Saturday, September 24, 2011

Speaking of the Heart...

We were up next. The sound guy had secured one of those earpiece-type microphones over and around my ear, and I was feeling more like a Britney Spears wannabe than an inspiring presenter...

My heart felt like I was preparing to compete in a race. So, what did I do? I found a corner and I stretched and swung my arms around just like I would before any swim meet. I knew on the surface that this was a silly technique to public speaking, but it was only going calm my nerves before the start of my race... err, my speech.

My latest journey takes place alongside three other amazing women in the community. We have dubbed ourselves Team AWE (Able Women Empowering), with the hope of being able to really make an impact together. Having similar goals and passions brought us together as a team, but our drive and ambitions are what keep us together.

One of our missions is to help empower others and raise awareness of disabilities and differences in the community. Right away it was clear, we were going to have to be motivational speakers. Lucky for me, that is exactly what I've been dying to be!

In a single chance of fate and email forwarding, we got word that there were applications being accepted to do a local-type TED Talk. Now, if you don't know TED, you should! For a few years now I have been watching presentations on technologies and medicine, hope and inspiration, and education and progressiveness. Every single one of the speakers present with their hearts and project words of determination, knowledge, and passion. I wanted to be one of them.

It wasn't until much more recently, however, that I declared aloud that it was my DREAM to do a TED Talk someday...

Well, that someday was last Wednesday. And with my heart jumping right between my crooked ribs, I did it. I spoke from my heart with my AWE-inspiring team and we even got a standing ovation. (All of which was completely out of my grasp of thinking-- as I sat there wondering, "Man, these people sure do want to leave quickly!")

As I drove home that night in the rain, I smiled the whole way home. I smiled for my dreams and I smiled for my accomplishments. In fact, I smiled a little for me.

 There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder. 
 Ronald Reagan 


  1. As one of those lucky enough to be at the TED event, your gift to all of us was extraordinary. I hope TED is just the beginning for Team AWE.

    Valerie B-E

  2. It was so awesome to have you as a Tedx speaker. TedxCrestmoorPark would not have been the same without you!