Authentic Expression Changes The (Our) World
There is such a difference in being confident that is, the way we appear and the experience of sharing authentic expression. They can go hand in hand or sometimes bear no resemblance to one another. One of the myths that I love to BUST about authentic expression is that she will express as a honed creature of ethereal magnetism. Often when women come to listen in to their heart yearnings; they notice they become LESS confident. Authentic expression has less to with confidence and all to do with an internal experience of alignment. If we have been used to hiding her away, if we have shunned our inner voice in favour of a more sanitised version of womanhood, we will feel uneasy about unleashing this force. We will question, we will doubt and there will be confusion.
When I express with my heart, when I allow myself to be uninhibited and speak what is mine to tell; my knees shake, my body pulses and my heart races wildly. This isn’t the same as simple stage fright or anxiety (yes I get both of those as well. I have a lot going on). The air in the room changes around me and I can almost feel the collective heartbeat in the room. I become so acutely aware the experience of interconnection. It is pure freedom. It is pure transparency.
If you have hidden your experience away and taken on the accepted; when you reconnect with YOUR voice; the one that emanates from within, it might come out sound kind of reedy, thin and squeaky. You may even have trouble recognising it as YOU. Don’t be perturbed if your once plucky, girlish confidence falters. She needs to. Perhaps you will lament that you have suddenly lost your confidence or you will believe you aren’t good at expressing yourself. Undoubtedly when we start to get really close to what is authentic in us, we will get scared.
What I notice in ‘women’s empowerment’ courses / education is that we are encouraged to be confident however not necessarily supported in tapping into what authentic expression is and how to hone this in ourselves. The focus, I notice of mainstream offerings for women is often more about the reproduction of knowledge rather than a recreation of our feminine identity and self. This is mainly because the part of ourselves that we must develop is WILD. She is stirred through the rhythms of the tide and breath; the cycle of the moon and menses. We take up the movement and become evolution, not abstracted from it. Yes authentic expression and confidence are different parts of the same self. We can be terrified of the heart based experience of ourselves.
Women share with me that they are so uncomfortable sharing who they really are, beyond the space of a few close people. To be sure, it takes guts and courage to even give a glimmer of this in say, a standard office environment. Sometimes it is downright unsafe. However there is also something that speaks to our integrity, purpose and fulfilment when we are able to be ourselves in any environment. Do you know which environments you tend to dry up in? Do you change to fit the shape of your environment, to the point of detriment to yourself?
I think one of the most radical acts women can make is to open her heart, blaze with passion and love and BE in the spaces that are most sterile. Oh yes, we will be judged. Oh yes there will be shame and self-doubt.
This is what happens though.
When we speak our truth.
When we dare express what it is like to live as a woman.
So if you hear the term authentic voice or authentic self or authentic expression and believe (as many do) that this is a confident voice, you may be looking for the wrong thing. She may be feeble, wickedly funny, sexy and commanding. There may be shocking stories to tell and there will be rage to share. She may be the very antithesis to the womanhood you were taught. No one needs to teach us to be women. We are evolving what this means at any given moment. If you feel claustrophobic and like it is time to shed a layer. Strip yourself bare. Listen to your yearnings and dare to share.
With love Katie xxxxx