur.
- Chill out in camel, fish or cobra pose. These animal inspired yoga poses all involve tilting the head back to elongate and open the throat.
- If you’re not ready to speak out loud, try journaling it. Nobody in the world has to see it but you. There is power in taking your story out of your head (where it is totally abstract) and moving it to paper (where it has physical representation).
I’d love to hear your throat chakra clearing techniques! Or what chakra you’re focusing on aligning right now! Drop your best tips in the comment section below!!
If you’d like to get to know a bit more about me, check out my very first throat opening blog Adios 2019 Post, to get a glimpse into my journey last year!
Love & light,
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