One wild, precious, small life

The other day, someone I met at the World Domination Summit (WDS) posted a list of all the great people they’d met over the weekend and didn’t mention me. I admit, it stung a little. What made it worse is just the day before, I’d written a post about WDS and wrote my own list that didn’t include everyone. The list was the superstars I’d met, people who’d published books and taught ecourses, people whose names you might recognize, and then when I mentioned all those amazing “others,” I summarized by saying they were “new people I hadn’t expected to meet but loved anyway…a few I really wanted to take home with me.” When I wrote that post, I’d struggled with whether or not to make a list of those specific people, those “others,” but in the end didn’t. I only listed the names you might know.

I confess I went to WDS to meet the people on my dream list, to thank the ones who’d inspired and helped me (most without knowing they were doing so), to look them in the eye and tell them that I adore them, to hand out gratitude and love in person, to be seen by them. Now I want to tell you about the others, because they matter too.

I hadn’t planned for them, had expected them, those others. Yes, I knew 999 other people were attending, that I’d meet some of them, even give out a few business cards, but I really didn’t expect to fall in love. The unfairness of World Domination Summit: you meet these amazing people, fall in love with them, only to be flung back to your original locations far away from each other. I hate that…

Some of them, I don’t even remember their names (if I ever knew them at all): The woman in Andrea Scher’s Mondo Beyondo workshop who stood up to tell us how she’s “just Muppety enough” to make kids comfortable, the other who did life coaching at battered women shelters, the one who walked with me that first morning to the event hall because she wasn’t quite sure where she was going and I was, the woman who wasn’t sure what she was doing but was going to start by figuring out how to help her 18 year old son market his art (he’d told her he didn’t want to be a “starving” artist), and the guy from Colorado who showed up at both morning meditation and yoga with Marianne Elliott and explained in Andrea’s workshop (when asked directly by Andrea) that women are more connected to their hearts (some of us live there) and men are more comfortable in their heads, and the guy I ran into in my hotel elevator and later sat next to for morning meditation whose friend had urged him to get business cards and hand them out to every person he met, the friends I met in the line one morning who’d dressed alike without meaning to (black leggings and tank tops with yellow cardigans) and the one of them I kept running into everywhere for the rest of that day, the girl I sat next to who was guessing what our surprise from Chris would be (“maybe a car, like on Oprah that one time, or a year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni”), or the graphic artist who’d taken the train to Portland that I met at a Green Juice meet-up and who I saw again again at morning meditation (I asked for her card, can’t know too many graphic artists), or the therapist from Australia who had to come all the way to Portland to find out from us that there were life coaches right in Melbourne.

And there were other people whose names I remember, that I either just met or met in person for the first time that I really did want to spend more time with, take home with me. I finally got to meet Jen Vertanen in person, and love that I recognized her awesome red boots before I even saw her face, but did not get to spend enough time with her. I met Anne-Sophie Reinhardt and kept luckily running into her, getting to sit and talk, but not enough. And I met Kerilyn Russo, and absolutely know that if we lived in the same geographic location I would follow her everywhere because she is a magic kind of awesome. And there were the dog people, Jennifer Lee (who is also an amazing artist and fellow yoga practitioner) and Bridget Pilloud specifically that got as excited as I did talking dog, and there wasn’t enough time.

And the most touching meeting of all, that I didn’t even fully understand until later: Marthe Hagen, who came and talked with Rachel Cole when I was sitting with her. I read the post she wrote after and I am blown away. I could have never guessed that this was her story. She was so calm, kind, bright when I met her in person, no trace or hint of the darkness she’s experienced. It just proves that everyone has a story, a whole secret world inside them. I am touched by her bravery, her willingness to be openhearted and share her story.

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe. ~Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You

We sometimes get trapped by the idea that some people are more worthy and others less so, but we are all the same. We have the same basic potential, innate wisdom and compassion and power. We are at different points on the path, but still the same, all just wanting to be happy and safe, to contribute and belong. Some, like those on my WDS dream list, are further ahead on the path, already manifesting their potential, realizing their possible, making real their dreams. And yet, I am closer than I think and so are you. We are all amazing, brilliant and messy and stinky and precious.

14 thoughts on “One wild, precious, small life

  1. Kerilyn

    Isn’t it MIND BLOWING when you meet someone, if only for a few minutes and you INSTANTLY SOMEHOW KNOW that going forward, you will be connected to them for the rest of your life? That’s how I felt (and still feel) when I met you. One of those out of body experiences, me thinks. xo. I look forward to growing old with you. 😉

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I know, Kerilyn! I keep thinking I must have already met you somehow–been in Girl Scouts with you, or are long lost cousins or something–even though I know that’s impossible. It’s just that when I met you (remember, Rachel said “I think you two should be friends”?), I felt like “oh, there you are!” So weird, but so wonderful.

      1. Kerilyn

        Love it… Girl Scouts! Did you grow up in NJ? *oh wait.. you’re a native West Coast-er… couldn’t be GS) I know… That Rachel… she sure is intuitive, I tells ya. Let’s skype soon, okay?

  2. Becky

    Sounds like you had a great time.
    I think it’s true, we think we set out to meet specific people because of the way they have affected our lives from a distance and then, the others we meet have just as significant an affect.

  3. Lindsey Mead (@lemead)

    This is so, so lovely. I think often of how quickly we make judgments about others based on small external indicators, and of how insufficient those decisions and conclusions always are. As you say, there are worlds inside each of us (I love that Neil Gaiman quote!). I wish I’d been there in Portland! xox

  4. Pingback: Ancora-Imparo: "I am still learning" » Blog Archive » State of Suspension – Part II

  5. Anne-Sophie (@anneso87)

    Jill, thank you for including me in your list. I had such a great time talking to you, but you’re right, it just wasn’t enough! I would love to stay in touch with you. Maybe we can skype on a regular basis?

    Yes, we are all just as valuable and worthy as everybody else and I too had lots of people I wanted to meet, but you know what? I hardly met any of them and it was those that I didn’t know before that made the biggest impact on me, just like you did.

    Sending you love.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Anne-Sophie, Kerilyn is going to teach me to Skype, so yes, let’s keep in touch. I like the idea of having cohorts who were there to help me process it. Much love!

  6. gerrismalley

    Great insight…and an eye opener for me. 😉
    I’m sorry if you haven’t heard from me in a while. Apparently, all of my WordPress comments were being blocked for some weird reason. I think they are showing up now. 😉


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