I was graciously invited in the summer of 2011 to speak at TEDxSMU in Dallas in December. (December 2 to speak to 350 middle and high school kids and December 3 to speak to 600 adults, to be exact.) So when do you think I finalized these talks? Yes, that’s right-December 1. Complete with slides that I’d never used before and re-edited video. I took it right up to the wire. I also was preparing to leave the country the day after I spoke for 2 weeks to attend the Nobel Prizes and interview Laureates and report Behind-the-Scenes from the Prizes. Then of course, the Christmas holidays were happening soon thereafter, so I was leaving my home for basically 5 weeks. It was nuts and harrowing getting everything prepared on top of being prepared to speak, to say the least – I’d never spoken to that large of a crowd before! Plus, TED only allows a max of 18 minutes to speak for adults, 8 minutes max for kids. You would think that is no big deal, but time constraints are suddenly a HUGE deal when you have always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-free-flowing-ways-girl and have always had a half hour to an hour to speak. But, once again with the help of my friends and family, I pulled it off and much to my delight, actually had fun doing it.
Of course, when I finally watched the video above (I’m loathe to watch myself in anything-I think that must be carryover from my acting days), I wish I would have said and done things a little differently. (Have you ever heard this joke? “What do you call an Italian with no hands? … MUTE!” You could substitute “Italian” with “Elise” and it makes anyone who knows me laugh. My mother has seriously mused aloud on numerous occasions, wondering if I’d be able to speak without my hands.) So, yes, I talk QUITE a bit with my hands as you will probably note if you watch the talk and there are other things I criticize, so you might too. HOWEVER, using the epiphany about self-compassion from the amazing Kristin Neff that I have learned to put to use practically every day, I am embracing it and putting my TEDx talk up here with this sort of “Behind the Scenes” written glimpse of it. I honestly wasn’t quite sure I’d pull it off, so it’s very gratifying to finally have it up and have a piece that communicates an overview of what we’re talking and learning about here at Epiphany Channel and this Ripple Effect that epiphanies have.
Do you know what else I discovered? The epiphany from this experience? I loved doing this. I didn’t think I really enjoyed public speaking before I came out with my book, but I realize that I truly love talking to people about these moments and what they are, who has them, what they mean, how we can cultivate them, and how epiphanies are one way for us to witness the ripple effect of our lives and of the change we make in the world by making change in our own individual lives. I love sharing these stories, and as I say in the talk, there are 100’s of more stories I wanted to tell because everyone, every person that shares their story with me, makes an impact on me and I want so much to be able to share that same wonderful impact with you.
So, one day at a time, one story at a time, one project at a time. It will get done. We will continue to share. Thank you all so much for sharing your stories with me. For sharing these stories with others. For your support and being a part of this community. You are making a ripple in the world – know that and honor it. It’s so important. **
ps: fyi- **Beginning May 1 for 4 weeks, I’ll be leading an online in-depth workshop studying epiphanies and exploring how to cultivate and utilize them in our lives. I plan on it being lots of fun and sharing with you as many of the tools and resources I’ve collected as possible. The en*theos Academy is amazing — so many different teachers and classes — all downloadable and affordable! If cash is tight, they offer “pay what you can” and scholarship plans. If you can’t be on the call, you just download the classes whenever is convenient. Would love to have you join me! It will be a unique and revelatory way to end the spring and dive into summer, full of new perspectives and – I bet you – epiphanies!