Erica, on Voice. Sling Diaries, Vol VII.
The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
“Break all agreements that you made to keep your talents crumpled up. The whole world needs you to unfold, even if they criticize or complain along the way. Don’t listen. Just keep blooming 🌸”-Chani Nicholas
This year has been the year the universe has continued to shove me into spaces, situations, experiences, relationships that challenge my ability to communicate. Jedi level communication, my mentor-midwife-bestie calls it. You see, I crave communication. I yearn for conversation. I thrive on weaving words and spinning stories. Storytelling seeps my from soul like thick, sweet honey. But growth finds room for us all & even though open communication is my jam, I have so much room for improvement, for growth.
I am in the process of deep transmutation now. It’s like every time I turn around I am presented with another opportunity to practice those hard talks, the talks that require stillness, active listening, maneuvering like a ninja, openness, honesty, talks that make you squirm, that leave you wordless, grappling for even an idea of what the next, best step is. Talks that make us want to shove it back down inside, hiding it in the walls of our heart, thinking maybe another day would be better suited for a talk this heavy.
My past has conditioned me to protect myself. To ensure my survivability. This often meant that I would answer people how I thought they wanted me to. If someone I was shopping with showed me a shirt they thought I’d like, I’d buy it instead of tell them I didn’t like it. Fearful my honesty would hurt them or worse, push them away. Goodness this created more havoc than necessary. When you lose yourself in hopes of keeping others, you’re more alone than ever. Not only was I fearful of hurting someone with my honesty, I was literally terrified of confrontation. If I genuinely made an error and someone wanted to talk with me about it, I would rather tuck my head, flamingo style, hiding, hiding, hiding, then talk about it. It was the worst in my 20’s. I finally unrooted that it grew out of my fear of angering someone so much that I would be the reason I lost their love. So I avoided it entirely. Which you probably guessed, didn’t work. I lost a few good friends because of my inability to recognize my trauma. Mother wounds run deep.
Somewhere a guardian angel pretty much materialized in the flesh. She is known as Anne or my heart mom. With her gentle nudging, I found my voice. My voice, raged forward like the largest Viking. Words like fists of fury bashing and banging, smashing and blasting. It felt so good to SPEAK. And I had an opinion on everything. I was in countless MySpace poetry groups. I debated. I read so many books and spouted facts about the most bizarre aspects of the world. Did you know that a volcano explosion was responsible in large part for the infamous potato blight of Ireland? Yup. Krakatoa. See, full of strange info.
But then it changed. Shifted like a broken in clutch, 2nd to 3rd. I used my voice in a new way. In a quieter, rounder, less angry way. I used my voice like a hand.
One gets more done with an open hand than a closed fist.
This eventually became my truth. My voice softened. I screamed and ranted and lectured less and less. I listened more. I opened more. I received more. This simple and profound change allowed me to find this quiet space with which to truly connect with others. To hear them and have them hear me. To fully recognize them and be trusted to know a part of their story. This tantalized me. It changed me.
I began to use my voice in a new way. And I have done so over and over again.
As Mercury conjuncts with Venus, moving backwards through the sky, I feel my heart churning. It’s time to become new again. This time the universe is teaching me the grand ways in which to communicate. To hold and have courageous conversations with an open heart, letting go of self doubt, leaning into trust and using my voice as a catalyst for change. This is something I have ran from for far too long. But I run no longer. Now I will plant these feet firmly in the knowing that what is said in love is said well and I will follow the teachings set before me.
The hard talks, the scary talks, the talks that make your palms sweaty, the ones that illicit your primal flight or fight, the talks that steal your words. They will no longer be feared. I’m leveling up.
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