Ask Parvati 23: The Voice – To Speak Or Be Silent? Part 5: When To Voice, When To Be Silent

PART 5: WHEN TO VOICE, WHEN TO BE SILENT

(Continued from Part 4: Gauge The Stage)

Every day of our lives, we are faced with many choices, whether to flee or to face, whether to voice or to remain silent. There is no quick and easy answer as to how to find our right voice. We learn that to voice is an unfolding process.

Giving voice is central to my spiritual path and a root reason for my personal being. So my life feels like one big experiment in voicing. As with all experiments, we find great teachers, we go through the ups and downs of trial and error where hindsight becomes a powerful ally.

Finding our vocal power is connected to finding our authentic expression and our place in the world. As such, it is part of growing, maturing, becoming wise. There have been times that I have given voice when in hindsight, it would have been wiser for me to remain quiet. And the opposite has also been true, when silence weakened me and I allowed it to hold me imprisoned.

But there are few times that I regret what I have chosen to do, whether I chose to speak up or to remain quiet. I don’t believe regret brings us anything other than backward thinking. Rather than looking at life in the here and now, by living with regret we miss the present. Eclipsed by our past, we gaze at life through a rear-view mirror. Sincere remorse is different from regret. If remorse helps us to humbly learn and grow, regret keeps us stuck in the past.

In the process or learning to give voice, we will stumble and fall. We risk appearing silly and feeling hurt when we “put our self out there” in any way. The greater the perceived risk, the greater the perceived fall. But when challenging the fear of falling, I have found that there never was anything to fall from in the first place.

What other people think of us does not matter. At the end of our life, when our bodies turn to dust, it will be our own choices that we will have to face. We will be left with questions like, “Did I love well? Did I live fully?” My sense is, when we are standing at death’s door, the times we held ourselves back in fear will seem as though we allowed a cloud to convince us that the sun does not exist.

As we learn to find the courage to speak our truth or be silent when we feel inwardly called to be, we need to learn to manage the part of us that does not want to grow. The part of us that wants status quo is going to create all sorts of reasons why not to be true to who we are. It will say, “Stay small. Hide. Don’t do it. I may get hurt.”

Someone whose approval we wanted may laugh and ridicule us. We may feel embarrassed. We may judge ourselves as being stupid for what we feel and the desire to express. But I can guarantee that it hurts way more to not do what we need to do and say what we need to say, and remain frozen in fear. (I enjoy John Mayer’s song about this, “Say What You Need To Say“.)

When we feel we must, we must. In hindsight, we may regret it, but we will not know until we try. And if we are humble and wiling to learn, there is no better teaching than life itself. By trying, we will know for next time what works best for us and we will learn to better attune ourselves to our inner voice and our natural, authentic expression of it.

So when is it the right time to speak up and when is it the right time to be silent? Ultimately, only you will know. But there are keys signs from our body/being when we are authentically aligned with our highest good.

When you feel rooted, vital and expansive speaking, speak. When you feel rooted, vital and expansive being silent, be silent. But then, you may ask, how do I know if I feel rooted, vital and expansive? This will only come after practice.

I sometimes imagine myself in the future after either having spoken up or remained quiet. How would I feel? Would I regret not speaking, if I chose to remain silent, or would I feel peaceful and warmly joyful? Would I feel remorse if I did speak up or would I feel free, vibrant and relaxed? Then go with the choice that brings you the greatest amount of rooted, vital expansion.

You can do this imagined testing when you are undecided in the moment. Rooting comes from the contact your feet have with the ground, how your energy travels down your spine. Vitality comes from an arising, once you are rooted, feeling an uplifting movement travel through your spine. Expansion happens when rooted and vital, so that there is a feeling of openness, surrender, receptivity to this moment. When feeling rooted, vital and expansive, there is a feeling of balanced rightness, neither too high and light, nor too heavy and stuck; neither too quiet nor too loud, but just right, perfectly you, in balance with who you are.

Enjoy being you. You are unique and the only expression of you in all of time. Ultimately, I believe there is no real right or wrong, only an honouring and aligning yourself with your truest self, or living in fear and for other people’s dreams of who they feel you should be. The choice of your voice is totally up to you.

Jai Ma!

Parvati

 

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Yesterday I asked you to expand upon your blog as I felt I needed more guidance around when to speak up with integrity and respect. I believe you have answered this here. Thank you for this blog.

I needed that “enjoy being you” reminder in the last paragraph, particularly when I beat myself up for not having a sufficient body of work or external-world achievements, weighed down by regrets, some going back more than 40 years.

The part of us that wants status quo is going to create all sorts of reasons why not to be true to who we are. It will say, “Stay small. Hide. Don’t do it. I may get hurt.”

Oh boy, does it ever! But just being aware that that is happening helps us to go beyond it. I really appreciated this week’s blog topic. It is close to my heart, and dovetails with some of the integration work I’ve been doing lately.

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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