Interview: Using Speaking To Change Lives… And Your Own

Author: Ian

Date: July 5, 2016

Becoming a speaker is hard, even when your intentions are good. We spoke with Bridgid Ruden – a speaker who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury following a bicycle accident about how to explore your mind through speaking.

Discovering what makes you a unique speaker can be a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. It takes a bit of soul searching.

We spoke with Bridgid about how you can use your experiences (even those which dramatically changed your life) to inspire others and even inspire yourself.

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Bridgid Ruden

What makes you unique compared to other speakers? 

My presentations enlighten the needs of the audience. It is important for me to administer education, enlightenment, growth and hope to all.

I provide simplistic information for all to understand and reflect on.  Everyone enjoys that I provide numerous fun and relaxing opportunities for the audience to participate in. Thus, my presentation is delivered in a unique and advantageous manner.

You take your audience on an emotional journey – through truth, tears, laughter and authenticity. Do you believe it’s essential to project different emotions in a speech?

A valuable impact to any audience occurs when the presenter shares various emotions that emerged in their life’s roller coaster.

The validation that I have received supports the dynamic message that people observe, acknowledge, believe and place in their own journey of life.

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Do you have any upcoming speaking events?

I will provide my story on a radio show, on 25 July at 9pm, central time. The radio show is entitled TBI One Love which covers 50 states and 32 countries.

Also, I am waiting to hear back from two well-known universities that are thoroughly interested in me presenting my story to further educate health care professionals, faculty and students.

What topics do you cover?

Sharing my story demonstrates the following principles:

1) Triumph despite tragedy

2) Life lessons we learn from

3) Moving above and beyond negativity

4) Wisdom and gifts that disabilities provide

5) Learning how to honour your mind, body and spirit

6) Embrace and enhance your life’s purpose

7) Team approach to healthy success

8) Treat others the way you want to be treated

9) Validation of simple goals and outcomes

10) Believing, seeing, and honouring a person’s potential

11) The value of non-traditional physical and emotional healing.

Can you tell us about your recovery process and if it changed your mindset on life?

In May of 2008, life altering experiences emerged in lieu of my life’s vision. Following a bicycle accident pedaling on a muddy wet biking trail, I unfortunately experienced severe traumatic brain injury.

Near death experiences and people’s vision of me not continuing to sustain life emerged.  I was propelled into a hurricane of brain-altering occurrences that spiralled me backwards in time from 44 years old to three years of age, as I relearned so many life skills.

My prestigious professional career as a Nurse Practitioner vanished. I was saddened, lost, and so empty inside.

Despite my life’s turmoil, a flame within my soul erupted as I swam through such a challenging tide. I continued to swim within my brain’s whirlwind waves, grasping to create a vessel to display the healing that can arise from suffering.

My mind, body and spirit readjusted and my determination continued to excel.  Within one year, after re-learning to read, write and speak, I began to share my story.

Health care professionals had never seen anyone with severe traumatic brain injuries progress as I did. Since, I’ve appeared on TV, radio and published articles and books. My latest book, Discovering My Life’s Purpose: from Tragedy to Triumph, will be published soon.

As I share my life’s experience, attendees are amazed, uplifted, inspired, educated and surrounded with hope and reassurance.  My life’s purpose didn’t leave me; it merely merged to a higher realm.

What would you say to those who aren’t happy right now?

I have struggled with low periods in my life secondary to severe traumatic brain injury. I found the following items below get me through such hard times in my life:

  • Get out of bed
  • Breathe slowly
  • Seek friendships
  • Let go of what you can’t control
  • Take your own time outs
  • Be grateful for the simplest of things
  • Volunteer
  • Seek guidance from those whom truly understand your experience
  • Exercise 5-6 days per week
  • Eat healthy and stop junk food
  • Dance often to music you love
  • Don’t rely on drugs or alcohol to fix your unhappiness; they don’t work
  • Ask and you shall find the answer
  • Notice that others have life situations much worse than you. Discover what moves and heals them
  • You will always have a life purpose!
  • Believe in yourself
  • You are loved and a child of God
  • God and the angels will always be present for you

What’s your favourite thing about public speaking?

I love and honor meeting new people from all over the world.

I embrace their spirit as well as their honesty and share their life’s journey with me. Such honesty supports that we are never alone in our suffering.

We have each other for hope, growth and success. The largest impact of publicly speaking centers around the healing that occurs not only in me, but other’s who heal from my experience and guidance.

You are a miracle. What would you say to those who aren’t honestly living their life right now? 

  • Life is so brief
  • Stop, look and listen to the messages you are given
  • Review and heal your own anger, sadness and fear with guidance
  • Release judgment of others
  • Decrease perfection
  • What is your part in various negative issues in your life?
  • Pay attention to the unnecessary responses to various obstacles in your life
  • What part of your life’s experience do you truly have control over? Work on letting that go
  • Sometimes trauma creates a necessary idealistic change in whom you are
  • Do you love who you are?
  • We are all beautiful children of God

What do you like to do in your spare time?

  • Volunteer and provide service to those in need
  • Support myself in healing through:
    • Healing my brain through sleeping sufficiently
    • Exercising 5-6 days a week, such as riding my bike
    • Reducing my fear by asking for help
    • Praying to a power so much higher than myself
    • Reading
    • Eating healthy
    • Writing
    • Dancing
    • Watching a hilarious, romantic or real-life movie
    • Laughing
    • Listening to music that moves me
    • Having dates with my husband once a week!
    • Showing my children how much I love them

Bridgid Ruden is an inspirational speaker and author who shares her personal story all around the world and still continues to change lives. To book Bridgid, visit her profile on our website and get in contact with her.

Remember, stay positive and start taking control over things you can change in your life and accept the rest.