Penultimate: “next to the last” (source: Merriam-Webster dictionary)

2020 will mark 10 years of WDS. 10 years of the gathering of some of the most amazing souls the universe has to offer, both on-stage and off-stage. After my second participation last year, where I might have put too much pressure on myself by wanting to share the wonders of WDS with someone else, I hesitated. What if I waited a year before coming back.

Learning that WDS2019 would be the one before last helped me make a choice: I needed to absorb as much of the WDS magic as I could before it all ended.

So, here I am, sitting at Stumptown Coffee, still nurturing the incredible energy I felt this week and wondering how long I will be able to maintain the high WDS puts me on.

Something incredible happened this week. My mind and my heart blew up at the same time. Allow me this comparison: it felt like a spiritual orgasm.

The WDS 2019 crazy good lineup

I will come back on all the meet-ups, academies and other social gathering that punctuated the week, and that allowed me to meet a whole range of beautiful souls but, today, I would like to focus on the penultimate WDS lineup. Because… OMG. The main stage was on fire. Mmm… literally.

It all started quite happily for me as Laura Vanderkam validated my own personal obsession with lists and time-tracking, more on that later as I already started to follow her advice and am the process of figuring out where my time really goes.

Then Humble the Poet took the stage. He was the only speaker of this year’s lineup that I had ever heard of before, as he was invited on Jonathan Field’s podcast a few weeks ago. Just as many speakers last year, Humble the Poet told us the story of someone who started from not much, faced adversity and debt and made a name (and a fortune for himself). While he was browsing through all the pictures of his fame, I had a “déjà vu” feeling of some of last year’s speakers and started checking out. Not for long though. The last twist of his story and his take-away from the whole thing touched me deeply and left me yearning for more.

As it turns out, it is while waiting in line and sparking a conversation with his lovely wife that I got to deepen my understanding of Scott H. Young‘s work on ultra-learning. The teacher in me was very curious and I really appreciated how Scott decided to take a stand on the learner side, and not the teacher. I can’t wait to encourage my students to read his upcoming book…

To top off that first day, Nate Staniforth told us a story of magic, that I am really excited to be able to share with you.

This trick was performed live on stage and left me both giddy and weeping

Meanwhile, Jill Schlesinger was here to bring us back to reality and share some welcomed money wisdom! I bet purchasing tickets for WDS 2020 is an acceptable investment in my own mental health!

The last main stage day of this penultimate WDS touched on my creative bone BIG TIME.

The James Victore slide I WILL be stealing in my upcoming talk on the new ways of working

Whether it was James Victore telling us that we always have a choice and that we should Feck Perfuction or the sheer joy I felt when I realized Tania Katan was the person that we owe the brilliant “It was never a dress” campaign to, my brain was on fire Sunday morning.

penultimate WDS speaker Tania Katan
The moment my heart almost exploded in my chest…

But, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience, listening to Trystan Angel Reese‘s story. I don’t want to spoil anything because I sincerely hope the WDS team will release the video of his raw and profoundly human testimony to love, hope and the struggle of the uncharted territories of life. All I wanted, afterwards was to give Trystan a hug and tell him that he’s one of the most impressively courageous and loving person I ever had the chance to “meet”.

I am so grateful that I was there to hear him.

Marsha Shandur closed the whole thing with a very on point encouragement for us to tame our beast. And as I look back on the past three years, it feels a lot like that’s what my biggest take-away from belonging to the WDS family. But that’s a whole different story.