ISWG post – Freedom of Speech

Contrary to most of my blog posts, this one took 3 – 4 weeks to be finished. I even shared it in the local writer’s group and reedited it for several times. It got really good feedback and I hope you will enjoy it too.

This time I would like to share something which touched me deeply recently and made me think about the topic. It is about freedom of speech and having the courage to share one’s ideas freely. 

I did some research about it. Wikipedia says:

‘Freedom of speech is the right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.’

=soviet

Picture from the Internet

During the Soviet years in Estonia, when we were occupied by Russia for 50 years – our freedom of speech was very limited by the government regulations. All the media was under their control. I have only heard stories how the writers and artists back then struggled to get their message out – doing so wisely between the lines and using many metaphors.

Maybe because I was born during that time in that culture and it somehow runs in my cultural subconsciousness – since I left high school – I have been known as someone who speaks her voice with courage and desires to bring forth change – everywhere I go.

In general I have noticed that people are not so opened for the new and the changes. It is the fear of the unknown which stops us and creates resistance. With time it will turn into a new habit or behaviour, but in the beginning it is often times not received and is rejected. That has been my experience for so many times in so many countries.

In the beginning I was very rebellious about it. Because my ideas were often times different or the way I expressed it was a bit more direct – I met lots of resistance on my path and feeling that I could not really have my ‘freedom of speech’ or what I had to say did not matter.

For example in Oslo University, while taking my bachelors in social anthropology I saw many things were not very student friendly and I tried to find a way how to fix it. Someone suggested for me to become a member of the student board. So I did. After my persistent work there for several months and endless student board meetings and votes, the board finally changed the course set up. Students had now more time to go through the material and study for their exams. Because one person had the courage to get up and speak up – it made their lives better for years to come.

Another example is from Tromsö University in Northern Norway, while I was taking my masters degree in Visual Cultural Studies and making my documentaries I also stepped up again to be part of the student board. Because I spoke both English and Norwegian – they were in trouble.

Most of the times their paperwork was only in Norwegian and the international student representatives did not really even get the overview. I really dove deeply into the matters and fought for the welfare of the students again for 1 year. It did not come easy as everyone was used to the old way – where the student representative did not understand the papers. Now every word counted and was checked. It took many months of work with the student board main leaders to get our message from the students through. My Estonian stubborn mentality helped to get it through.

===VSCA pic

Picture from secure.avaaz.org

Next year I was the substitute representative and they did it again as the main student representative did not speak any Norwegian. I stood up and fought again without any fear.
Some years later the whole department was in danger to be closed down for various reasons and this time there was another student who started a huge campaign to avoid that. It was successful and thanks to that student, that university department is still functioning till this day as one of a kind in the whole world.

I have experienced the very same thing over and over also here in Mexico. The very latest was the moment where I delivered my suggestions for something after I was asked about it. Many times my main issue has been that I often times offer my suggestions before they are asked for.

But maybe the person was not listening enough as my message got lost. There was a conflict of interests and in order to completely change the situation and to really break the pattern I did something completely different. I invited 4 other international neighbours to help me with that particular project.

The person who was behind the conflict gave up. I surprised him to offer actually a brand new solution and invention to the problem, which was even better than what he did before.

silks upIt took us sweat, dangerous climbing up to the ladder and on silks and holding our breaths while some of us were up on the ladder and hoping they would not fall. In 3 hours we had finished the project. I was amazed. Everyone was happy with the result, including the person causing the conflict. Our job will influence many people’s lives and wellbeing for the years to come…

We were all people from different countries and we had just one common goal – to do something with the situation so that everyone involved would be happy.

That made me wonder why these people who travel the world, hitchhike not only by cars but even by boats to cross the oceans, why are they so easy and flexible and adaptable and the others who live in one place for a long time are not?

It almost felt to me that people who stay too long in one place grow roots to their viewpoints and these get rigid. These can not move freely, adapt quickly and work for the highest good for the community and everyone involved. It becomes a project of one person and tangled into their own patterns and other reasons and they do not listen any more and it feels like they have earplugs on.

I was so happy about this insight as this really brought peace to my mind. I felt I had unplugged myself from the old patterns and took it apart to observe it and put it together again in a completely new way.

We are entering the age of water and golden energy, which means the biggest successes come from ‘the true freedom of speech’ and cooperation by listening to each other as well receiving what others have to say, even if you do not agree with it.

==tomkenyon

Photo by www.indiegogo.com  ‘We create through our voice, through the power of our voice.’ Tom Kenyon

To finalise the topic I found this little comment by Tom Kenyon, a world famous sound healer. It really resonated with me and helped me to make a total closure with the topic.

‘Authentic spiritual evolution and freedom depend upon the two pillars of speaking your truth to others and revealing yourself in ways that open internal pathways (within you) and outer pathways (in those around you) for change to occur. If you keep your light hidden from yourself and others, the world will not be liberated by your innate luminosity.’

This left me with the question – where is the safe space for me to share my truth and my freedom of speech so it activates me and others internally and externally? Where is that place where what I say and express counts and brings forth the change for people, communities and the planet?

Maybe the only place for it is in my heart or in international gypsy community where people have to be opened to the new at all times in order to live harmoniously together?

Because I believe when one word touches the paper, it will have the desire to find a home in someone’s soul…

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Please share with me what thoughts did this post provoke or ignited in you and if you have had similar experiences and what did you do and what did it change in your life and others?

crystalmermaidsmallwhiteI am Crystal Ra Laksmi. Originally from Estonia, but have lived most of my adult life in different countries and on different continents. I am a life artist who is not only willing to inspire with who I am and what I do and create, but also to inspire people to take action to change themselves and their lives into their dream.

As my favourite quote says:

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.

Soren Kierkegaard

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writerbadgeThis post is done for the Insecure Writers Group. Read more about it here: 

16 thoughts on “ISWG post – Freedom of Speech

  1. I think you use your blog wisely, Crystal. Have faith that people who are ready to hear what you have to say will be drawn here to your blog. It isn’t a miracle, it’s fate.

    • Thank you. I am going to work more on how to attract the right crowd. Part of that is technology. I am going to challenge myself and upgrade it all this year, so I can have more flow of people, possibilities and all. Thank you for keeping yourself so up to date with my stories and supporting me the way you do. Your message is needed too and we will get it out with the little interview we did just a bit ago;) Enjoy Bucerias till you are here!

  2. “It almost felt to me that people who stay too long in one place grow roots to their viewpoints and these get rigid.”

    This is wonderful insight. I used to move around a lot and now I’ve been in the same house and job for 10 years. I definitely feel rooted and less apt to big changes which might disrupt my life.

    • Thanks a lot. Yes, it is kind of funny as I am usually the one who is moving around a lot. This time I have been in one place for several months (believe me, for me this is long time to be in one place) and almost feel getting rigid. But because I swim a lot in the ocean, I think it makes me more fluid and softer to many things as well flexible compare to those who are completely rooted in one place. That is why it almost scares me at times to purchase a house. I do not have a house and I have also no maintenance fees or a fear that it will be burnt down or robbed when I get back. I am really learning about being flexible and fluid and how to not lose myself in all of it and still speak my voice and call forth change where there is openness to it. Thanks for your supportive thoughts Stephanie!

  3. Hi, welcome to IWSG, I agree with you that it takes one person the courage to speak up and many others benefit from that action. But, how many people are brave enough to take that risk of voicing their opinion knowing that it may not go down well with the people in charge.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna’s Scriptorium

    • Thank you Rahna. I consider myself being that brave person and I think the key is to listen where the openness to receive is. I understand now from that particular situation that when someone feels that their position is in danger they automatically reject whatever is said. As my similar idea was presented by another group member some weeks later and that was welcomed without any problems. There is of course always a chance to create your own places to let the creativity blossom without borders and regulations. 😉

  4. In my experience, change has to begin individually, then spread outward. I love what you’ve written here, and the ideas about nomads being more willing to listen and change vs those in a more static environment seems right to me. I try and remember that there are vastly more people living in static environments than not. They might be rigid, but they also need to hear, listen and change. Don’t give up on them. If your ideas, your voice is honest, that will always win out.

    Good luck.

    • Thank you for your supportive ideas Ryan and I am sure it will. I learned a lot during this last month. It seemed to be the month of healing the old wounds from the childhood. Being rejected or left out for various reasons. As I think we all desire to belong some place and be received. It hurts not to belong and not to be received. Sometimes people who are so brave maybe should not belong to groups I think. Maybe they are supposed to come just as visitors and then leave again to share their seeds with some other place and group where there is receptivity for that. As I also work with water a lot, I understand that this is the way to go about it. If people have more water element or balance it consciously, then everything will flow more with ease…

    • Thank you I am really enjoying it as after so many years of blogging someone is also leaving comments. I told earlier here that Estonians usually leave the comments if they are not happy with something. Good stuff will usually not be mentioned. I got used to it. Now each comment for me is like a present under the Christmas tree and I feel so much more supported. I always try to encourage everyone around me. Many have taken it seriously and done this jump – whether it is a couch surfing project in England or learning how to swim at 43. 😉

      You are right I am maybe more confident than most in this group, but I am still very insecure when it comes to share my work more widely like in a book. This is something what I would love to overcome and I would love to not only write a book, but a bestseller which could help people change their lives for the better. 😉 Thank you Elizabeth for your time and comments.

  5. Change can be hard. Being open minded is a challenge for a lot of people. I see it everyday. I think people have more individual thoughts than they let on most times. It’s easier to spread a meme than write an original though. You keep going. 🙂

    • Thank you Mary. I think it is a true art to share your thoughts and be well received. I am learning now not to share it there where the energy tells me not to. It will be wasted. I would feel bad. I now go to places and people who see and value it and can receive it. I even wonder where is the root of that urge to go places where we are not received. Is that self sabotage?

  6. You stepped up and made a difference!
    I’ve noticed the same thing about people who stay in the same place most of their lives. I’m a military brat and have lived all over the USA and in several foreign countries. My mindset it different from those who’ve never left my home state.
    And sorry about the mix-up with the IWSG list. When I cull it on Friday, I will bump you up to the highest position possible.

    • Thank you Alex for your supportive comment and understanding. When this thing happened also with me disappearing mysteriously from the list even though I have been a very good blogger since January with the ISWG, most of the time even prescheduled my posts, I was surprised. I worked the whole month with my childhood wounds of being excluded from groups and it all kind of happened the same time. Thank you handling this and letting me know what was going on through Joylene. I want to especially thank you for having this group, as I really feel I am included, I belong here and my words matter and they are listened too. I have already other ideas for the next months and it is really cool to challenge myself. You have made a difference with putting an idea to work. I just came from a women’s gathering and felt like there is a new kind of group evolving. Where we can co-create and include. That is refreshing. I got already some ideas what can be done. Thank you for being you and the superman in writing and reading blogs;) Good luck!

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