Welcome to Insights and Implications!
This month Ken Manning shares his experience giving a TEDx Talk and explains how his understanding of insight principles helped him. If you want to see Ken’s TEDx Talk, click here.
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My TEDx Talk Experience
I recently had the honor and privilege of delivering a TEDx Talk last April. My intent was to explain the essence of insight principles and motivate people to want to learn more, all condensed into a 17 minute talk. It was a challenge. In fact, it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
Though I have spoken to many large groups, I was surprised by the level of anxiety and stress I experienced during the process of preparing and delivering this talk. The format of TEDx is quite different from my norm. I usually have lots of interaction and dialogue with an audience, but TEDx requires speaking in a darkened auditorium with bright lights shining in my face and no interaction. It felt daunting.
Having been a student of the principles illuminated by Sydney Banks for many years, I knew my anxieties were coming from my thoughts, and my stress from my chronic, intense thinking. Still, I was keyed up for days and unable to relax. I instinctively knew that if I could chill, I’d get some perspective, and things would flow much easier. I was able mellow out and have insights for short periods, but then my anxiety would resurface. I was freaked out by the idea of speaking in front of so many strangers with bright lights in my eyes. I watched my anxiety come and go and I seemed to have little control over it.
During the dress rehearsal, I miraculously relaxed and the whole thing flowed. The anxiety returned on the day of the talk, however, and I felt very tight as I began to speak. Somewhere in the middle of the talk I settled down and was able to find the spirit I was hoping for. When it was over, I was so relieved.
How did 26 years of realizations about insight principles help throughout this process?
In spite of all my uncomfortable feelings, I knew deep down that my fear was simply a lot of thinking and nothing else. I knew I had a living intelligence within me guiding me as I wrote and delivered the talk and that a flow of insights would be there.
I kept coming back to a simple awareness – that my mind was imagining that the environment was creating my fear and that it was not real. I was able to be mostly present to what I was doing without being stopped or frozen by my nervousness. Though anxious, I appreciated the process of being inwardly challenged and rising to the occasion. The entire experience reinforced my faith in the innate intelligence built into the system. I was uncomfortable, but I didn’t make a big deal of it, knowing it would all work out, no matter what.
My only wish now is that I could do it again, as I am sure it would be more fun and probably better as well.