What an incredible two weeks it's been!

Wow…what an amazing 2 weeks it has been!

In the last 14 days, I gave my first TEDx Talk, preached at two different churches, spoke in front of 40 police officers, 30 foster parents, 25 members of a local community organization, and sat on a suicide awareness panel at a film opening.

I could get used to this!

The two-week whirlwind started with the TEDx talk.

The event took place on September 20th and was held at Netflix world headquarters in Los Gatos.

From rehearsal the day before the event, until the end of the program, the entire experience was nothing short of life changing.

The topics covered, and the other speakers were forward leaning and spectacular. In true TED talk style, what was shared were, “ideas worth sharing.”

I was the last to go, and I’ll admit it was tough to hold my breath for that long, But, when it was my turn, I did my best to both savor the moment and in the words of my speaking coach, Grant Baldwin, “crush the talk!”

I walked onto the TEDx stage, stood in the trademark red circle, and with a HUGE 30’ x 30’ screen behind me, and an enthusiastic audience in front of me, I took a deep breath, opened my mouth, and off I went.

The talk flowed, and at times I was so lost in the experience I forgot where I was. It was magical, and I walked off the TEDx stage feeling like I had done my very best.

All that said, I am anxious and excited to see the actual video (to make sure I wasn’t dreaming). I have been told the talk will be available within the next two weeks (after post-production and editing), and I will post a link when it comes available.

Having some time to now reflect, what first comes up first is how much I have to be thankful for.

To begin with, I am grateful for the entire TEDx experience, the connections made, the lessons learned, and the new friendships formed.

Second, and most important, I am beyond thankful for the outpouring of support.

MASSIVE thanks go to my family who came from all over and made the trip down to Los Gatos to see the talk in person, and to my beloved, Summer.

Added thanks go to my fellow TEDx speakers, and the organizers, especially Susan von Konsky.

And finally, a special thanks goes to the many who have for years stood behind, by, in front of and alongside me. Your collective love, belief, and encouragement made this bucket list item a reality!

The balance of the talks over the last 2 weeks have been the TEDx talk or some variation of it.

In these last two weeks I was given the honor to present to:

  1. The congregation at Unity of Davis.

  2. Yolo County police officers at their Crisis Intervention Training.

  3. The congregation at the Spiritual Life Center in Sacramento.

  4. To foster parents and staff at Koinonia Family Services in Loomis, CA.

  5. To members of the Nevada County Welcome Club in Nevada City, CA.

And, I was part of a suicide awareness and prevention panel at Sierra College for the screening of Kevin Hines film, “Suicide, The Ripple Effect.”

I’ll end this post with my deep and heartfelt gratitude to every person who has helped me move from mental “hellness” to mental wellness.

I am alive today thanks to you, and I dedicate myself to paying forward the lifesaving gift you gave to me.