Posts Tagged ‘The Chapel’

You’re A Natural!

November 19, 2017

He said.

And his wife added, “have you done this before?  Even my kids were riveted, they didn’t even look on their phones!”

I will take that, especially since it was coming from local rap legend Big Rich.

He’s going to be one of the people sharing a lecture at “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

I met him today and another of the speakers.

We did a rehearsal at Project Level, which is a place for kids in the Fillmore to make music, it’s Big Rich’s personal project.

He’ll be the finale of the show and he’ll be doing a freestyle version of his famous ode to San Francisco.

There will also be the Design Principle at Form4 Architecture, John Marx, my patron, and friend, who will be speaking on his experience with kindness.

There will be a woman talking about her eating disorder and how she dealt with it.

There will be a secular Muslim woman who decided to go back to her roots and start to wear the hijab again and what that experience is like for her in todays political climate.

Another man who is deaf will share his experience being normalized by his family and forced to act like he could hear growing up.  He’s now big in tech.

There will be a man in a wheelchair who is paralyzed from the neck down.  He experienced a car accident at the age of 19 that paralyzed him.  He’s now finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering at Berkeley and he designs machines and technology to help people who need assisted living mechanisms.

And me.

Little old me.

I’ll be speaking about my running away to San Francisco, finding myself in the party scene, losing it all and getting it back and how it happened.

Or something to that effect.

I was super happy to do the rehearsal today, albeit a bit nervous, to perform in a small group in front of people I really don’t know, but I went to the bathroom and did a little praying and got right with myself and asked to carry the message, to be a conduit and, well to not fuck it up.

And I did pretty damn good.

If I do say so myself.

I did forget one part of the lecture, but remembered it half-way through and was able to join it into the material without too much distraction.  No one noticed but me and one of the producers who had seen the narrative and I had practiced three times in front of her the lecture this past Monday.

Otherwise it was seamless.

And both the producers had tears on their face when I finished.

That felt good to see, that emotional connection was made and I was able to do the entire lecture in the time permitted.

I feel really positive about it.

I was linked to the page today and sent invites out to folks.

Come by if you’re in town!

It’s going to be interesting as well as the venue will be hosting a private Christmas party for the owner of Uber, who will be having Kaskade play.

I mean.

Fuck.

Kaskade’s playing Bill Graham at the end of December which is a gigantic show, the capaacity there is 8,500.  And. He’s going to be at the same event I’m going to be at?

Um.

Ok.

That’s going to be a party.

Seriously.

I just checked The Chapel’s website and so far nothing’s been posted about that date, but the tickets for the lecture series are available through EventBrite.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Good grief.

I’m really excited to get to be a part of this experience and super grateful that I get to show up in front of friends and community and just really tell my story, some of the dramatic parts of it, anyway.

And getting to share it with not just people in my recovery community, but friends from Burning Man, former employers, school mates and even one of my professors is going to come!

It means a lot.

And in other news.

I decided to not freak out and not try to cram all my 3,000 hours into the next three years.

After a really insightful group supervision today at my internship I got a lot of super good information about the process of tracking my hours and to take the damn pressure off myself.

Instead of trying to cram every single hour I can into my week, I’m going to relax, to let things happen, to accept that I could, although I probably won’t, take the full 6 years the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) allows one to take after graduation.

I would rather be a little slower, slow down, enjoy my life, enjoy the process, to the best of my ability while I’m still working full-time, and just let the hours accrue without having to be anxious about getting them all in the next three years.

I just switched over to the “new” BBS standards on track my hours.

And yes, I “lost” some hours, but ultimately, I believe, I gave myself some breathing space and some allowance to have a life.

Getting all 3,000 hours in the next three years would mean doubling, at the very least, my current client load.

Going from 8 to 16 a week.

It would be a lot for me to carry 16 clients a week and work full-time.

A fucking lot.

And that’s what I was entertaining in my head without really looking at it.

I brought it up in group supervision and got some very sound advice and suggestions from the group, especially from the two interns who went through the same program I am in at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies), so yup, I changed over and I have to say, I feel really positive about it.

It’s like taking an unnecessary pressure off myself that I didn’t even realize I was laboring under.

I want to get my hours as fast as I can, don’t get me wrong, but I also, at least currently, have to work full-time to support myself living in San Francisco.

Unless that changes, I don’t need to kill myself trying to get the hours.

I don’t want the next three years to be a miserable grind.

Especially as I’m also considering applying to one of the PhD programs at the school.

I do like how Dr.  would sound after my name.

Oh yes.

But.

I also have discovered that I am really good at academia and I have had a tremendous amount of growth, personal growth, by being in the masters program, I think that I would enjoy getting my PhD and really letting myself go for it all.

I mean.

Why not?

It’s just a few more student loans.

Ha.

Nailed It

November 14, 2017

So, so, so happy.

I went into the third meeting of “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” in between meeting with my supervisor this morning and going to work.

Yesterday I completely rewrote the piece I had given them last week.

I didn’t even use the old narrative.

I wrote a completely new piece.

And.

They  loved it.

Loved.

Thank God.

I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do another rewrite or edit, I was feeling pretty damn done with it, but I am so glad I took the time yesterday and wrote a new piece instead of trying to make the other work, I took their suggestions and wrote the piece from the perspective they were looking for.

And.

Well.

Shit.

Taking suggestions, it works.

The piece drew tears.

There was emotional resonance, there was power, I spoke with clarity, humor, strength, and though I didn’t mention the word resilience once, I think it was clear throughout the piece that it was there.

And although I did bring in the word gratitude, it really wasn’t until the end and it tied the piece up.

I read it straight off the computer once.

Then.

I was asked to read it off script.

I was not expecting that and it took me a minute to get into it.

They left the computer screen up for me so that I could go to the piece if I got lost, but haha, the screen went blank and into screen saver mode after the first minute and I just rolled with it.

“That was amazing, you actually verbatim recited a number of sentences!”

Yeah.

I have a pretty good memory.

Granted.

It’s also my story and I have told it a few times, hundreds, in different rooms and spaces, so I know it pretty well, but this was this first iteration of the story and it was told from a very different perspective than I typically tell it.

I’m grateful that it landed so well, that it resonated emotionally, that it was exactly what they were looking for and then some.

Especially since I have another rehearsal to go to this week, on Saturday in the morning.

I’ll be meeting all the folks who are lecturing, there are 7 of us.

It’s from 10a.m.-?

I just need to be out by 1:30p.m. so I can make it to my group supervision.

I also need to get them a photo for the promotions.

They will begin promoting it next week.

Eek.

The tickets will be $25 and they expect to sell out.

Wow.

The venue space holds 180 people.

That’s a few folks.

Mark your calendar, Tuesday, December 5th, at 7p.m. at The Chapel on Valencia Street at 19th.

Woot.

They will also be video recording it and it will be edited and posted to YouTube.

EEK.

My first time on that forum.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Holy shit Batman, fashion crisis.

I hadn’t even thought of that until now.

Not going to worry about it now, I’m sure something fabulous will fall out of my closet, and I have great shoes, I’ll be fine.

It will be interesting though, I’ll be working that day, in fact, I’ll need to get out of work an hour early, they want the lecturers there at 5:30p.m.

Doors at 7p.m.

I usually work until 6p.m.

I’ll be coming straight from nanny land.

Hmmm.

I should bring a second outfit to work, back up clothes, or I can just wear beater clothes and get dressed up before I leave for the gig.

My goodness.

So much to think about and not to mention all the other things on my plate.

The producer actually thanked me for taking the time to do this project with them.

I am so flattered.

Really I am.

It feels like such a privilege to get to share my story.

And I realized today that though I’m a bit immune to my story, its my story, I know it pretty damn well, it’s still a good story.

As well as, I’m a good speaker.

“You have it, you’re a star,” my dear French friend told me once, after I had gotten up in front of a bunch of folks at our second year school retreat and recited some of my poetry, “you command attention, you have it, that je ne s’ais quoi, you have it, you’r a star.”

I’ll never forget that she said that and she’s not wrong, it wasn’t just my friend being nice, I know that I do have a way of being able to command and step up and present.

I haven’t a clue where it came from, but I know that I can recognize that it began to be crafted when I was in 6th grade.

We had public speaking for part of the class and everyone had to do presentations and get dressed up and we were video taped and it was a big, big, big deal.

I remember how well I was nervous, but when I talked, it didn’t come out, in fact, no one knew, I also didn’t know what the hell to do until the last-minute and I ended up pulling something completely out of my ass and did a speech on pencils.

I got an “A.”

I watched that video later, my teacher used it in a demo to show what I did well, and I was amazed to see how calmly I stood there and talked, and I knew how I felt, and what it felt like to get up there and do it and it was intense, but there was no telling that when I spoke.

It’s been like that ever since and, well, practice, lots of practice, and something, something else, I don’t know how to say it, but when I’m in the right space, I just channel it, I’m not really in control, it’s more like I’m a mouthpiece and what needs to be said is just coming through.

It’s an amazing feeling to experience.

If I try to analyze it or control it, it goes, but if I step into it, take a big deep breath, focus and let go, well, fuck, it’s marvelous.

I’ve got to practice some this week, but I have to say, I feel really good about it and now that I have the narrative where it needs to be I’m just going to print it off and read it once a night until the performance.

I won’t have it memorized, but it will be known in my brain and I will be comfortable being off script.

Hell.

I pulled it off twice today.

I think I got this.

Yeah.

I do.

I got this!

 

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture

November 1, 2017

Holy crow.

They picked me!

I am so blown away and honored.

And nervous, fuck, if I think about it too long I might get myself in trouble, but overall, wow, wow, wow, just amazed.

People Who Don’t Usually Lecture is a lecture series that is a kind of anti-TEd Talk where the focus is on people’s personal stories and journeys.  They were given my name by my mentor and friend who commissioned some sonnets from me after a chance (chance, my ass, that was grace, God, the universe if you will) encounter at Burning Man.

They have been doing the series in Tel Aviv for the last four years or so and have gone global this year.

There will be shows in New York, Buenos Aries and, yes, here in San Francisco.

I interviewed with them today before I went into work.

I wasn’t even sure what the hell I was going to talk about, and if I think on it real hard I know that I told a good bit of my personal story, my journey, how I got from here to there and back again, but I didn’t choose my word so much as just let them come out, I just asked to be a channel and let what needed to come out come out.

I’m not sure how I got to be so lucky to be a story-teller, but I did.

I do think it has something to do with remembering to say yes to things.

When my friend had first mentioned it I was intrigued, but really had no clue what was being talked about and I sort of forgot.

Then we had lunch this past Sunday in North Beach and I got a bit more of the back story.

It sounded fascinating.

So, yes I was nervous taking my scooter up into the hills over Dolores Park to meet with the people who run the show.

But, well, you know me, half the battle, three-quarters, 7/8’s haha, of the whole deal is just showing up.

Take the action.

Let go of the results.

The results are God’s anyway.

They really seemed to like my story and I saw one of them was moved to tears, more than once and it was amazing to watch their reactions and then to hear them say they could listen longer and wanted to know more and that they didn’t usually offer a spot the day of the interview to a lecturer.

But.

Well.

They did to me.

Oh my God.

I’m going to do a lecture!

It will be short, ten minutes, and I will be speaking with others in the community, I believe my friend will be one of the lecturers as well.

And when I had mentioned our poetry project and creativity and my experiences I actually got a soft, but firm, no, that’s not what we want, we want your story.

They talked to me about what they had heard and themes that came up in my telling my personal journey, I think I talked for about twenty minutes or so, straight before they started asking questions and collaborating with me about what they would like me to focus on in my story.

I will be covering the thematic of resilience and gratitude.

Two things I have in spades.

Oh.

Do I ever.

I have to write-up my narrative for them to go over by Monday morning.

I will go in and speak with them again and they will go over my story and give me pointers on what they want me to focus on.

I have to write-up the piece and get it to them by Monday a.m.

I will go in at noon next Monday and see them again.

I have the rest of the week to think about it and then to write it out.

They asked me to give them a ten minute piece.

It will be off book as well, so even though I will have a narrative to hand into them so that they can help me polish and pull out the tasty bits, I will be on my own up on that stage.

Just me, myself, and I telling a little story about how I got where I am today.

I am so honored and a bit in awe.

A bit in wonder.

I’m grateful, so grateful I get to do stuff like this.

It will just be ten minutes of my life, but I suspect it will be a lot more, it will be a gift to my community, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today and certainly not fucking asked to give a lecture before hundreds of people.

The lecture series will be held at The Chapel on Valencia Street in the Mission, Tuesday, December 5th.

I’m not sure of the time yet, but in the evening.

I’ll have a dress rehearsal there on December 3rd and then do the deal on the 5th.

I’m really over the moon.

And though I, of course, it is my story after all, know what I’m going to write about, I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about.

Which is fine.

I’m ok with extemporaneous speaking I did it through high school as well as debate, as well as doing French forensics and poetry.

I’ve spoken in front of loads of people, I will be able to do this too.

It’s a little scary, it’s on stage and I know there will be a lot people there.

But.

Really.

I just need to show up and open my mouth, just show up and ask to carry the message, my journey, my story, my resiliency, and not the mess.

I’m good at the mess, I want to carry the message.

Which is often that, if I can make it through the terrors and traumas of my life, then so can you.

And.

Not only that, I can share how, I can share my experience, I can share my hope, and that I did it and how I’m happy now, have been happy now for some years, and I’m loved and my life is fulfilling, rewarding, and full of service.

Life is not a vale of tears and when it is, well, it is gold, a kind of coin I can spend helping another in their struggle by sharing how I got through.

Which is the greatest gift, after all, isn’t it?

Having experiences to share with others.

Love and gratitude tonight.

So very much.

I’ll keep you posted.

Night all.

Sweetest dreams.

 

 


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