When I was twenty one, I discovered that I was a good public speaker. This came as a surprise to me and probably to many of the people that knew me who were in the crowd that first night that I spoke. I was very shy and lacking in social skills, so I was taken aback when I was asked if I wanted to attend a training to be a Master of Ceremonies at the meditation center that I attended. I remember the feelings of excitement and terror that I felt the night before my first gig to mc. That was a night of feeling like tigers were chasing me! Somehow I survived that night and the next day and I managed to show up for the evening program without ever throwing up. Something amazing happened when I stood up to speak; words came out of my mouth spoken beautifully, sincerely, and with confidence. I felt good when I was at the microphone speaking, and afterward people responded that they had been touched in some way through my words. In the years since, I have felt like I was given the ability to speak and that I am obligated to use that gift. However, after every talk that I have given, I have told myself that I am not going to speak again in public if I am in the role of “teacher”, which seems hard to avoid when giving a public talk. I don’t want to get up in front of a group of people and speak as if I know something that they don’t; because I don’t. At this point in my life I’m not sure that I know anything, and I definitely have no business playing the role of self-help teacher just because I received a degree in counseling. If I could speak to a room of people and simply share myself without teaching, then I would feel as though I wasn’t cheating anyone involved, particularly myself. How do I get up and share myself, as I did at the meditation center when I was twenty one, without playing the role of teacher?
I am discovering myself through writing this blog. This morning I am questioning whether I should reconsider speaking again in public. But that takes me back to the question of how do I share myself and my experiences with others without trying to teach them anything.
For the record, I am not a teacher, life coach, or a women’s empowerment consultant. I don’t want to coach anyone, and I am not interested in being a role model to anyone other than my daughter. What I am interested in is helping people through the honest and open sharing of myself and my life. Can a girl make a career out of being herself through speaking and writing? I guess time will tell. For now I pray that my path is made clear.