Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finding My Voice

I began thinking of how one finds his or her voice with experience. This was a common theme during my human relations work in graduate school. I had struggled with finding my voice as an adolescent and even into my 20's. Now, I do feel like I have found it but that doesn't mean I don't question myself or always know how to use it. In the last group relations conference I attended, one of the large groups focused on social sensing. It was the first time I truly connected with my voice in a large group. This is my reflection about the experience that I wrote in my final paper:

During the social sensing group I feel like I woke up from a dream.  I was aware of so much going on around me, I felt overwhelmed and invigorated at the same time.  I was amazed by what people were sharing and how interconnected everything is.  This experience was an example of awakening the soul.  It seemed that way for me on an individual level but also on a larger systemic level.  It was an experience that I’ll never forget.  It was wonderful. 

For fifteen minutes, I struggled to find words for what I was holding.  I was thinking of my cousin.  I had been thinking of him a lot.  I found it so painful and confusing to balance supporting his decision to become a Marine with the possibility of him being killed.  Dualities were swarming around in my head:  life and death, good and evil, innocence and war.  I cried silently and I experienced some very physical reactions to what was going on inside of me.  My heart was pounding, I felt dizzy, and I could not stop crying.  I really felt like I needed to share what I was feeling with the group but I didn’t know how it connected to anything.  I tried waiting until I gained control of myself.  I didn’t want to cry when I spoke.  I also didn’t want to regret not talking because I was afraid.  I’m tired of holding back.  When I did speak, I spoke from a deep place and I cried with all those strangers around me.  I couldn’t help it but also, in that moment, I didn’t care.  I was being sincere and I shared something that was really resonating with me even though I didn’t know why. 

After I shared what I was feeling, someone talked about finding the warrior within himself and what it means to have courage and take risks.  When we grow and become new, sometimes pieces of ourselves must die.  Someone in the group made a connection and I was appreciative of him for doing that.  The evening before, in my review and application group, each member shared a one-word intention for the next day and I chose the word “strength.”  My consultant had said that in his faith, when we ask for something, it is already given.  I didn’t know why I had asked for this but in the moment that I spoke up in the large group, I realized that I felt courageous and vulnerable at the same time.  I had been given the strength that I needed to be authentic and to share a piece of myself with the group.        

For more information about a group relations conference, click here or check out the Tavistock Institute at    

“You never know whose future life you are shaping simply by pursuing
your own aspirations and living up to your own core values.”
- Bruce Avolio, 2005


  1. Well done on an excellent V post. most interesting to read and enjoyable.


  2. i think we have our voice from the beginning, but things get in the way of sharing it: pride, others,responsiblity. What a great day it is when we can feel free to share our voice whenever we want.


  3. Finding our voice isn't easy, but once we do find it--it's hard to recede back into the silence:)

  4. I think you have to stick with it to find your voice. I think it comes with practice and age. Visiting from the A-Z


  5. Inspiring post. Hoping over and enjoying your blog. Looking forward to more from you. Holly