Consume: Spoken Word Poem on Mental Health & Society’s Expectations
Sharing my raw emotions with you
If you follow me on social media or my blog here at Kabir’s Voice, then you know I’m a poet and a philosopher, in addition to a voice actor. Poetry and philosophy are an important part of who I am. They are part of my personal journey. So I sometimes use this space to share my latest work, my thoughts and reflections.
Today, I’m sharing a new piece titled “Consume,” which is a spoken word poem on mental health and society’s expectations. This is a personal and raw piece that touches on the chaos of life and society. It touches on the constant noise on the internet and the need to quiet our minds to achieve better mental health. I’ve included the verses below, but from the beginning I intended this piece to be performed as spoken word poetry. As I explain below, creating a video allowed me to use my voice and take my audience on a journey to find inner peace and seek a more peaceful existence.
If you’re interested in poetry, spoken word or issues surrounding mental health, then this video is for you – and I thank you for watching.
Consume. A poem about societal noise
I’m getting tired of somebody always trying to sell me something
Sell me a dream
Sell me a purpose
Sell me a course
Sell me what I’m not good enough to be
Sell me what I’m good enough to be
Label me this
Label me that
Show me a picture of something that I can have
That my life is currently not good enough
That the people I surround myself with is currently not good enough
That you can be the biggest star
You can have the biggest car
You can have the best house
But I still feel empty inside
For some reason it’s not enough
It’s never enough
The more you get, the more you want
The more you want, the more you can’t have
The more you can’t have, the more you need
It’s a vicious cycle
And every day we’re just advertised with a different type of people trying to sell you something on a
different type of dream
It kind of plagues my spirit
So how do I navigate all this?
How do I become a little better?
How do I go inside myself and explore who I am?
How do I get in touch with empathy?
How do I understand God?
How do I feel love?
How do I feel loved?
How do I reflect love?
It’s an inner journey
You gotta tune it out
You gotta silence everything
And then you find yourself in a peaceful space where it’s just you
It’s just you
No one else is by you
No one to save you
No one to tell you anything
It’s just you
It’s just you
What is this poem about?
On a fundamental level, this poem is about finding peace by tuning out societal noise. Every day, we’re bombarded by temptations and images of so-called “success.” We’re constantly being sold products, lifestyles, dreams. Then it gets amplified on social media and flaunted for others to see.
So it’s no wonder we constantly compare ourselves with others. No matter how much “success” we find in life, it’s never enough. It’s never enough by society’s standards.
The key to finding peace is tuning it all out. Quieting the mind. Finding yourself “in a peaceful space where it’s just you.” To achieve inner peace, you gotta silence everything.
The inspiration behind this poem
I want to share a little about what inspired this poem and the raw emotions behind it.
The inspiration behind this poem hit me hard when I realized how much my own desires and temptations were pushing me to always want more. It’s like I’m caught in this endless loop where it’s never enough – I need to consume more, eat more, earn more, and build more. Now, in my 30s, I find myself overwhelmed by it all.
For the past 10 years, I’ve poured my heart and soul into building my voice-over business, only to see it being tested by new tech like AI voices. It feels like I’m constantly battling my own mind, questioning my worth, my accomplishments, and my purpose in life.
Sharing this raw, real, and honest perspective in my poem is my way of expressing these emotions and letting others know that they’re not alone in feeling this way. It’s been a tough journey, but putting it all into words has been cathartic and, in a way, healing.
An eternal dilemma
The concept of tuning out societal noise may seem unique to our time. A product of our disconnected digital lives and our constant need for social validation. But these issues have plagued us for centuries.
More than 2,000 years ago, Greek philosopher Socrates wrote: “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Plato, a student of Socrates, wrote “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”
Just a few hundred years later, Epictetus, another great mind from ancient Greece, said: “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
All of this touches on the same inner dilemma. But the Socrates quote hits especially hard, doesn’t it? In essence, Socrates is saying that a desire for more is never enough. This couldn’t be truer today. The more you get, the more you want.
But what does “more” even mean if you have nothing to compare yourself to? More than who? More than what?
That’s where inner peace becomes so important. Feeling content and fulfilled means ignoring all those external impulses and societal standards. You need to look inward before you can reflect love outward.
Why spoken word poetry?
Why spoken word poetry, you might ask? Well, for me, it’s more than just an art form – it’s a deeply personal connection that allows me to explore different dimensions and layers of voice acting. It’s been an incredible outlet for expressing my thoughts, emotions, energy levels, and even my frustrations. I’ve found that when I perform spoken word, I don’t need to worry about rhyming or following any rules. What matters most is that it feels honest and true to who I am.
Throughout my journey as a spoken word artist, I’ve discovered the power of vulnerability and authenticity. It has pushed me to grow personally, giving me a better understanding of my own mental health and how societal expectations can weigh on us. As I navigate the complexities of life, spoken word poetry has become my sanctuary – a space where I can release my emotions and connect with others who may be experiencing similar struggles.
Sharing my spoken word creations has allowed me to connect with people on a deeper level, to show them that they’re not alone in their battles. It’s been a humbling and rewarding experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The cathartic impact of spoken word poetry on mental health
Spoken word poetry is a raw, honest, and powerful form of self-expression that has long been recognized for its therapeutic and healing qualities. In a world filled with distractions and constant noise, it provides a much-needed outlet for introspection and authentic self-expression, ultimately promoting improved mental health and emotional well-being.
When we write or perform spoken word poetry, we give ourselves the chance to explore our deepest thoughts, feelings and inner turmoil without judgment. This unfiltered, genuine form of communication allows us to confront our inner struggles, face our fears, and work through emotional pain. This process of self-discovery can lead to increased self-awareness, self-compassion and personal growth.
Moreover, spoken word poetry is an effective way of fostering empathy and understanding among people from diverse backgrounds. When we listen to others’ raw, heartfelt stories and experiences, we develop a deeper appreciation for their unique perspectives and emotions, promoting a sense of connection and unity. This communal aspect of spoken word poetry can alleviate feelings of isolation, loneliness, and disconnection, as we come to realize that others share our struggles.
Incorporating spoken word poetry into our lives can provide us with the tools to better manage stress, anxiety, depression and the overwhelming noise of society. As we engage in this creative, soul-baring process, we learn to find our inner voice and channel it into a powerful expression of our emotions. Whether we choose to perform our poetry or simply write it for ourselves, the act of creating spoken word poetry can be a transformative and healing experience.
So, if you’re looking to improve your mental well-being, consider exploring spoken word poetry. Delve into the depths of your emotions, bare your soul, and embrace the raw honesty of this art form. It could be the key to unlocking your inner peace and finding solace amidst the chaos of life.
Spoken word poetry vs. voice-over work
As a voice over artist, it’s probably no surprise that I have an appreciation for spoken word poems. Spoken word poetry is all about performance. You start with a few lines of verse on paper. Then they become even more impactful when you add your voice. I can add emphasis or tone things down or improvise on the fly to achieve the vibe I want.
In a way, this is similar to how I approach my voice-over work, but with the creative freedom to take it in any direction. I can add music, visuals and sound effects. All of this helps to bring the poetry to life and make the message as powerful as it can be.
I hope you enjoy it.