I just watched a video by one of my clients, Nikki Holguin. Not only does it speak to THE THING I believe is most important in this world (more love, not less), but it also reminds me how important it is to voice our values. Write them down, say them out loud, give them shape and size.
Once upon a time, in the middle of a divorce and all the emotional chaos that went along with said divorce, I took out a notepad and made a list of values that were most important to me. Things like courage, integrity, freedom, and kindness, just to name a few. It was an exercise from a self-help book long forgotten, and it was designed to create a sense of direction via values, not just goals.
What I realized in those days was that freedom was foundational to who I am. Without it, I start to shrivel up. But, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want freedom? The difference for me was naming it and feeling its electricity. The act of saying I wanted it and needed it gave me the courage to seek it. It took years to learn to make decisions that actually put freedom above co-dependency and toxic relationships, but had I not taken the first step of naming my values I would have never changed at all.
How does this relate to the voice studio?
Well, for starters, watch the video and see what Nikki and Andy have to say about it. Then look at the name of the video: voices heard, freedom’s anthem. You cannot have freedom without speaking up and having a voice. And this is quite literal, people. I have seen it over and over again in the teaching studio – when someone’s voice gets more vibrant, easy (and free), and they have the courage to impress their sound on an audience, or even into the room, they feel empowered and alive. This is because they have “found their voice.” And I don’t care what anyone else says, this is representative of having the courage to speak up, be heard, and say who you are.
My challenge to everyone everywhere is to name their values. Dig deep, dream big, and write ’em all down on a piece of paper. Then say them aloud with the voice God gave you. This may not solve all your problems or instantly create world peace, but it will bring you one step closer to living out of your values. Your voice and your values are brilliant dancing partners, and they might just change you and the world for the better.