By Cynthia James, author, speaker, coach & performing artist
Our voices matter
I was born in 1948. That means I have been on this planet for over seventy years. I am amazed as I write this. I don’t feel old, but I am clear that I have experienced many things in this lifetime. I have spent years looking for me. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Am I important? Does my voice matter? Those questions seemed unsurmountable in my youth, because everything around me was intense.
As a child, I saw possibilities. I saw the goodness in people. Somehow ideas always came to me about how to make things better. In my heart I wanted people to be happy and thrive. That really didn’t make sense because my family life was filled with struggle.
Today, I know the feelings that I had were connected to my spirit, my soul. Something in me knew that there was an interconnectedness in the universe, and I wanted to experience it. That desire, my familial environment, the culture I lived in, and the experiences of humanity made it difficult for me to navigate life. Sometimes I felt at war with myself. As I look back, what I see is how culture, systems, politics, race, and many versions of artistry formed me.
What is the “voice”?
When many people think of the word “voice,” they think about sound produced in a person’s larynx, uttered through the mouth in speech. Others describe it as pitch or tone produced through singing. However, you describe it, the voice is about expression, communication, or a proclamation. There is no set way for a voice to be revealed. It is all about a person daring to look at life through the lens of possibility and to live fully expressed.
I believe we should explore looking at voice from the perspective of the whole. It can be a cultural voice that includes education, institutions, history, or race. We will explore how the voice is used as a tool of engagement. We will also explore how a singular or collective voice enhances empowerment, transparency, and accountability. And finally, we will look at how expression can develop new ideas, shift cultural and political views, transform organizations, create laws, and enhance lives.
The voice can be personal, brought to life in community or through organizations. It can facilitate goals, establish authority, and define rules, objectives, and policies. The voice can share discontent, needs, and desires, which can create great change.
Creativity plays a central role in bringing your voice forward. Here, the forms are endless. Although you may not be conscious of it, in addition to your speaking voice, your authentic voice can also be creatively expressed through music, dance, writing, poetry, clothing, design, art (in all its forms), games, traditional media, social media, marketing, and branding.
The “What If” perspective
Here is an invitation. Take some time to look at your history from the perspective of “What if?” What if those challenges were opportunities? What if you can still fulfill that dream or desire? What if my presence on this planet matters? What if nothing is wrong? What if there is nothing to fix? What if everything that has occurred in my life has brought me to this moment? What if I am an integral part of making this world a better place and bringing love into form?
For me, what is important is that we, the culture, wake up and bring our voices and talents into full visibility. Our decades on this planet contain wisdom and gifts that can support the generations coming behind us. My deepest desire is that humanity finds a way to come to the universal table, bringing our varied voices and opinions so that we can learn from each other and remember we are interconnected.
Our differences are our strengths. Our uniqueness allows for everyone to matter. Then and only then can we work together to create a world that honors all life. Only then will we remember that all voices matter. Here are some tips to support you connecting to your authentic voice:
7 tips to help you connect with your voice
- Reconnect to your dreams. They have lived within you because you are the one to bring the dream to life in a way that no other can.
- Write down moments in your life when you stood up for yourself or another. These moments are signs of your powerful voice.
- Look at how you have grown from all of your challenges. If can win once, you can win again.
- Celebrate the moments of visibility now and in your past. This is part of the roadmap to success.
- Slow down and look at how you can make yourself a priority, learn to say no, engage your passions, be honest and ask for help.
- Move your body. Movement is medicine and will support you in keeping your energy and personal frequency at a high level.
- Create a clarity statement. Use this to affirm what you want, how you want to live and what calls you to create.
You are here for a reason. This could be the perfect moment for you to bring your voice to full expression. What if the world is waiting for you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cynthia is a transformational coach and inspirational leader, guiding people to make changes at a deep level for lasting healing. Cynthia excels as a speaker, coach, singer, and multiple award-winning author of What Will Set You Free and Revealing Your Extraordinary Essence and #1 Amazon Bestseller for I Choose Me: The Art of Being a Phenomenally Successful Woman at Home and at Work. Cynthia James embodies the quote “I am not what I have done. I am what I have become;” and, she leads others to do the same. Her own life was transformed as she transcended a violent and abusive childhood. Through education and personal healing, she created the foundation for all her programs. Her work in self-care strategies and emotional integration support leaders, women, and organizations internationally.
For more information about Cynthia and her work: www.cynthiajames.net.