4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Tim Sanders

An Invitation to the Intersection

The lesson I was presented with was unexpected, as they usually are. It was fascinating to watch unfold and in retrospect, I can clearly see that this lesson brought me to an intersection.

Last Tuesday morning, I watched Chris Brogan’s Kitchen Table Talk video, in which he discussed the complexity of how we perceive others, and specifically referenced the subject of public speaking. I was touched by this posting, as it showed a compassionate side of Chris, and made him very real as he spoke about an issue near and dear to my heart: confidence around public speaking. I was somewhat surprised to learn that Chris experiences nervousness before speaking, but more intrigued by the tenderness with which he spoke. My own self-judgment about making presentations diminished just a bit as I absorbed his message.

Come Thursday morning email, Chris Kitchen-Tabled me again about public speaking, in his review of a book written by communications specialist Dr. Nick Morgan, routed to him by Tim Sanders. In linking to Tim’s site, I read a post of his about, guess what — yes — public speaking! In this blog, Lightening Up, he shared with me an epiphany moment he had recently experienced that led him to understand that he would benefit greatly from “lightening up” when he spoke to a group. Tim’s words resonated with me as he described how the drive to be successful will impact the intensity of the presentation, rendering my talk as off-putting or lecture-y to the attendees. The most profound suggestion he shared was to commit to providing value to the audience but make sure that I “enjoy myself along the way”. How liberating that was!

The next day, Friday, I received an email from a colleague and friend, Sally Edwards. She was facilitating a weekend workshop in my community that I was planning to attend; you know Sal, she’s the founder of Heart Zone Training, world class athlete, author of more than 15 books, and a very fun woman with a commanding presence. Anyhow, she invited me to PRESENT A BRIEF SECTION OF HER WORKSHOP, a 5-15-minute review of a component of her training workbook with which I was very familiar, on a topic that I am excited about and passionate about sharing with others, and one that is an integral component of my business. Oh my! Share the stage with Sally Edwards? I panicked. My brain went right to all the practical reasons why I could not possibly speak on such short notice–I wouldn’t have time to prepare, I didn’t know much about the anticipated audience, or how many would be in attendance, and really, how could she EVEN suggest that I could get something together in less than 24 hours?! I breathed. I fretted. I ignored it for a while. I thought about it. I looked at the workbook syllabus she had sent as a .pdf attachment. I was pleased to see that she had written “my” section very well and used language that was similar to the way that I cover that topic, and that her perspective nicely linked the content of this favored subject of mine to her Heart Zone Training format in a way that made sense. OK, maybe I could do this…

Well, guess what? I had sent her an email in response, early into my 5-hour doubting marathon, that said, “geez, I just don’t know…it’s tomorrow, and well, how many people, and who, and what should I wear”? No, I didn’t include the wardrobe reference but it did cross my mind… A few hours later, I received Sally’s reply which was “Hey…flow with me here – you don’t have to present “my” material…do what you want…use your own handout…just talk…yes, this material can go in anywhere we want it…be game … have some fun…share the stage…what do you say”? Wait a minute, where I had I that before? Wasn’t it just the other day…? In a couple of blog posts that had caught my attention…? Ah, the paths of awareness were leading me somewhere…

An epiphany of my own. A moment in which I was at the intersection of my place in the world. A clear understanding that of course, I could give this brief presentation. That I would do so with confidence. That I can and do, positively impact the lives of others. That I bring my message to the world with a genuine intention to make it a better place.

Late Friday afternoon, I spent probably 10 minutes making some notes that related to the pages in the syllabus that I would be addressing. I thought about it for a couple more minutes Saturday morning. That afternoon, when Sally called me up to the front, the words flowed, I was relaxed and effective, and best of all, I enjoyed myself!

"With you guiding me through the HeartMatters program, I was able to achieve a level of physical fitness that made regular and focused exercise feel more like a natural part of my day. I had slipped into a malaise that meant exercise could be ‘put aside’ for work or other important activities. Getting past this is a subtle but powerful accomplishment.

I really enjoyed playing and exercising with you outdoors (my preferred MO for our time together). The joy you bring to your work is wonderful. This flexibility put a kind of structure into my day that helped me ‘choose’ again – showed me how to take back some control of my schedule for important things like meditation and exercise.  It was also part of my journey of re-learning how to say NO to things. This represents additional forward movement for me.

Thanks Robin – I have really benefited from your work in more ways than just the obvious fitter, leaner, stronger me."

---J.E., Northern California,  Communication Consultant

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