Stephanie’s TedX Talk
About a year ago I was speaking to a business owner on the phone, considering the possibility of being a speaker at her women’s empowerment venue. She mentioned that most of her speakers had published a book and/or done a TED talk. At that time, my first book had recently been published. But a TED talk? No way would I be able to do a TED talk. Way too scary. Besides, I was quite certain that my work and my ideas would be considered too spiritual for such a global stage. I remembered Brene Brown talking about her “vulnerability hangover” after giving her first TED talk. No thank you. Hangovers, of any type, aren’t my thing.
While I knew that speaking at the women’s venue was not the right match for me at that time, I couldn’t get the idea of doing a TED talk out of my mind. My inner voice would say, “Why can’t you do a TED talk? What does it take to deliver such a speech?” I was curious. I did some research. I got a new client who published a TEDx talk and I asked her about it.
I learned that TEDx talks are independently organized TED events that take place around the globe, thus making it more accessible for lesser known people to share their ideas with the world. I found out there was a TEDx talk being hosted practically in my own backyard. I contacted the curator of the TEDx event and sent her a draft of a proposed talk. She said maybe. Try again, she prompted. I changed the focus and resubmitted. She still said maybe. Try again, she prompted. We did this at least a dozen times, each draft getting closer to the core of my truth.
Sensing that she was missing something important, she asked me, “What is it that you do professionally?” “Let me show you”, I said. “It’s hard to explain if you’ve never had the experience”. We set up a phone session and I shared my channeling work with her. After the session she said: “Ah, ok. Now I understand why that was hard to explain. You MUST write about that in your talk. Your work and the way the words from souls flow through you MUST be included. I don’t know how you’re going to do that, but figure it out and send me another draft”.
I called my sister in a panic. “She wants me to talk about my channeling work!” I wailed. My sister talked me down off the ledge, as she always does with her practical approach to life. She reassured me that the world is indeed ready to hear about my ideas. She reminded me of how many people might be helped by hearing my story. And she told me to get over myself. So I did.
About a half dozen more drafts crossed through the internet ethers to the curator. Each one, inching me closer to the truth of my heart. I struggled with not wanting to be too open, too raw, too vulnerable, too emotional. I felt safe in my bubble of clients who think I’m amazing and refer their family and friends. Taking my work and my belief system outside of this bubble to the global stage felt way too risky. And yet, I persisted.
We chipped away at the excess to reveal my soul. I found ways to incorporate my humor. The curator found ways to encourage me to go deeper. By the time the event rolled around, I was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life. I knew that I would make mistakes on the stage, and I did. I knew that there would be technology glitches, and there were. I knew that this experience would forever change me, and it has. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Vulnerability hangover and all.