I was sitting at the kitchen table yesterday, working on my laptop, when I heard the sound of little children.
It’s not rare that I hear sounds of kids in the middle of the day, as the children in the kindergarten school system in my community, often go out for walks during the day. And since our community is small, I tend to hear and see children quite often which is a joy! And, I typically use it as an opportunity to take a break from working.
I chose to take a break from my computer and go outside to stand on the porch and enjoy the precious moments of watching children. As I stood there enjoying the sight, I noticed one of the teachers eyeing something on the ground.
I actually assumed it was some plant or leaf that she wanted to point out to the kids, but it wasn’t.
She picked up a small, plastic ball (like the ones you see in ball pits).
And then I noticed she picked up another.
And then another.
I wondered what she was going to do with those balls (that belonged to the little boy next door).
As she started to walk off, leading the kids back in the direction of their school, I noticed some of the children imitating her behavior. One by one, they also started to pick up the balls they saw laying on the ground.
What the %$^%?
Those don’t belong to them!
What are they doing?
(O.K., fine, it’s just plastic balls, but still! They don’t belong to them and what they are doing is not right!)
And there I was stuck on fear of opening my mouth.
What will this teacher say to me, if I ask her what she’s doing? How will she respond? Will she think I’m rude for catching her in the act of stealing?
Noticing I was stuck, I quickly processed through the situation.
I stopped, allowed myself to feel the feelings inside me, questioned my fears, and then considered using my voice.
“Excuse me,” I said hesitantly.
The teacher turned to face me.
“What are you doing with those balls?” I asked.
She didn’t look happy with my question.
I reframed it.
“Do those balls belong to you?” I hesitated.
“Ah, no,” she responded. “I thought they were trash, as they were laying on the other side of this home’s property line.”
Yeah, right. Nice try.
“I’m sorry. You’re right. I’ll put them back,” she said as she noticed in that same moment the children who had followed her actions and had balls in their hands as well.
“Put them back!” she reprimanded. “They are not ours!”
She looked at me as she held her hands up in the air in an act of surrender, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Whoa. I didn’t sound that vicious, did I?
Which of course, I started to feel badly about.
But, I got over it quickly, as I was sure I spoke calmly and respectfully, just as I would want others to speak to me.
And as the group walked away, I forgave myself for getting stuck on fear of using my voice in the first place.
I wanted to share with you the news that I will be starting a podcast next month. You will receive the same weekly blogs, but will also receive them via audio which you will be able to listen to via the computer or your phone.
I will need to use my voice (obviously).
And I have to admit, it’s a little daunting.
Because sometimes I get stuck on that I’m not good at using my voice.
But, I know how to get unSTUCK from that (even if I trigger myself time and time again), and be free to go on living.
Where in your life do you have a fear of using your voice? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below and I will respond to you!