In the movie “A Christmas Story”, Ralphie the main character and narrator is sitting in the bathroom with soap in his mouth for dropping an F-bomb. He’s there gagging on the bar of soap and his mother comes in. She takes the soap out and orders him to bed. He grumbles as he’s walking away and although we can’t see him anymore when his mother says, “Don’t you give me that look! You’re gonna get it!” we know exactly what he was showing with his facial expression. What his mother yells is THE mom voice which goes well with the mom raised eyebrow and side order of stink eye.
The mom voice, or dad voice to be fair, is one you’re probably familiar with. Even if you’re not a parent you were probably on the receiving end of it at some point in your childhood. This voice is also known as command voice (military/law enforcement), the take no shit voice, the absolutely you will obey voice and what I call my non-negotiable voice. It slices right through the Gordian Knot of any indecisiveness, wiffle waffling or confusion as to what’s expected to happen right this minute.
Can you think of times you’ve used it or heard it? You’ve probably heard police officers or school teachers use it. Hopefully, this doesn’t bring back bad memories of when you were arrested that one time for fighting in a Ft. Worth, Texas bar! Side note, don’t try to use non-negotiable voice on cats, it’s a waste of breath but it will work on dogs, teenagers, blocking yourself from hearing dead people and believe it or not, your own mind.
The reason I bring this to you updated version of this today even though I first published this in June of 2017 is that I get it now as it applies to your own internal naughtiness. This command voice is what I’ve been using to make sure nobody inside my being goes and hangs out at Pity Party Land, an Eeyore of a place that is now permanently closed. Non-negotiable voice is how I stayed off high carbs everything for five years earlier in life and how I’ve been off them again since August. Using my Sacred No on myself is creating change in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
When we’re looking for ways to explore and own our personal power, having a listen to how you or others use their voice can be a great place to start. If you’re sensitive to energies you can hear the undertones of stories and even deception in voices regardless of the words being used. You can sense when someone means it or if there’s a huge teeter-totter back and forth energy to their request/demand which lets you know you can ignore whatever it is their asking of you. Every two year old on the planet knows whther they have to listen or not. If you are wavering they are going to eat that crayon right in front of you consequences be damned because they knooooooow you’re full of it.
You know you need to sit up and pay attention to your own voice if people aren’t listening to your boundary setting, if your kids never follow instructions or you’ve been passed over for a promotion. Again.
The thing is that the non-negotiable voice isn’t about the tone, inflection, cadence or ability to project volume. Anybody can be loud to get attention. Ask any toddler how to bring a room to full stop and they’ll tell you like the wise sages they are, “Oh that’s easy! Scream like your ass is on fire while you throw whatever’s in your hand across the room, that generally does it.” So we know full well it’s not about volume.
There’s an energy to using this voice that comes from a place deep in your belly. The Hara point, the sacral chakra and if your policies and procedures manual in the solar plexus is carrying a story that you’re not allowed to use this voice, you won’t. It comes from a sense of will, of claiming the ground you stand on and taking no guff from anyone. It’s not aggressive, it’s confident. It’s not squeaky, squealy, whiny or strident. It’s powerful. Using it means owning the right you have to speak your needs, desires and to define the terms of your area. In terms of chakras again, a solid root connected to the Earth is required for standing your ground with energetically firm powerful legs. Then the rest fall into line with the wisdom of the Heart to flow from the throat chakra the Sacred “No” and have it honored immediately. This may mean you’ll have to unwind some stories that say it’s not ok for you to act powerfully or define your terms in life so be prepared to listen for resistance and ask a lot of questions around it.
I know that you know this feeling or energy of issuing an order at some point in your life and having it followed. Think about training a dog or riding a horse, an animal generally won’t Sit or Stay or Canter unless they sense you mean it. How about your personal deal breakers in relationships, the things you will not live with and are simply non-negotiable? Can you remember a time that someone was in the path of danger and you intervened with voice or action without even thinking about it? If you hate the outdoors imagine someone asking you to camp out for three days without showering, without the internet and with no music festival in sight. Think about the areas you feel totally ok saying a big, fat, hell no to and no amount of cajoling would change your mind! That’s the energy I’m talking about.
Now apply that energy to whatever it is you think you can’t do right now. If you think you can’t take five minutes for a meditation practice every single day what if it became non-negotiable? If you think you can’t start a blog, stop drinking that 3rd cup of coffee (or vodka depending on how bad off you are), give up the Demon Sugar or get your colleagues to stop dumping their work on you, you’re wrong. You absolutely can and accessing this non-negotiable energy and practicing using it is the first step.
You’ll face some fear when you begin to use this voice in the world so start small. Try drawing up this energy in yourself, put a hand on your stomach for support and then tell your dog you will not tolerate her licking your hand for 15 minutes straight even though you’ve been putting up with that icky experience for years. The next time a waiter approaches to refill your glass after you’ve asked him not to twice before, slap your hand over the top, look him in the eye and firmly state, “No.” In the beginning, I liked practicing this on the occasional pushy cashier that really wanted me to apply for a credit card; eye contact and a quietly firm, “No, thank you.” Deliver your “No” one time and then a silent but pleasant gaze will usually cause the Insister to sputter off mid-argument like a car running out of gas. Again, don’t try this on cats although you can use them as an example of how to live your life while radiating a very elegant “piss off” to any request made that you’d rather not comply with so there’s that.
Your body will have something to say about this when you’re being direct. It will relax underneath the barking Border Collie brain that’s telling you to knock it off. Your body knows the truth and speaking truth will always soothe you at a deep level. As I said, your stories about what is and isn’t acceptable will get nice and loud so you can hear what they are. Your solar plexus may flutter and flop the first time you really face down an internet troll on your social media page but stand steady and recall this non-negotiable space as you choose to respond, delete or block.
You might feel like you’ve got a belly full of June bugs the first time you send back bad food at a restaurant if you’re the, oh well I’ll just eat it type, but these small exercises lead you to make changes in your career, your family relationships and allow you to start acting in your own best interests regardless of other people’s judgments.
Personal power is freedom and freedom is a mighty tasty dish that you will never send back to the kitchen or as my dear old Dad used to say, “Walk a mile out of your way to help someone but don’t you let some dumb motherf***er knock you off the ground you’re standing on.”
This process isn’t easy but the payoff for owning your power and seeing how that transforms your entire life is worth it. Are you able to find your non-negotiable voice? Are you ready to own it? If you’d like support in this book a Clarity Session with me and we can explore where to start setting you free.