(This post has been rewritten since the original response to the first TEDxAustin.)
In a week or so the hash-tag of your conference (#TEDxAustin, #SXSW, #SXSWi) will be a ghost town. You can keep your vivid emotions and connective feelings alive through deliberate practice. And by joining with other from that event or cause, you can grow your tribe, supporting each other to remember the truth of the collective dream.
So what is it that we can do to build our web of connectivity so that we don't have to disconnect?
7 Connective Practices (inspired by my participation in TEDxAustin, 2010)
1. We gathered, we shared, we exchanged glances, tears and contact information. (event)
2. In the afterglow of the event we came to realize that a power greater than ourselves could bring us to sanity. (affirmation)
3. As we began to reach out to our fellow TEDxAustin-ers we began to understand them better, we began to build connections beyond TEDx. (effort)
4. HERE'S THE TRICK: Through sustained effort and commitment, we colluded with others to make changes, we not only agreed to "stay close" we committed to concrete actions and re-gatherings. (commitment)
5. We continued to re-connect and re-commit on a regular basis. And we acted on the ideas and connective good we discovered. (fearlessly forward)
6. We ALL AGREED THAT cynicism = death. And that sarcasm, and sometimes well-meant humor, is a close cousin to the negativity and anti-light that is cynicism. (be a positive force)
7. FINALLY: We all move forward with plans and actions that bring us *closer* to each other and *a lot closer* to our calling. (self-examination and self-actualization)
I know for me Steven Tomlinson's performance at TEDxAustin was a peak. And the reason was he called me from where I stood at that very moment. And reading the posts and inspirations that came out of TEDx, I know that many of my fellow TEDers had the same feeling. And then what happened? We went out into the RED Reception area and we DID BIG, we CONNECTED BIG, we FELT BIG.
So as you move more deeply into the next phases of your life, post-event-high, ask yourself if your action is towards or away from your connective purpose, or as Steven put it, "your calling." And from that perspective make a decision about your actions. Do that repeatedly, continuously. And listen to the answers. You MAY in many cases choose the action that is not in alignment with your "soul work" but your longing for the soul work will deepen. And the next time you are faced with that choice it might be an opportunity to grow.
One core principal of Steven's talk was the relationship between calling and career. Even with all the best intentions, and hard work, we might not get where we want/need, or *think* we need to be, financially. And that is the gate that keeps many of us making the choices away from our passions. But the challenge is to BE BIGGER!
Grow, stretch and find a way to lean into the pain of NOT doing what you want to do.
BOTTOMLINE: Do what you have to do: a: to provide for yourself and your family; and b: to step towards rather than away from your dream. A tribe of people who are working towards the same can be your biggest support network.
[image of TEDxAustin courtesy of Kirk Tuck © 2010.]