Brené Brown wrote a fantastic book called Daring Greatly. A quote from Roosevelt inspired the title. Brown uses the metaphor of the arena to talk about how putting ourselves out there requires bravery, and knowing that we'll certainly face critics and going into the arena anyway is part of what's required to live a wholehearted life. 

I became a Certified Daring Way Facilitator in the last year, which enables me to teach her work. So I thought I should walk the talk, so to speak. I've been a speaker for about 20 years, and rarely use notes. I usually use the evil PowerPoint, but my slides feature pictures with a few words to keep me on track. Speaking at a TEDx event requires getting up there without any notes, and I chose to do it with no slides.

The event (TEDxRPLCentralLibrary) took place in Regina, SK here in Canada on March 22, 2018. I started writing my talk about a month before then. I lived and breathed it, and tweaked and polished. It wasn't until five days beforehand that I started practicing it with my iPad taping me. It's quite amusing to watch the various videos, because I motor along for awhile, forget the next part, swear, and stride up to the iPad and turn it off. Then I start again. I was dreaming about it and running through it in my head all the time. In short, I was heartily sick of it by the time March 22nd rolled around. 

On the day prior, we had a rehearsal. Every one of the five of us faltered at some point in our talks. Ugh.

I was number 4 of 5 speakers. There was an interminable one-hour intermission between the second and third speaker. I schmoozed for awhile, but my heart wasn't in it (unusual for me), so I sat in the auditorium with my heart pounding like a cartoon character. Ba-BOOM, Ba-BOOM. I never get nervous, so I was rattled. What if I forgot a segue to the next part of my talk and made a fool of myself? Why was I doing this again?

Finally, it was my turn, and the good news was that I could hardly see anyone. I gave it my all, didn't falter, and finished just as the red light signifiying that I was outta time started to light up.

My talk was about cultivating curiosity about other ways of being. How can we work at being open minded in a deliberate way in our everyday lives? I always thought of myself as extremely open minded until a couple of years after my son Connor was diagnosed with autism. Then I realized that I'd had a very limited view of what people with autism could accomplish.

More than ever, I think that in these times of polarizing debates regarding the nature of freedom and diversity we need to ensure that we embrace other ways of being. This was certainly a matter of 'daring greatly' for me. I've always been obsessed with peace, and this was a time to speak to how to go about seeking it in our fractured world.

Peace and love ...