Smiling from the Heart

Have you seen it? It’s all over the media. I feel as if I have run into it at every turn since August 11, 2020, the day candidate Joe Biden announced his vice presidential running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. It is the smile. The smile I am referring to has nothing to do with physicality or facial features. It is a smile that emanates from deep within and is sought after by nearly all those who explore transition. This type of smile is available only to those who choose to occupy a special space; one where our truest expectations for ourselves are set, met and – dare I say – exceeded.  These smiles emanate from the heart. Have you ever smiled from your heart?

Senator Kamala Harris accepting Democratic Party’s Vice Presidential Nomination 8/19/2020

My research and work in transition over the past decade offers me a unique lens into smiles and our expectations for ourselves.

Transitioning is an incredible transformative process that invites us to lead with our voices. Not the voice overs of others who are quick to tell us what we ‘should’ or ‘could’ do. Our voices are the ones that are fueled by what holds value and meaning to us. These voices are effervescent. True. Unbounded.

These voices are our greatest asset.

Not every voice will take the stage at a national convention. Voice is individual. Your truest voice may be expressed through running a global company or sitting silently next to a friend in mourning. It doesn’t matter what your voice’s expression is. That you express it is non-negotiable.

There is another more fundamental role for our voices that we often overlook. Our voices serve as conduits for our connection to ourselves and to humanity.

As we transition, we shift our voice’s expression and the expectations we set for ourselves. These shifts are different for everyone. Sometimes these shifts scare the life out of us. After all, turning up the volume on our voices can mean moving away from a career that once held great promise for us; or finally addressing the negativity in a relationship that is long past its useful life.

Last week, I interviewed June Angelides for my podcast, Destination Unknown. She reminded me about a step we sometimes miss as our voices shift to become our own.  She said,  “I need to figure out how to let others understand the expanded me.” Those closest to her didn’t recognize some of her shifts. This put something important on her to do list. “I need to help those around me get acquainted with the new me.”

As I watched Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, take the stage with her, I was reminded of June’s words.  Kamala’s smile told me that those around her had made the journey June described.  Not only were they acquainted with her voice, they celebrated it.

Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, and Husband, Doug Emhoff

As this unsettled summer crawls to Labor Day, I hope you take a moment to think about your voice and your ability to smile from the heart.  Can we hear your voice? Are those around you cheering for it?

My wish for your is that you greet your voice with love and curiosity, and that those around you embrace the fullness of who you are.

Stay safe and well.

Linda R. (linda@WomenAndTransition.com)

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Copyright © 2020 Linda Rossetti & NovoFemina.com. All rights reserved. No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from NovoFemina.com.

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