My kid just started middle school. On their first day, they arrived with a backpack…
“You have to be comfortable in your own skin”.
This particular sentence has been floating through recent conversations with clients. Each time I hear it, it catches my curiosity. I know what it means to me, but what does it mean to the speaker in this moment?
Skin is a container. It is our largest organ and a key to sub-verbal, sound-based communication. I believe it is part of our voice. But that isn’t necessarily what people are thinking of in the statement above. Instead, I think they are talking about authenticity and identity in a physical sense.
In the studio, I talk a lot about radical self love in the pursuit of good speech. That is the concept that you must begin with acceptance of who you are and appreciation for what you can do now even as you seek to improve. We approach the work from the affirmative in a manner that is unapologetically strengths based. It isn’t denial. It is choosing to vote for yourself, to choose yourself as you enter the space.
Skin is a container.
It is the porous layer between ourselves and others. It, skin, is the tactile, sensory expression of our physical selves. This brings me to another truth of verbal presentation (and everything else) — we are our bodies. There is no path through our lives without this vehicle. Perhaps the body is just a long-term lease. Perhaps, it isn’t the body we would have chosen for ourselves, and yet. We need the skin we are in.
Which is to say that comfort in One’s skin isn’t necessarily the goal. Our skin simply exists. It is the reality and one that we need to understand, address, and cherish. We can desire different things and seek to change and improve as much as we want. Still, we must accept and celebrate the skin we are in today, at this moment.
That is how One enters the room fully, in full sync with what is real and true right now.
Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.