Here’s a confession: I’m a talker. I mean a bonafide, “gee whiz does she ever shut up” chatterbox. My whole life I’ve been tortured and punished for not having an ounce of control when it comes to this motor mouth of mine. Fast forward a few decades, and who would have thunk that I’d be getting paid to speak. Funny how that all works huh?! But all those years of being silenced took it’s toll on me.
I learned not to protest too much in order to keep from drawing negative attention to myself. I learned to stifle my opinions so that I wouldn’t be perceived as “difficult to get along with”. I practiced sitting quietly just to avoid the blank stares and scowls shot in my direction when I offered a different perspective. And I figured out that it was just much easier to let sh*t go than be the voice of reason. I operated this way until about 3 years ago, when I decided to take a hiatus from my very successful marketing firm and “rediscover myself”.
I think that was about the time that I also found Akilah Richards. The woman that would later become my life design coach. Now that I think back, it was probably the other way around… I think it was Akilah that found me. There I was drowning in my stressful, direction-less life, trying to figure out which way was up. I had not quite decided who I needed to be or how I should show up in the next chapter of my life.
I HAD managed to discover the strong distinct voice of the young vibrant woman deep inside me that I had silenced so long ago. The woman that was afraid to need anything or anyone. The woman that was afraid that expecting my needs to be met was too demanding. The woman that was mostly too afraid to be vulnerable enough to communicate those needs. That chick had finally decided to speak in a timid voice, and it was Akilah that INSISTED (and I do mean INSISTED) that I use her voice to affect the lives of others. Akilah calls this practice RADICAL SELF EXPRESSION (I know, that’s so cool right)?!
The process of Radical Self-Expression begins when you recognize that your real voice has been substituted for an inauthentic version of yourself in an area of your life. Once that muted space is identified, the process evolves into the exploration of the causes and consequences of living in those muted spaces. The final step in the process involves the shift into your commitment to changing your experience in those spaces from muted to fully expressed. – Akilah S. Richards
As a result of my work with Akilah, my voice has come through loud and clear and brought me some amazing results to boot. Welp, I figured it was about time for me to share Akilah with the rest of y’all… its just plain selfish to keep her all to myself. Recently I found out that she has been hard at work on her 5th book (this year), The Radical Self Expression Manifesto, now you KNOW I had to share this with you.
In her own voice: Akilah S. Richards
I’m really, really UBER excited about this project and I hope you will join me in supporting it.