Back in my hotel room. It looks lovely outside: big fluffy clouds, blue sky, sparkling water and it's 95 and steambath humid so I'm admiring it from in here. I'm such an Oregonian at heart--I hear that it's cold and rainy at home but that sounds better than this.
I gave my second presentation this afternoon. A very different crowd from Minneapolis and its blue-collar emphasis (jeans, t-shirts, casual, a hard look to many of the women). This crowd was blond and tan and dressed in summer frocks. Florida, I guess. I sat in on a presentation this morning, one I enjoyed at the last conference, and the crowd wasn't very responsive, so I was worried that they might not like me.
But I worried in vain. I was a huge hit again. I turned my spa experience into a comedy routine, read from my book, did my slides, got their attention again and again. They waited in a long line to buy my book and have me sign it (sold about 60 copies). And got a nice accolade from the woman organizing the conference who said she could begin recommending me as a motivational speaker. Yikes! Me!
I actually love doing it. It's in some ways the culmination of my teaching career and my belief in creativity and story. I feel exhilarated and exhausted both when I'm done and so moved by their being moved. Women come up to me and cry and say how much it meant to them. And I barely remember what I say because I go into a zone and speak from some other place in me. Maybe something new is opening here in my life.
Many of the women relate to the sugar story. I think it is a common issue, for women at least, in AA. And I've talked to several men about it. One actually had chocolate bars be his first sign of relapse--he was eating 8 to 10 a day and then realized what he really wanted was a drink and so he had one and then many and was back out in his active addiction for several years. We get numb any way we can.
I'm glad to be done, glad the conference is over. It'll be a quiet evening and then a long flight home tomorrow but I'm so glad I came.