I’ve read some really amazing accounts of the World Domination Summit that resonate and echo a lot of my own thoughts. But before I get into what I took away from the Summit, here are my 24 of my favourite things from last weekend.
- Pam Slim’s face as I introduced myself as Steve, and the surprise and delight as a heartbeat later she said “Steve….Errey? ERREY!”. Pam Slim was delighted to meet me. Pam Slim.
- Karen Walrond’s stunning session, Different is Beautiful. Adored every moment.
- The universal and sincere curiosity of every attendee.
- The abundant smile and warmth of Jodi Womack. Thanks for the trombones!
- Writing “Belong” on my arm with a Sharpie.
- Smiling and laughing more than I have in a very long time.
- Still meeting great people and having that common connection days after the conference closed.
- The Communicatrix’s new asshole. Funny is everywhere, even when life sucks.
- Pam Slim’s generosity. Yes, I’ve already mentioned her, but her generosity is tangible, palpable, magical.
- Hatching a plan with the gentle Joshua Harbert to get a grizzly bear through UK immigration.
- Being buoyed up by the support of people who really get it.
- Hearing real stories. Stories of hope, fear, dreams, confusion, peace, frustration and love. Does it get better than that?
- Mercedes Grant’s disco pants and exciting new film project. Watch out for this one.
- The hand-written notes attached to the bottom of our chairs by Jen Lemen and Andrea Scher from Mondo Beyondo. Mine was “We’re all rooting for you.” Exactly what I needed.
- Cynthia Morris’s testicular breakfast. You kinda had to be there.
- Not having to try.
- Mark Silver‘s gentle talk and powerful ideas that just might have opened a door for me.
- Hugs. Lots o’ hugs.
- Not having CFS/ME define me.
- Sitting in Stumptown coffee the morning after the closing party, not being able to write and having the gorgeous Shannon O’Donnell come through just by chance and come sit with me. Just what I needed, just when I needed it. And I picked out her favourite photo because it was mine too.
- The feeling of being in a room with 500 of the most talented, gifted, generous, insightful, creative and driven people in the world.
- The sheer energy and vitality of Chantelle Baxter – she’s doing amazing things. “I’m driving the bus!”.
- Not being online. With no wifi to speak of at the venue there were no distractions. It was about people.
- Telling people about my “No Goals” approach to coaching at the opening party, then having Leo Babauta and Danielle LaPorte say the very same thing the next day. That’s some pretty, pretty, pretty good company right there.
Some great times to be sure, but with all of that noted I’ve struggled to know exactly what I want to say about it.
The messages are nothing new, right?
Chances are you’ve seen the ideas from the Summit before. Follow your heart. Do what matters. Don’t fit in, stand out. Dare to be different. You’re the answer. Be of service. Go the extra mile. You need the hard times as well as the good. You’re already awesome. Beauty is everywhere.
Many, many more ideas that are as relevant to you as you allow them to be.
There was a lot of content, which is good an’ all, but the Summit was one of those rare “conferences” (the word conference doesn’t fit WDS at all well) where the content was perhaps the smallest ingredient.
The people, the conversations, the hugs, the support, the curiosity, the sharing, the laughs, the friendliness and the generosity were all stirred into the same pot and left to bubble away for 2 and a half days. Flavours developed and richened. Ingredients harmonized. Deliciousness filled the building. Everyone became hungry.
In his session, Mark Silver said that when your heart is hungry or thirsty you feel needy. God knows I’ve been feeling needy.
Rather than giving in to the temptation to jump right into action, Mark explained how actions stemming directly from that need won’t bear fruit; but that it’s possible for that need or emptiness to turn into a deep desire that moves you into congruent, graceful action.
And that’s what I’m feeling. Both empty and full at the same time. I’m building a relationship with that need that I hadn’t figured on when I arrived in Portland, and I’m taking it slowly. And it’s not just me, in conversations after the summit I found that people were taking it slowly. Letting the dust settle. Making space for that quiet voice inside. Allowing the need to turn into desire.
The timing’s perfect, and not only will this help to make my next project fly but it will help to satiate that hunger I’ve been pushing aside.
The next few months will be extraordinary indeed.
Some unexpected perspective
A couple of hours ago on my way from London Paddington to Charing Cross having just flown back to the UK, my cab driver told me that his 31 year old daughter had been killed 3 nights ago by a drunk driver. He said that the man’s car was embedded in his daughters’ car and couldn’t even be separated. He told me that he didn’t have the money available to bury her, so was working extra hours to make up the cash rather than spending it home grieving with his wife.
I asked about his daughter a little bit, and she seemed to be much like everyone else – imperfect, but hopeful. He was angry with himself for not being able to provide for his own daughters funeral, feeling like he’d failed everyone.
I gave him £30 for a £10 cab fare, which was everything I had in my wallet, shook his hand and said goodbye. Nothing I could have said or done would have fixed it, but I hope at least the surprise in his face let him see that there is help out there.
So while I entered the cab feeling pissed off for being back in a country I don’t really want to be in, I left the cab feeling grateful to be home, and with a quiet sense that I simply have to get my next coaching project out into the world.
Not pursuing your true north serves no one.
A little perspective goes a long way, huh.