Many years ago during a meditation I saw myself on a TED stage…sort of cliche, I get it but it’s true. It was vivid. I didn’t get a clear sense of what I would talk about but I knew one day I would be there and it would have an impact. Over the years, I have held that intention loosely. I figured when the time was right and I had something I felt compelled to share I would submit my interest.
Seven years after leaving my corporate gig to pursue my life’s work of cultivating affirming community spaces that support people in deconstructing old and oppressive models of thought, I felt ready. The community I lead, Bodhi, is thriving in so many ways. Bodhi provides a new paradigm that is having meaningful impact in thousands of lives. It was time. Early this year I applied to speak at TEDxChicago 2019.
This spring I got an email indicating that I had been selected out of hundreds of applicants to speak at TEDxChicago. I forwarded the acceptance email to my son and got a one word reply, “SICK.”
On May 1st, 2019 I spoke at TEDxChicago’s annual gathering, Press Pause. It was an incredible experience. The producers, volunteers, and community that prepared and gathered around a single day devoted to ideas and curiosity was inspiring. I was among 12 speakers across industries. Each speaker was compelling, creative, and distinct.
I spoke on “The Future of Community in a Post-Religious Society”. I shared about witnessing my uncle’s dying process amidst the AIDS crisis, being raised in a Catholic family, and my mom leaving my dad for a woman in 1992…that was pretty scandalous.
My life experience inspired me to create the community I longed for and I’ve done that alongside incredible human beings at Bodhi in Chicago.
If you were among the energetic people in the audience, thank you for sharing this experience with me. It is truly an honor. If you were not in attendance, I’m thrilled that you now have access to the recording.
I would LOVE for you to watch it, chew on it, comment on it, AND SHARE IT! I hope it causes you to think about what is POSSIBLE among human beings that are committed to community platforms in service of freedom.
Lola Wright is a fierce and loving community leader supporting individual transformation in service of collective awakening. She is CEO & Spiritual Director of Bodhi Center, a global center for consciousness, engaging change agents and explorers in Chicago and around the world and also a wild and passionate mom of four This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx