We were asked to be the keynote speakers at a retreat for some single women in Washington D.C. A lot of the women there have
been reading our blog and so they wanted us to come speak to them.
We felt completely honored, of course, to be asked to do this. But we had no idea what goodness was ahead for us…
We drove to D.C. on Friday night to give a 1 1/2 hour keynote address. The next day we were asked to run a 2 hour workshop. We were the ONLY speakers for the weekend. Normally the pressure of this would have scared the living day lights out of me. But, I applied the same principles that I always talk about on the blog (I apply them to everything), and I’m telling you….it totally works!!! 🙂
Here’s the way this works for public speaking:
When I feel a welling up of fear, doubt, worry, or anxiety – I choose to pursue a virtue.
In this case, I pursued LOVE for these women and desired to be a channel through which they could feel uplifted and loved…..I pursued COMPASSION for any trials that they may be facing…..HOPE that I could be my best self….FAITH (belief) that I could do this, and that I already had years of preparation and experience already within me to draw from…..GRATITUDE for this amazing opportunity to learn and grow and bond with some amazing women…..GRATITUDE for Danny, my partner in all things……GRATITUDE for the message of the blog, and that by some miracle at this time in our lives we have had this opportunity to share it with others…….JOY for this life and the experiences that we get to have….SELF-WORTH as in, I will still have self-worth, even if I fail….and again, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for these women who are seeking good things and want to live the best lives they can, and who will likely remember my love for them more than what I say.
As you pursue a virtue and deliberately make these thoughts the script in your head, it’s like the effort/energy of doing that literally uproots and replaces the fear/doubt/worry. I’m telling you – it’s ridiculously effective!!! Try it! And the more you do this, the easier and easier it becomes as you develop what I call “muscle memory”: the pathways in your brain actually get rewired and your mind and heart and body become more accustomed to responding in this way. Over time, you can truly begin to fully embody these virtues from the inside out.
The result of doing this is nothing short of a miracle. And I saw that unfold this weekend. I mean, I once would have been terrified to no end in this situation, but actually went into the weekend with confidence & love. We were able to speak from our hearts and have the most beautiful experience with these women. I’ll never forget it.
And now, let me just say that the women we met were beautiful, impressive, smart, creative, educated, loving, articulate, inspiring, and with hearts full of charity and a desire to be the best women they can be. Seriously – – – they were AMAZING – the kind of women you’d love to associate with, hire, be friends with, have a conversation with, marry, etc!! If I was a single guy, I would be heading straight to Washington D.C. to meet some of these women. Haha. I wish I knew some really great guys to set them up with…they were that impressive.
One of the best parts was speaking to the women afterwards. Friday night after we spoke, we should have headed to our hotel – but we couldn’t pull ourselves away and ended up sitting in the kitchen jam packed with women until 1:00 am, sharing some thoughts about what matters most in a marriage, learning about feeling empowered and whole as a single woman, and tapping into self-worth. It really was one of life’s most beautiful moments.
And the guys from the Mormon singles’ congregation in D.C. (where these women attend) came and decorated their cars during the night and left cute messages and candy all over their hoods and windows. SO CUTE!
HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A WONDERFUL EVENING!
And thanks from the bottom of our hearts to all of you women we met over the weekend. We’ll never forget that beautiful experience.
Lots of love,
P.S. Awhile back I came across these performance tips by music performer, Mindy Gledhill. These are really great and I’ve tried to remember these things this last year as I’ve had more and more speaking opportunities.