Through 2 very different interactions today I was reminded of the importance of finding our voice in the different areas of our life and how using that voice or choking it off affects every aspect of our being.
In some areas of our life we may be totally free in our ability to express ourselves. At the same time we can have extreme difficulty making ourselves heard in different situations, even with the same person.
Sometimes the dynamics at work can be such that your boss drowns you out or intimidates you. Maybe you are not comfortable assertively saying what you really think in those circumstances
Perhaps your massage therapist says something you find inappropriate for a massage session or maybe they use sloppy draping while working with you but you are unable to voice your feelings.
Maybe you feel that your opinion does not count at home when it comes to relocating the household, or on the importance of family ties, or decisions around money
Do you misuse your own voice, speaking harshly to yourself? Have you ever told yourself a lie so often that you really believe it? Perhaps we all have
Not very comfortable for your body as it tries to harmonize around negative feelings produced by being unable to speak up, tell the truth and be heard. In the long run, this kind of behavior can make us very sick and unhappy.
So what can we do?
Learn to tell our truth as clearly and kindly as we can.
Open up our voice to full volume now and again, without shouting. Reading aloud or singing is excellent for this. We take in a lot of fresh air and ideas (inspiration) and let go of whatever we no longer need (exhalation). Deep, focused breaths can be like little shock waves that stir up things we thought were buried long ago. This is one reason why your massage therapist will often ask you to breathe into the work.
Change our attitude. Many times our head and our heart are not in agreement (stress) and our neck is often impacted, becoming inflexible and painful. We can watch out for the symptoms and then make changes in our attitude to facilitate healing. In a recent AARP article singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins says that these days he employs his head in the service of his heart so that when he has a crazy idea he gets his head to figure out how to make that happen rather than to talk him out of it.
Get some specific bodywork. I have worked with many people over the years and I have found that a few sessions of massage with cranio-sacral can not only relieve the muscle spasms in the neck but can also bring awareness to the emotion behind the pain. Once this happens it is possible to release.
Ask your therapist what you can do in between massage sessions to enhance what you do there together. This may include daily breathing, stretching or exercises. Make sure you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Sometimes a stiff neck is only a stiff neck and regular massage can be just the ticket, but I encourage you to go deeper and really think about how you make choices based on how you use your voice both in the world and to yourself.