Maggie McReynolds TEDx

TED and me

Ever watched a TED talk? They’re given by people with big ideas to share. People like Bill Gates, Brené Brown, Richard Branson, Seth Godin.

This past summer, one of them was given by me.

Admittedly, mine was a TEDx, which means one of many regional, smaller “TEDs” around the country. But I’ll tell you something, folks: no matter how small the audience or the venue (and mine was neither), when you stand on a stage with the name “TED” in big letters behind you, it’s a thing.

Consider this a spoken blog post. And thanks for watching!


Kryptonite Powers

Do you have a story about your superpowers? I did. And so do many of us, because our superpowers are revealed as much in our weaknesses as in our strengths.

Example: I am a storyteller. I don’t mean sitting on stage in a Daniel Boone cap folksy storytelling (though I’m going to be taking a “stage,” of sorts, in Chicago as a storyteller–minus Dan’l’s coonskin). I mean, I communicate and connect to people and the world around me through story. I talk. A LOT. Because I process things best when I hear myself think it through out loud. I write. A LOT. Because I am head over heels in love with words and always have been. Both come relatively easily to me. And so, for years and and years, I dismissed either as a superpower. In fact, I allowed others and myself to shame me with stories like:

I talk too much.
I talk too fast.
I’m a “facile” writer. If I were really good, I’d work harder.
Everybody probably wishes I’d just shut up.

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Flowers and Ashes

My heart is full today for two very different groups of people: everyone who lost someone 14 years ago today; and everyone celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, a victory, or some other milestone today. I guess there might even be people who fall into both groups, which must make today very challenging.

Like everyone, I know where I was and what I was doing when the planes hit the World Trade Center: coloring with sidewalk chalk outside my house on a brilliant fall day with my toddler. When my then-husband pulled up in his car and shouted that a plane had flown into one of the towers, I actually laughed, because I thought for some weird reason I couldn’t fathom that he was joking. Even watching the second tower come down live on television was surreal. For weeks and weeks afterward, my son built towers out of everything he could think of–and knocked them down, repeatedly. I don’t think he understood what had happened, but he knew that it had gotten a big reaction from mom and dad and was processing it in his own way.

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