The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


June 10, 2010

I can do this


Last week I represented The Lutheran at the ELCA Metropolitan Chicago Synod assembly held in Rosemont, IL. One of my tasks was to speak at the plenary on behalf of the magazine. Since public speaking isn't one of my strong skills, I was pretty nervous about addressing about 600 people.

In the days prior to the assembly, I rehearsed in an empty room to get my timing right and be able to speak to folks rather than just read to them. Even with this effort, I needed some courage to do it.

On the day I was to speak at the assembly, I drew on my yoga practice for help. One of the things I learned in yoga class when learning a new pose is that if you say "I can't do this" you probably will not be able to. If you tell yourself you can you may surprise yourself and succeed.

As I sat in one of the speakers' seats next to the stage a few minutes before I was to address the assembly, I  kept telling myself "I can do this." I also practiced the deep breathing I learned in yoga right before I was called to the podium.

When I addressed the assembly, the phrase "I can do this" kept running through my head. I was able to stay focused and kept going without stumbling until I was finally done and heard applause. Thanks to yoga, I found courage and showed myself "I can do this."

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