I’m half-Russian and half-Polish, which is code for, “I have a temper.”
I start to boil with frustration when I feel like I’m not being heard, so I resort to yelling. Believe me, I know how unproductive it is, but when I get angry, I get angry, and I want the other person to know it — to hear me.
However, getting loud has the opposite effect than I hope it would. When I yell, I silence the ability for the other person to hear what I’m saying. You see, there’s this shut off valve we all have, a protective mechanism to guard us from harm. When someone is inflicting me with their noise, I can energetically cover my ears and hide, until it’s over. Communication is the last thing on my mind, and my receptiveness to their expression, closes for business.
Over a year and half ago, someone whom I respect, visited me at my studio one day. She said, “Can I be honest with you right now?”
“Of course, you can,” I said.
“I had to take you off of my news feed because your posts felt so angry to me.”
I felt like I swallowed a whole elephant, trunk and all, but I managed to say, “Thank you for letting me know.”
I am impassioned about many topics, coupled with the fact that I was born with an eternal, blazing fire inside, which if I don’t direct properly, will turn into an explosive volcano that spits fire balls, instead of a torch of productive creativity.
It took a long time for me to realize that I was yelling through my writings, to try and get my point across.
I was angry about the unethical behavior I was witnessing in the yoga community. I was angry that people wouldn’t wake up and see how capable and incredible they really are. I was angry that my boyfriend wasn’t fulfilling his potential as an artist. I was angry that my kids wouldn’t eat their broccoli. I was angry, angry, angry, and I was yelling all of the time — in person, on paper, in my head, and I wasn’t making any headway as an activist of the heart.
I was born with this desperate desire to help people grow and blossom, and assume their roles as the great, “powerful beyond measure” human beings they are.
It took me almost a full year to accept her comment, let it sink in and root, but it did, and do you know why it did? She didn’t attack me in anger, she approached me with honesty and love. She didn’t yell at me. She told me the truth in a calm, forthright voice.
Did it take a while to latch on? Absolutely because my ego fought it for months, and then, I got it.
If I want to be the activist and the advocate I hope to be, I must be soft. I must be quiet enough so you want to hear me, so you have to come closer (on your own accord) to listen to what I have to say.
I will only listen to the people I trust. The people who support and encourage me, even if they may not agree with me, they allow me to figure it out on my own. They give me a safe holding space to do it in — where I can be myself, and pick and choose from their offerings of advice, modeled behavior and actions.
There are so many things that still make me angry, the same things actually, yet I’ve learned that if I can remain calm, channel my voice at an octave that’s sweet and pleasant, slowly, I will build a foundation conducive to the change I hope to inspire and manifest.
I’ve already seen a shift. My kids are finally eating their broccoli because I stopped forcing it. I stopped telling them they had to. Instead, each night, I place the bowl on the table within their reach. I take a heaping portion, and quietly, by example, show them how tasty it is. ~Rebecca