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You Need This Moment

I nearly fell over when I saw Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor walk into the 1st NANT Conference Welcome Reception 3 years ago.

She was our keynote speaker that year and we were told she likely wouldn’t attend the reception. She wanted to save her energy for her presentation in the morning.

But suddenly, there she was. Chrysty Sturdivant and I looked at each other and for once, were speechless. We were little kids staring at one of our heroes.

I’d read her bestselling book, "My Stroke of Insight’ more than once (it intrigued me as a therapist and a human being), seen her interviewed on Oprah and viewed her amazing talk at TED.

She was as every bit as down to earth, curious and intelligent as I expected. I asked her why she changed her mind about attending the Welcome Reception.

She replied, "I’m very intentional about how I spend my energy before a presentation like this. But this group seemed safe. Like I’d receive energy, rather than spend it. And I was right."

I looked around the room at all of you (remember that great room at the Westin?). You were laughing, relaxed, engaged in conversation. You were SO excited to be together with other therapists.

And Dr. Taylor was right. You are a safe, friendly, open group.

If you’re attending the conference this year, make sure you attend the Welcome Reception (Thursday from 5:30-7:30pm ET). If you’re attending ‘alone’, no worries, you won’t be alone for long. Your colleagues simply rock.

Last year (when the above photo was taken) many of you approached me, introduced yourselves, and we learned a lot about each other. I LOVE THIS!!! I want to meet you, know what’s going on for you and how I can help or even just listen.

YOU are the reason we do this. YOU are the source of all that energy. YOU will have a blast.

This is not ‘dreaded networking’. This is connection.

Most of your life focuses on caring for other people. You need this moment. You deserve it.

Leave work. Get on that plane or in your car. Check in. Register in the lobby or as you come in to the reception.

And breathe.