Letter from the Publisher: Inspiring Transformation
Jun 01, 2014 08:55PM
Spring’s spectacular apple blossoms were gracing the high desert mountains of Santa Fe last month when I arrived in New Mexico to attend Gail Larsen’s four-day Transformational Speaking workshop. On the walk to our meeting space the first morning, part of me just wanted to spend the whole day hiking amidst glorious nature. Yet the impetus that had carried me to this point called even louder. The invitation had asked, “Are you ready to stretch to the size of your calling?”
Gail opened by saying how 30 years of public speaking and coaching have revealed to her that a compelling communicator lives inside us all. Yet as I sat in our first morning circle with five other women ready to embark on this journey together, I felt intimidated by their apparent familiarity with professional speaking. Allowing my innermost thoughts to take the stage and reflect the truth of who I am, with the goal of establishing an emotional connection, was a tall order; I reminded myself to have fun with it.
I learned that we were required to give a short speech every day, and from the first outing, I tended to vacillate between the so-called fun part and panic! Those mountain trails kept beckoning as an oh-so-appealing escape hatch.
We kept digging deeper through guided processes while sharing our stories under Gail’s intuitive coaching. Already by the second day, the six participants knew more about each other’s lives, deepest fears and aspirations than many of the people closest to us. It was often painful to watch our own video replays, but highly helpful. The pretenses we had all arrived with had been quickly stripped away as we opened our hearts, spoke our truths and provided loving feedback. Everyone felt themselves shifting their perspective, reporting profound insights and inner healing.
I’m glad to report that I at last took the longed-for hike that had been calling to me, feeling it was part of the necessary preparation for my final “big” speech. So much had taken place over the previous days that I needed to integrate what I’d learned, felt and experienced and being in nature helped.
Still, I didn’t consider myself completely ready when I stood up to speak on the last day. So I paused, looked at my storyboard Post-its, centered myself and stepped into the sacred ground of my “home zone”. Then I heard my deeper, authentic voice emerging and strong clarity about my core message came across powerfully. I even had periods and pauses at the end of my sentences!
Most importantly, I felt that I was connecting with my audience from a heart-centered place and had fun. My new sisters’ stories had transformed them, too, and together we celebrated how we had contributed to one another’s success by all helping to show each of us who we are.
“Telling your story may be the most powerful medicine on Earth,” says Dr. Lissa Rankin, in this month’s feature article by Judith Fertig, “The Healing Power of Story". We hope you enjoy reading every page in this special Inspired Living issue.
To stretching past limits and soaring,
Sharon Bruckman, Publisher