I have read in esoteric spiritual books that the most transformational activity for humanity is self-expression. I have spent my life testing that theory.
In my early twenties, I was driven to self-express through acting. Although I was not a great actress, the training I received in acting and singing techniques freed me from some rigidity and armoring that bound me.
In my thirties, I was drawn to psycho-physical methods of expressing and releasing anxiety, tension, fear and negative emotional baggage that I had been holding all my life. That was an intense period in my life, but one for which I am grateful!
In my forties, I found myself teaching self-expression through acting and public speaking. Teaching others to express is often as releasing for me as expressing myself.
Through it all, I have learned that when I express my inner thoughts and feelings in some way, it frees me from tension, fear and anxiety. Self-expression is indeed the secret to transformation in my experience.
Today I met a friend who is visiting from Australia. Karen is a former corporate communication specialist who has recently earned a Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology. We shared some thoughts about self-expression. Her insights concurred with my own. She explained that her fiancé has been writing a novel and that he has been transforming in front of her as he wrote his story.
Karen said, ” Imagine armor that you carried all your life because you didn’t know any other way and it has served you. And then you begin the process of self-expression and chunks of armor just fall off, and as they fall off there is a sense of opening and freedom and liberation. It’s a process of liberation from the bonds that we’ve assumed we had no choice but to carry. So there is no need to wear that armor anymore because it doesn’t fit any more and there’s nothing to be afraid of. Once you get the issues out of yourself, they are gone.”
What are you carrying that you don’t really need anymore? Why not try some expression. Write about it or paint or sing or act it out. Just have fun expressing your inner world and see what happens.
How this all fits with public speaking is that we need to feel some freedom of expression to be good at speaking to groups. Clients ask me how to get emotion into their talks. I tell them they have to express more emotion in their life. You can’t expect to be very expressive in front of an audience if you can’t express emotion in daily life. Begin the process of exploring ways to express yourself through some creative endeavor. It will create surprising confidence in public speaking, presentations and leadership situations.