My team and I are taking my year long communication empowerment training. And by taking, I don't mean reviewing it and saying, "Oh, that's nice." I mean taking it and letting it challenge us. I mean taking it and letting it change us. I also mean taking it and letting us change it.
The process takes me back to that moment when I deeply decided to be a player in my own life, and that what I have to say is important. It was a kind of a Helen Ready, "I am woman, hear me roar" moment. Now, today, as I reaffirm that awakening, my commitment has a much different tone. The drive - the needing and demanding to be heard I once felt - has mellowed. I am my deepest voice's most loyal listener. If no one else offers me as careful an ear, I am happy with my own listenings. I still strive for clarity to inspire synergy and communion with others. But the need for people to understand me immediately and completely and my frustration when they don't has lifted. I listen much more now. I treasure my communication skills more for the way they help others have their say than how they enable me to have mine.
My initial decision that my voice is important and my commitment to make my voice heard was a powerful initiation. At this stage in my life I enjoy the blessings from those efforts. I worked hard. I'm not working as hard at it anymore. The heavy lifting created a platform for a quest that isn't a burden. My re-commitment to authentic communication is light, playful and fun.
That's me in the pic, receiving my "Certified Speaking Professional" award in 2006. Oh, boy. Did I ever earn it!