Speech is a powerful force and the ability to communicate effectually is one of the markers of truly successful people, relationships and diplomatic outcomes.
Contemplating communication styles has caught my attention recently and I’ve even found myself fixated on the subject as we collectively observe the leaders, “actors” and politicians on the world stage and watch the way they wield their communication skills, for better or for worse. On a personal note - I recently experienced someone trying to coerce me into signing my voice away on a subject of great relevancy to me, which has left its own mark on my confidence to communicate.
Some say that the ability to converse and communicate effectively is a high art, still others say that being conversant or eminently communicative is a dying art. What do you think? Are you skilled in the illustrious art of deep conversation and communication or were you schooled in keeping your mouth shut?
Back in the day, not so long ago it was common in many families and cultures for people to raise their children to “be seen and not heard”. The church, in fact, even went so far as to set a written decree in around 50AD that banned women altogether from speaking in church, for the men however they were free to speak up or preach it, as the case may be. Given all the controversial history regarding divine laws and decrees on speaking freely, it’s fascinating isn’t it that the word oratory means both a religious society of secular priests, a place for prayer, and eloquence or skill in making a public speech?
Here in the U.S. the very first principle of democracy is stated in the first amendment of our constitution: “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments”. This is the potency known as FREE SPEECH. It is such a powerful human ideal and credo that in order for a culture of people to strive towards greater levels of equity, equality, inclusion and democracy, first and foremost, speech needs to be set free.
Have you ever witnessed the authority of your own autonomous voice being doused out while bearing witness to burning injustice? Have you ever been told to “shut up” or “lock it down”? Does your limbic system go on high alert just reading about speaking out or having your voice stifled down?
It’s sticky, provocative territory this fiery realm of speaking freely. Glossophobia, otherwise known as the fear of public speaking, is in fact, so confrontational for many people, that it ranks number one in phobias surpassing by a margin the all time number two phobia - Necrophobia - the fear of death.
The old adage must be true - that words can harm and words can heal.
Many believe the number 1 secret to maintaining healthy relationships lies in the ability of each partner being able to communicate, effectively and sincerely. Do you and your partner enjoy stimulating, lip smacking conversation? If so, how long has it been since you can honestly say you’ve had one? For the single people out there do you ever fantasize about finding someone who sparks steamy conversation, the kind where you talk for hours on end until the smoldering early morning light filters in through the windows?
In the culture of ancient India in particular we find a long, tried and true custom of scholarly discourse, philosophical debate and the secular sport of lively conversation. In ancient Greece at the sacred site of Delphi the highest positions of influence were held by the woman oracles whose trance induced utterances were considered divinely inspired communications that had the power to sway the fate of both individuals and city-states. All over the world in every culture, in the days of old people took great pride in being able to orally articulate their inner visions and share riveting stories eloquently with their tribes members. Since the very beginning of time, all the way back to when humans first discovered fire each generation was raised on the wisdom saturated stories elicited by the elders by the glow of firelight, seated within a circle.
Good communication is clearly key to cultural, political and relational well being and with the advent of public speaking platforms like TED Talks, and others, it seems the stars of the present and future are the powerful and charismatic public speakers.
I predict we will start to see a revival of private talking salons and wisdom circles as people tire of the cold blue glow of technological relating and seek out ways to connect in the sensorial world of flesh and warmth and real time colloquy, once again.
✶If you would like to be a part of a deeply supportive and communicative circle of people sharing in the great conversation and practice of full spectrum yoga I invite you to consider joining our upcoming Yogic Life Enrichment Training in Ashland, Oregon. A large part of the training is designed to center on the conversation of yoga - its world view, philosophies and practicum. Your own voice and elocution will be lovingly coaxed into the conversation. You will leave the training with your voice empowered for the deeper conversations, teaching and public declarations that you might want to make in your own life, relationships and livelihood. Please join us in the conversation!
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or reflections you may have. I would love to hear what YOU have to say…
For more information on the upcoming Yogic Life Enrichment/Teacher Training program coming up in Ashland, Oregon please check out this link