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Excerpted from Wisdom from an Empty Mind by Jacob Liberman. Copyright © 2001 by Jacob Liberman. Excerpted by permission of Empty Mind Publications.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Now whenever I speak in public, I show up empty-handed and allow life to guide my expression."

  Jacob Liberman
Wisdom from an Empty Mind
, Part 1

How It All Started

Twenty years ago, I was asked to give a one-hour presentation to a group of graduate students at a Florida university. I spent hours preparing my speech and made notes on about forty index cards.

As I walked to the podium on the day of my speech, I had a realization: I had perfectly prepared every sentence of a lecture about a subject I was supposedly an expert on!

Why had I prepared to talk about something I knew so well? I recognized in that moment that as far back as I could remember, my life had been a series of rehearsed announcements ó an attempt to "look good," be accepted, and appear successful.

This realization was so shocking that my hand opened, allowing my perfectly prepared speech to fall all over the floor! It happened so fast that I had no time to pick up the cards ó so I just stepped behind the podium and tried to collect myself.

After what seemed like an eternity, I took a deep breath and shared with the audience what had happened.

Without a momentís pause, the entire group and I sighed in unison as if the weight of the world had been lifted from our shoulders.

My one-hour presentation on learning disabilities turned into a three-hour informal discussion about learning without effort. I was never so unprepared for the miracle that occurred that day! I learned that I never had to prepare anything again, as long as I shared only what I knew by heart.

Now whenever I speak in public, I show up empty-handed and allow life to guide my expression. In the process, Iíve discovered that true wisdom has nothing to do with us, but with how much of us is not there. The more present we become, the more life communicates through us.

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