The Connection Between Change & Creativity


1012637_10151465165496423_1466518835_nI almost bailed on the World Domination Summit. True story.

Not because I didn’t want to go, but because in my pre-house-selling-pre-moving-abroad frenzy, I didn’t think I could give up a weekend for a road trip to Portland just for the purposes of being inspired.

But one of my besties was flying in from the east coast for the event, and so pulling out wasn’t an option. So around 2pm on a Friday afternoon, we climbed into my Prius, jumped onto I-5, and headed south. For me, WDS was on.

When I first signed up in January to go to the summit which was created in 2011 by unconventional author and blogger Chris Gillibeau, I did so for 3 reasons: 1) I wanted to take away learning that would help me creatively grow my business, 2) a handful of friends I love and respect were going and I wanted to soak in some of their goodness, and 3) great speakers + a room full of world changers = good stuff.

But with the move madness going on at home, by the time I arrived at WDS, I frankly didn’t even know why I was there. My mind was elsewhere and I was feeling out of sorts. But I decided to just stay open to whatever the experience had offer me, and in doing so, I quickly realized that the biggest reason on my original list, the one about being inspired to creatively grow my business, wasn’t really on track. In fact, as I listened to talks by the likes of Nancy Duarte, Tess Vigeland, Jia Jiang, Gretchen Rubin, and Darren Rowse, I understood there was a very clear purpose for why I was there  — WDS was about helping me set an intention for our upcoming move to Amsterdam and the major shift my family and I are in the midst of.

Deciding to take this huge leap of faith to leave our lives in Seattle and move overseas has and continues to be scary, hard, exciting, stressful. Our nearly 9-year-old son is, to put it bluntly, seriously pissed off about the whole thing, and more than once my husband and I have asked ourselves why we were doing this…why we felt the need to disrupt what is arguably a very good life in the Northwest. We’ve got a nice home, a great neighborhood, good jobs, views of snow-capped mountains year-round, fresh air.

But this is the change we asked for. And this is the change we know in our hearts is best for our family. Being at World Domination Summit and being surrounded by people who crave adventure, community, living an unconventional life, the pursuing of big dreams, and share a belief that what we are here to do matters reminded me just how critical taking this leap is.

Change is hard. But it’s such an amazing thing. It’s where the good stuff happens. As a writer and creative person, I know it’s where the inspiration for new work comes from.

For me, I ultimately took away more from the World Domination Summit than I ever could have imagined. I was reminded of some powerful truisms that hit the spot:

  • True vulnerability is the key to powerful connection
  • We’re never too busy to be inspired
  • We are not alone
  • Transparency and  humility is where it’s at
  • There are a lot of people doing some really cool shit out there
  • There is value in setting out on a journey with no map or plan (watch the documentary Janapar)
  • Alone time wandering in a new city can’t be beat
  • Generosity and community are interconnected
  • My work life and my personal life can’t be separated

I arrived home from the weekend inspired and focused and ready to embark on this new adventure and experience what our life in Europe has in store for my whole family. I still have days where I feel overwhelmed or sad but bigger than that is the sense of deep knowing and trust that our move itself and the adventures that will come as a result of it are actually part of what we’re here to create.

So there’s no other choice but to embrace the change, leap off that cliff, and simply be in each and every moment of our new life in The Netherlands.

Oh, and figure out  a way to get to Portland next July for the next WDS…there’s that too…


2 comments so far

  1. Angela Taylor Hylland on

    A fantastic post and reminder, Debbie. Thanks for yet another dose of inspiration. Someday your son will thank you for demonstrating such a brave way of living. Congrats again on your next great adventure. Carpe diem!

    • debadmin on

      Thanks so much for the kind words and the vote of confidence, Angela!


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