Asked to do a ”Ted Talk-style”-talk at an event, I say Yes without giving it a second thought. Four days before the event, I am startled when I realize that it’s time to figure out, in general terms, what to speak about. So I spend a few hours jotting down ideas on a piece of paper, that turns into two pieces of paper. Three. Four. Five even. There’s enough material there for a half day workshop, when in reality I have approximately 12-15 minutes. So I let it rest, go about my days, letting the ideas and my intention for the day percolate quietly in the background.
Sit myself down two nights before the event, flicking through those five pages worth of ideas, grabbing an empty piece of paper and write… and what comes up is quite different from what was on the first five pieces of brainstorming material. Get busy with other things, and my presentation is put on the back-burner again.
Waking up at four am, I lie in the dark in my bed, and start to hold an imaginary presentation, putting myself on that stage, and start to speak. I find words, ponder what worth they carry, move ahead, not really getting any sense of flow at all, so after some time I turn on the light, pick up a book, and read until my eyelids start to flutter. Turn off the light and go back to sleep for a few more hours.
As I awaken, I get up on that imaginary stage again, start to give my talk, and then, a few minutes in, I fall into that place where I know I do my best. The place where I am free of must’s and should’s, where I flow with what wants to happen. I hear the difference in my voice, how the pace of my speech slows down, how I articulate myself, and a tell-tale sign are the pauses that become an integral part of how I show up. Attuned to what wants to happen I don’t know beforehand what will come out of my mouth, so the listening within is a crucial part of how I do me. I flow with it for ten minutes or so, come to a natural close, and step off stage.
Pleased with myself I know what I just did would have fit perfectly on that stage tomorrow, giggling a bit as I am curious if tomorrow’s talk will be as good as the one I just gave with Pop the cat lying next to me in bed as my not-too-attentive audience, in the semi-darkness of the bedroom, well before the rising sun, the chirp of the birds and the hum of traffic pick up, informing me that a new day has come.
If I flow with what wants to happen tomorrow, all will be well.