I’ve had the jitters before getting up on stage, lost my train of thought, and had my nerves act up while addressing a room full of people. Most public speakers can relate. A foolproof speech can only flow out of a perfectly relaxed speaker.
Unleashing my deep-seated enthusiasm, charisma, and appeal is crucial.
Meditation has incredible powers. Aside from boosting my attention and memory, which are invaluable assets for all speakers, it helps me reduce my stress levels. When I perceive a threat of failure, I have higher cortisol levels and enter a “flight or fight” mode, especially if I have had unresolved trauma from the past. This is characteristic of shallow, rapid breathing, tense muscles, and a rapid heartbeat. When I perceive a threat, physical changes appear. This destruction can lead to adrenal fatigue and or failure. If I breathe in shallow, rapid spurts, I am in panic mode, and my body is not getting enough oxygen. My ability to articulate goes out the window—my voice cracks. My eyes look downwards, and the word salad begins. Meditation focuses on the breath, which is my number one tool for delivering a message confidently.
A 2011 study by Sara Lazar and her Harvard team of researchers showed how eight weeks of mindfulness meditation could permanently change the brain’s structure. This was evident through MRI scans. Researchers study neuroplasticity, or the brains’ ability to change neural pathways. My neurons are often in a constant state of disarray and are misfiring. Through mediation, I have the power to alter these neural pathways, whether I am meditating at present or not.
Consciousness impacts our biology through the generation of neuropeptides that also modify the activity of the immune system, according to Dr. Deepak Chopra, the pioneer of quantum healing whose studies date back to the 1980s. Quantum Healing is a holistic approach that benefits my health greatly in ways science is only starting to catch up with. It takes inspiration from the teachings of Ayurveda, neuroscience, and Quantum Physics. Theories of Quantum Physics imply that everything on earth emits energy, and specific vibrations are applied through the healing process. The concept that my beliefs can affect my physical beings arises. If I have subconscious beliefs that I will fail when I deliver a speech, chances are I will.
Further, Dr. Chopra studies the effects of psychosocial and spiritual well-being retreats on anxiety and depression. Participants in this study noticed a decrease in depressed moods and overall well-being significantly improving.
Meditation focuses on reaching a higher state of consciousness. It helps the body release endorphins, the neurochemical responsible for the ‘feel-good effect that also supports your body’s natural healing abilities. It is omnipresent but all too often dormant: cosmic consciousness. With this comes a higher spiritual level of awareness and consciousness where I am one with the universe. It ultimately connects us all.
Speakers who practice meditation can easily relate to their audience, which reaps more than just undivided attention: it brings about kinship in the true sense of the word. I connect on the most basic levels because I am part of the same energy field. Using this energy to spark good is the responsibility of each speaker. And the beauty is, it will come naturally to me.
When I experience this on a physical plane through meditation, the stars align, and I step out and connect with my audience. The details fall into place, giving me the best possible platform to speak with authenticity and my truth.
When my soul’s purpose of storytelling activates through a higher state of consciousness, I am unstoppable. The words flow out of me as water effortlessly flows from a faucet. I realize the purpose of my existence is to tell my life journey to the world. I am a storyteller, an artist whose mission is to capture the truth on stage. The authenticity of my soul’s journey bleeds through my voice around the world.
The gift of my spiritual journey has just begun. The calmness, tranquility, and fear of the unknown have vanished. The fear of the past has evaporated. The promise of the future is ignited.
I’m Shelly Sood. Six years ago, I had a picture-perfect marriage, lived in an upper-class neighborhood, married a banking executive, and had three beautiful children. I was suddenly yanked from this illusion: my loving husband — who had suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder for decades — suddenly transformed before my eyes, filed for divorce, and became hellbent on my destruction. My sanity, physical health, faith in humanity, pocketbook, and welfare of my children and husband eroded before my eyes.
Today, I am an author, mother of 3, wife, and entrepreneur who launched a healthcare company called GIOSTAR Chicago and wrote a book called Untethered on my journey after saving my husband’s life. I discovered that the fulfillment gained from diminishing the pain of others is like nothing else.
Through the power of our stories, we create change. If, after telling my story, even one life is saved, I’ve done my job. To learn more about me, visit shellysood.com or giostarchicago.com. Listen to the podcast at: theshellystory.com.