When Lennon and McCartney wrote the lyrics to “All You Leed is Love” I swear it must have been after spending six days at WDS – and if it wasn’t, it sure should have been! Let’s back it up for a second and create some context for the reasons why I – or anyone – would make such a bold statement about the World Domination Summit; or as I call it: “Mecca”…
As I write this it’s early on a Wednesday morning, following what was a particularly gruelling Tuesday, one which saw me leave a residence in Portland at 5:15 a.m, then travel all day until finally arriving at my front door in Victoria, B.C. Canada at 7:30 p.m. Whew! What a day!
For the record, the trip involved (a) a bunch of walking around with a suitcase, (b) two buses, (c) two skytrains (d) a ferry, and of course (e) one border-crossing which was much more pleasant being that I was entering Canada rather than leaving it. Love Canada Border Patrol! American Border Security, not so much; but that’s another post altogether.
So here I am, having just dragged my sorry ass out of bed and it’s clear I’m exhausted – as in really, really EXHAUSTED – as in a “I-can-barely-lift-this-cup-to-my-lips-without-spilling-coffee-all-over-myself” type of exhaustion. But you know what? I wouldn’t want it any other way, and here’s why:
I know I’m not alone in this state of absolute, take-no-prisoners exhaustion; in fact I’m pretty confident there are approximately 2,499 + of my WDS brethren in the same boat! And why wouldn’t they be?
After five or six days of connecting and parties and connecting and drinking and connecting and eating and speakers and connecting and more drinking and late nights who wouldn’t feel the exact same state if exhaustion? And you know what else? I bet not a single one of us would change a thing!
Because besides being drop-dead-exhausted and being barely able to lift our morning coffees, we now all we share several other common denominators; things like new and renewed friendships.
We also share Love – LOTS and lots of love. And then there’s Compassion. Connection. Gratitude. Awe. More Love. Happiness. Inspiration. Love again. Courage. The list goes on and on. Oh, and then there’s the love. We keep on sharing love, and why not? It’s a WDS 24/7 thing!
And I’ll bet my bottom (devalued Canadian) dollar that just like me, every single of these fine people still has the biggest, widest, ear-to-ear Cheshire Cat grin on their faces – not to mention the overwhelming sense of gratitude and love they are feeling in their hearts after spending a week together in Portland, Oregon at the World Domination Summit. Bottom line is that we are all blessed to have this one epic place to come together and connect each year.
Ah, WDS… How we love you so! So what did we see & do? Great question!
First off, the speakers were fantastic – as always! From the gentle wisdom of the always wonderful Jonathan Fields, to the heart-wrenching tale of how Chelsea Dinsmore turned her greatest loss into strength and community, the messages ran deep, were fraught with love, emotion and each one had that certain raw vulnerability that WDS brings out in us all. Tears flowed, crowds leapt to their feet (several times) and voices chanted! Sheer brilliance! Of course, I had my own favourites…
Zack Anner: Comedian, adventurer and host of several video and t.v. programs that outline the importance of both having/being a great friend, and living the best life possible – despite whatever life throws our way. Trust me when I say that Zack really lives his message at the highest level, and we can all learn from him. Watch just one of his videos and you will be hooked!
Michelle Poler: Michelle is a quirky, cute and brilliant young woman who faced 100 fears head on – everything from crowd-surfing to being a nude model for an art class – documenting each one on video for all to see. She was/is both an inspiration and a delight – definitely the kind of person you want at your next dinner party! Off stage she was just as engaging and charming as she was on stage, and a really wonderful person.
Emily McDowell: Emily has a great story; after battling cancer she became very unsettled that the best card she – or anyone enduring horrible medical procedures – could possible receive said something like “Get Well Soon”. Her plan? To design a series of cards that were, shall we say, a little more realistic for such situations.
Her idea paid off, and she is now the CEO of her own multi-million dollar company, something she says that she’s figuring out as she goes; which in turn was her core message to the audience. Who cares if you don’t know how do do something? Just get started doing it and you’ll figure it out as you go! Sage advice for many – including me – at this point in our lives. Thanks Emily!
But as incredible as the speeches were (and they were) it was the meet ups were and the parties were (Okay, the parties were downright awesome) the one thing they all had in common is the #1 reason that we all attend World Domination Summit each year – the wonderful people.
And while it kills me that I can’t mention all the amazing people that I encountered this year I do want to shout out some special love to a few incredible souls I truly connected with and cherish not just today, but from here on in.
Hey, I’ll go as far as screaming it out loud from the rooftops of Victoria B.C. where – by the way, ALL WDS’ers are invited to come and visit me and I’ll make you dinner and we’ll drink a lot of wine together – I will declare to the world…
“You guys are my tribe, and I LOVE YOU ALL!”
And with that said, a gold star to these special people for being themselves and making me fall in love with them!
Lindsay V: Thanks for always being there with that red hair, that gorgeous smile and those ever-present kind words. You Karaoke like a rockstar and bailed me out more than once – THANK YOU!! It feels like I’ve known you forever, but now I certainly plan to! Skype? Here we come!
Natalie B: My AMAZING dancing partner, and witness to the funniest “random street-encounter” of my life! Sorry we didn’t get more time in the past, but must correct that in the near future! Ditto on the Skype! You rock Nat, and I can’t wait to spend more time with you!
Chelsea M: Love love LOVE this woman! Can’t get enough of her spirit, enthusiasm, kindness and love! Super looking forward to hanging out with you and Brad very, very soon! And yes, you’ve convinced an old man to change his ways; but only under parental supervision of course~!
Brian D: Brian is just the kindest, and most generous guy in the world. When I got home there was a gift of 10 trees he’d had planted to honour our meeting and friendship. With big hearts like his, deforestation will be a thing of the past! Love you sir!! Thanks for being the best ever. Looking forward to many more conversations!
Jennifer U: Speaking of big hearts – Jen you are the best! Your quest + commitment to help the less fortunate is brilliant, and I’m glad that our connecting helped send some good love karma your way, even if I was only looking for a dumb hot dog pin! xo to you and yours, you rock! Can’t wait for combined greatness in the future!
Gina K & Brian K: Besides they are two of the coolest people on the planet, it’s only fitting they have the two coolest business cards on the planet! Love meeting you both, and am excited to do something with you in the future. Come visit me in Canada, I’d love to see you – but on one condition… Brian, you have to tell me my cooking is good! I’m officially intimidated! xo Love you both!
Jas S. & Matt S: Inseparable friends from different countries who made me smile every time I saw them. I’m man-crushing on both of them, and can’t wait to have some beers on both sides of the Atlantic with each of them. And by the time this post comes out I’m hoping Matt has some big news to share with the world! Only in Whistler! Cheers fellas~!
Mark J: Mark is a tornado of energy, happiness, inspiration and kindness! I met him when he attended my meet up “Secrets of a Connectivity Ninja” and he totally killed it, gave great feedback and inspired me to pursue something bigger with this idea. Looking forward to connecting soon to start some great projects, and we will rock it out even bigger and better at WDS 2017! So glad to have met you Mark!
Melody D & Mike: Melody was a “Blue-Shirt” extraordinaire – meaning volunteer – who went above and beyond by not only showing a few of us around, but brought her man Mike along to test my movie trivia! (Caution: He’s good!) Great conversations and lots of kindness from these two generous souls… I can’t wait to see them in Victoria BEFORE October! Love you guys~!
The following are people from WDS 2015 who’ve been on Facebook, but we connected this week BIG TIME. And I’m thrilled. =)
Mike G &
Elizabeth B Kirstein: I’ve followed Mike’s blog, but we finally met this year. Mike, you are one great guy, with a heart and soul to match. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, but getting to see your energy first hand was wicked. I know we can do some crazy stuff in the future and look forward to it. Ditto to Kirstein – You are awesome my dear, and thanks for laughing at my E.B. jokes; consider it as charity to the senior population! See you both before you know it!
Troy & Dorene: After successfully dodging these two in Ecuador last May, Troy cornered me at Punch Bowl Social and rammed his charm down my throat! Just kidding – sort of – He is DAMN charming this guy, as is the lovely Dorene – and again, after following their blog it was a thrill to finally meet them in person! We share the same sense of humour (which basically means they don’t put up with my crap) and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Can’t wait to cross paths with these awesome Canadians again. Wait – Awesome Canadians – is that redundant?
Sarah A: Always fantastic to see the graceful, lovely and classy Sarah because she personifies everything that I’m not! No wonder I was
stalking running into her so often! Seriously Sarah, you are a class act, and I truly appreciate your kind and erstwhile approach to everything, and everyone you connect with. I’m so glad to have met you and love what you do. Looking forward to much more interaction and brilliant conversations with you in 2017!
Skip B & Alisha K: The Dynamic Duo of every party!! Besides being very good looking (I’m talking about the handsome bald guy with a beard; although she’s pretty good too!) I had the best time anytime these guys were in the room! Most memorable moment? Trying to wipe a S’More’s beer marshmallow off my phone at the pub crawl after too many Karaoke cocktails! Good times you two, and thanks for always be so awesome and fun. WDS 2017 had better watch out!
Vanessa T: Last but not least – The unstoppable V.T.!! That energy! That enthusiasm! But above all, THAT SMILE + THOSE HUGS! My God woman, I loved running into you all the time with your smiling face and welcoming hugs! You have the unique ability to touch all those around you and make them feel special, and important. Keep it up! We need more Vanessa T. in the world. Best of all, as you noted: I get you, and you get me – which means we will discuss some killer strategies for creating some cool shit in the future. Where’s that damn wine bottle?!
So as you can see – As Lennon and McCartney noted, WDS is all about “Love, love, love” – and if all we needed was love, we’d be better off.
But we need more than love; we need connection, kindness, friendship, gratitude, empathy, service, respect and community… That’s were WDS comes in.
I love you all; and I’ll see you guys at WDS 2017 – if not before!