I was familiar with the final lecturer of the weekend from Deepak Chopra's keynote the summer before. To illustrate the way that the two hemispheres of the brain work, he'd shown a video of Jill Bolte, a brain doctor, relating the morning that she woke up and while exercising, had a stroke. This video led the organizers of Celebrate Your Life to book her for this year's conference. Hearing the full story, in person, would certainly be superior than watching on video (though it had been projected onto a very large screen). I sat by the older ladies I was with the two previous nights and told the one next to me what had happened in the prior workshop.
Bolte opened by saying that she didn't recall the last time she'd received so many hugs and so much love from the attendees of a conference; course most of those previous ones were with doctors who are not generally the type to give a full-on embrace, not with the possibility of genitals touching (if only in passing).
One of the most provocative aspects of her story is how, as the stroke was overcoming her, she felt bliss as the thinking part of her brain shut off. Imagine having no thoughts on your mind, none at all. She was in pure beingness, feeling elation and euphoria, not wanting to listen to the voice off in the distance that was pleading with her to get help.
She encouraged us all to donate our brains to the institution she worked at. She said there just aren't enough people doing so, that if they did, a greater understanding of the organ would come along that much sooner. She even sang a little ditty that she wrote about the subject. From time to time, I would think back to Sonia's workshop, still finding what I'd done there a bit hard to believe.
Once Bolte's presentation ended, most of the crowd headed out. I said goodbye to the ladies I'd sat with and then talked for a bit with a woman I'd met the year before. While there, I was asked by a couple women if I'd like to give a testimonial. Not knowing what I was going to say, but loving the idea of maybe seeing myself on camera, I said, "Yes". A few seconds later, I was told that the camera was rolling. I said something like this:
"Hi. My name is Tom. We just got done listening to Jill Bolte talk about her experience of having a stroke. This is the 4th time I've been to Celebrate Your Life. I like Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson. Sonja Choquette called me onstage earlier today. It was a bit scary, but I'm glad I did it. I'd recommend anyone interested in these authors coming to the next conference and checking it out. You won't be disappointed".
A few minutes later, I walked with the woman from last year to the lobby, glad that we had gotten caught up. Before going to pick up my life partner, I did a quick walk-around to see if there was anyone left that I knew. The Spanish-looking woman from Texas, who I'd met at lunch the day before, was there, waiting for her ride to come. We embraced as she shared her experience of Sonia's workshop.
She marveled at the confluence of events which occurred that allowed her to receive what she felt was a communication from her late father: the man next to her had said his name during one of Sonia's one-on-one exercises. It was apparently a case of dominos falling perfectly into place. I asked for her email address, which she wrote, followed by...
Porsupuesto Perfecto - Nada es una coincidencia