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Speaking Up

This is adapted from a 2019 At The Gate blog post - it seemed perfectly timely given the current state of affairs.

Our society has come to focus a great deal on speaking up – finding your voice and your truth. #Metoo. #TimesUp. Instagram. Influencers. Bloggers. But, the question I keep coming back to is – is this just another outgrowth of reality TV oversharing for base attention – the focus on “look at me look at me?” Or, are we speaking up to lift up those who have been wronged, to evolve humanity, to come together and build higher level of community and self-awareness?

When you are stuck inside for 60 days with an overabundance of social media and news…no matter how hard you try to practice self-control…these thoughts pop into one’s head and begin to fester.

At Torii Coaching & Consulting, we are 100% supportive of everyone having a safe space to tell their story. We’re in a unique moment in history. It’s a time when we should all be able to speak up and find common ground. The important thing for healing is to do it in an authentic way that becomes a catalyst for change, and not just base exhibitionism and narcissism. Too often, people fear speaking up because they do not want to be seen as a victim, or worse–as a narcissist shining a spotlight on themselves.

My business partner, William Rodriguez has traveled around the country speaking at universities, museums and other places about post-traumatic growth, and he always mentions this whole idea of speaking up and sharing to combat the defensive position of “well, you wouldn’t understand. You couldn’t understand so I don’t want to tell you.”

Nobody understands every individual’s experiences. Even when those experiences are widely shared – like the current pandemic and stay at home orders. The only way we can begin to understand is by having an honest conversation and meeting each other as human beings and the more we do that, and leave the idea of stigma and mental health and politics and all that sort of stuff to the side, and simply say, “how are you doing?” This is how we heal collectively. And healing collectively is the only way to true growth and change.

The concern with this global pandemic is the current anxiety and economic stressors leading our brains to become stuck once the emergency is over, with our bodies and brains still full of that coiled, focused energy stored up. Whether living through a physical or mental crisis – the psychic energy is the same. The body does not know a mental health crisis from a family emergency from a heart attack or broken leg. Energy is energy.

Technology innovators and biohackers call it “hardware and software.” Most folks call it body and soul. However you define the physical and mental/emotional halves of you – temporal and eternal, sacred and profane, seen and unseen matter exists. Whatever your terminology, religious preference or situation, most of us, when pressed, admit that there is an interior life – soul, spirit, essence of you – and it is as important as your physical wellness. You can’t be truly well physically and mentally if you are holding something in.

In South Dakota, spending time with the Lakota Sioux, William started to understand that we can have a very positive impact in the lives of others and when we are in a position to do so, we kind of owe it to others. To give to others – to speak up not only saying what I need, but asking out loud “what do you need? Are you OK?”

This can be done via text, phone call, zoom or messaging on social media platforms. There have never been more ways to reach out, to speak up, to support others. The internet – and this amazing community of Thrive Global – is a wonderful modern tool that you can use to connect to people and resources who can help pull you out of your current situation. This is about having a conversation and standing together and focusing on the change that we can actually get done. In a world where a lot of things seem hopeless, this is one that we can actually get done if we work together.

Grace & Peace for another week to everyone on the journey of wellness. Carrie Ann

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