Prequel to Brilliance Inside


“This is the Prequel to Brilliance Inside!” A friend was speaking about my recent talk on Creative Mornings’ theme of Inclusion.

I guess it is… Instead of the “usual” talk found in these spaces – sharing what I do and ending with a call-to-action to support and get involved, I was guided to bring something different to this experience. To share my personal journey to greater inclusion, greater humanity and greater connection. To bring the audience from Brown to Morocco to India and then into prison.

I found myself focused on three goals:

  1. Be vulnerable

  2. Speak my authentic truth

  3. Allow my true self to be seen

As I was preparing the talk, I regularly heard my inner gremlins say “You need to pay the bills, Sister! How’s this talk going to do that?”


A number of the 400 audience members cried during the talk! There’s something crazy humbling to realize that I’d struck such a cord. To see how much people cared about these stories of a deepening connection to humanity. As I spoke about the discovery of a greater humanity in an Ohio prison, I watched people brush away tears. As I revealed that Donovan’s first TEDx event received a Net Promoter Score of 100, I saw people dab their eyes.

I received accolades such as

  • “So inspiring, so encouraging, so enthralling”

  • “Excellent”

  • “As you watch, you’ll grow to appreciate Mariette and how she is giving of herself to make our world just a little better”

  • “…Encouraging us to stretch and break through stereotypes”

Plus, when I returned to May’s Creative Mornings, people shared the actions they had taken, inspired from my talk.

Aaaaaand… a post-talk coffee conversation led to a part-time project…that’s paying the basic bills for the next three months!

Conclusion: Always trust!!  I nailed my three goals. And am completely supported. God has a plan! And he knows better than I do. 

Enjoy the “Prequel” to Brilliance Inside. I’d love your thoughts, brilliant community! (Even the funny video preview image!)

Jonathan Martin