Category: Blog

Falling on Deaf Ears: When Others Don’t Honor Your Voice

Falling on Deaf Ears: When Others Don’t Honor Your Voice

I recently had an experience where I tried to explain a business situation to someone who absolutely refused to hear what I had to say. This person, in fact, interrupted me and walked away leaving me feeling resentful, disrespected, and not wanting to engage with her ever again.

Honoring your voice doesn’t mean you will always be heard. Sometimes, your message cannot be received by the person you are communicating with because it is not something that can be accepted. Sometimes your message is out of the realm of their preferred reality. When this person walked away from me, I not only was insulted, I was also triggered with the emotional memories of people in my past who refused to accept the expanded version of myself and literally withdrew their love and attention from me when I dared to speak up or contradict their version of reality.

But what can you do when someone refuses to hear you?

For years, I wasted precious energy trying to convince people in my life to hear me out. Many times I was ultimately silenced, feeling exhausted and resentful. It validated my victim mentality that is so common with co-dependency.

Eventually, I realized that speaking my truth is my part but being heard is out of my control. That’s when I stopped wasting my breath on people who just couldn’t handle my truth.

In my personal journey, I have outgrown many people. But I have found that by remaining true to myself, I have attracted new people who are on a similar path. They are open and supportive and always willing to lend an ear. It is true that your vibe attracts your tribe.

 If someone has shown you that they are consistently unwilling to listen, they have shown you who they are in relation to your authenticity. If it is not a match, you might question if this person should remain in your life. But do not question your resolve to speak your truth! By doing so, your voice will find it’s way to those who eagerly want to hear what you have to say. And while they may not always agree with you, they will always appreciate you for honoring your voice!

Harmony or Discord: Why the World Needs Your Voice

Harmony or Discord: Why the World Needs Your Voice

Have you ever paused and wondered how so many things just work so naturally? I am amazed at the synchrony of nature. The solar system, my body, right down to the atoms that make up, well, everything, is balanced. Infinite features of our phenomenal world move in harmony resulting in the beautiful symphony we call Life.

The universe is made of frequencies and frequency translated is sound. So where does your voice fit into this equation? The world needs your unique frequency, your sound, your true voice so that it can be in harmony and expand. When you are not in your authenticity, you are creating a frequency that is in discord. Thus you are contracted, feeling small and insignificant. And you are dissonant, feeling misunderstood like you don’t fit in. This, in turn, contributes to the chaos you see in the greater world. You see this around you because it is vibrating within you. When you decide to be true to yourself, your voice will begin to vibrate at a frequency that naturally contributes to the harmony and well being of all. By speaking your truth, you will begin to resonate with other like-minded voices that together create more harmony and beauty in the world.

This is how important honoring your voice is! Each one of us is a part of the larger choir of life and each one is responsible for singing our part; our own unique tune so that we can create a life that resonates with the well being of all of life.

Are you using your true voice? Life will continuously invite you to tune yourself to your true frequency by the way you feel. Does your life feel discordant or harmonic? Are you in peace or strife? When you align yourself with your inner truth, your voice will reflect this. You will begin to live in harmony instead of discord.

Are you in tune with your true self? Does your voice reflect the depth of your soul or are you using a voice that will ensure you don’t get noticed? If so, the world is missing a melodic piece, YOU! Find the beat that is your own drum and share it with the world. Dare to be heard! Sing your part in humanity’s choir by honoring your voice.

 

Kristina Kelly is a holistic speech therapist and voice coach in Asheville, NC who helps her clients achieve personal and professional fulfillment through the use of authentic voice.

 

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

Recently, I was sitting in traffic listening to an interview on talk radio with an author who was promoting his book on politics. I was ready to change the station when the interviewer mentioned the author’s past career as a movie critic and asked about his favorite movie. The author’s voice changed and with absolute certainty, he replied “The Godfather”. He then went on to animately explain why and mentioned all the movie’s nuances of directing, lighting, musical score and of course the stellar acting. He had such passion and conviction in his voice, I was captivated! That weekend, I began a marathon of binge-watching The Godfather Trilogy. I did not, however, buy his book.

Which voice sells? When the author’s agenda of selling was interrupted and he stopped promoting his book, he relaxed and began talking about something he clearly had a passion for. He unconsciously changed his voice. It became natural and flowing. He loved everything about this film and it showed. No more agenda of promoting, just talking about something he loved. It was irresistible!

When you speak from a place of authenticity you light up and attract with little effort. The best sales pitch is really no pitch at all. It’s being so genuinely passionate and interested in a product or service that your voice and speech reflect this without the need for rehearsal and with little thought. So many in sales have been trained in a myriad of marketing and psychological strategies thinking “I can make a good living selling this even though I am not passionate about it.” To that I say, your voice gives you away and eventually, you will burn out. Stop the agenda of selling something which always has a little bit of angst. Make a genuine connection with your potential customers by talking about what makes YOU genuinely excited about the product or service. Then, to borrow a quote from Vito Corleone of The Godfather, you naturally “Make them an offer they can’t refuse”.

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

It’s the last month of the year. A time, among the many celebrations, that we often begin to take stock of what we accomplished over the course of the year and compare that with the intentions we set around this time last year.  But what if we considered a different intention? One that has its foundation in “Being” instead of “doing”.  Looked at in this way, the question changes from  ‘What did I accomplish?” to “Am I the person I desire to be?”.

Recently, a  young client, a popular local vocalist, was referred to me by her physician with the diagnosis of small vocal nodules. Vocal nodules are common among singers and after reviewing her heavy performance schedule it was no surprise that she developed them. The physician advised vocal rest and recommended therapy to learn vocal hygiene and ways to use her voice that would prevent recurrence. The diagnosis, though relatively benign and typically easily resolved, triggered deep anxiety for this talented young woman. Not uncommon when working in the realm of voice. This is because your voice is deeply connected to your self-perception, and in my client’s case, her livelihood and passion. She developed an extreme fear of using her voice and returning to the stage after an embarrassing incident that occurred while attempting to perform with acute nodules. This was the catalyst for seeking help.

Initially, she seemed extremely relieved when I explained that her prognosis was excellent and that with self-care and a few minor adjustments in the way she produced her voice she could quickly return to the stage and look forward to a long singing career. But that’s where the story took a turn. When I suggested ways in which she could sing as powerfully and authentically but with less strain, she became quite defensive. She was a self-taught singer with a beautiful voice and seemed to hear my instructions as criticisms instead of helpful. I believe it triggered a deeply held belief of unworthiness and no amount of my empathy, encouragement nor explanation could bridge that belief with the help that was being offered at the time. Eventually, she looked at me upset and bewildered and said: “I don’t like this and I don’t know why” and then politely said “goodbye” and left the session. She was not quite ready to address all the related emotional issues that were unexpectedly coming up for her as a result of this easily treatable physical diagnosis.

I tell this story because when you are addressing issues with your voice, it is often the tip of an emotional iceberg. One that touches upon unresolved grief, anxiety and deeply held negative beliefs that you may have been avoiding for years.  Often, changes in your voice are a warning signal and a calling for self-care. It’s a gift, really. An invitation to bring light and healing to past pain. It offers the possibility of personal freedom. But it takes great courage and a readiness and willingness to accept the invitation.

While this particular client was not quite ready, I have no doubt she will eventually accept the invitation to heal and resume her successful career. I have served many clients who have experienced personal transformation by deciding to let go of false beliefs and own their true voice. It’s a beautiful journey. One that I am always humbled to be a part of.

So as this year draws to an end, ask yourself: Am I the person I desire to be? Is my voice representing my true self?  If not, it could be inviting you to let go of all that is holding you back and to step into your personal power and freedom by honoring your voice! Are you ready?

Returning to Breath

I have been practicing yoga for about 15 years now. I was first introduced to yoga 20 years ago by my then sister-in-law. I remember feeling annoyed at the repetitive instruction of breathing, thinking “How redundant…just tell me how to do a pose. I know how to breathe.” I went on to other instructors who also kept telling me to breathe and my agitation continued.

It wasn’t until years into my practice that I understood the magic of breath. This was helped along by beginning a meditation practice where I once again was told to focus on my breath. “Again with the breathing.” I thought. Even though I had been teaching breath techniques to my voice clients for years under the lens of physiology, it was my own work with breath that led me to understand its gift.

You see we breathe in the absence of thought. Some say “we are breathed.”  Breath just happens. When I am focusing on my breath there is no need for thought because breathing does not require thinking. I was resisting this for many years because my thinking mind did not know what to do if it was not, well… thinking. It suffered a mini demise every time I observed my breath. And so my mind argued and complained to keep its puffed-up feeling of importance and in doing so it kept me from discovering my true nature …that of profound peace.

For years my clients had reported to me how working with their breath was helping them in all areas of their life, not just improving the sound of their voice.  It was through my own practices that I discovered how mindful breathing improved my focus, endurance, and reduced anxiety. But the ultimate gift is the quieting of my mind out of which a distinctly different inner voice arises. An inspired voice that brings forth a wisdom that can only be born out of silence. My true voice.

Ironically, it is when I am in this state I often have little or no desire to speak but if speech arises it is very different from my daily small talk. It is compassionate yet direct and spoken with an assurance that is absent the anxiousness that comes from thought. It is the result of me reconnecting to my true self and it starts with my breath.

I have moved several times during the last decade and in each new location I set out to find a new yoga home. Now I know If I try a class whose instructor does not emphasize breathing it’s not for me. Yes, IT IS as simple as observing your breath and that simplicity spells doom for your habitual thinking mind. And gives birth to your inner peace and joy that allows you to hear and honor your authentic voice.

 

Kristina Kelly is a speech therapist in Asheville, NC who specializes in voice therapy and voice coaching