Wednesday, December 24, 2014

TEDxSeattle Audition - Coming Soon!

I'm petrified. And yet I'm thrilled.

About a month ago my sister told me that TEDx is coming to Seattle. She sent me a link to their application and on a whim I filled it out. I want to share with the world my experience with sudden death as a gift and my desire to shift the paradigm around death and dying.

Grief is a gift.

So I filled out their extensive questionnaire. What is it that you want to share? Why do you feel the audience needs to know this? What is it that you hope to change in the world? How does your presentation fit into Seattle's TEDx brand, Dive In? Where have you dove into something before? Have you been coached? Are you open to being coached?

I answered all of their questions truthfully and openly. And in a way, I didn't expect to hear anything back.

But I did.

Within a week I received an invite to audition in Seattle. Except there was one minor glitch - they wanted me to audition on 12/13/14 - our wedding day. I responded immediately and the curator told me not to fear - they were going to hold a second audition for people unable to make the first one. My audition is now on 1/23/15.

And I'm petrified and thrilled.

A platform. A way to get my word out there beyond my local community. An opportunity!

Time is ticking.

Being the book worm I am, I perused Boulder's library - looking for books on presenting and on grieving. To my surprise, there are more books on grief and dying then when I first looked back in 2008. And yet none of the titles at first glance focus on the light in the darkness. None of the books jump out and appear to throw a life line during a troubling time when most people are searching for hope.

I grabbed a few titles published after 2008 to see if the main theme remained the same. It's hard to revisit the darkest time in my life, yet it's inspiring to go back there and be reminded of what I can bring to the world: my own perspective on the subject.

I also found a book titled, "Talk Like TED." Nailed it. And as I read about the hours and hours of practice, the need to connect to the audience through narrative and showing them something new, something that inspires, something that they can learn from - I panicked.

How on earth is my story about Ryan's death going to inspire complete strangers?

On the other hand, how is it not?

My self-doubt flooded my mind as I read this morning and I was answered with the following:

"Some speakers take a defeatist attitude. They don't think they have anything new to teach people. Sure they do. We all do. We all have unique stories to tell. You might not have the same experiences as the speakers in this chapter, but you have stories just as interesting and valuable in your journey of discovery. Pay attention to the stories of your life. If they teach you something new and valuable, there's a good chance other people will want to hear about it."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Something worth celebrating!

We're getting married in three days. I repeat: WE'RE GETTING MARRIED IN THREE DAYS!!!

This isn't my first rodeo. It's actually my second. And for those who don't know my story - I am a widow. Ryan died in September of 2008 in a rock climbing accident. Life as I knew it was thrown upside down. Yet I made a choice early on in my grieving process to look at loss as a gift. To make the most of it. And it opened my eyes and heart to possibilities I didn't know existed.

On our first date I asked Benjamin, "Who are you?" He read my blog and knew all about my story, my loss, my resolve to live on.

"Your love for Ryan was so apparent. That's the kind of love I want. I've never settled for anything less," he admitted to me on our first date.

As I looked across the table I made a resolve right then and there to love him. I barely knew him. But I knew, just knew, we shared something special.

And now in just a few short days, I'm marrying to my best friend.

My eyes fill with tears to have found love again and to be loved back. And I thank Ryan for showing me how to love and live and to Benjamin for making it all possible.