Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Neurodivergent Navigation Summit. A group of 19 speakers came together and pre-recorded presentations on various topics meant to help other ND’s navigate the world we live in. It was wonderful and I’m so glad I took the time to watch and listen to these speakers even though it was quite short notice for me. I only heard about it a few days before the event, but it was free and I could watch the presentations at my own pace so I was like yes, sign me up.
Fun fact, I actually ended up watching most of the videos at 1.5x to 2x the speed with the captions on because, you know, Autism.
Beforehand, I knew of three speakers out of 19: Michelle and Andrew, Hayley Honeyman, and, of course, Casey Jourdan.
The rest were all new to me and if there’s one thing I absolutely love its learning about other neurodivergent’s like myself and other voices and leaders in the community.
My Favourite Neurodivergent Speaker
Malak Yassine inspired me the most because I am also a marketer. I adored the concept of slow marketing and how she integrates herself and her stories into her business.
One of the things I struggled with early on with blogging was that I wanted to write about everything. But all the advice said to pick a niche and stick to it. Slowly, I’ve unlearned this and started to write about whatever I want to write about. Yassine’s presentation was a great reminder.
What I Will Put Into Practice
There are two main things I want to integrate into my life.
The first is the high and low energy routines that Casey Jourdan talked about. More and more I’m recognizing the days where my energy is low and there’s only so much I can do. Except I don’t have a plan for these days. I end up feeling unproductive and a little guilty for not being at my best and being able to do more and eat better. So I think creating a journal spread with this concept will definitely be beneficial and act as a necessary reminder that I experience high energy days and low energy days and that’s ok.
The second is the accessible food systems Kendra DePinto discussed. Like most neurodivergent’s, I, too,struggle with eating well. So, I connected right away when DePinto highlighted that the best food to eat is the food you will eat. I often feel so guilty when I give in and just have cereal for supper, but honestly it’s a safe food and all I can manage some days.
The good thing is my sister and I are great at cooking bigger batches of food and I will live on leftovers all week.
I also learned that mashed avocado freezes really well and I will be passing this insightful information off to everyone I come in contact with.
My Two Biggest Takeaways
I really enjoyed Tsa Alexander’s presentation. While I am not a parent and don’t plan to be one, I connected with her mindfulness practice. Specifically, I want to highlight her definition of mindfulness:
“Cultivating an appreciation for the fullness of the present moment.”
I have struggled to come up with the right words to properly explain mindfulness. As someone who didn’t understand the concept at all at first I could have used this definition back then.
Lisa Hicks' presentation on Low-Demand Living was also excellent. It’s an entirely new concept to me, but it is one I knew I was intrigued by. During her presentation, though, she said something that really struck me and that was:
“Low-Demand living is about living a life that is safe and gentle for you.”
For so many years that is all I’ve wanted. Hearing this from someone else and expressing that it is not only possible, but reasonable to want and ask for, was honestly therapeutic.
Overall, it was a great experience. I hope Jourdan or someone else does an event like this again because I will definitely be there. It feeds into my TedTalk obsession, but the presentations are much more relevant to who I am.