As the preparation continues, I dive into the challenge of being simultaneously succinct and clear. Inspiration is endless and fleeting, but to bring a cohesive message to a wider audience is no small task!
I traveled from India to the US last week for a two-month artist residency based in Wilmington, DE with opportunities to work with children and families in a hospital as well as hundreds of students at the University of Delaware, connecting culture, social justice issues and community through art. At the moment it is a daunting but exciting task to integrate jet lag, reverse culture shock, adjustments to climate, food, family, maintaining my organization's effort with a wonderful team back home, all while refining this talk.
The perspective of travel is so useful in reminding me of an incredible web of support I have woven across the world, how the essence of who I am and my message remains true no matter where I go, and somehow that karma is real — many years of extremely challenging and isolated work in service of others, often with little or no financial gain, has come back to me tenfold now in abundance in so many other ways.
The fall of man is the descent of the ladder from the dot to the circumference; the resurrection or redemption of man is his return from the circumference to the dot. —Manly P. Hall, Lectures on Ancient Philosophy
And so I find myself grounding into my being, returning to my center, clarifying my purpose and ideas into a sample of a larger message I know I am meant to share. Tracing the periphery of a wider circle of the world is poignant as I return to roots in many places, to see the most defined point in the middle of it all, which is the simple essence of everything.
The beautiful irony is that I am continuously given opportunities to embody my message in my life – to maintain rituals which help me keep balance (such as daily mandala/image and affirmation posts, journaling which I have been doing since childhood, meditation), to breathe with awareness (which is how I open the talk), and to remember that nature contains all the answers.
Rehearsing the talk, editing my words, listening and seeing myself share them, is surreal as it gives me a chance to step outside of myself and appreciate how far I have come. I see my value, and I know that this helps me guide others to see theirs too.
Remembering my favorite TED talk which embodies art for healing: