How reading out loud changed my lifeDec 06, 2022
I was terrified of reading out loud. And for good reason.
Back when I was in school, I would often read words wrong or skip lines whenever I read out loud. The class would laugh at me.
After finding out I was dyslexic at age 19, I really wanted to get past my fear of reading out loud. So I did the most counterintuitive thing possible, I started asking people if I could read them something that I thought was important.
Little did I realise how life-changing this would be.
I soon found myself reading aloud, whether compelling paragraphs of articles, passages from books I thought were beautiful, or poetry and song lyrics that moved my soul.
As I did so, I began to embody the words and sounds as they flowed through my mouth and breath, my whole body.
This embodied way of reading was very different from reading only with my mind or reading for understanding.
Then I went a step further and decided to take great pleasure in reading aloud and in sharing something worthwhile. Even though I would still make mistakes, or lose my place, it didn’t seem to matter. I noticed that reading out loud led to interesting conversations and meaningful connections with people.
I know that I can build meaningful connections even if I stumble on my words or lose my train of thought.
Not only that, my fear of getting it wrong, looking stupid, and being laughed at melted away. Whilst I’d always enjoyed an abundance of social confidence, I’d rarely debated or discussed ideas in professional or educational contexts. This had prevented me from sharing my thoughts and ideas for many years. Now, I felt truly liberated, free to be seen and heard.
A lot of speaking confidence sits within your willingness to be heard and to let the breath flow freely.
These days I’m so comfortable sharing my thoughts that I don’t worry about making mistakes. I simply trust that I still come across as articulate and intelligent.
So I offer to you the life-changing practice of reading out loud. Start with sharing just a few interesting sentences and build up to reading a whole paragraph or even more.
Reading anything out loud, and allowing yourself to experience the words and feelings as you read it, brings the soul, the breath, and the voice into alignment.
Simply ask a friend if you can read something to them. You may be surprised by where it leads…
This is just one example of how you can embody communication as a way of being.
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