I had the privilege of speaking and singing (Speak-Singing?) at an event last night in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
It was beautiful.
The setting, the people, the spirit.
I'll be honest, though. I was worried. I haven't done much public speaking since Zoë was born and I was a little nervous about how it was all going to go down.
But it was great. I ventured away from my usual outline and tried something new. It's always a bit nerve-wracking when you pull into your parking spot at the designated speaking venue. You walk into a room full of people who all know each other. They either work together, attend church together, go to school together...and they have a bond; a history with one another. And here comes this little stranger who thinks she has something to teach them.
I love people. So it isn't horrible. I look at it as a very exciting opportunity to make new friends. But you just never know how you are going to be received. It takes a bit to brake the ice.
But as I was saying--I spoke. I sang. It was a great experience. I LOVED talking with the young women after my presentation and learning about their lives, their passions and hobbies and life plans. I loved putting my arm around a 12 yr-old girl whose parents divorced and who is searching for her way. I loved all the hugs and tears and laughter. (And dutch oven peach cobbler.)
And here's the thing. I was reminded of how much I absolutely love speaking. I love sharing my story. I love encouraging people that things can and will get better. That hope is real. I love learning from those I "teach". I have always, always wanted to be a motivational speaker. And this latest experience reminded me that, "Oh, ya! I'm kind of good at this. I love this! I enjoy this. I want to do this more often."
Once I get my book together and published, public speaking will be the perfect platform to help me get the book launched. And the fact that I almost always sing when I speak...it just couldn't be any more perfect.
I'm telling you this because I want to come speak to your ward or your company party or your retreat or your school assembly. I really do. Speaking at this latest event in Cottonwood Canyon gave me the motivation to finally update the button at the top of my blog that says "Speaking." The very next day, I was asked to be the keynote speaker for an "End of Summer Bash"for the United Methodist Church near San Antonio, Texas. I'll find out if it's really going to happen tomorrow. But it could be great times. (If you can even say that about going to Texas at the end of August.)
I'm so glad I decided to open my mouth and speak for this group of fabulous girls last week. I hope I have many more opportunities to open my mouth and speak the things I've learned and gained from the beauty of mortal pain and suffering.