Blog

Balanced Embodiment, Confidently Expressed, Connected to Self, Consciousness, Spirituality, Your Empowered Voice

Your Empowered Voice – Balance

Today is the fourth and final article in a four part series where we’re talking about the 4 Elements of Your Empowered Voice. Click here to read the first part on Grounded Stability, here to read the second part on Explored Awareness, and here to read the third part on Liberated Expansion.

Balance is the element of Embodiment for an Empowered Voice

The reason this element is the last one is because in order for you to understand what balance you truly need, you first have to have Grounded Stability, be connected to your inner voice through Explored Awareness, and be practicing Liberated Expansion. This element is where you take all you’ve learned and distill it into an embodied way of living. This is where you create boundaries based on your values and decide in which ways you want to release your voice into the world, and which ways you need to be quiet. This is where you continue to live out what you’ve learned on your journey so far and act in alignment with who you are. This is where the knowledge, awareness, and consciousness you’ve gained gets integrated.

This is also where you now can choose to go back to other elements as you go deeper in your journey. This does NOT mean you have “arrived”, or that the other 3 elements don’t need to be practiced anymore. Life is a journey and it will always be shifting and changing, just as the seasons and nature’s cycles.

I have an issue with the word Balance. Many people think of balance as a fixed point, a fulcrum, a destination. But when it comes to life, balance is something that is constantly shifting and moving, it just doesn’t go to far to one side or the other for the needs of the moment. Think about it in terms of music. If a song had the same dynamics throughout the entire piece, equal harmony the entire time, and no moments of tension and resolution, it would be pretty boring. It might sound like a drone – and even music that is heavy on the drone for meditation or style purposes still has dynamics, they are just on a smaller scale. Music that is dynamic touches our souls. The moments of musical and artistic tension affect our emotions. Think of the build up before the drop, the story the soprano tells before the climactic high notes, the way that each verse and chorus in a song is a little different; a little louder, a little quieter, more full, or more sparse. When you lose yourself in a song, it’s the dynamics that take you on the journey.

Translating this to life, our moments of light and shadow, joy and sadness, time alone and time with others, quiet and noise are what bring balance overall. One person’s balance is not going to be the same as someone else’s, nor is your “ideal” balance at one point in life going to be the same as earlier or later in life. It can even change day by day. This is why I call it the element of Balanced Embodiment. It’s not just about some magical unicorn moment of feeling perfect peace because everything is *just right* and trying to keep that feeling. But rather it’s about a balance of elements spread out in your life. It means you’ve created a life that gives you the time *you* need for your spirit, body, mind, space, and relationships. Depending on what priorities and values have come out of your Discovered Awareness, the spread of balance for each area will be different for you than for someone else.

So what does this look like? Think about the practical elements of your life. Do you have a job, or are you an entrepreneur, or are you supported in other ways? Do you have a partner, children, or people you’re responsible to care for? Do you have other commitments to community? How important is time for creativity? Do you need time alone to recharge, or do you need to be around people a lot? Do you have a cause that you champion through volunteering, advocacy, or activism? Do you experience oppression in our society? Do you have a disability or chronic illness? What kind of spiritual practice do you need to have? What are your highest priorities and values?

The answers to these questions determine what kind of balance you need. For one person, it may mean more time is spent outside the house than in it, even during free time. For another, it may mean intentionally creating routines that support their goals. For yet another, it may mean allowing life to flow easily and simply paying attention to what their body and spirit is saying it needs.

The message of the element of Balanced Embodiment is to listen to your inner voice and what it says you need, and to then live that out. Make the changes you need to make and don’t ignore the guidance you’re receiving. And in making those changes, you’re able to live out the purpose that you want for your life, and connect with the people you want, including clients who want to work with you!

What does balance look like for you? Are there ways that you’re ignoring your inner voice’s guidance about what to do so you have greater balanced embodiment in your life?

I am here to support you on your journey! Contact me if you’d like to work together, or schedule a call.

Coaching, Confidently Expressed, Consciousness, Empowered Voice Sessions, Liberated Expansion, Your Empowered Voice

Your Empowered Voice – Liberate

Today is the third in a four part series where we’re talking about the 4 Elements of Your Empowered Voice. Click here to read the first part on Grounded Stability and here to read the second part on Explored Awareness.

Liberation is the element of Expansion for an Empowered Voice

Liberation is the element of expansion for an Empowered Voice

Here’s where things get REALLY fun!

All things have polarity and where the energy of Grounded Stability is downward and most often inward energy, or quiet energy, Liberated Expansion is the upward, excited, outward energy. This is where you get to liberate your voice in a way that impacts others…where you experience freedom!

My background is in classical vocal performance. In voice lessons, I would work on singing skills, do vocal exercises, and work through the whole song to create the muscle memory required to be able to technically perform a song. I would even practice as if I were on stage. But when I actually got on stage and sang in front of people, the energy was completely different. On stage it wasn’t for just me anymore, it was for connection. There was a relationship between my storytelling and music, and the reception of the audience. Rather than just feeling the music in my body and immersing myself in the story, my art expanded to include others. My voice was liberated into the world.

The same energy happens no matter what your “stage” is. It could be your art on display, your book on a shelf, an intimate conversation, an online presence, a small workshop, or a stage in an huge auditorium or theater. No matter your method of sharing your voice, you’re not just expressing yourself – your voice is being liberated into the world. It’s exhilarating, and can also be scary as shit.

Sometimes the safety of the practice room, office, and the arbitrary rules created by others can be enticing and cozy. We can feel the boundaries and the edges holding us in. But it is also a cage; the bars made up of the limiting beliefs, programming, society, and unhealed voice wounds inflicted upon us in childhood and beyond. Those arbitrary boundaries end up stifling our voice. The literal vibrations of our physical voice get dampened and absorbed by the walls close around us, and the same thing happens energetically. When we hold ourselves back, our voices are diminished and can’t have the impact they could have when liberated into the world.

When you have created a grounded and stable foundation and have discovered the depth and range of your voice, there’s a confidence that comes with it when you put yourself out there. You’ve done the foundational work and now you get to expand the reach of your voice, with confidence in yourself and who you are. This is ultimately a healing process as well, because while this element is about freedom, freedom comes with sacrifice. Some people are not going to like seeing you go beyond what they’re used to. Some people won’t understand your need to let yourself be seen. It’s vulnerable. There will be times where breaking down those cage bars is going to take you into your ego and your shadow so you can get to a deeper place of healing. Every single bar you remove is part of your healing process.

Doing this work also doesn’t mean you necessarily go from zero to sixty in 2 seconds. You can take it as slow or as fast you need to or want to. The first steps can look like choosing to speak up for yourself in a particular relationship, or start to share more of your dreams with friends. Or if you’re further along on your journey, it can be big, like pursuing speaking engagements or doing local workshops. The more you practice liberating your voice and expanding yourself, the more easy it becomes! So start where you are and continue to expand!

So tell me, where are you in your journey of liberating your voice? What are your next steps?

I am here to support you as you liberate your voice, heal the voice wound, and make your impact on the world. Contact me or schedule a call if you’d like to work together!

Coaching, Connected to Self, Consciousness, Explored Awareness, Spirituality, Your Empowered Voice

Your Empowered Voice – Explore

Today is the second in a four part series where we’re talking about the 4 Elements of Your Empowered Voice. Click here to read the first part on Grounded Stability.

Exploration is the element of Awareness for an Empowered Voice

My transition from one spiritual path to another (Christianity to Paganism) was a long process over a period of years, and truly, these paths overlap even farther back. My evolution within Christianity set the stage for me to understand spirituality differently, and my experiences in other circles, such as social justice, also weave into that path. The core thread throughout my journey is a desire for healing myself, guiding others through healing, and ultimately empowering others to stand up for themselves and those who are marginalized and oppressed in our society – because I see that as intrinsically tied to healing and empowerment of Self. In order to be willing to change from a religion I had been dedicated to for 30 years, I had to be brave enough to explore the depths of my beliefs, the programming, the things I’d been taught as fact, to see whether I actually believed them, and to bring awareness to what I needed to let go in order to expand spiritually. I researched the pre-Christian traditions of my European ancestors to discover more of my identity, spiritually and otherwise. And I tapped more deeply into my own spiritual gifts and inner wisdom. I discovered more of who I am and how I can best show up in the world…and through this exploration and awareness, I discovered the purpose I desire to live out at this moment in time.

While all the elements of Your Empowered Voice are never-ending in how you can use them as you grow in your voice, this element in particular is one that will always be expanding as you move through life. Your voice can change moment by moment. What your spirit wants to express can change, the energy moving your voice can change, your physical voice can change. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes its noticeable. So there is always a shift and this is why presence through this process is important. And it’s why Grounded Stability (see previous post) is important.

One of the ways you can practice Explored Awareness is to journal or meditate and ask yourself why you do a certain thing. Ask yourself if it’s truly something you want or need to do. Keep asking why until you discover the answer. Sometimes it will be a resounding yes because it’s something that brings you joy and connection. Sometimes it will be a sober yes because while it may not be “fun”, it’s important to your healing and expansion (like therapy or shadow work).

When it comes to the physical voice, if you don’t have some sort of singing or vocal experience, you may not be aware of the full capacity of your voice. Or you may have programming or wounds that prevent you from fully experiencing your voice. Playing around with your voice is one of the best ways to free up a blocked feeling. Move your body as you use your voice. Make silly sounds. Make high sounds, and low sounds. Get goofy!! Most vocal exercises sound ridiculous to someone who hasn’t done them before. Sometimes even to those who do them all the time! But our voices are a form of expression deeply rooted in who we are because it’s intrinsically connected to our physical and energy bodies. Our physical and energetic bodies have to support the voice fully in order for the voice to be fully expressed. Sound is literally energy moving from inside our bodies to outside our bodies. It’s our unique vibration being put out into the world. That is powerful! And it starts with JUST DOING IT!

We can only discover our true selves if we’re willing to explore, dig deep, and bring awareness to who we truly are, the shadows we need to integrate into our consciousness. It takes bravery, and oftentimes we need support through the process, whether that’s with a healer, therapist, or coach.

If you’d like support in exploring your voice, check out this video for a guided way to explore your voice. Pay attention to how you feel in the process. Do you feel different after going through this exercise?

Tell me in the comments…what are you exploring in yourself right now? Are you avoiding anything that you need to bring into your conscious awareness?

Want to get started working together? Schedule a call with me and let’s chat!

Coaching, Connected to Self, Consciousness, Grounded Stability, Spirituality, Your Empowered Voice

Your Empowered Voice – Grounded

Today is the first in a four part series where we’re talking about the 4 Elements of Your Empowered Voice. Today we’re talking about the foundation element of Your Empowered Voice.

Grounding is the element of Stability for an Empowered Voice

What is Grounding? On a spiritual level, grounding is what connects us to the Earth and keeps us fully in our bodies, versus in our minds or in the ether. As human beings, we need this full body presence in order to live out our purpose on Earth. It keeps our energy tethered and centered. And bringing physical awareness of our bodies’ connection to the Earth, helps with our physical presence and how we use our physical voice.

The reason this element is important is because in order to be fully present and empowered in how we communicate, we must be in our bodies mentally and energetically. This affects the physical voice in a very real way as well. Some people think of the focus of the voice as being the throat. However, vocal cord vibration is nearly the last step the body goes through in order to vocally express a sound.

In order to make a sound efficiently, you must first have proper alignment of your body before your take a deep breath. Then you must control the exhalation of the breath using all your core muscles…starting from the pelvic floor muscles at the base of your torso. A strong stance with feet firmly on the ground makes it easier for the core muscles to accomplish this efficiently. Focusing the creative energy low in the body also helps to create an open passageway for the breath and vocal sound to easily move unconstrained, by loosening tension in the neck and shoulders.

While I’m speaking of the physical voice here, it also applies to the energetic body and how you express yourself energetically. If you are breathing shallowly, or not fully present in your body when you’re creating, your work will lack depth and power. Your brain and the cells in your body will literally lack the oxygen and blood flow needed to allow energy to flow.

There are many ways to practice grounding, depending on your particular body’s needs. One very basic way is to bring your awareness to how your body connects to the earth. Even if you’re inside, place your feet flat on the floor, and imagine the connection to the earth through the floor, through the basement, through the building’s foundation and into the earth. If you can, go outside barefoot in the grass. The key is that you need to bring conscious awareness to your connection to the earth in the same way. Going barefoot and being distracted isn’t going to be as deep a grounding practice as using conscious presence. I personally find water very grounding (perhaps because I have barely any water in my astrology). Taking a shower or bath, being near a body of water, or even just consciously washing my hands up to my elbows can help me ground and rid myself of excess energy.

So you can see why grounding is literally foundational for a healthy and empowered voice.

I also have a free grounding exercise you can view on YouTube, where I demonstrate the foundational technique I teach all my Your Empowered Voice clients.

Tell me in the comments…how grounded do you feel when you express yourself? What helps you feel grounded?

Want to get started working together? Schedule a call with me and let’s chat!

Your Empowered Voice

Your Empowered Voice

I’ve always loved being in the limelight to some degree or another, but I grew up with the idea that it was selfish or prideful (and pride comes before the fall…). But there’s a difference between CONFIDENTLY showing up with your gifts and passion, and being an ass about it.

Recently, I had a realization that I truly DESIRE to be KNOWN as someone who makes an impact in the world. To be known for the work I do and the things I create. You might be thinking…um…you’re a business owner…of course! But while I had some vague ideas in my head and vague feelings in my heart, this desire wasn’t truly and fully in my body until that moment. And I feel so much freedom in that!

It’s also perfectly in alignment with this announcement…

Free Your Voice” is now:

YOUR EMPOWERED VOICE

Image Description: Logo with text “Marieke Schwartz – Your Empowered Voice – Connected to Self, Confidently Expressed”

Freeing your voice is really just ONE PART of having an empowered voice. And it was kinda hard to explain, to be honest. This new name speaks so much more to the fullness of the work I do with people. 

Along with this, I’ve changed up the names for my services as well:

*Empowered Voice Sessions* (formerly Free Your Voice sessions) are designed to release the expression of your inner voice through your physical voice, using a unique blend of voice teaching, energy healing, and intuitive work.

*Soul Sessions* are soul-level healings, where we dive into healing the Voice Wounds affecting your confidence and the self expression of your inner voice. You also receive guidance to move forward.

*Your Empowered Voice Program* is The Whole Package – A personalized program that includes Empowered Voice Sessions, Soul Healing sessions, and customized support. You will end this program with a strong foundation built on the four elements of an Empowered Voice: Grounded Stability, Explored Awareness, Liberated Expansion, and Balanced Embodiment.

The core of my work is the same, but this new clarity has deepened how I can work with you and I am so excited to share this with you all!

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting in more detail about each of the four elements and how they impact your connection to self and how confidently you express your voice in the world.

Image Text: The 4 Elements of Your Empowered Voice: Grounded Stability, Explored Awareness, Liberated Expansion, Balanced Embodiment

Want to start working together? Send me a message or schedule a call and let’s connect! I have openings starting late July.