There was a burning desire inside of me, a message I’d been longing to share. A fire raging for all the wrongs I wanted to right in this world, not for me but for the next generation of women. So I said yes to the challenge! I was 1 of 3 people shortlisted to deliver a 5 minute pitch to the TEDx team. With a little help from my friend Jenny Kovacs this part was easy. I delivered my pitch to a room of 8 people through Skype, reading my script at my desk. I received a round of applause followed by a line of questioning that made it obvious my message was controversial, even for the people of Totnes! Eeeck!
It was mid-July and I was so nervous when the news came in. They said YES! Wow wow wow time to step up honey! That was the beginning a very challenging few months and believe me I KNOW challenges. I’ve come a very long way from where I started in this life. I’ve healed so much that I’ve even changed my name. But that’s another story.
You may not believe some of the things I’m about to share with you, but I’m offering it to you anyway because it’s my truth. I’m being transparent and letting you into my world where pain is replaced by miracles, where courage is amplified by community and where love and trust is all we need to succeed.
Before we get stuck in there are a few things you need to know about me. I talk fast, I never stop creating, I’m a recovering perfectionist, I always follow my heart and I believe in magic.
My appearance on stage was 12 weeks away on October 8th. Ironically in the same week, 6 years before, I launched my very first exhibition of Goddess Portraits. This is the first of many synchronicities in this story.
I had a diary full of clients to serve and it wasn’t until September that I could free up some time to focus on being worthy of “The People’s Choice” award. TEDx offer me some speaker training with Danielle Krage, she was great but I needed more. So I put it out there to the multi-verse, ‘I need some training!’ My main concern was how to remember everything AND speak from the heart.
This wish was granted by 2 fellow students I met attending a video training course. Anthony Metiver of the Memory Method, who introduced me to the awesome concept of memory palaces. And Michael Trigg a professional speaker coach who wanted some portraits for a new website. Michael and I agreed a time trade and arranged a day intensive training 3 weeks before TED talk. This is where things started to get really tough. Michael asked me to stand up and talk about a random subject. I FROZE! Why? Because in my mind’s eye I was 16 yrs old, standing in front of my Theatre studies A level class and feeling like a complete fool. I was dreadful at improvising. I hated it so much that I quit my A level and changed my direction completely. Thankfully I discovered photography at the same time so it was an easy switch. But so easy that I didn’t process all the shame and pain. Here it was in full colour, fear with a capital F!
For the next week sooooo much resistance came up, lots of releasing through tears. Every time I opened my drafted script, I closed it again in the same breathe. I was very nervous about being this messenger, about grabbing our society by the horns and slaying the media beast!
A week passed, no progress on the talk. And then, 10 days before I was due on stage, I awoke in the morning to a little baby hedgehog squealing in my garden. He’d become separated from his mama on our patio and was too small to climb back up the steps. A week before I’d seen the mama hedgehog making a nest in our garden. I was delighted, I hadn’t seen one since I was a little girl. But it didn’t occur to me that her arrival was auspicious. And because I didn’t see the sign, the message was amplified, I had to rescue a distressed baby and return him to his anxious mama. Back at my desk, I could barely believe my eyes when I looked up the hedgehog as an animal totem:
“If Hedgehog has crossed your path; You are being reminded that even if you feel that others do not understand you or “get” what you are doing – it is no excuse to curl up and hide. Sure you may need a little space right now but the world needs your gifts and it’s time to start sharing them again.”
Isn’t nature amazing?!? This instantly broke me out of the cocoon I was in. The 1st rehearsal was 1 week away and my script was way too long! With the help of my great friend Lesley I was able to clarify my message… quickly.
Emotionally I felt released from the fear but I was aware of a heaviness in my body. I needed to clear things out on a cellular level. A good friend appeared in my mind’s eye. Iona Cameron a former client and shamanic healer who once said to me, “If you ever feel like something is standing in your way, call me and we’ll work it out.” Iona came to my house and offered me a powerful womb pulsing session surrounded by crystals and music and I felt so much lighter.
The final week arrived. My period was late, it’s never late!
Tuesday’s rehearsal went ok, I was nervous and stumbled…. a lot :( I worked harder at it and Thursday morning’s rehearsal went so well that I was jumping around on the stage with joy! I CAN DO THIS!
24hrs before I’m due on stage, my period arrives! For me this is a disaster! Days 1 & 2 of my cycle, I’m completely withdrawn, I look pale, I’m often in pain and curled up in bed. I sobbed as my wonderful hubby was holding me and said:“It must have to be this way, your talk is about reclaiming the feminine and menstruation, it makes sense you would be bleeding.” As he spoke such wise words he pointed out a butterfly tapping at the window. The message she delivers is transformation, renewal, rebirth.
I dried my eyes and contacted the fabulously supportive organiser Olivia Palmer to excuse myself from the speakers dinner that night. For the next 16 hrs I completely surrendered to the darkness. I slept, meditated, did some Scaravelli yoga to release the tension and I slept some more.
Next morning at 8am Charlie was looking very worried as he left me to crew for the event. I was not in a good state, pale, in pain and feeling horrid. I text some good friends and asked them to please send me some healing. I listened to my inner voice and was guided to sit at the alter and say some prayers. Soon I started singing a mantra I learned in a clay ceremony recently. “I am the light of my soul, I am bountiful, I am beautiful, I am bliss, I am, I am.….” Over and over for 20 mins or more and when I stood up, I was completely transformed. No pain, no timid little woman, I was fully awake and feeling fine! Thank You <3
I felt so supported by my friends in Totnes and beyond. I could feel the love of so many people wanting this moment for me, for the message I was about to deliver. It went way beyond my existence.
I felt so humble. Thank you <3
Even the Catherine Deane dress I chose to wear played a role in helping me deliver. I discovered after the event, her name is Primrose. The Primrose flower helps us feel that we are safe, nurtured and secure in the world we live in. Thank you <3
This journey with TED has been so much more than an opportunity to share a message. It's allowed me to clear away emotional debris that I didn't even know was there. I'm reminded that when we have courage to take a stand for what we believe to be true, we are divinely supported. Everything we need to overcome the challenges is within our reach. Our intuition knows our golden path and the magic happens when we trust what we are shown.
My deepest learnings from this experience...
... Challenges are best met with courage and resolved with the love of good friends.
... Life is full of synchronicity, we must ask for what we need and see it when it arrives.
... Nature is our greatest teacher, deepest healer and most powerful change-maker.
The talk I delivered was far from perfect, but it came from the deepest part of my soul.
I shined my light from my darkest place, from the belly of my weeping womb on the magical red dot.
My Bloody Miracle ;)
Please leave your feelings and views below if you feel inspired. I'd love to hear from you about the issues I address in the talk. With love Samjhana x