I bet that title got your attention.

Perhaps you are quite shocked and wondering if I used to be a stripper in my early days. Sorry to disappoint you, but I am speaking in metaphors. By the way, if any of the guys out there were disappointed by that metaphor part – I’ll send you a little wink for even thinking this 53-year old gal still has it going on.
What I mean by naked is that I’ve been showing the world how imperfect and vulnerable I am lately. I gave not one, but three rather lame and embarrassing speaking performances in the past three days. In each situation, I was sharing new information with a new audience in a new venue. As much as I had prepared, when the performance arrived, things went horribly wrong. I forgot things, allowed nerves to get to me and used poor judgment. For someone who has been speaking for nearly 7 years, this should not be happening!

One thing I know for sure is that it usually takes at least 24 hours from the point of  provocation for the “ah-ha” moment to emerge with the lesson I need to know. That moment came during a late afternoon run today. God must be a runner too. What I realized is that I have been navigating new territory and taking risks in ways I never have before. It is as
though I am beginning as a speaker all over again. I’m now delivering unique new topics from my book Energy Makeover. Among them the subject of “Awakening Your Creativity” and how creativity requires the duality of holding both love and fear simultaneously as risks are taken.

My new content is more authentic and dear to me than anything I’ve spoken about in the past. Revealing this material to new audiences shakes my confidence to the core. Reaching the audience means so much, and potential failure is so deeply personal. Soon I find myself
realizing the lessons learned in such a short time from my nakedness in public:

• Holding notes in your hand is a bad idea, especially if you don’t normally hold notes
• Make sure to pause and accept your applause at the end of a speech (I knew this – yet
ran off anyway).
• Expect your time to be cut from what you practiced and have a plan B.
• Let it go and move on rapidly when the microphone doesn’t work.
• When choosing a demonstration volunteer – use intuition, not impulse!
• When condensing a 90 minute talk down to 20 minutes, it may take a few tries before the best version emerges.
• Remember it really is about serving and teaching from an authentic place.

As a perfectionist, it is very painful to admit I sucked. I am especially hard on myself and friends have already assured me that it wasn’t that bad. The fact is I want it to be better and it will be better because I’ve already learned a few important lessons already. There will be gain from this pain. 

God’s Gift of Grace

As I came home from my disappointing presentation yesterday and stepped out on my back patio, my eye happened to catch something that I now see as a Divine gift.  Under the maple
tree was a perfect white Anemone de Caen in full bloom – the same flower that adorns the  cover of my book. These do not bloom in March! Curiously enough, the last time one of these bloomed was on July 18, the day I secured an agreement with Motivational Press, my publisher. I’ll take it as a sign that all this embarrassment is part of a bigger plan that I am certainly part of.



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