So...the Offering: Hike Your Talk





As you begin to speak your beliefs out loud, I invite you to join orators from many traditions, including those of ancient Greece, & take your talk to the Path. I flesh out all of my presentations while hiking. Yes. I speak, out loud, by myself, in nature. I also speak, out loud, repeating myself over & over again, while jumping from root to rock to stump with my kids. They find this hilarious, especially when I change the words, or repeat things that aren't tasting right in my mouth. Oftentimes they tell me better ways to say something or call me on concepts that need simplifying.

This might seem a little odd, if you're used to having one-on-one conversations, with no intention of ever repeating yourself. I mean, why would you, that's embarrassing! When I first began hearing my friends repeat their concepts, or their "story," I admit it took some getting used to. I have an aversion to it! At the same time, I consistently invest in thought leaders who've taken the time & given the love & attention needed to clean up their invitation. So you'll have to dance with this some, to find your place between form & spontaneity. It doesn't come from winging it. It comes from knowing it. You need to know your work that well. 



This is really a willingness to walk into a hidden ravine, into a shadowy bit of path, to see where it's wanting to take you to, -> your flow. <-

Literally, & symbolically. It's a series of mini-sentence-long initiations, to discover connections & treasures that are waiting to dialogue with you. It's about crystal-clear values, language, & teaching objectives that are currently invisible to your mind, because they live on your heart floor. It's about a lucid mission statement that runs thru everything you say, & an irresistible invitation. This is the same as practicing music, sculpture, watercolor, or sewing.  It's about getting past the learning curve so you can have style. 


Let's go with that for a moment: When I don't sew for a few years, I make crappy clothes. I forget the tricks & my intuition takes a backseat to my awkward attempt to settle into my chair. I'm not set up for it - so I rummage thru stacks of fabric & seek out all the possible bits, like zippers & snaps & elastic. I don't set up the boys right either, & there's accidents. There's nothing pro about it! I end up with an unfinished skirt for some gratification, when I really wanted a sexy, strappy tunic.


Lack of practice takes us Off Path.  


* * * * *

The month before my TEDx talk, my father, stepmother & little brother appeared out of nowhere, on my front steps. They planned to stay a month, & he brought no budget for food, or car, or shelter. It was my first sign that he was losing it. My brothers & I scrambled all month to get his needs met, and, it was the last chance I had to really be with him while he still really knew me. So I never practiced my talk in a formal, timed way. I took my recorder on my daily medicine walks & talked. I talked & talked, & tried to get it down to 18 minutes. I never got it down to 45! But I knew it

When I got to the venue, Gabby Bernstein, Mama Gena, Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dr. Lissa Rankin, Alisa Vitti & the other women were in tight, bright dresses, with long legs & long hair & heels. They gathered at a tall counter to curl their hair, do their makeup & they sounded like a jungle of glorious birds. I never felt like such a mom! In order for me to have gotten in there, I would have had to climb up on the counter. So I put my dress in the closet. I took off my shoes, & I threw away my talk. I was second, so I just walked out there & began blowing some angry poetry from my teen activism days. Words that anchored my body to freedom of speech. Then I began saying what I knew, from all my practice. I winged it! I had barely gotten started when I saw the 15 minute flag, & so I just tied the whole thing up & thanked them.

When I sat down, Gabby turned to me & said, "Umm, that was hella cool & hella wise & can we like hang out?" I didn't actually know who she was, but now I do, & the woman practices!


D always says to leave people on a high, it doesn't matter if they got all the information. 

I trusted that. Because I knew the things I had shared were the things I meant to say, & all that I could say in the time I had, I walked off stage complete.

It wasn't perfect - it was raw & unpolished & a little too human.

And. That talk became my 3-month Legacy Design Intensive. Which became Moonstorm, Soulstorm, Matrilumina at Esalen, & Bright Livelihood. It became some of what we do here. That talk became a spirit-based, philanthropic business school. 


Even if you are a visual artist or a farmer. Preparation. Cell-level clarity. Knowing. Spontaneous power & natural teaching. Not just when you talk. Every time you are On Purpose.


Your clear why will bring in the movement of support that is your birthright. 



xx, Maya