One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves when moving through any change process is to discover a way to counter the critical voice with a loving, expanding and higher voice and vision for what we want to be creating in our lives. Calling on our strengths, creativity and imagination is the foundation of all good coaching process and finding your authentic voice is the theme of my next women's circle. Some people call it finding the north star, others liken it to a vision quest or inner wisdom and I like to call it the Authentic Voice. This voice is not in conflict with the critical voice but rather a softening of defences and a more masterful movement into creative, and imaginative thinking.
Visualising the Authentic Voice
Have you ever taken the time to sit and deeply contemplate where you want to be in the future and what you aspire to in your life? Through this visualisation meditation you can relax your body and mind and start to tap into the creative mind where you will ignite your imagination which is one of the most under used resources in modern human minds. I recommend you do a 15 minute guided visualisation meditation by Mary Hyatt called Future Self or alternatively you can check out the Vision Circle NLP Visualisation a 30 mins guided visualisation and can be found in the meditation player on my website under brainwave syncronisation; this mediation also uses binaural beats which are frequencies used to slow down brainwaves.
The Future Self visualisation is the first step in the Life Coaching process I've workshopped hundreds of time known as Your Authentic Voice; it's great for group coaching process because it involves inner work and self-reflection. I like to use this tool with lots of clients when they feel stuck or unclear about their future direction and find having a vision for the future not only gives you something to aim for that is meaningful but it can motivate you and help you stay focussed.
The authentic voice process allows you to shift out of problem focussed, judgemental and critical thinking and into a loving, expanded mindset that is wise, kind and helpful. This process can be a great source of guidance and preparation for any difficult or challenging situation but I personally love using it for creating a big vision map for your life. Asking yourself what would your authentic voice do allows you to access untapped potential and innate wisdom and you might find the answers both suprising and enlightening with access to things you'd not thought of previously.
As women and often men too we are conditioned to constantly seek the voice of validation from others for guidance and rarely trust our own inner voice and wisdom. Yes if we give this process the time and space it deserves we can create rituals that renew us and give us an inner light and direction that sustains us. After working with hundreds of clients I believe we all have an inner voice that is not troubled by fear or insecurity, that is courageous and brave and guiding us to grow outside of our comfort zone. This authentic voice is already whole, centred and full of abundant love and energy and it is the core of who you are.
If you try to do this exercise and become stuck or agitated, step away and take a bath, have a massage, drink some tea and try to relax first.If you find yourself falling asleep perhaps do it when you're awake and and sit up rather than lay down. If the inner critic is too strong you might need to do some Holistic Counselling work on that first before shifting into this Life Coaching process. You can also create a vision board or map or use words in a mind map to engage in the creative authentic voice exploration. I like to use a number of angles to do the authentic voice coaching process and often use these tools in the Women's Circles I have on every month. Journalling is also a great way to support yourself in any form of leadership or life coaching work and you can use a number of journalling activities to reflect on the future self visualisation. Here's some journalling ideas below.
Working with your Authentic Voice through Reflective Journalling
Name Your Authentic Voice - Find a familiar way to identify your inner voice so you know when you're looking through the lens of your higher self. You might want to develop a whole character script and moving picture around your authentic voice which can make it easier to connect with.
Stay Close with you Authentic Voice - Have you ever left a retreat feeling whole, relaxed and like life is just wonderful only to notice in the coming few weeks stress has seeped back in and you're back in a rut? Don't use holidays and times away from life to stay centred but rather build your life around being able to stay close to what matters most to you.
Explore Symbols - After you do the future self visualisation start exploring the symbols and metaphors you saw. You can also do this for dreams you have because the subconscious mind often works with symbology rather than literal imagery. Explore any associations you have with the symbology, ask yourself what feelings or tone did I have, what did it seem to be telling me?
Be Open to Messages - Your inner voice might have a specific way of communicating to you through expressions, bodily postures, energy, symbols and tone. Try to stay open to the way your authentic voice communicates to you rather than looking for direct ways see that the forms of communication might be subtle and creative.
Ask yourself these questions - Take the time to do some reflective writing about your future self visualisation; explore feelings, thoughts, imagery or words that are generated by your authentic voice and here's some prompts to help:
What was your authentic presence like?
Write down any response you have to specific questions you asked in the visualisation?
How can I turn up the volume of my authentic voice?
What is the true name of my authentic voice?
What kind of creativity does my authentic voice enjoy?
How does my authentic voice care for herself emotionally?
What are the rituals my authentic voice recommends?
What does my authentic voice recommend I do in this situation?
If I blocked off time every week for the expression of my authentic voice what would I do?