Picture it: mountains surrounding, swallowing us up in their vastness, fire warming, crackling softly at my back and coffee brewing, smell ever so gently filling the cabin. It was a brisk and bright January morning when I first heard the word: Ignite. It came up casually, almost suspiciously nonchalant. What is casual about speaking in front of hundreds of strangers? What is commonplace about taking a risk and submitting a ‘spark?’ I was daunted to say the least, but that was not my strongest emotion; I was also deeply intrigued.
Days past, even weeks and this word ‘Ignite’ kept creeping back into my thoughts. The idea of submitting a spark challenged me to think critically: what could I speak about that people might be interested in? No, that wasn’t the focus. What could I speak about that I would be comfortable telling an audience of supportive strangers? Years of life, experience, education and travels… wait, travels. Yes- that was it. My travels, my stories, my acceptance of crazy unplanned happenstances and learning to trust my gut and truly say ‘Yes’ …yes, I could talk about that.
Fast forward and I’m hooked on Ignite. I am drawn into the idea, the challenge, the unique opportunity for an even stage- literally and physically. Ignite is an event that draws people to open up and share their stories. On a stage. In front of you- and me- and when we put that together, we become a community. Ignite is unlike any event I’ve ever taken part in. There’s no script and there are very few guidelines (structure, yes- voice and style? Open to each individual). And each time I leave, I can’t wait to go back and feel inspired, overwhelmed with compassion, light hearted, educated and even confused. Ignite has a little bit of it all. So, what will your spark be?