Yesterday was my first time as an audience member at a Tedx event. Last year I had the unbelievable honor and privilege of working the back end of the event as a speaker coach. It was intense and rewarding and heartbreaking and spirit lifting and life-changing.
Yesterday could not have been more different and I don’t mean this in a bad way. There is something that happens when you’re part of a group receiving a collective download of pure vulnerable brilliance.
Yesterday I heard stories the blew my mind and then blew my mind some more. Women of such strength and courage and creativity. Men with such grace and divinity. Stories that were uplifting and heartwarming and deeply teaching.
Though I don’t think it’s possible for me to give you a download from this blog post I do recommend in a few days going to Ted X Maui.com and checking out the speeches yourself when they are posted. But I feel like I can crystallize some pretty intense life lessons for you and see if you have any interest in putting those into practice and your hearts, minds, or lives.
The first lesson is from a beautiful deep-sea diver and spear fisher Kimi Werner who recommends so eloquently that when life starts feeling like you need to speed up that’s exactly when you should slow down. That makes so much sense.
How many of us have reacted rashly and wished that you possessed this piece of brilliance before that moment. She says that when things start feeling like you need to run away that’s exactly when you need to take a step closer.
She illustrated this by talking about one time when she was in the water about to take a dive and the biggest shark she’d ever seen swim right next to her. Her initial instinct was clearly to flee but what she knew about fish from hunting them is that when you swim towards them they swim away but if you ignore them then they get curious.
So she swam towards this fish and ended up riding on the dorsal fin of the biggest sharks she had ever seen. It was incredible to watch. We’re told so often what to be afraid of. And then we act from this place without considering other options. Maybe we’re told these things by people who were afraid in the first place, but not people who actually know. Well…I believe Kimi’s story…and not that I’m excited to put it in practice but I think I will remember it when I need to.
My second big take away from the afternoon was from BJ Fogg, a scientist who studies behavior. And what he has found from all of his research is there is one behavior that seems to stick for people if they start it and try to keep up with it. The funny thing is that he calls is the Maui effect…so his Ted talk stage was exactly the right one!
His suggestion is first thing in the morning when you wake up and you’re swinging your feet out of bed, as they touch the ground you say out loud, “This is going to be a great day!” Every day.
He had all of us lift our feet off the ground four times and say it with him because as he says, “practice makes perfect!”
I did it this morning. It is going to be a great day!
He admitted that sometimes he wakes up and thinks this can’t possibly go well today, but by the time his feet hit the floor he manages to think and say out loud…”Somehow this is going to be a great day today…” And he shared with us…that just somehow…it always works out.
I can’t put into words the spellbinding magic that came forth from the moment Sam ‘Ohu Gon came onstage. I almost couldn’t blink for his entire talk. So powerful. This started a trend in speakers about sustainability and this is not just for Maui…I can’t recommend this talk enough. And I also can’t share with you the intensity of brilliance that he shares…you will have to watch for yourself.
Add to that the calm presence of Sunny Savage talking about wild forested foods…I’m going into my back yard today to to see what I can grab! She says that one serving of wild forested foods a day will change your life. I’m up for that challenge!
I also can’t get into words for you the vulnerability that was shared with me through Daniel Anthony, that you will definitely have to watch for yourself. It was some of the most beautiful sharing I have ever heard.
The difference being here this time was that I had no idea what they were about to say. I wasn’t invested in the speeches. I wasn’t nervous for the speakers knowing where they have problems getting through material.
I just got to sit there and experience. I got to just sit there and receive and give back my full attention. I got to sit in an auditorium full of people all doing the same thing. Everybody’s minds open. Everybody’s hearts wide open. Everybody’s expectation simply to be present. And I really felt how everyone wanted each speaker to succeed. Huge applause. Standing Ovations. And unbelievable presence.
What an absolutely amazing movement this is. This sharing story. Taking the best parts of us, sharing it, and reminding each and everyone of us about the best parts inside each of us.
Somewhere in the middle of the day we heard from Edward Readicker-Henderson. An older man told he was going to die within a year for the past fifteen years, and his advice was exceptionally poignant for me. “Kill your bucket list.” He says that when you are doing things to complete them like a task before you die….then you are moving towards death. If you finish the list…then…what’s left?
But if you do the things you love to do. If you live and do things because you are alive, well…that’s called living….THEN and only then are you feeding the energy of your life. And as a chronic list maker…I heard that.
The last speaker was a Hawaiian vocal legend with a voice that stirs your soul, Robert Cazimero. He was musing about his life of not believing he was worth a damn until this moment when he was recording an album and he heard his voice over the speakers, he happened to be looking at himself in the mirror. He couldn’t reconcile the beautiful voice with the broken boy he was looking at…and in that moment, he grew into his voice and left the broken boy behind.
He looked into each and everyone of our hearts and told us essentially that we were exactly perfect exactly how we were in exactly this moment and in the next moment in the moment after that. He told us we were doing exactly what we were supposed to be and to just keep moving forward. And I’ve heard this many times. I tell it to myself in my darker moments and I tell it to my patients whenever I have the opportunity. But last night I believed it. I believed it because everybody in the room believed it. Because that’s the power of story.
That’s the power of connection. That’s the power of listening from a place of vulnerability. That’s the place of feeling at home in yourself. That’s the place of feeling like you belong with the rest of the organisms around you. And I know today I feel like a better person because of it.
I know Tedx is only once a year. And I know I could be a speaker coach here next year if I wanted…but I’m going to have to sit and feel and decide which I want to be. Blown away and have responsibility. Or simply blown away!
Again, in a few days time..maybe a week, the videos will be live at TedXMaui.com. I know you will love them!