Finding my Voice

Singing and dancing will free Joyce from the shackles that bind her

I joined a circle of women to explore, listen and be heard.  No easy task for me.  I mean I do well enough opening my mouth and speaking when I am one on one or there can be at least one other person if I know the person well, I mean for at least a year or two. Preferably two.   Other wise, I clam up, am quiet, a total wallflower.  But the group was small and I actually opened up and shared stuff.  It turned out my goal in the group was to explore my writing voice.

I touched briefly on when the idea of writing made an appearance in my life. (Hello post)  Unfortunately, the desire was stifled, for practically eons, by myself I might add for reasons of self-preservation, or what I believed to be self-preservation in my young undeveloped mind.  I had to censor not just writing but any sort of self-expression.

Out of desperation, I lived what I called my unconscious life.  I was in the world but had no clue who I was, what I was doing, that I had a say in any part of my life.  Life bounced me around like I was in the back of a pickup and someone else was driving up a single-lane, rutted, mountain dirt road.  I was just hanging on for dear life.

I would say for the last twenty years I actually practiced the art of writing.  I climbed into the driver seat and took the wheel.  I worked at finding my voice.  Voice in writing or any creative endeavor is as individual as a fingerprint or snowflake.  I know it needs cultivating and nourishing and constant practice to flesh it out from you inner being.

I feel I have found my voice to a certain extent.  I mean I am getting a sense of my voice through my blog writing.  However, I feel my voice is like a scared little bunny ready to jump and bolt at the tiniest movement.  Although at the same time my voice is feeling safer.  I mentioned this in my post a “Child of God” but more work needs to be done.  I know this because I have a writing project percolating in my mind and I am censoring it when I work on it.  My hope is, with the help of a circle of women, to encourage my voiceWith that thought in mind during a journaling exercise with the other women I discovered my voice wants a name.  As a result, Joyce is the name for my joyful voice.  What Joyce needs is uncensored self-expression.  By uncensored I mean by me.

My mission, should I choose to accept it, and I do choose to accept it, is to give myself time and space for singing and dancing to allow Joyce moments of clear expression.  I will do this by surrounding her with the spirit of love.  By the way, my mission came after the journaling exercise we drew cards from an Angel deck and a Shaman deck.  I drew a Singing and Dancing card from the Angel deck and the Spirit of Love card from the Shaman deck.  I thought they fit together nicely.  I am not sure I would have been able to come up with my mission had I not had the help from those cards.

I drew a third card from an animal spirit deck. It was the Antelope.  According to the book Antelope spirit gives a person the authority to act now.  That is what it said in the book, “Wait no longer.  Do it now.  The time is now.  The power is you.”  I changed that last sentence to “The power is us” for Joyce and me.

Giving my voice a name almost makes it feel like I have a friend.  Like when a small child will make an imaginary friend.  It feels kind of cool.  I like Joyce.  Its like I can learn to love myself on a deeper level by making her outside myself, in a manner of speaking.

Well, anyway, I took the “Do it now” part to mean to work on my writing idea.  It’s like that card gave me the permission I needed to override my critical self which I understand is only trying to do its job of keeping me safe but enough already.  Now when that part of me says something like, “Listen, your writing is ridiculously simple, certainly not rich and full.  You really need to stop writing right now, take those fingers off that keyboard, before you make a complete and total fool of yourself.”  I will answer, “I’m sorry but, um, the time is now, I must wait no longer.  Don’t you see? I need to do it now.  We are the power.”

Check out these sites I found on finding your voice.   “Finding your voice” by Leo Babauta from ZenHabits and “10 steps to finding your writing voice” by Holly Lisle.



4 thoughts on “Finding my Voice

  1. Janice,
    I so honor your journey. Your courage to listen to what I call the “demon voice.” Hear it and say, “Not right now! I have to write.” The Joyce voice is stronger! Yeah! You are helping find my voice and trust it. I have written and then censored it. Your blog is helping me “unleash” my voice and speak, write the thoughts, the words, the heart inside me. Got that word Janice, “unleash.”
    I am so glad you are writing and speaking. You are my inspiration to me to know that I do have something to say and I will keep on….Cathy


    1. Cathy, I am overjoyed to hear that I inspire you to write. And I do hear that word “unleash” not as in “unleash the hounds!” 🙂 but as in unleash my voice. I am learning that voice in important in any creative endeavor. Thanks for Cathy, your support also helps me unleash! Janice


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