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Wishes do come true.

This Saturday I will be presenting a breakout session at the Eighth Annual Speaking of Women’s Health Conference taking place from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Manatee Convention Center in Palmetto, Florida.  I have attended these interesting, empowering, and pamper-filled conferences in southwest Florida for 10 years. 

Four years ago, at one of the sessions, I remember thinking, “I want to do this – one day I will be presenting here.”  The presenter I was listening to was business acquaintance; I walked up to him at the end of his talk – scared out of my mind –  but determined to say my WISH out loud, to make it real.  And, I did.  He smiled, kindly but not convincingly.  I turned and left, still nervous and a bit embarrassed.

And, now, I am putting the finishing touches on my presentation.  I could not be happier presenting on a topic I love: creating the life you want.  I love helping people make their lives deeper and richer; I love researching the latest positive psychology research, and putting it into a fun and entertaining format, so the attendees will enjoy it as much as me.  I love it all.

So what took me so long?  Well, an amazing three-year assignment in the Peace Corps, as I began fully living the life of my dreams.

Don’t be afraid to speak-up or to share your dreams; once you start wishful thinking, you just never know where you will end-up.

Taking Risks

Lots of different things bring you to particular points in your life.

The simple explanation for my being here, in this chair, typing away, at this moment is: I have to.

(I love saying that – “I have to.” It is like instead of being a grown woman, I am for a few seconds a 10 year-old kid, and for the most part, I have found that doing anything a 10 year- old kid does is usually fun and a good stress reliever.)

This blog is part of an assignment to be certified for something I care about. So here I am.

That’s the simple reason.

The real reason is much more complicated. I am starting a new venture, following a dream. And as part of that process, I am doing something I really thought I would never do: writing a blog.

The person, who told me I had to do it, did so in such a matter-of-fact way, that, well, now I am doing it. I am taking a risk – a big, hairy, scary, make-my-spine-tingle, curl-my-toes, gives me the heebie-geebies (no clue how to spell that one) kind-of risk. And, I must admit that at some level, deep down, that is exciting. Nauseating, but exciting.

I feel brave. My fear is slowly turning into courage. Geez, the minute I said that I went back to feeling nauseated.

Taking risks scares me – big-time, gut-wrenching, shoulder-shaking, pleaseeeee-make-it-stop – scares me.

Do you remember the game Risk? We loved that game as kids, but it also made us crazy – all those little tiny colored pieces, conquering all those innocent countries.   I honestly do not remember finishing that game one single time without some sibling rivalry, competition filled moments – in fact, most of the time the game ended in with all of us in tears.

Sometimes conquering the world came to an abrupt halt because one of us would tap the game board from the bottom, sending those teeny wooden markers sliding this way and that, making it impossible to recreate who “owned” what.

Most of the time when we hear or see the word “risk” it is followed by another word Such as:
analysis,
avoidance,
assessment,
or management.
(There are entire USDA approved risk management agencies, for goodness sake.)

Or even worse, we find it proceeded by the word – “At” – an educational and societal label that is carries a very dubious if not downright negative connotation and is often hard to shake.

No wonder taking risks seems so scary.