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This is a two-part blog series offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of my TEDx experience. You can watch my full TEDx video at the bottom of this blog post.

Breaking the vase on the stage was such a liberating experience to me. I felt assurance that my childhood story can spread inspiration and healing to others. Thinking of it that way makes the past journey worth it; every painful day I had and every tear-drop of the past, now has a purpose, and my mission is to share it with the world. The TEDx was just the beginning.

That moment also helped me realize that everyone in my life has been a teacher, even the ones that caused deep pain and threatened my life. They are all my teachers.  Their role was to force me to lose myself in their world, to experience the deep terror and emptiness, and convince me that it was the norm for living. My role was to push the pendulum to the other side and discover myself in the process while being surrounded with the broken pieces of my world. I am thankful for each one of them; because of them I have a story to tell. Because of them, I am on a mission to serve others--helping them to shatter their limitations.

The moment I broke the vase was important and transformational to me personally. It signified the end of four months of preparation for this talk. During that time I prepared four different drafts, each unintentionally in its own way serving to protect me from the vulnerability of laying bare my background and experience. I had so much fear of being judged and rejected for sharing my past. The negative programming stopped me until now from telling my story publicly, and as a result I was not ready to speak authentically about it to a room full of strangers. The other drafts that I wrote out were exciting; I covered my global leadership experiences, cultural understanding, and had fun examples and visuals. However, after finishing every draft, I felt disconnected from it, and kept getting the sense that I needed to talk about something closer to my heart, something that would challenge every cell in my body, and for the first time take off my mask to uncover the real me.  

Even on the day of the TEDx event, I was questioning the rationale of sharing my story. It did not seem logical to me and my heart was terrified by the risk that I was taking. I was terrified by the idea of standing in front of 400 strangers in a theater, and a global audience, while being totally vulnerable to be judged about the deepest pain and the deepest pride of my life. When the moment came however, I was guided by an intuition that gave me no choice--it was the strongest that I’ve ever felt. It seemed that the story was ready to come out and I was just the medium. I just needed to show up and deliver it.

While on the stage breaking the vase, which represented the limitations that I experienced in my childhood and uncovering the leader within, I was also breaking a second invisible vase. That one was self-created; it represented the fear of judgment about my transformation story and the worry of rejection, which made me hide it for years. Now it is out, I am proud of it, and thankful for the experience and everyone that contributed to it. 


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