"Live Out Loud with Purpose" he said and I typed it into my notes on my iPhone. Those simple five words have stuck with me since I heard 'Sugar Free Shawn' - Shawn Shepheard speak in Woodstock on Thursday night. I knew that I was in for something inspiring when I was invited to represent CDA at the health fair, but I had no idea I would be leaving with a decent sized note on my phone to examine and read aloud to people trying to spread the wisdom.
If there is something that diabetes has taught me it is to take every opportunity that is given to me. I say that because if you don't do something, if you say no, if you decide that you just don't have the time then you are missing something. You may be missing a life lesson, you may be missing a new friend, new experience and you never know where it could then have taken you. Shawn cleared this up for me even more when he talked about first being diagnosed and being in a room full of type two diabetics. He already felt uncomfortable and like he didn't want to be there, and the first exercise, and it's always this way, they had to go around and introduce themselves. Shawn said that he went first, and about half way down the line a woman stood up and asked why they were even here when they are just going to have complications and die. Shawn said he never looked up he just kept scribbling, 'not me, not me, not me, not me, not me' and that lady was his life lesson. He went on to say that everyone we meet is on purpose and has some impact on our life. I believe in this. I believe that every person that has walked into my life has walked in for a reason and those that have walked out are those people that taught me as many lessons as they could and their last lesson was the moment they left.
So back to that first quote. First of all, I think taking the opportunities that are given to you, or that you've chased down is an example of living life out loud. Doing something with the opportunities gives it purpose. There is so much to learn out there from life, lessons beyond lessons. It's amazing what can be accomplished with just a few creative ideas and the willingness to get out there. Shawn inspired me to keep doing what I am doing plus more. I want to do more, be more, try harder and really succeed.
I appreciate all that he said, and recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to hear him speak to do so. I am sure you will all feel the same as I did.