The following exercise will assist you to embody new self-talk while empowering your live presentations on every stage of your life:
In the first person, say out loud:“I am in command of my stand. I am in charge of my life and emotions.”
Then shift to second person, exclaiming “You’re in charge of your life and emotions.” Practicing in second person is enhanced by speaking into a mirror, and seeing the person looking back at you (your best audience and worst critic, yourself). If you speak to the eyes looking back at you in the mirror until the one looking back really “gets” the communication, you are doing well!
Next, shift to third person, “He is in charge of his life and emotions. She is…”
Then the “Royal We,” inferring that “All the parts of me that make up myself are…in charge of our emotions.”
What’s next? “They are…in charge of their life and emotions.” It is essential to acknowledge others for developing this same quality, along with reinforcing it within yourself. Subliminally, practicing this on your own sets up a ‘win-win’ dynamic through which you will be listened to with greater attentiveness, as the people you speak with feel that they mean as much to your presentation as your downloading information to them.
Once you’ve practiced this exercise with the 5 key pronouns of I, you, (s)he, we and they, now go back to the first person, and activating the powerful “I AM” presence, literally put your foot down, as though your life depended on it, simultaneously saying the words as you direct your strongest intention through the base of your spine towards the centre of the molten earth.
Then whisper it, and as you decrease the volume of your sounds, increase the ‘volume’ of your gestures.
Sing it! “I am in charge…” (It doesn’t have to be an academy award performance, just bring melody and rhythm to the simple statement, and sing it 3 times, each time building up your physical presence with larger movements and sounds until you are belting out the key phrase for all and everyone to hear.
Laugh it, act silly, do it in gibberish – so you can bring the feeling behind the intonation out, with more humour (and more of you)
See all the different ways that you can see, feel and hear you coming to the fore. This way you’ll find many more parts of you that, perhaps, have been in hiding and not feeling quite safe to come out. Like an archaeologist, imagine yourself digging up those underlying ways of speaking what you’ve always wanted to voice.
Let’s look again now at our body. Notice, how your spine naturally straightens as you say these words, “I am centred, calm and free. Have you heard the good news? (S)he’s centred, calm and free!”
And you may find yourself saying it in different ways again: playfully, seriously, in gibberish, singing, whispering, mouthing the words, shouting and even miming — having your gestures ‘speak’ so clearly there’s no need to say any words at all. Even writing down the words and speaking them out loud while the words are being formed is another way of encoding the new self-talk into your muscle memory.
Know that you can access now all these different ways of speaking up that can come out of hiding – from the crannies and corners of your bodymind’s landscape. “I am a vehicle for the fullest expression of good.” Awake! Awake! For Goodness’ sake.
How do you recognise this territory of being centred in your body? How can you remember how to get back here when you need it most? What gets activated in sensations and locations in your body when you say, “I go further than I thought I could”? Do you breathe longer? Do you move with larger movements or with subtler movements? “I stretch my limits with ease.” And here’s a wonderful one to shout as well as to whisper: “I stretch my limits with ease!!”
Sing, “I stretch my limits with ease.” I’ve asked someone to sing that once around the room, and they were so much afraid of letting their inner child out, that they at first wound up crying instead.
What I am saying to you is get all these considerations we’ve had about being fully ourselves out of your system, by giving them voice. Then, out will come the part of you that is a masterful communicator. Out come the words without even having to say them out loud. Feel it deep inside in your innermost core. Make a note of the sounds. What affirmations right now will you turn into a positive statement that you can stand on, live with and bring through you?
How does that ring true for you? What areas of your life have you said, “Yes, but…” Where have you pulled back moving forward with ease? Put your attention now on your buttocks area in your body and realize how the “Yes, but… ” is centralised there.
In fact, in order to authentically be able to say, “I move forward with ease,” we discover ways to no longer have to pull back these muscles at the same time. So, the body becomes a more alive piece of your ability to say with your word what again matches up on every level. “Yes, but” becomes “Yes, and…”
Speaking about saying yes to yourself, what area(s) of your life right now are you ready to set free, to allow your fullest self-expression to emerge? Where are you ready to go further right now than ever before? Make this statement and feel how specific sensations and locations are activated in your body. Is there a lengthening of the spine, a fullness of the breath, a deepening of the sound, an ease in the joints, a fluidity where there was once a rigidity?
With respect to your posture, breath, movement and voice, you are now – more than ever before – a engaging partner to yourself throughout your whole body. Notice what happens in your physical body when you say to yourself, “I am a partner with my posture, movement, breath and voice. Every part of me speaks my whole message.”
How do you notice that it’s truer when you allow these words to take place? If your breath would have a voice and talk to your body, what would it say? It might say, “Give me more room. I deserve equal attention here, too. More room for me, more room for you.” Find your own dialogue between different parts of you. The posture may talk to the breath: “I stand for you, take more time for me.” The voice may talk to your movement: “Let’s support each other more.”What part of you has more to say? Listen; there is a message in here. Speak your truth, as the breath streams clear…
Visualise now, as you exhale, letting go old ways of holding. As pressure leaves your lungs, declare to yourself, “I let go of old ways that were holding – no longer needed, no longer wanted.” Even see these words again riveted, illuminated on this neon screen of your mind. And thank the old ways for what they showed you, the ways of holding tight may have been protecting you from being rejected, judged and hurt from others in the past. Yet, the muscle memory now shifts, as you practice a new story, a new glory.
Visualise waters falling as you exhale long, picturing and feeling yourself letting go of old ways — no longer needed, no longer wanted — in your body, mind and life. Longer exhales, more room to let go, more room to trust what you deeply know… Longer exhales, deeper sounds, further intentions — through the pelvic floor, longer deeper further than you once allowed before… And as you breathe in strong, feel yourself connecting with what you truly belong. Out with the old, in with the new, all the way in, all the way through. With each new inspiration, fresh ideas and insights stream through — further, longer, deeper than you once allowed and knew…
As you breath in, feel your Breath rising — without hesitation — like a great wave. And as you exhale, feel your Breath falling — without questioning — like a great wave. A great wave rising and falling between the shores of your pelvis and shoulders, and back again. Longer exhales meeting stronger inhales. The Breath, the sacred messenger of thought, carries our every intention — surely rising towards the shore of our shoulders, surely falling towards the shore of the pelvis.
Seeing the way we breathe in this transformed way, as the “carrier of our consciousness,” also shifts how we express our inner intentions with our outer expression. This leads us to address the subject of “intonation,” the way we vocally transmit sound through our body as the chief instrument of communication.
Indeed, aligning our intentions through our vocal sounds, our visual gestures and our verbal words is the foundation of “The Art of Speaking.”