“Some birds are not meant to be caged; that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.” – Stephen King
I believe we all experience at some point in our lives the deafening silence that arises in a soul burdened with an untold story. The greatness within us will remain unsettled until we courageously unmute our voices and dare to speak freely!
If I could rewind the hands of time and converse with my younger self, I would tell her that, “One day your voice will impact nations and inspire more women than you can ever dream of.”
It seems as if it was just yesterday that I was in my apartment too afraid to sing aloud in the comfort of my home. I would look through the peephole to ensure no one was around before I uttered a melodic sound. In my mind, I had such an ugly voice. When I recorded my voicemail, it was as if no recording was good enough. I would enter into talent shows and sit in the audience with my name on the program and pretend as though I was not even there.
In my freshman year of college, I took a speech class. I was so terrified of presenting before my peers that I asked my professor if I could present privately.
From the outside looking in, it was hard to discern that I was this little, trapped bird destined to spread my vibrant and colorful wings.
Many question, how do you discover your voice? Where does one go to find the power to prevail over their deepest fears?
During my senior year in college, at the turning of a new leaf in life, I realized that I wanted to make a valuable contribution to society. One afternoon, I was sitting in the back of the class as usual trying to blend in for fear of standing out. The instructor asked a question, and my eyes lit up and he called on me. At that moment, I was at another crossroad and had to decide quickly in what direction to go. With intense trepidation, I unmuted my voice and attempted to answer the question. Although, completely wrong, I will never forget the liberating feeling of hearing the echo of my soul resound. I wept with sweet joy and sighs of relief.
The key to freedom was buried deep inside of me. As a women’s empowerment speaker, I now inspire others to discover their limitless possibilities. In the words of Maggie Kuhn, “Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.”
If you have something to say, stand tall, be proud and say it loud!