“Say What You Need to Say” #speakyourtruth #thyroiddisease

I turned off the light the other night after reading the following passage spoken by Agnes Whistling Elk in Lynn V. Andrews’ book Jaguar Woman, “‘Children are told to speak when spoken to. We as women are taught that to speak of our power is to be shunned by most of society. When you listen to the voices of many men and women you hear a strangled sound. And it’s no wonder. Women’s voices are often weak or a monotone or barely audible. Voices need to be open and free, so that energy can flow through the throat center. We hold our enlightenment there. If energy is trapped in the throat, it can’t move up into the crown of the head. That’s why we get sore throats, thyroid problems, or diseases such as throat cancer. Whenever you have an energy knot like that, it will eventually cause disease.'” (70)

Agnes and the narrator go on to discuss how this concept of trapped energy pertains to disorders in other areas of the human body, but this is where I ended my reading for the night. It was the message I needed to “hear.” After closing the book and placing it on my dresser, the lyrics “Say What You Need to Say” by John Mayer played over like a stuck record inside of my head.

The message from Spirit was clear and obvious, but the concept itself is complex. When I was about 24- years-old, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease. To be more precise, hypothyroidism, which means my thyroid was under-active. I was not surprised. Thyroid disease, after all, runs in my family on my mother’s side. She has it, her sister has it, my sister has it, and the list likely goes on. I have an old photograph of great aunts, five sisters posing in pretty dresses that hug their enlarged, goitered throats.

At 24, I thought my thyroid disease was a cause of bad genetics, I neglected to consider the environmental triggers. I didn’t realize I was holding a knot of energy trapped in my throat. All I knew was that I was destined to take a hormone to supplement my deficiency for the rest of my life, and that if I had children, especially daughters, it was likely they would suffer the same fate. This is what I was told, this is what I believed to be true.

I was wrong, thankfully. Over the past several years, I have witnessed the breaking down of the truths that were the foundation for my early life. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful I set foot on this path to spiritual truth. As Agnes states in Jaguar Woman, we heal ourselves, sometimes through the facilitation of others. Awhile ago a psychic told me I would cure, or heal, my thyroid disorder. I’m still getting there. I’ve lowered my dose, but not a lot. I wrote my memoir, but I still have not sent it out wholly and fearlessly into the world. And, I still don’t always “say what I need to say.”

What does that mean? How does the individual who is used to being silenced, often through many lifetimes, clear the trapped, stagnant energy in her throat? It’s not about avenging past wrongs, it’s not about anger or rage and it’s not a matter of turning into a person driven by aggression. I have lived most of this life trying to avoid conflict, assuming that if I were to speak my truths at certain moments, especially when dealing with aggressive people, I would face a verbal battle or worse. Silence became a way of life for me; a life, it seems, not so easy to change.

I still have moments when I flee a room in tears, unable to form the words caught in the web of energy inside my throat.  Sometimes we heal “miraculously,” sometimes we heal by small steps with a few leaps and bounds. In Jaguar Woman, Agnes cures the beginnings of disease in the narrator’s throat by using shamanic healing to help her free the image of a black crow Andrews sees trapped in her throat. The crow tells Andrews, “You need to remember the importance of saying what you need to say.” (66)

The words that we need to say come from that place of truth inside of our soul.  As Meyer sing, “from a heart wide open.” Our true voice is the clear, bold, yet compassionate voice of the spirit, stripped of the fears of ego. It is the release of constriction from fear’s hands at the present moment, for it does little good to move back to the past in an attempt to alter a situation that has already occurred. The energy has already been lost, or wasted. The moment cannot be fully recovered.

Later in the day, while driving my children into town, I turned on the radio at the moment “Free Bird,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing. Spirit likes using this song as a call to action for me. It’s not an accident that a healthy throat chakra vibrates in the color of a cloudless blue sky, the color of a robin’s egg in spring. And, yes, I saw a robin when I walked out the door of my house in the morning, boldly baring its orange chest to the world and pointing its yellow beak to me.

Free Bird, Fly

The lyrics of Lynyrd Skynyrd filtered through my dream ruminations as I walked the dogs  earlier this morning. Often, spirit spends me messages through songs. They are a blunt, yet kind reminders of the crux of my present state.

Last night I dreamed I was in an elevator. After the doors were closed and the button was pushed, I found myself drifting swiftly towards the ceiling until I hovered there alone. Everyone else’s feet were grounded as the elevator moved towards its destination. I panicked, asking someone to pull me down. Finally, the bellhop grabbed my legs and pulled me to the floor. When my feet were back on level ground, I searched my wallet for a tip. Intending initially to give him 2, 1 dollar bills, I pulled out a 5 instead. In her book, The Hidden Power of Dreams, Denise Linn writes that the number 5 is often indicative of freedom, “the number of the free soul, of excitement, and of change.” It is “self-emancipating.” (p. 206)

The messages from spirit could not be more clear. A week ago I saw Eagle during meditation. After flying freely through the heavens, Eagle landed upon a large, white oval egg. As I watched, this symbol of freedom and the egg it clutched between its talons, it rotated upon the air as though upon an invisible pedestal. “What do you wish to tell me,” I asked. Eagle replied, “I am incubating you until you are ready to hatch out.”

When I asked my guides to bring me to the under-world for healing, I found myself on a pond with my palms turned up to the heavens. Beneath me I was sitting on a pink lotus flower, its petals in full bloom. I was Sarasvati, her energy pouring through my palms. A large, healthy fish swam around me, leaping through the surface like a dolphin.

I have a dear friend in Savannah, Georgia. My friend is a transplant of the south, having grown up in the northeast. In the south she often finds herself the outsider. She is not only a writer, she is a mom and an environmental activist. We share these traits. While I have always shirked from confrontation though, my friend shines when she is “agitating the pot.” Her powerful, beautiful soul shines through in these moments when she stands, often alone, amongst the masses to voice her thoughts regarding perceived injustices. She was an instrumental force in shutting down a polluting power plant near her home. The victory resulted in the clearing of her son’s asthma. My friend is a testament to the power of the spirit. I find her power inspirational.

Often, it takes me long periods of bubbling silence until I finally reach the point of action. The water in the pot, nearly, if not already, boiling over. I have yet to achieve comfort in standing alone – in hovering above the crowds, secure in my wisdom. There are times though, when our souls call us to action; when silence is not the path to peace. Like my friend, I am often called to act when a situation not only concerns my own health (I mean this on a soul and physical level), but the health of my family. I have to trust that sometimes my vision extends beyond those around me, to the seat of the soul. This is a sometimes troubling “gift” I have had since childhood. When I was young and opened my mouth to speak my truth, I was silenced. The same fear holds me like an invisible noose.

The challenge for many of us, I suspect, is learning to speak with compassion and conviction. Oppressors of individual freedom most often have no idea that they are oppressors, as they exist within their own environments of fear. When we oppress others, our souls are crying out for our own freedom, yet our shadow selves will often take over and use “power” or physical force to silence those around us. Often those who are silenced are the souls who have been victimized many times in the past (or in traumatic past lives that they are still recovering from). They are easy targets.

The oppressors in my life have often been people I love deeply, making it exponentially more difficult to confront them and remove myself and my family from their toxic energy.  Sometimes their true souls shine through in the white light of love, but too often they are crippled within the darkness of pain. My efforts to “heal” them with love fail, as I learn it is not my path to change theirs. Yet, people must not compromise individual health and the health of their children, spouses, etc, by allowing a toxic relationship to occur. Even if we cannot shine a light of mutual understanding on these circumstances, we must have the courage to break free while still within the place of love.