How well we communicate to the world and to ourselves is how we show our own self-expression, and creativity. Our throat is the center of our communication and this is where we take in sustenance and express ourselves. When the throat is closed off we have no way to reveal our feelings or our creativity. Ultimately we can end up with hearing problems, thyroid imbalance, sore throat, TMJ and become shy, mousy, emotional, and disempowered.
Communication involves not only what we say but what we fail to say. By failing to say what you really feel, you bottle up emotions and can limit yourself. Also, what sustenance we put into our bodies determines how much nourishment we are offering ourselves. Not saying what needs to be said and stuffing yourself with coca cola, potato chips, twizzlers or whatever junk foods you enjoy can lead to temporary comfort, but long lasting disempowerment and emotional instability.
Another important aspect of communication that gets lost in todays culture is looking someone in the eyes as you speak to them. On the rare occasions that we are in person with people it is important to be present, listen, and look the person in the eyes. It is beneficial for you and for others if we can offer each other our undivided attention when we are together – not be working or playing on your phone while you are at dinner or in the company of others. Now of course there are exceptions to the rule, but be aware of how your attention is split and you are not really listening to the person that you are with.
Being okay with saying ‘no’ to people is a challenge that I think all of us deal with. Many of us want to make everyone happy and when they ask us to a party, to help with something, we automatically say yes without checking in with ourselves and what we really want to do. We end up running ourselves ragged with too many things on our plate and lying to ourselves that it is how we want to do things.
How is it that you find it the best way to express yourself – words, dancing, art, drama? There is no write or wrong way to communicate, but we all have our own unique way that we feel we show our true selves. If you are at a point in your life where you are feeling like you are unable to express yourself take a step back and look at what hobbies you had in the past where you felt truly like yourself. Carve out the time to explore the practices and see what joy and fluidity it brings back to your life. If it was dance, don’t go into it thinking you need to be perfect, or as good as you were 10 years ago, simply allow yourself to be playful, enjoy, and go at it with an open perspective.
Through communication we are seeking connections with ourselves and others. When you are open and balanced in our Vishuddha Chakra (purification or throat chakra) you are able to express yourself openly without fear of what others will think. One of the ways to balance our throat charka, our communication, is through asana (yoga postures). These postures include backbends and inversions that open and close the throat in order stretch, strengthen, and expand the neck.
In addition to the physical postures an approach to balance is by practicing silence. Yogis will take days, months or even years of silence in order to deepen their connection with their true selves. However, that takes a lot of work to get to so I recommend starting with making breakfast silent or one hour out of the day where you don’t speak out loud to people, no email, no texting, no form of communication. Simply sit and be with yourself. It will allow you to be more present with the food you are taking in, the opinions you are forming, and overall being in the now.
Communication has many levels to it and how it allows our self-expression and creative identity to expand and grow. It is not limited to what we say out loud, but what we don’t say, what sustenance we put into our bodies, our ability to listen, and the lies we tell others and ourselves. So how can we begin to scratch the surface of the breadth psychological function of communication?
Here are a few communication practices for you to try in your daily life: