One of my intentions since relaunching my business a year ago was to connect with and meet more people, and I’ve since had the pleasure to learn more from brilliant and inspiring women who have shared important insights and given me a greater understanding of their own views, beliefs and challenges they face in their businesses, places of work, communities and within themselves. This has served to re-enforce my own belief that this is a pivotal time for women all over the world, but there is still more work for us to do.
We are only just beginning to be the change
You cannot fail to see and know that we are all living in a time of huge uncertainty and unrest globally. But despite this remarkable human beings are no longer willing to be silent, we are speaking up, me included. Whether it’s in politics, raising awareness of environmental issues, questioning in-equality and discrimination or even sharing our stories to aid others, using our voices boldly and courageously to speak the once unspeakable is all gradually transforming everything for the greater good and for humanity.
I have almost finished my manuscript for my book “Living With Amazing Grace” and now I am immersed in writing the final part about transformation. It is remarkable how writing my book has given me an alternative perspective, I can clearly see another important thread that is fundamental to my work and life and this is the power of our voice. Encouraging and empowering my clients and community to use their own voice sits at the heart of my work and business, it always has and has become even more prominent today.
Using our voices, speaking our truths, walking our talk, sharing our stories and expressing ourselves with authenticity is nothing new. We can all shout from the rooftops about things we feel passionate or disgruntled about. But then what happens? Does anything change or transform if we do?
I believe we have to use our voices, make them heard AND be willing to take much needed action if we are to make any impact in the world. And this takes commitment and enormous courage.
We also need to choose where and how to use our voices wisely. Not everything requires a response. We don’t have to take on every battle or everyone and everything. Sometimes we simply choose not to upset the apple cart or invite unwelcome criticism or judgement our way. We let things be.
But sometimes your voice has to be heard. Things happen in and around you that you simply cannot ignore. You are doing yourself and the people around you a disservice if you remain quiet. You will not put up or shut up. Despite any feelings of vulnerability a fire within you has been stoked. Awoken from the slumber you’re not about to go back to sleep anytime soon.
Who’s At The Door?
It was the local elections last week and I had the pleasure of speaking to a local Councillor who boldly knocked on our door, hoping we would vote for her and her political party. There is no need for me to emphasise that the world of politics is an utter shambles at the moment, is there? Many of us have zero faith or trust in any of our members of parliament currently, anyway let’s not go there or I’ll never shut up.
The door bell rang and in days gone by I would have ignored our visitor and hid. But not this time. This time I seized the opportunity to use my voice. I opened the door and she launched into her spiel about why I should vote for her and her party. I wanted her to tell me more about their manifesto and then I began firing question after question her way.
She took a little step back and tried to make a swift exit, but I wasn’t about to let her off the hook easily. You could say I totally went to town with my line of questioning, I made her listen to my voice, concerns and challenges specifically on the following;
How we had to rebuild and change the entire frontage of our house to prevent people parking and inconsiderately blocking us in, and have another neighbour making full use of the road outside our house instead of his own as his illegal car sales forecourt. And are seemingly powerless to prevent this from happening.
How that despite the land next door to us being a special scientific site of interest and conservation area that people are able to come along and dump their waste and rubbish into the water and onto the land. My husband regularly gets his waders on and retrieves and disposes of this himself. And it seems no one else cares or wants to tackle it.
How every weekend our town centre has become a no-go zone for our community thanks to intimidating anti-social behaviour and drug taking and drinking. And we can only avoid the town until another day.
How local independent businesses are being driven out of town. And there is no one supporting them to stay.
There, I’ve said it - now what?
There was no escaping me and my voice and I was only just warming up. I had a long list of issues and concerns on my radar that I want answers and action on. So I continued “Who within your council will help us, because it seems despite our best efforts we are powerless to change any of this and if you can give me a straight and honest answer only then will you get our vote?”
I could see it written all over her face. “I’ve got a right one here”. Her answers were vague and meaningless and needless to say she did not get our vote.
It also transpired she had another place to be and she couldn’t get away from me quick enough.
I chuckled to myself as I closed the door, I bet she didn’t encounter many discussions like ours during her canvassing rounds?!
Not only did I use my voice, I now had a name. Her name and Twitter handle and this is a start isn’t it as there’s no doubt she won’t be forgetting me, my voice and concerns anytime soon?
Do Something, Anything Because there’s Using Your Voice, And Really using your voice
But I haven’t just been sitting around waiting for someone else to tackle what is going on outside our own front door and within our local community. I’ve asked to go along to local “environmental” steering groups to participate in the discussions, but they don’t want me to attend. The men-in-suits boys club will not permit me access. Because I have to be voted in, even though I live slap-bang in the middle of this conservation area.
I’ve contacted the council on numerous occasions to report our neighbour who seems to be above the law in trading from outside our house only to be told I can submit a request for review, where it will be considered in June 2020.
I continue to report the anti-social behaviour and have even agreed to provide witness statements and go to court if need be. I am not afraid to use my voice here either, even though these people know where I live.
The unspeakable is unique and collective
When you feel compelled to use your voice it can feel overwhelming to know where to begin. So start on the inside and get to know yourself better. Gain clarity on your own beliefs and values, listen to your inner thoughts and feelings and notice what gets under your skin? What gets you riled up and ruffled? What do you HAVE to do something about? Begin here.
Notice what is going on around you, on your door-step, within your community and where you work. See for yourself. Then decide if you are you going to choose to do something about it, or just let it be?
We can all do our bit and choose not to leave it up to others to sort on our behalf. So do what you can, use your own voice to speak up in the real world and online. Use social media as a force for good to focus on what you can change. And don’t use it to moan or whinge about what you can’t.
Boldly and courageously use your voice, tell your stories, lead by example and with your own wisdom and you can do this within your blogs, brands and businesses.
Commit and take responsibility for change as this is how you make your voice and the unspoken heard.
Find a way of being more outspoken, honest and truer to yourself
It can be difficult for one person to change or transform anything alone. But when you bring collective voices and people together, they cannot be ignored or suppressed. They get louder. They beat to the sound of the collective drum and our voices are eventually heard.
I used to be the person who stayed quiet, but not anymore. When I feel a sense of injustice or feel so passionate about something I am prepared to do whatever it takes. Especially now I have been awakened, I give my own inner voice some volume.
We are not powerless - we are powerful and as Mother Earth is reawakening so are we.
And once you’re awake there’s absolutely no going back to sleep.