It may seem like I have been on hiatus since publishing Shine Bright: Live A Supernova Life, but that’s not it at all. Actually, I have been transformed.
Where Have I Been?
This spring was intense! Publishing a book at the end of March was just the start. I devoted April and May to starting a new Toastmasters club in my community. Our twentieth founding member joined us on June 1 to start Coastmasters Toastmasters in Gibsons, BC. That left four short weeks to complete my personal Toastmasters goals. One goal (as Area 73 Director) was to help the Sunshine Coast’s existing three clubs to reach Distinguished status. That goal was achieved on June 28 when Area 73 qualified as a President’s Distinguished Area in District 96, Region 1 of Toastmasters International for the 2016/17 year.
Another goal I had was to complete the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award. DTM is the highest level a Toastmaster can achieve and is done by working through self-assigned projects in communication and leadership. I had about a dozen speech projects to do between May and June. That would take up a lot of speaking time if I were to rely on only one Toastmasters club, but I was fortunate to be a member of all four Sunshine Coast clubs. We now have both a weekly morning (Morningstars) and evening (Coastmasters) club in Gibsons, a weekly evening club in Sechelt (Sunshine) and an Advanced club (Beachcombers) that meets monthly in Gibsons.
Every Toastmasters club offers a similar structure, but each club offers something unique by way of its members and their experience and interests. I was able to maximize my learning while spreading out my speaking spots among the clubs, and I completed the DTM goal on June 22. Congratulations to me! So … now what?
What Does It All Mean?
Well, overall, the end of June and completion of some major goals felt less like a climax and more like … foreplay. I suddenly felt “ready.” But ready for what? In one sense, I felt ready to do it all over again. I was transformed, but in my rush to complete the goals so quickly, I knew I hadn’t done the best job I could do. More practise time would certainly benefit some of my speech projects. And then there was the leadership aspect. After successfully completing a High Performance Leadership project, I had to wonder about how and where I might best put these new leadership skills to use.
Leadership is a commitment. Anything is a commitment, really, if you want to do it well. Should I put myself out there in our community with a leadership contribution? I’d bulldozed through a community initiative in the past (creating the Shirley Macey Park playground). But now, with new leadership knowledge, I could potentially make a positive impact on a bigger project involving more people. On the other hand, maybe it’s enough to practise good leadership at home as I guide two teenagers to become good citizens. That’s a pretty big commitment already if I want to do it well.
And then there is writing and editing and speaking, which are all on my radar as interests or passions.
Where Am I Going?
The first few weeks of July flew by with all these thoughts whirling about in my mind. My brain had gobbled up a lot of information throughout the spring, and my head was full. The only solution for my confusion was to cocoon myself. As much as I wanted to write, downtime felt necessary for gaining clarity to move forward with focus and intention. That quiet time was just the ticket. I hope you’re ready for me, world — because I am now transformed and ready for flight.
Stay tuned for details on my path forward … coming soon!