When I wrote a pre-event article, aware that this collaborative set of presenters set for the TEDx program in Malibu, would inspire, uplift and move, I had no idea of the level of what bringing together diverse top-notch speakers, musicians could do for the soul.
Here's the essence and message of the people who surprised me, touched me, urged me on to reach bigger, to do it now, not to stop, Tweet and Facebook, but to take action right now in this moment. This blog will take you through moments of truth and quotes of wisdom from a cast of TEDxMalibu 2012: Living Out Loud = LOL.
Thank you, Lisa Cypers Kamen, who through the TEDx Program in Malibu, brought together an amazing cast of characters, the poetry of life in pure expression. Her speaking contribution entitled, "The Mysteries of Fear," deep and full of wisdom, playfully demonstrated our brains are like silly putty while briefing us on the technical aspects of how fear works in the brain, and at the same time, how fear can motivate us to act and live courageously. Her passion, Harvesting Happiness for Heroes, assists military veterans, in healing their trauma through positive psychology to a new sense of freedom in life. She said that "rather than allow fear to paralyze, fear sparks my catalytic jet fuel to move forward."Facing the angst of fear is how I live out loud."
Beginning the day was Laurel Airica with Epiphanies: Nine Obscure Words that Reveal the Whole Purpose of Life. Then, James Makawa, former CEOx; co-founder of Africa Channel, founder of a new channel, Africa HD; a man of African descent and beauty himself, brought us the hidden resources of Africa. His mission is to expose the world to the true Africa, not the tragic Africa or primitive Africa, but all that it really has to offer.
Our CNN Hero, Dr. Ben LaBrot, 2012 CNN Hero, Founder of Floating Doctors, brought the truth of risking it and making a difference: "Leaps are not made from the head, but from the heart." and "Sometimes it's the wildest leap that lands safely." His risking all led to a completed boat with just enough money to pull out of the harbor in time to head for earthquake devastated Haiti and has since traveled far and wide. I am moved, I am inspired, I want to do something.
So leap, take risks, do the meaningful, inspire! Claire Wineland said (and wow, what a 15-year-old) "I'm not stuck in the belief that challenges are given to us to hold us back, but to move us forward." Claire, with Cystic Fibrosis, absolutely beautiful inside and out, spoke with her oxygen tank supplying her enough O2 to breathe. Her speech hit us all, so young, so wise, with 25 surgeries and a near-death experience to tell us that she that she does not find death terrifying, but to live life without passion. She teaches people to thrive in life!
I was humbled to see Greg Louganis baring his soul, allowing pure vulnerability and the beauty. "Forgiveness washed over me and filled me with gratitude," came through the strong, body of a multiple gold medalist. Greg let go of each "label" he had in life from dyslexia and abuse to gold medalist, taking forgiveness to the ultimate level, forgiving all, even forgiving judging right and wrong, a good day versus a bad day. "It just is". "The world shifts around me, because I am here... To me, my job is to learn to love like my higher power." Thank you, Greg, for sharing so honestly.
Adam Leipzig, major film executive and founder of Cultural Weekly.com, brought the brilliance of his resources in finding one's life purpose. Speaking on How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes, Adam took me deep, instantly showing me how to describe and own what I do as more of a form moving to the essence. He easily pulls purpose out of the most resistant. He brought each individual to their own value and contribution in one short nine-minute talk.
Author of Unbinding the Heart, Agapi Stassinopoulos, shared the "invisible mapquest of life," her mother's wisdom, and strong, supportive nature in the upbringing of sisters, Arianna, and herself, overcoming challenges originating in their unassuming beginnings in their home in Greece. Agapi found in one moment of sharing herself with a busload of strangers, that being just who she was for herself and each person in front of her as she was called, was a true life of authenticity.
Let's not forget the interludes of music, the first music presentation of Eric Lumiere -- UK top 40 vocalist, singer-songwriter -- and his band. Described by a speaker in the audience as "lyrical poetry that touches heart and soul" and by music industry TEDx participants as, "I could listen to your music all day." Add next on the roster, Bekah Eden, expressing through her powerful voice, full heart, music resounding with words to elevate many causes through her music, songs to offer voices to the voiceless. This time her muse, focused on those returning from war, singing "In Between." She filled me with vocal beauty.
David Ari Leon, multiple award-winning and Emmy nominated super composer and music supervisor, brought his Voice of Life Project, creating elevating sounds specifically selected to move the audience into peace, wellness, well-being,the heart. Top musicians brought a sound that resounded through the hall with elegance, gorgeous repetitive movement, creating a feeling of swaying and moving in pure joy within. A veteran in the room said it eliminated his PTSD, that it just lifted him right past his angst, into peace. This music is new, innovative and something to check out to move into a true wellspring of peace and healing.
Another, expression of strength in making a difference, Charley Johnston, powerful, founder of Pay It Forward Foundation, (which says it all), spoke of his passion, his work and his adventure, the inspiration of one soul from successful businessman in his early '20s, to dropping it all to "do something!" His message was strong, stating let's effect not just one, but 50 at a time. One is a failure, and 50 is what counts. Just do it.
Add in Shannon Bindler and Sophie Chiche, demonstrated Happy Parents Living Out Loud, through a lively, interesting conversation and Rabbi Judith Halevy
share about the transformation of women, bringing the turning point of women as rabbis and the obstacles overcome.
The end of the event was carried by Sgt. Denoh Grear, Joe Brightman and The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu as they presented Harvesting Happiness through Spoken Word, a virtual classroom pilot program exploring the inner and outer experiences of war, PTSD, adolescence and bullying through the art of Spoken Word. Into David Ari Leon and his music and onto Cantor Marcelo Gindlin whose purity and surprise of a voice transformed my heart and ended the day.
Event Co-Organizer, Lisa Cypers Kamen came away from the event that she brought forward saying, "Experiencing the evolution of TEDx Malibu from an idea, two and a half years ago, to having just completed our second event is a celebration of the power of persistence, patience and passion in bringing the spirit of TED.com, to Malibu in presenting Ideas worth Spreading within the community."
I am glad I bought the ticket. I am filled with newness, inspiration, excited "to do" in life and make a difference. TEDx makes a difference through the individuals that bring it home. I'd like to assure Charley Johnston that the day of inspiration, did, indeed, effect us, did inspire us, did teach at least 50 people to do something, to share the talents we have with others, to take steps to create a life that moves others, that has meaning, and that touches.