I’ve Been Shifted ~ Have You?

Two, yes count them, two, ideation creating presentations two days in a row.

Why would I run on about attending mind blowing presentations. Aren’t they all like that?

No, many run the range from milk toast to just plain crap. Under-practiced, no point, no emotion, etc. We’ve all endured more than our share.

What made these two special? They opened me up to changing my outlook and they ran raw and deep with emotion and heat. They made me squirm with discomfort about some of my own closed thinking, made me laugh, and had me nodding in agreement. Different than many presentations that bring images to mind of Charlie Brown adults spouting blah, blah, blah.

I attended Shifted with no expectations. Everything about the evening worked. District 319 in Vancouver is an unexpected gem of a theatre. It is located in Vancouver’s toughest neighbourhood – a refurbished jewel – the theatre not the neighbourhood. The lobby is a casual spot to meet people with a bar situated in the middle. The theatre space ushers you in with carmine red leather lounge seats. So comfortable, and drinks are welcome to join you. Civilized!

It was the speakers and the organizers who were the ruby. All spoke from the heart. As simple as that. No magic. They’ve all lived lives with the drive to embrace a shift. Right or wrong they took the dive.

Chloe Gow-Jarrett has a raw talent for creating an event. She collaborated with a team bar-none along with the help of her husband who blatantly adores her. Reading her blog posts illuminates her success – she had the guts to let go and trust them.

Chloe invited five speakers who hold some notoriety here on the west coast of Canada. Although a few fly humbly under the radar.

First up was Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth fame. I know of Danielle through her blog, Twitter feed, a quick electric hello at a conference, and knew nothing of her before life. She rode high in her other life. She chose, at an apex moment, another. Danielle has a gift – she allows you to feel what she feels while carrying us along in a story of learning.

David Bentall cracked open the door to his broken spirit and bleak marriage. He exposed the nastiness of criticism in a marriage and at work. David lived in a broken marriage for 10 years. “Something” held him there – he didn’t leave – but he did finally understand and he grew.

My friend Darlene Carty asked David this pointed question, ” When you came to the decision to change, was it for your own survival or the love of your wife and family?” David candidly responded, “At first for my self, than I realized it was the love of my wife and our family.” Heavy stuff and a testament of the courage to share.

As did Andrea Baxter.

I’ve met Andrea Baxter a few times. She is a driven and honest young woman. Andrea works hard. While working at her dream job- just acquired – she was offered another. Andrea took us through the process of making a momentous decision. And shared with us what a leap of faith looks like. She told us that once you make the leap it gets easier every time.

And the next speaker told us about leaping with the support of friends and his own determination.

When Tyler Mosher told us about breaking his back he made me feel the impact. While he spoke I was stuck to the leather seat and couldn’t move. He made me cry and he made my heart feel heavy. Tyler also made my chest feel big with his insight into valiant courage and the support of true friends.

The final speaker was Joel Solemn. He was the reason that I came to the event. I have been to Hollyhock on Cortes Island, that he and a band of like minded souls built. I’ve watched how Joel expanded into creating an investment fund that supports social change. And I knew that he was sick with chronic kidney disease and that a dear friend had donated her kidney to him. Simply, thank you for sharing your journey.

Are these people special? No, they are you and me.

Image attribution: Jason V

Part II to come – Luncheon for Ovarian Cancer Awareness ~ Featuring Virginia Greene


I help build confident voices so they’re heard.

Janice Tomich is the founder of Calculated Presentations, a company dedicated to bringing out speaker’s stories to influence change. Janice coaches professionals, entrepreneurs, TED and TEDx speakers. She is a champion for equal representation by a diverse pool of presenters for all speaking events. Follow Janice on Twitter @janicetomich, on Facebook, on LinkedIn and subscribe for newsletter updates.

Be bold. Get heard. Inspire action.