It hardly rains during the World Domination Summit, but water is everywhere. There is power and energy – the deep force of an ocean wave. There is connection – a life-giving shower falling down upon us all. There is humanity – calm water reflecting back what is lovely. There is the story – a river flowing from what is within, the individual, to what is without, the community.
I sit in remembrance
Of who I am
And who I am not
I stand in remembrance
Of where I am
And where I come from
I walk in remembrance
Of where I go
And who I go with
It is worth giving pause to remember – to appreciate the elements and beauty of your life. Sitting in silence, listening to what someone says about you, catching an echo in the wisdom of another – each is an affirmation.
Remember your existence. You are a human being. You are alive. That is worth something. It is worthy of celebration.
As Andrea and Jen say, your existence gives us hope.
Remember your roots. Where do you come from? What lives weave into your story?
In the first session, we stand by where we come from. So many nationalities. So many cultures. So many families. What great richness.
Remember your skills and talents. What do you have to offer the world that no one else can? While other people may have similar skills or overlapping talents, no one else has the combination that you do.
You may find uses for those skills in unexpected places. Jodi took the lessons and growth from her career as a lawyer to travel the world. Anna is a doctor who is planning to help business travelers stay healthy on the road. Brigitte now uses her expertise in public relations to get the word out for small businesses. Be open to possibility.
Remember the path you are on. Your decisions and choices take you on a journey. Although other people come in and out of it, it is a story that belongs to you.
In conversations with others, I share my story – growing up in Kenya, leaving my work as an engineer, and becoming a wanderer and storyteller. Everyone responds with affirmation and congratulations. They celebrate it. What a beautiful gift.
Remember your dreams. What are the things you wish to leave behind? What great acts do you still wish to do? What beautiful art do you wish to create?
Write them down. Create a list of your dreams. But just as important is to create a stop-doing list. Put everything that is a distraction to your vision on this list. Clear the space to make the dreams happen.
And from your remembrance – from the affirmation – comes power…
Waves from deep within
From the ocean’s heart they come
Be as the water
Be assertive. If someone attacks who you are – if they come with the intent to do harm – protect yourself. You are valuable and worth defending.
But as Pam demonstrates, being assertive doesn’t require making a strike. Her first move is to a position of safety. If the attacker continues, she is ready, but aggression is the last thing on her mind.
Her “opponent” makes his move. And as one standing in the face of the wave, not meeting it head on but letting it pass underneath, Pam deflects the energy of the attack. To use the words of John Unger, she redirects the momentum of the disaster.
True power is love.
Make no excuses
For you are responsible
Your choice is freedom
Out of your strength comes the ability to take what Danielle calls radical responsibility.
Take responsibility for who you are. You are beautiful. You are noble. You are magnificent. You are powerful beyond belief.
Take responsibility for your choices. That means accepting the consequences, whatever they may be. If you fall short or fail, pick yourself up and move forward. Learn from it. And if you succeed, celebrate. Raise the bar and move forward.
Responsibility often takes on the imagery of burden. But there is also freedom and lightness.
Take in all of the beauty and grace
Let the light fill this sacred space
Wander into and out of this place
Walk lightly for there is no need to race
See eye to eye and face to face
Love floods in and out and all the fears erase
When what is within is in balance, you are able to be vulnerable. You are able to open up. Speak from the heart. Give your art. Be who you are.
What is without also comes to balance. In giving, you also recieve. Take in their words. Admire their art. See who they are.
Openness is what it means to be on your edge. It is one of the greatest human resources (thanks Danielle). It is the transition between ourselves and others.
A thousand droplets
Blessings rain down upon me
You are one of them
Mark describes connection as receiving. You accept the beauty of the other person. You take in their humanity.
Each connection is a drop of blessing, filling you up. Haba na haba hujaza kibaba – little by little fills the measure. I have the honor of receiving many people.
I think of Steve. We exchange deep conversation and ponder difficult questions. What makes you excited? How do you help people? Will your life be different after this? How do you sneak a grizzly bear into the UK?
I think of Ellen. Our interaction speaks the story of who she is: full of fun, on an adventure, and bursting with hope. Her joy spreads.
I think of Dave. We stroll through the farmer’s market, enjoying the flavors and nutrition of our lunch, basking in the perfection of the sunny afternoon, and admiring the culture and character of Portland. We share what it is to be alive.
I think of all the others that I meet. Each is another thread woven into my story just as my thread now weaves into theirs. I am blessed.
As you connect, your cup begins to overflow. To others you become a blessing. You give. And in the giving comes not just satisfaction and joy, but a hunger to give from deeper within.
I see you
What goodness I see
I see you
What beauty I see
You see me
Moving water. The goodness of others flows around you like a mountain river. It’s alive. Look for and admire the wonderful. Every person has a story, and each story is beautiful.
Rippling water. In the lake’s calm, the disturbances stand out – the splash from a rock, the jump of a fish. You notice what is not like the rest. People are like that too. The beauty is in their differences (thanks Karen).
Still water. You connect and give from yourself. As the water on a still day reflects back the beauty around it, you reflect back to others the beauty of who they are.
Holding ever in the balance lightly
Giving of you to all people freely
And taking in from all others rightly
Hoping to be more than fair ideally
Standing in the tension of who you are
Are you uniquely you and you alone
Or are you one with all those near and far
For neither side can you in truth disown
Living in the question of what you’re worth
Being one of power beyond measure
And born to fade into the dust of earth
Are you rust or are you heaven’s treasure
Within and without, the two rivers blend
On both of them does your life depend
World Domination is the intersection between what is within and what is without.
You change people. You touch them with your art and humanity. From that place of generosity and openness they come away affected. They are better people than they were before.
But to touch the life of another is to be touched – to let them touch you. From that sacred space of vulnerability you come away affected. You are a better person than you were before.
As the World Domination Summit draws to a close, someone asks us to raise our hands if Chris has affected us. All of us stand. All of us raise our hands. All of us join them together in applause. We are moved. We are affected.
From the front of the room, Chris stands, taking it all in. He is overwhelmed with gratitude. We have affected each other. And so we have taken over the world.
The world is yours. I made this photo in Portland, Oregon.