“love is a place
& through this place of
(with brightness of peace)
yes is a world
& in this world of
There are times in our lives when we let our fears get the best of us, despite how brave we can be. We imagine scenarios that may or may not happen and outcomes that may or may not have any basis in reality.
We can fear so much that we may even say no to new opportunities, new people and new experiences.
No feels safe. No keeps you where you are, which is comfortable. Yes can lead to an infinite amount of possibilities, not all of which we can predict or control.
That can be terrifying.
Last weekend I attended a Natural Living Expo with my mother and our dear friend. I was excited to go because the three of us had attended a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.
This year didn’t disappoint. There were vendors offering everything from herbal tea to reiki healings. There were psychic readings, detox foot baths, aura photography, handmade jewelry, incense and soy candles infused with specific intentions.
But the highlight of the evening was knowing we were going to see inspirational author and healer Sonia Choquette speak.
I have long been a fan of hers. In fact, I have read many of her books and been inspired by her work time and again.
I knew watching her give a two hour talk would be something I wouldn’t forget.
As the talk began, I was immediately taken in by Sonia’s humor and her ability to share wisdom in a way that feels tangible and applicable to our own lives. Of course, I was taking notes so I could remember everything later.
“Remember who you are. Don’t wait for other people to tell you who you are. They don’t know.” ~Sonia Choquette
Suddenly, Sonia said she needed a volunteer from the audience and she plucked a man out of the front row. She asked for another volunteer, and no one in the crowd of hundreds offered to move. I thought of volunteering; after all, I would love a chance to be up close to her, but I was afraid.
In the safe confines of not saying yes, I could stay in my chair.
Finally someone did volunteer. I turned to my mom. “I almost volunteered, you know.”
She looked back at me, “You should have! I thought you were going to.”
At that moment, Sonia asked for yet another volunteer. Before she could finish asking and before I could hear what this volunteer would be doing, I was out of my seat.
“I’ll do it!”
I had said yes and I had no idea to what. That instantly terrified me. What had I gotten myself into? I didn’t know what had possessed me to shoot out of my chair, but I also believed there was a reason I had.
Once I was on stage, Sonia confirmed this. She asked me to think of an “unsolvable” problem I am facing and to share it with the audience. (At this point, she even handed me a microphone so the entire crowd could hear me.)
All I could think was, why had I said yes to this? I hadn’t heard her ask for someone with an unsolvable problem to come up and I worried about what I had gotten myself into.
I was in a slight panic. It didn’t help that Sonia, someone I’ve long admired, had her arm around me and was looking straight into my eyes. In fact, it made me more nervous.
When I told Sonia I wasn’t facing an unsolvable problem, that I hadn’t heard her say that, and that I needed a moment to think or that someone else could come in my place, she rejected all those things and simply said:
“Something in the Universe made you jump up. You are meant to be on this stage.”
Knowing what I know about Sonia, mainly that she is one of the top psychics in the world, I had a feeling there wasn’t much I could hide from her and I could see she wasn’t going to let me off the hook that easily.
She was there to push me beyond no, and into yes.
“You don’t learn anything unless you are uncomfortable. That’s when change happens.” ~Sonia Choquette
And so I went with it. I took a deep breath and just committed myself (as best as I could) to being up there with her, and lots of supporting, loving faces in the audience.
On stage, far away from my empty chair, Sonia interviewed me, putting me on the spot to think of answers buried deep within me. She asked me to dance. She asked me sing. She asked me to be truthful with her and to myself.
“If you lose your dance, you’ve lost your spirit.” ~Sonia Choquette
When hundreds of eyes are staring at you, and the light of the stage is shining on you, and the Sonia Choquette is encouraging you, there is nowhere to hide.
And as I left the stage, to the sounds of applause, she thanked me for helping her teach the class. She said, “You just taught the most important class of your life.”
I had to laugh. She didn’t know I was a teacher… or did she?
“In order to change your frequency you have to have two feet in and play full out.” ~Sonia Choquette
Back in the safety of my seat, it took me a while to decompress.
But I knew I had gone through an important, spiritual exercise, one that greatly affected me and one I wouldn’t forget.
No wouldn’t have gotten me there. Only yes could have. Tweet that!
“Get over yourself and get into yourself.” ~Sonia Choquette
After the talk was over I had the opportunity to talk to Sonia one-on-one, minus the stage, minus the stares.
She once again thanked me for being up there with her and provided some insight that I am still thinking about, but it’s me that’s the grateful one.
In those ten or fifteen minutes (I felt like I was there for an hour) I was pushed more out of my comfort zone than I had been in a long time—maybe ever. While I am not shy, there is something about being center stage in front of a crowd of strangers, and being asked to be vulnerable that instantly strips away all our self-defense mechanisms, all our protective shields.
I hadn’t realized I had so much to learn about myself—and so much more work to do.
An even more unusual thing happened after the talk was over. Strangers who had been in the audience approached me. Mostly they just wanted to tell me I did well on stage. One woman told me she could relate to everything I shared. Another woman came and asked to hug me for being so brave. And a man—whom I had seen in the crowd—said, “You were great. I was sending you love the whole time you were up there.”
And the thing was, I had felt all of those things when I was standing on stage next to Sonia.
These strangers were so generous, so kind and so genuine. All of their sentiments mean so much to me and I am grateful to each of them for not saying no and instead saying yes when the thought crossed their minds to approach me.
No feels safe. But sometimes we need to be thrusted out of our comfort zones and pushed beyond our comfortable boundaries, to learn, to grow and to maybe, hopefully inspire someone else to do the same.
I am so grateful for the opportunity, as terrifying as it was, and for Sonia Choquette gracing me with her insight, patience, guidance and wisdom.
Would I ever do something like that again?