A few weeks ago I was honored to be a speaker at an education symposium at Marian University in Indiana.
While I had seen ahead of time the other speakers in attendance, and already was aware that my talk on Soul to Soul Parenting would be the most different in the field of presentations to a large group of mostly educators, I was unprepared for my inner twelve year old to make a surprise appearance during the opening keynotes.
That afternoon, I excitedly drove to Indianapolis for the event after a wonderful Soul to Soul Circle with all of my "sisters."
Per usual, we really felt each other's vibe and had delved into all of the juicy stuff that I truly LOVE.
As I passed the Chicago skyline on the way down, I was feeling so HIGH and GRATEFUL for my life here in Chicago that I was utterly in sync with my iPod. Out of my 2,000 plus songs, "Sweet Home Chicago" came blaring through the speakers at just the right moment of glimmer on my favorite buildings in the world.
Following that was "Angels Among Us" by Alabama, and I knew it was gonna be my kinda drive experience—uplifting and right on target.
Upon arrival and knowing only the host of the event, I quickly took my seat and awaited the introductions and the two keynotes of the evening.
As the presentations began, I suddenly felt a brief thread of anxiety.
The power points, rich with research and data, the latest software to experience new findings in the workings of the brain, not to mention, the degrees and number of books written by the main keynote, brought me to a momentary and frightening thought of, "Oh my gosh! I am at the wrong conference. Do the planners of this event really know what I do? Is it too late to back out?"
I immediately recognized my dear and lovely twelve year old Annie girl who, God Love her, has never been overly artistic or "creative."
Undoubtedly, when it came time to bring in a project to school that she had worked tirelessly on, she would survey the other projects in the room, and become quite alarmed and deflated thinking, "My project is not good enough, and therefore, I am not good enough!" It was always difficult to get the good vibrations back when the hand-drawn people had no noses, and the insecurity about what wasn't right with her work and with her became front and center in her thoughts.
As I sat in the audience in the row of other presenters, rather than resist my feelings, I began to quietly and lovingly embrace my inner child. I soothed her and welcomed her with an open heart and open arms. I imagined her fearless, joyous, and courageous enough to be herself.
Soon we were holding hands and going down a large slide, smiling.
Turns out, that beautiful child who simply desired to be respected, heard, and mostly loved, let me know, through an inner feeling of surrender and peace, that all was well.
Suddenly, I was struck by a flash of insight offering me a new idea for the introduction of my talks the next day. A huge grin crossed my face, and from then on, my dear inner girl sat front and center on my lap for the rest of the night with my loving arms around her waist.
The next day I was to give my Soul to Soul Parenting talk at two break-out sessions. I felt calm and even elated at the opportunity to share my perspective and contribute to the world at large in this way.
I opened my talk acknowledging and praising the other fascinating presentations at the conference for the incredible new facts on brain research, as well as, the data on social and emotional learning.
I expressed that the videos and power points they shared, without a doubt, provided hugely valuable information for both the mind, in general, and for the future of the education of our beloved children.
In other words, I acknowledged all that had come before me as highly beneficial and good.
Then I proceeded to say, but if I may, I am going to offer a different vantage point here now with no data, no research and no power point.
Today, I am here to speak to your SOUL, and there are simply no mathematical calculations or research studies for my offering to you because the soul relies on inner feeling for its truth.
I shared the story of my inner child experience the night before and stated, "I can only stand before you and open my heart to you, offering you what I have come to feel and experience from the inside out.
If you can feel the vibration of what I am sharing deep within you through sensations in your body and a fluttering in your heart, then you will know if what I share may be truth for you.
And if you feel nothing, then that is a wonderful truth for you, too."
Over the next few hours I poured my heart and soul out to those who had chosen for whatever reason to cross paths with me on that sunny, glorious September day.
As is always typical in any audience, I could sense those who really had no idea what I was talking about AND also those who were deeply moved, some even to the point of tears in their eyes.
And I, can honestly say, that I APPRECIATED all of it!
When I got in my car at the end of the day, my inner Annie girl rose up to the surface of my heart once again. I smiled at her and thanked her profusely for her courage and her wisdom.
Together we decided to simply BE OURSELVES, and agreed that there is nothing more liberating or empowering than that...
Your project is good enough. YOU are good enough.