Last week I presented a talk on the power of BodyLove to an amazing group of women here in Santa Barbara. It was part of a monthly meeting hosted by a group called Gather and Glow which focuses on women (although not exclusively) in entrepreneurship and wellness. The topic this month was "Love Your Body, Love Your Life!" There were two other speakers with me on the speaker panel, Natalie Diane, a nutritionist and personal chef, and Melanie Elkin, a yoga teacher and motivational speaker. Each of us had a chance to tell our story of how we came to love our bodies, and the struggles and triumphs we underwent to get there.
This was a perfect opportunity for me to distill my message and my journey into a short 7-10 minute talk so I immediately reached out to the organizers to ask about participation. I was super excited to get a chance to talk to an audience who are already forward thinking about health and wellness, This opportunity helped me decide what they most important and instructive parts of my journey have been in order to tell a compelling story with a meaningful message.
The talk went very well and I received great feedback, but the most powerful thing that I walked away with from that opportunity was a new understanding of the power of vulnerability getting one's point across. The message always matters when its coming from the heart and is infused with one's own authentic spirit. I realized while giving the talk that the moments when I was most connected to the audience were when I was sharing the most vulnerable parts of my story - parts of my life that up until pretty recently I would have not been willing to share because I would have been embarrassed or afraid of judgment. Instead, I allowed myself to be empowered by the vulnerability, and the energy coursing through me when I opened my heart up fearlessly. Letting go of shame and letting the past be the past is MAGIC!
What I learned that evening by being truly HONEST in front of an audience is that people are much more receptive to the truth of my message when I open up to them and allow myself to be vulnerable and truly SEEN as I am. I became more trustworthy and credible to them because they saw that I was willing to be honest and raw with them. This made my "take home message" much more impactful. I could see that the eyes, ears and hearts of my audience were blown open as soon as they realized that I was going to be REAL with them.
I think that we are very much in a time when people want to learn from other people who have personal experience with the subject and who are willing to put themselves on the line in order to get their message heard. People want to know that you have been there too - that you have been where they are and come out on the other side. Experience IS legit credibility.