It is 7:30 on this lovely Monday evening and I am connecting with all of you in real time. I am currently sitting on my hotel balcony in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida after a 3 hour drive from Orlando this afternoon. I am meeting with the Phillies tomorrow to help with planning for the new Dominican League training center. Pretty fun, right!
In between sentences I am forcing myself to gaze up. The sun is painting the sky many magical shades of pink. The mere existence of the calm gulf waters is soothing and such a treat. As I write I am reminding myself to appreciate the beauty of these moments as they are far from ordinary. I made it a point to walk down to the beach, if only for a few minutes. I snuggled my naked toes into the sand and connected with the moment as my city life does not warrant that on a regular basis.
What a day! Yes, I woke up this morning in Orlando. I flew in last night so I was primed to speak this morning at the Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium. My topic, Mindfulness and Mindful Eating. While this is a topic I am wildly passionate about, I still get the jitters when I speak in front of a large group of people. Especially me colleagues. I am happy to report, the session was a huge success and I don’t share this to congratulate myself. I share this because the energy in that room was so invigorating to me. I share this because I am proud that I showed up. I allowed myself to be real. To be vulnerable. I forced myself to challenge the critics in my head that often tell me I am not good enough. I trusted myself. I was brave. And it felt good. I share this will all of you to hopefully give you the courage to do the same! Be brave and live the life you dream of. Be courageous and let your light shine.
It is so rewarding to realize I am doing what I meant to do. That am I living my mission to inspire and empower. That I am determined to let my light shine. That I am proud of the person standing on that stage. I was not always able to do this and it still does not come naturally to me.
I shared my message of self-love. Self-respect. Gratitude and joy.
Social media can be magical in these situations. While I was immersed in my talk, my colleagues were sharing the sound bytes that spoke to them. What a gift! As I scrolled through my twitter feed (check it out) I was gifted the opportunity to hear my voice, my message, spoken back to me. I was able to experience my talk through their eyes and ears. I was able to palpably feel the impact of the message. I am beyond grateful to everyone that joined me as they were equally as passionate about the message. Wow.
So, as I ride the wave of excitement and from my talk, I wanted to share the no-filter, backstage experience with all of you. Again, sharing our vulnerabilities is what levels the playing field. We are all human. We all have insecurities. We are all on an amazing journey or growth and self-realization. We are learning bravery every day!
I leave you with this as it was the most powerful moment of the day for me and it comes full circle to this blog.
To begin the talk, I introduced the concept of mindfulness and meditation. I engaged the audience as I was curious what emotions the thought of a meditation practice would evoke. Like many of you, and many of them, I used to feel overwhelmed by the idea of meditating. How could I fit this practice into my already over scheduled life? Then, with some gentle reflection I realized that I could make it my own. It wasn’t about a perfect practice. It could start with just one breath.
I challenged a room full of about 400 people to pause and take ONE purposeful, juicy breath with me. Just one. Remember that blog post? The power of one breath! Well, today, I felt all of its power x 5000. Well, 400! I wish you could have been in the room. With ONE mindful breath we were able to completely shift the energy in the room to a feeling of pure peace. Magic I tell you. It was so powerful! I think I will relive that moment and harness that energy for many days to come!
With love, peace in my heart, vulnerability and a touch more bravery,