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Blissful Speaker

A live web broadcast as speaker for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. I love the intersection of walking in nature with music.

At a recent talk that I gave on hiking the Te Araroa, New Zealand’s version of the Appalachian Trail, a woman asked me, Did you walk this trail for any other reason than to say you did?

The question made me laugh out loud. She hadn’t asked it in a mean or snotty way, she simply wanted to know why I did it. And so I told her it was to find out what would happen to me – body, mind and spirit – if I walked that far. That simple – and yet so complex.

I’ve been making a shift professionally that I wanted to tell you about. I’m now a professional speaker, sharing stories about my trail adventures.

While I do give the traditional travelogue slideshow of gorgeous pictures, video and stories, I’ve also been exploring deeper and more universal questions, ones that challenge, inspire and teach audiences about joy, spiritual renewal, the power of quitting, and tapping into creativity. There’s more detail here.

I’m still doing voice over and playing my flute, but I’m super excited about this new addition. Just this past year, I’ve given over 50 keynotes!

Are you ever on the lookout for a speaker? Let’s talk! Feel free to choose a time on my calendar that works for you. In any case, thank you in advance for spreading the word ad helping me build this aspect of my career.

By the way, that question I got about my why in becoming a long-distance backpacker led to one of my most interesting deep dives into letting the day unfold and being fully present in the moment – and even more great questions and conversation. What a blast!

I walked the Arizona Trail – 40 days in the desert – during Lent where each step was grounded in meditative wonder.

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