We all get miracles, we just don’t all consider them as such.  I get miracles.  Lots of them.  Big ones, small ones, weird ones.  I consider them as such.  Heck, waking up in the morning is a miracle.  Or at least it used to be back in my drinking days.

I’ve been breathing at half capacity waiting for my blessing, my miracle, from the one person I needed it from to give my speech.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it.  And I wasn’t sure I could run this speech at full capacity without it.  I was sure as hell going to TRY!  But my strongest and greatest gift according to me, my spiritual director and my old writing teacher is my ability to be completely honest, especially with myself.  So if I had not received this blessing, it would have been in the back of my mind, or maybe even in my subconscious pulling ever so slightly on the reins telling me that I was not doing the right thing.

I received that blessing, that miracle, tonight.  I sobbed with relief, I really did.  I marvelled at it.  And I thanked God for it.  I am free to be me without reservation.  What a tremendous GIFT that is!  I can step right into myself now.

Earlier today I did some Avery Drilling around town.  Went to Hackett Park first and drilled while Meaghan played.  VERY shaky.  A bunch of teenagers walked by me staring and then of course giggling when they got just past me and yes, it threw me RIGHT off.  Couldn’t remember where in the speech I was.  Drilled about 5 times there and recorded it once.

Later we went to Rotary Friendship Park and again I drilled while Meg played.  It was a beautiful sunny day yes, but windy and FREEZING on the oceanfront there.  Meg was running around with no shoes and socks, no coat, totally fine and I thought my hands were going to shatter and break off my arms.  I drilled only 3 times there in public because of the cold and retreated to the warmth of my car for a few more.  Recorded once.  It wasn`t as difficult at that park but only because there were less people there!!!!    Bok!  Bok!  Bok!!!

When Meg got to sleep I was able to do it about 7 more times- was going to record it but I`ll wait until tomorrow and send it to the coach.  I think I am in love with my speech.  Is that ok to say?

I wrote a letter to myself using futureme.org  that I will receive the day after the Area contest, a hundred freakin`years from now.  It`s actually only 3 weeks but as far as I know, many Area contests have been done already.

Anyway, the letter told myself why I was proud to share the content of my speech with my audience, why the content is uplifting for my blessing person and the reasons why I would win- spiritual, mental, and physical.  I am putting that energy out there and I am going to walk into it.  I am going to own my speech, own the stage, own my life.  The rest is up to them.  But as LaCroix says:  no one will out prepare me.  I don’t mind helping miracles along a bit.

Miracles

Advertisements

I’ve taken 2 days and a night off of the speech.  Kind of.  I had a life coaching session with Micaela Pennell today and everything we are working on is all relevant to the speech and my life.  It is such a tremendous gift to have the additional perspective on what I am trying to accomplish and why.   I took the night off to watch a movie and give myself some room to see better.  Tomorrow I will make the changes this speech needs knowing what my own heart needs to make sure it is truth spoken with tremendous love.  I feel like the gel wants to set now.

I have had to start a separate journal to write about how everything, my spiritual journey, my emotional healing, friendship, speaking, and family is being woven together so beautifully and miraculously by our Creator.  When I step back and look at it I am in complete awe at the complex beauty yet utter simplicity of this tapestry.  There are some days more than others that you can truly appreciate the handiwork of God and today was one of those days.

Micaela’s words resonated like a bell and when I heard my husband repeating them, not having known what she had said, and then going an extra mile giving me a suggestion that could alter my life, the speech, and the way I look at and feel about things, well, let me just say that if this stuff were happening to you and you weren’t sure about a higher power….   this stuff might change your mind.  God’s hand is all over this and it gives me SUCH comfort to let Him guide me with the sweet and quiet confidence of knowing that I am loved by Him and that He is taking me Somewhere.

When this year is over, I’m going to bring it all together, to write about all of this, all that’s going on.  I’m saving it all and I know it will prove to be a fascinating read because it’s the work of God, not me.

I feel very excited and happy today.  I feel hopeful.  I feel loved.   I feel protected even in my emotional nakedness.  What a tremendous relief!  I thank God for all of these things.  And I thank Him for the hard stuff too, the stuff that has hurt like hell because He has used that as well and will continue to do so.

I have one more very big step to take to make myself certain that I am doing the right thing.  I need to ask one very important person for their blessing about this speech.  If they can give me this blessing, I will be truly free to make the biggest leap I have ever taken.  If they can’t, I will have to take the leap anyway.  And pray for wings.

my favourite and most rare mode of travel

my favourite and most rare mode of travel

This day had me falling, no, more accurately I should say actively digging down as deeply into my heart and my psyche as God would let me go without losing my mind.  Not somethin’ you do every day.  Also not something I recommend as recreation either.

I am still working weekly with Micaela Pennell, my Texas Toastmaster and life coach extraordinaire, and more importantly, beautiful friend.

I mention this because I know it is all tied together- my speech, my life coaching, the things being explored: God is using these things to teach me what I need to know.  The journey has become more accelerated and pronounced this year, or maybe I’m finally developing a strand of maturity amidst the tomfoolery and becoming more aware of things happening.  It’s hard to say if that’s the case because I still screw up so often and so epicly.  Just ask my family.

I won’t go into detail because it would take hours anyway and this isn’t the place for it.  Yet.  I see though, that the speech I have constructed thus far is the top thick layer of stuff that I needed to break through to begin the slog through the mire that will free my heart and soul from the dark places they have been crouching in for decades.

This I find so encouraging, in the truest sense of the word.  It is planting courage in me for the future.  And I am so excited about what’s to come.

I wasn’t able to get much work done on the speech in the 2 days prior to today because of household stuff that had to be attended to and one really bad mood day that ensured that the whole family suffered too.  Misery normally loves company but here, it demands it.

We also got a new Pope yesterday so we were addicted to the coverage.  It.  was.  INCREDIBLE.  I really love my new Papa.

Back to the speech.  I drilled it at least 20 times today and the back half an extra 5 times.  Taped it and as I speak, it is downloading to youtube for Rich to look at in a few hours.   So I need to get my ass to bed.  2 hours ago.

 

 

The Big Speech is written.  For now.  I have 8 days till the club contest.  I know we will be making more adjustments as we see what it looks like on video.  Starting tomorrow that’s the next step.

Finding a rythym, moving on purpose, remembering what you were trying to SAY when you wrote the words, remembering how you  FELT when the story actually happened.  Conveying that.  Trying to just BE in that moment and give this gift to the audience in the most genuine way possible.  When it happens that way, it is magical.  It’s like a beautiful dance where everyone knows the steps.

BE-ing in that moment can be a challenge because re-living things over and over again while you rehearse can be exhausting.  And you don’t want to desensitize yourself to the truth so that you don’t feel it anymore.

This stage is where you see that some things weren’t as great as you might have thought they were on paper and that some things were better than you thought.  This is where it really starts to feel REAL.

God, I’m scared right now.  Excited, but scared.  I’m putting myself out there like I never have before.  And I’ve been doing THIS whole thing too.  I hope I don’t make a complete fool of myself.  But wait, that reminds me of an old post of mine- something about me being willing to make a fool of myself to reach for that goal of World Champion.  About being willing to be the Biggest Fool In The World, if I recall correctly.

https://ayearinthelifeofatoastmaster.com/2012/09/12/day-19-divine-providence-and-the-biggest-fool-in-the-world/

super foolWow, that seems like a hundred years ago.  How can I have changed and not changed as much as I have and haven’t in those short 6 months?

Today’s Scripture?  One that God loves to give me repeatedly:  He who exalts himself with be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.    Well, I guess we’ll see what happens, eh?

So I thought I had it.  (I’ve said this a few times already, haven’t I?)  I thought I did but Rich gave me an example of a re-structuring that really grabbed me.   I have to figure out how to make it happen in my speech.  I’ve been staring at this speech for 2 nights waiting for it to re-write itself.

Tomorrow I’m giving up something very important to take the entire afternoon off and into the night if need be (with time for Meaghan chess or Lego in there- I haven’t forgotten Star Wars folks).

I need a breakthrough here because I’m feeling very frustrated.  I need my subconscious to come through for me…or I need God to give me one of His Very Awesome Ideas. 

I need something.   I need to finish this puppy because I feel I need a week to internalize it and feel confident about it.  The club contest is in 10 days.

I know it will happen.

Pretty please?

We’re almost half way there, time-wise, to the World Championship.  How are things stacking up?  HALF

I have become a better speech writer in the past month than in the entire previous 4 years.   Crazy eh?  “Jaws-The Speech”,  my humorous entry from last fall was alright, but hindsight is SO 20/20, isn’t it?  This past month, with the crunch on, it’s been pouring out of me.  Knowing I can produce like this is like leaven.  I have bits and pieces of ‘pretty damned good’ here and there in my old speeches but speeches of this calibre have to be ALL damned good.  So I am giving it my all, working every WORD, every pause, every look, but most of all, keeping it REAL, while making sure that my family does not suffer.  I have been able to balance fairly well so far mostly because of my adherance to my daily prayer, 11:30 bedtime rule.  Now the entire past WEEK has been an exception to that bedtime rule and I can feel it catching up to me so it is time to return to sanity.  (Easy to say that now- wait till the next great idea pops into my head at midnight)

No matter what happens with this contest, I am also seriously psyched to get to work on my keynote(s) and I feel encouraged, and able like I never have before.  I feel sureness in my bones.  I am not afraid.  My entire attitude is different these days and it is thanks to many people.  Those of you who read this blog mean so much to me.  That people take time out of their day to check on me once in a while makes me feel like a million bucks.  The comments and encouragement I have received are like manna.   There are people who read this blog who are fully expecting me to raise that trophy in Cincinnatti on August 24.  That’s just freaking amazing!!!

There are people who have stepped out of the woodwork to give me their gifts and help me smash the old shell that I have grown out of.  They have helped me  into a new bigger shell, and also to look down that beautiful pebble beach in my mind and see that the beach is littered with even bigger and more beautiful shells I can wear as my spirit grows.  It is SO much bigger than this contest.  As my friend Micaela says “The goal is never the goal.  It’s what keeps you moving forward.”  And oh I am learning that.

Yes, I recognize God’s work when I see it and I am eternally grateful for the lessons I am receiving.

Now, shall we talk about the speech?  After all, it is a speech contest, isn’t it?

The club contest is on March 18, a month from today.

There is good news and bad news.  The good news is that unless I go over time, I will win my club speech contest because it is likely that I am our only competitor in our tiny club.  My stiffest competition, and believe me folks, she is very stiff- remember she kicked my ass in the Area humorous contest last fall- cannot compete.  She has 2 art shows to prepare for and so her greatness will not be challenging me.  THAT is the bad news.

The area competition is on April 13 and Division is a week after that on April 20.

Two weeks after that,  May 4,  hail the District finals in Nanaimo.  I haven’t even bought tickets for it due to a massive economic crunch right now.   If I get to District finals, we will make the money appear magically from our credit card.  (I’m also missing my yearly spiritual retreat as well –  I got Rich Hopkins instead.  My spiritual director will not be impressed but I will promise to go in the fall.)

So, I have to win all of those contests to make it to the World Semi-finals on August 22.  And come up with the most magnificent piece of work I have produced since my daughter to win the big prize on the 24th.

I’ve been studying the winners for almost a year now.  I’m waiting for my dvd to arrive of the top 3 from 2006-2010 so I can see what separated the best from the rest most recently.  I’ve studied nearly every relevant program that LaCroix has ever made, including his excellent work with Craig Valentine, I joined World Champions Edge and downloaded all their best talks, I’ve studied Avery and his speech technology, I’ve hired Rich Hopkins,  the best man for the job to coach me.  I am doing everything I can think to become the best speaker I can be.  I’ve even become a lector at my church and am delving into the deepest spiritual issues of my life with my life coach and dear friend Micaela Pennell.   If there are some things that YOU can think of that I am not, I am grateful for your advice.  In the end, I am going to be a different woman than the one who began this journey and I am going to be a hell of a lot better than I was.  The fact is, I already am.  Hard work is freaking AWESOME.

The most important thing about this process right now?  I am having FUN.    Woo hoo!

Back to work.  🙂

What an amazing life session with Micaela Pennell today.  I’m wiped out but I feel calm and happy.  I’m ready to move on.

I wrote this over 10 years ago when I hoped even in darkness.  I live and move in the light now and see that it is not only possible but probable.  I thank God for my life!

In the fairy tale, Rapunzel  heals the prince’s blindness with her own tears.  In that same spirit, I shall pour out my own waters of love on land, as ACTION in the WORLD, back into the water to ripple the unconscious.  This speaks of HOPE OPTIMISM AND BRIGHT PROSPECTS.  I hope to  bring calm and confidence in the future, in other words, RELEASE and NEW LIFE  so others can free themselves too.

I’ve always loved archetypes.  This one has resonated soundly with me.

I promise to share my love, hope, talents, truth, belief.  Giving back in order to receive, in order to give some more.  I am becoming more me.  I am finding the authentic me and I am thrilled about walking into her.  It is such an incredible puzzle and to watch the pieces come together is absolutely fascinating!!!

It is all so much bigger than me.