Amazing Women, Andrea Scher, Brene' Brown, Dog, Generosity, Gratitude, Kelly Rae Roberts, Kindness, Meditation, Portland, Rachel W. Cole, Susannah Conway, this i know: notes on unraveling the heart, World Domination Summit, Yoga
As I feared, kind and gentle reader, my internet access, technology options, and available time while I was in Portland attending the World Domination Summit (WDS) were such that I couldn’t post. And some of you had been generous enough to tell me it was okay to take a break. So I did. Thank you for that. I had an amazing time, but I missed this, missed writing and sharing with you. But, now I am back.
Fair warning, a disclaimer and a promise: this event, the full experience of it, blew my mind, expanded my heart to almost breaking, and there is so much to say about it, so much to tell you and to process…this is going to take a while.
I feel the same way I did after hosting Rachel Cole’s Well-Fed Woman Mini Retreatshop: grateful, inspired, encouraged, full, on fire with love, and ready to go. The sheer size of WDS (1000 attendees, 10 main stage speaker sessions, and 40 smaller workshops) makes me feel just like that, only times ten (and I got to see Rachel again while I was there, so bonus points).
As I’d heard from previous attendees, this is the kind of event where the energy of it propels you through the whole next year, giddy in your expanded effort and possibility, and that really amazing shit starts to happen, for you and because of you. After attending this year, I know exactly what they were talking about.
As I said, this is going to take some time to process. For today, I’d like to start simply by giving you a quick list of the highlights, some of the moments of magic, and a few items that would show up on my blooper reel.
Magic Moments, the Highlights of WDS
- Prefunction event at Kelly Rae Roberts‘ Studio. Holy wow, when I walked in the room and saw all the amazing women who were there, the beautiful space, I almost fell over, passed out from the sheer overwhelm of joy and gratitude. It was so kind, so generous of Andrea Scher to invite me, made the start of WDS not quite so intimidating or lonely.
- Meeting Tina, one of my favorite blog readers.
- Amazing main stage speakers, and inspiring, moving, compelling talks. My favorites were Brene’ Brown, Scott Harrison, and Chris Brogan. I will be writing a post about each, so consider this “to be continued.”
- The Mark Spencer Hotel. Just a few blocks from Powell’s Books and a Whole Foods, with a kitchenette and fridge, and within walking distance of everywhere I wanted to go.
- Seeing my friend Molly, who moved to Portland last year, (which means she’s no longer across the hall from me at work, and that sucks). We had a few meals together, a few visits to Whole Foods, and it made me miss her more because it made me remember how much I love her, how amazing she is.
- Meeting people “in person” that I have loved from a distance. I was able to look them in the eye and tell them how grateful I am and how much I adore them, or what a badass they are, and I didn’t even throw up on any of their shoes. Just to be clear about the magnitude of this, while at WDS, I met (hugged, hung out or ate a meal or laughed with, sat by, adored): Kelly Rae Roberts, Jennifer Louden, Flora Bowley, Laura Simms, Andrea Scher, Michelle Ward, Sandi Amorim, Kate “Courageous” Swoboda, Hannah Marcotti, Jamie Ridler, Courtney Carver, Susannah Conway, Cynthia Morris, Jennifer Lee, Marriane Elliott, Tammy Strobel, and so many more.
- Susannah Conway’s Book Event. I was so lucky to get to stay for this, to be in a room full of other people who adore her and her work, listen to her read and talk about the book and the process. She really is one of the most honest, genuine, generous, creative people on the planet.
- Meeting new people I hadn’t expected but loved anyway. There were a few I really wanted to take home with me.
- Group meditation in the park. Sadly, I didn’t get up early enough to go the first day, but made it on Sunday morning. We were a small but mindful group, and under the cover of gorgeous, tall, lush green trees, we sat and I watched the wind move the grass while I focused on my breath. It was beautiful.
- Yoga class in the park. Marianne Elliott is a great teacher and it was a good group, a perfectly timed break in the day.
- Finding the dog people. The longer I’m alive, the more I think I’m either a dog in a human suit or just plain crazy, because in any group of people, gathered for any reason, I will find the dog person (or the dog, if there is one) and talk their head off about dogs. I was missing my boys so much one day that I stood outside a dog park watching other people’s dogs play, until I noticed some of them looking at me like I was a creepy alone dude standing at the edge of a playground staring at the kids.
- Portland. It really is a great city, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t typically appreciate or understand cities.
- Messages from the Universe. They were everywhere for me this weekend.
- And this, which still hardly even seems real. I mean, who does this?!
My Blooper Reel for WDS
- Tripping on the stairs into my hotel–every time I went in!
- Almost getting lost just trying to find the parking lot for my hotel. I must have driven around those three or four blocks three or four times, and just when I was about to lose all sense of where I was, there it was.
- For a moment, being the only person at the prefunction event not talking to anyone. I mean not being part of any conversation at all, not even standing near one, but rather on the edge trying to figure out what to do, how to join in, trying not to freak out or cry, feeling like the math tutor geek that got invited to the cool kids party because they felt sorry for her and she was always so nice to them–but it only lasted for a moment.
- Taking a wrong turn and not realizing until many blocks later, which meant walking for a bit in an area where I shouldn’t have been alone.
- Saying “hi” to Laura Simms, standing in front of her telling her how adorable she is like ten times in a row, and then not knowing what else to say so just walking away. Luckily, I got a chance to redeem myself the next morning at breakfast.
- Telling Jennifer Lee that I “loved her doodles.” D’oh! She’s an amazing artist, and so kind (and a fellow dog person), and thankfully understood what I meant, but *sigh*
- Eating Marionberry pie in my hotel room bed (I was having a moment, give me a break), with all white linens (can you guess what’s coming?), and dumping it over onto the duvet cover and part of the sheet. I left that bed looking like someone had been seriously injured there. Thank goodness for bleach, right?
- And I almost forgot: buying hundreds of business (life) cards and only handing out ten. I wasn’t very good at knowing how or when to do it, felt weird, awkward, sort of jerky about it, and got so caught up in simply talking to people, I would forget.