The snow must go on!

And on…and on…

But so must the show, which means we’d like you all to drive/bus/Lyft safely to the Oriental Theater for Ignite Denver 19! Give yourself plenty of time to arrive and get home, and be safe above all else. The show is going to be fantastic! Just another adventure in the Colorado snow.

Cheers!

ID19 SparkPlug – Michael Kilcoyne

As we get close to Ignite Denver #19, we put out the call to our presenters to solicit pre-event blog posts to promote their Spark. With that in mind, we bring you: SparkPlugs!

Wish Me Luck

My first time ever speaking to a large, public audience was a total disaster. I forgot everything.

I was at the Yale University campus in New Haven, CT, for a summer program that my mom put me in, and it was a cool idea — a weird hybrid between college-level classes and high-school level class-trips and the occasional party.

And I had a ridiculous crush on this German girl in my acting class. I was impressed by the gumption I showed speaking with her initially — she had a rare confidence that you typically don’t see in teenagers. She was worldly, intelligent and absolutely beautiful. I felt like a pauper talking to her, just begging for some attention.

My master plan: Take a leading part in one of the scenes in the acting class I was in, absolutely kill it and seduce her with my acting chops.

Then, a week or so later, the reality: I’m standing in front of a hundred or so individuals in the audience, stammering, umming, and staring off into space, because I’d forgotten all of my lines. I wasn’t prepared. Not even close.

I just filled that dark, mysterious void with uhhhhhhhhhhh, until my director tried to help me fill it in, and ended up skipping about a third of the play.

Total. Fucking. Fail.

I think you can imagine how it turned out: The German girl ended up taking a liking to some tone-deaf, guitar-strumming hippie.

These People Are Way Cooler Than Me

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago – driven by a fit of rare confidence in myself, I decided to tackle something that I’ve been intrigued by for years, but never truly pursued: public speaking. I was staring at an application for Ignite Denver 19, a speaking event that would cease taking submissions in less than 24 hours. I threw together an idea, submitted it, and bam! One week later I got an email telling me that I’d been accepted to be one of twelve speakers performing a quick, five minute talk.

When I first heard about it, I’d wrongly assumed it would be TEDx on a much smaller stage, and wondered why they had accepted me — someone with little to no speaking credentials, discussing a topic that I had minimal expertise and wherewithal to speak about, presenting in a format that I was totally unfamiliar with.

Then, I got to meet everyone, hear their gut-wrenching, scintillating and absolutely absurd (and often hilarious) stories, and I found out something very, very quickly:

Holy shit, these people are way cooler than me.

Like the incredible story of a guy who overcame an injury that left him paralyzed from the waist-down. Just listening to the run-through of that crushed me. Or the woman who, for years, failed to find love, constantly met jerks and then through self-discovery found a way to make herself feel happy. It was genuinely one of the funniest things I’ve witnessed in a while. I hope they hand out diapers in the auditorium.

And then there’s the brilliant soul who left her hometown to go abroad and travel the world for two-and-a-half years. A few months ago, I traveled by myself for just a few days before I met up with a friend, and it almost derailed my entire life. I envy her. That takes courage.

I’m Honored

To have been selected, to be granted the opportunity to speak in front of an audience of a few-hundred folks and to be alive and well to witness such an incredible event.

It will be awe-inspiring and thought-provoking. People will cry. People will piss themselves laughing. And they’ll fall in love. And they’ll hold their breath. And they’ll get really, really mad.

They’ll feel all these feels.

And I’m just happy to be part of it. And it occurst to me: I guess I must be kind of cool, too.

Wish me luck.

 Come see Michael Kilcoyne give his Spark 5 Daily Habits That Will Change Your Lifetomorrow at the Oriental Theater in Denver!

ID19 SparkPlug – Katie Mason

As we get close to Ignite Denver #19, we put out the call to our presenters to solicit pre-event blog posts to promote their Spark. With that in mind, we bring you: SparkPlugs!

Never in a million years did I think I would get on stage to talk about cockroaches.

A friend basically dared me to submit a spark for Ignite Denver. I wanted to talk about dreams since they are foundational in how I relate to myself and the world around me. I thought I should do what any experienced dreamer would do when presenting on dreams: ask for a dream to guide the content of my talk. I have a little ritual where I ask out loud for a dream before I go to bed and then trust I get the dream I need. I should have known that I wasn’t going to get some uplifting dream image. No, that would be too easy! I was given the type of dream we would all rather avoid.

So I did what most of us do when we have an uncomfortable dream, I tried to ignore it and even pretend I didn’t want to do this talk after all. But I live for dream exploration! Who was I to back down from this image?

I started diving into this work after some lucid dreams in my early 20’s. I even moved to Denver, twelve years ago, because of a dream. I went to graduate school to study Jungian Psychology. Carl Jung provides the perfect balance for dreamwork: an analytical, theoretical approach to dreams, paired with the wisdom of indigenous dreaming cultures. I’ve taken his teachings, added my own flare and am happy to be working as a psychotherapist helping others use dreams to create healing and transformation.

Once you understand your own dream language and actively listen to your dreams, you enter into a whole new relationship with the world. Inevitably, more synchronicities occur and the interplay between waking life and dreaming becomes palpable. And that is fascinating!

Dreams will change your life, if you are willing to give them a chance. I challenge you to pay attention to your dreams, write them down, and more importantly, learn to listen to any dream that shows up. I will happily give you a taste of the transformative power of dreamwork at Ignite Denver, even if it means cuddling with cockroaches.

Happy dreaming!

 Come see Katie Mason give her Spark Cuddling with Cockroaches: The Transformative Power of Dreamwork” on Thursday, February 26th 2015 at the Oriental Theater in Denver.