"The truth is this: pain, emotion, and failure are your teachers; use peace, presence, and perseverance to best learn from them."

-Jarod Contreras

Our journeys are chock full of new experiences, or at least they should be, and last week I experienced one wholly unfamiliar and strange, yet deeply moving. I gave my first talk. This has been something that I have hoped to do for a long while and thankfully my friends at Cal Poly's Yoga Club gave me the opportunity to do so. To speak in front of an audience, not into a mic or in theater, was quite foreign to me, yet excited me.

Throughout the talk my own insecurities and judgments crept in, but what I realized is that while you can judge yourself, most times the audience has no idea that you made a mistake or went on a tangent. I gave it my all, I poured my heart into it, and afterwards I knew that it was worth it. So many people from the audience came up to me to tell me how eloquently I spoke, how effortless it seemed, how great of a storyteller I was, how important it was for them to hear this at that time in their life, how much it put into perspective certain things for them, and more. My hope is that you will feel, at the very least, some of what my audience felt at my very first talk and I hope that it can help you too, in a small or big way.

Gratefully,
Jarod Contreras

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