I made a commitment to the most burning message inside of me: to support the rise of feminine wisdom on this planet. ~KC Baker, Founder, WomanSpeak
It’s sad, but many of us first become aware of our inner glass ceilings when we are young girls. Nope, not because we’re born with them. Because we already get what we can’t say or become by stringing together the subtlest of clues, starting at pre-verbal ages.
We know that all hell will break loose if we cross some invisible, forbidden line, purely by observing what’s happening all around us. Most likely the powerful women around us who’d shattered their inner and outer glass ceilings had gotten caught in more than one shit storm of broken shards.
So we learn to hold back and see life as treacherous, sometimes without fully understanding why.
That was me, for sure. I was super sensitive and perceptive as a child. I cried at the drop of a hat, and was teased for my crocodile tears. Every few months, my exasperated mother raised her hand to eye-level and hissed in my face, “You either tell me why you’re crying or I’m going to give you a reason to cry.”
The result? Correct. I swallowed my tears and piled them on top of my words. Why would I tell her anything? First of all, adults couldn’t be trusted. Second, even if I wanted to tell her why I was crying, I didn’t have the faintest idea where to begin.
The irony? As hard as this was, these painfully alienating experiences simultaneously led me to depths of awareness as a young child that most people have difficulty accessing in adulthood.
My mother unwittingly facilitated this process. She was a bad-ass junior high school principal, big on education and books, and dead-set on taking me to the library every week to borrow a book. That’s how Anne Frank, Helen Keller, and Joan of Arc became my imaginary friends. Their powerful messages awakened dormant inner wisdom and soul callings in me. By some miracle, I recognized them as a higher truth.
My mysterious and unwavering loyalty to this truth offered me an unshakeable sense of security and protection that far outweighed the distress and despair caused by crazy adults. I no longer felt alone and hopeless. If these girls had been able to live with their secrets for many years, so could I.
Helen’s intimate relationship with water before learning the letters and word for it taught me that language was secondary to experience. My everyday experiences with soul were just as real, refreshing, and vital to me as water. They kept me alive, whether I could explain to you how or not. The pressure to fully understand what was happening and explain myself to others dissolved. It was none of their business.
Helen saw the true me. Even though I wasn’t blind, I had the gift, just like her, to see with my heart, not my eyes. People like her were all the proof I needed that the world still made sense: I liked the adult she had become and the fact that she was admired for her efforts later in life gave me tremendous hope.
Anne Frank’s words affirmed that, “in spite of everything, people are truly good at heart.” She still believed in people while physically trapped and experiencing horrors so much worse than mine! I needed to be patient and trust in the future and the things I knew that made no logical sense to most people.
Foreshadowing dreams and premonitions became a regular thing while pretending to be Mowgli and roaming freely in the mystical and pristine Amazon rainforest that covered almost the entire surface area of my native Suriname.
In the company of my brave friends, critters, and nature spirits, it seemed perfectly normal to want to write a book to reveal to adults what went on in the minds of children. It also seemed perfectly normal to feel qualified to lead them to freedom with the guidance that I was gifted. I filed this information away in a very special “book folder” in my mind to safe-keep until the time was right.
This was the plan until a military coup and its violent aftermath blew up my secret files when I was just 10 years old. My deepest insights were scattered all over the place, and eventually got buried under new layers of life-threatening terror.
Frightening thoughts of my parents getting kidnapped, tortured, and killed—just like the parents of some my friends— if I accidentally misspoke, permanently set up shop in the forefront my mind. This terror prohibited me from accessing my true feelings or inner wisdom. When daily strikes and stray bullets became a regular occupational hazard for my parents, we fled our beloved motherland and close-knit community, and resettled in Miami, Florida, a month before my fourteenth birthday.
Cut-off from my main life-lines and lost in a strange, concrete jungle—at the height of ordinary adolescence mayhem—made it nearly impossible to grasp the magnitude of my loss.
I dallied in darkness for years, and eventually found my way back to my true nature, thanks to the powerful early connections to light and wisdom that my soul helped me to re-member. But not even years of professional healing and psychotherapy—aided by a PhD in Clinical Psychology, certifications in Depth Hypnosis and Shamanic Healing, and the writing of my memoir—were able to rid me of my most ingrained issues in regard to speaking up.
The secrets and political censorship that shaped my childhood had morphed into selective mutism in adolescence and second language anxiety in adulthood. I’d come a long way and did okay in safe and intimate settings, but was still overcome with terror, paralysis, and panic attacks that significantly choked me up in high-stakes situations and settings. I once completely froze during a panel interview for a position that I wanted more than anything.
As the dates of my book talk approached, walls started to close in on me. I obsessed about the time when I had a flare up of panic during a presentation in front of a class full of college-aged students. Bullets of sweat collected on my face and I was so out of breath, I sounded like I’d just run a 10 mile race. I wanted to bolt out of there and never return.
But I couldn’t. I had to push through. What if my book talks turned out like that? Could all my current or new relationships survive such a terrible nosedive? I didn’t know where to go for help. Joining a toastmasters group made logical sense, but something held me back from moving forward.
Until a WomanSpeak flyer caught my eye one day. It was a sign, loud and clear, pinned up right next to a postcard of my book, as if directly saying to my muted self (mind you, my mouth is covered by a palm leaf on the cover of my book), “Woman Speak!”
This is what began to spin my wheels, and today, more than a year later, they’re still gaining traction and momentum thanks to the many speaking engagements I’ve had the opportunity to partake in, ranging from radio interviews, to podcasts, Facebook videos, online courses, toasts, book talks, national conventions, university trainings, and leading my own WomanSpeak circle. Not only am I doing these things, I’m doing them well, and never experienced the panic attacks and paralysis I feared I would.
How did KC Baker and the women in her brilliant WomanSpeak program shatter my thick inner glass ceilings and immediately speak to my heart and soul?
Quite frankly, I can’t capture it in words. Her flyer revealed the depth of her layers and pulled me in like a magnet. I went to her website, and each one of her short video teachings identified and reframed a key misunderstanding that had become one of my stumbling blocks, and within minutes, turned it into a building block.
Every cell in my body fist-pumped and shouted “Truth! Truth!” when she boldly claimed that my terrifying fear of public speaking was actually my hidden power. No one had ever said this to me. I needed to know more, and found my answers by listening to her moving story and the profound experiences that shaped her journey.
An unhappy investment banking analyst and assistant for two US Senators, she decided one day to sell all of her belongings and travel the world—a journey of self-discovery that lasted four years. While visiting the Middle East and Gaza, KC developed a close friendship with a young Palestinian women who lived inside of the walls of the West Bank. She told KC about her big hopes and dreams of traveling, studying psychology at an amazing university, and helping her people deal with the intensity of the anger inside so that they do not have to throw bombs. She felt punished in this lifetime because she couldn’t get a visa to pursue her callings.
This jarred KC wide awake and birthed the origins WomanSpeak. She realized,
Oh my God. What an incredible thing to have been born an American woman in this place and time. Anything that I want to dream, anything that I want to create, anything that I want to say, I can. I can. I’m in every way of my life logistically free. The only place I am trapped is in my mind.
~ KC Baker
I was similarly jarred to the core when I heard KC share this life-changing epiphany and moment. I wasn’t born an American woman, but I am one now and fully understood the privileges that this afforded me, as described by KC.
Even if racism caused my words as a woman of color to land differently than KC’s words in some spaces, I knew in my bones what it’s like not to have the logistical freedom that I now have and deeply appreciate. Every part of me surrendered to her seasoned wisdom and naturally took to her innovative methods that are so congruent with ancient healing modalities—the fertile listening, the pre-stage grounding rituals inspired by Qigung and shamanic practices, the dancing, and the wild standing ovations and celebrations that intentionally rewire our hay-wired nervous systems and re-establish inner safety and trust in our own bodies and a special support system.
One-by-one, secret latches and doors in me unlocked and swung wide open, and within a matter of two months, I was able to unleash the power of my body’s feminine wisdom and the brilliance of my voice, just as she claimed.
As both a WomanSpeak circle member and leader, I discovered that my transformational journey is quite common and typical, despite my atypical background. Women attracted to WomanSpeak may have a different history than mine. They may be holding back for other reasons: because they are comparing themselves to other women and are afraid that they are not good enough. They may believe that there is no point to sharing their message if it’s already out there, presented much better than they ever could. Or they worry that the people they love—their friends and family—might reject and not like what they have to say.
They may feel scared about being shamed if they say something that ends up sounding stupid. Or they may have so many things that they’re passionate about that they have a really hard time narrowing in on what that one core message is that they want to focus on. They too end up feeling confused, overwhelmed, and consumed with these worries and fears.
The truth of the matter is, underneath these concerns are often deeper layers, similarly informed by patriarchal conditioning, intergenerational oppression, and ancestral fears of persecution that causes girls everywhere to swallow their words and emotions, to have secrets, to censor and silence themselves due to threats, abuse, mocking, and feeling marginalized and dangerously different. WomanSpeak provides the remedy to each of these concerns and clears any speaking block, no matter how old and ingrained.
The tears that flow when women everywhere unleash the brilliance of their voices fills a universal, divine feminine well of love and wisdom that nourishes all. It’s the reason why WomanSpeak circles have popped up like mushrooms all over the world. There are now more than 120 circles in 31 states in the US and almost 20 circles in 5 continents worldwide. To find a circle near you, click here: WomanSpeak circles.
KC Baker will present the innovative and transformative foundations of “WomanSpeak” and WomanSpeak culture on September 28, 2018 in Pleasanton, CA. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet and experience her expert guidance in-person, and see for yourself why her key practices are so successful in helping women to raise their confidence, gain clarity in their message, give riveting talks, and connect with other women in a way that takes everyone to new levels of power and influence.
EVENT DATE & LOCATION
Friday, September 28th from 7—10 PM, Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA . Doors will open at 6:30PM, and the event will begin promptly at 7:00 PM. Register and get your tickets here: WOMANSPEAK SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
ABOUT KC BAKER
KC is a world-renowned thought leadership & international public speaking expert, a highly sought-after public speaking trainer and speechwriter, and a two-time TEDx speaker. She has helped thousands of women from all over the world in becoming authentic, powerful public speakers, using unorthodox and highly effective methodologies. KC’s clients are women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, authors, founders of foundations, Olympians, professional speakers, politicians and non-profit social changemakers. Women who have worked with KC have gone on to speak on stages such as The American Heart Association, TED/TEDx, Wisdom 2.0, Bioneers, Emerging Women, Lamaze International, Princeton, Hass Business School at UC Berkeley, international conferences and symposiums, and local community gatherings. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Love, and Women 2.0, KC has been hailed as “One of the Top Planetary Changemakers” by Origin Magazine. KC is THE WOMAN that women turn to when they are asked to present world changing keynotes: to gain clarity of message and develop powerful, embodied ways of speaking.
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