Wednesday 1st, February 2012
“You show me a real beagle-tracker with some serious sense, and I’ll show you someone who’s gone through a bunch of pain and kept her eyes open.” -O.B.T.
When I first started tracking the beagle, I was amazed that her eyes were upside down. Everything they’d told me to go for because they were good (power and money, strange sex, and controlling people), she warned, could ultimately be bad (leading to misery, loneliness and guilt). And the things they told me to avoid like turpentined rattlesnakes (pain, failure and desertion), the beagle said could lead to understanding what life is all about and the ability to love and accept almost anybody.
I learned one night about 35 years ago, as I was training a small group of beagle trackers who wanted to go after The Big Beagle. I didn’t know what I was doing, but the beagle nudged me to it. We were struggling to get to know each other, as this was before the time when everybody got together in small groups with magnifying glasses and showed their navels, etc.
Instead, we were going around the room, each telling the rest some things about his or her childhood. One older lady had a good many disappointments and seemed pretty bitter about her past. Then it was Alice’s turn. At first she said, “I think I’ll pass.” But then she shook her head and decided to take her turn. Alice spoke very carefully. “When I was a little girl, I was put in an orphanage. I was not pretty at all, and no one wanted me. But I recall, as far back as I can remember, aching inside all day. And at night I cried quietly in my bed, longing to be adopted and loved by a family. But everything I did seemed to go wrong. I tried too hard to please everybody who came to look me over, and all I did was drive people away. Then one day the head of the orphanage told me a family was going to come and take me home with them. I was so excited that I jumped up and down and cried. The matron reminded me that I was on a trial basis, that it might not be a permanent arrangement. But I knew it would be. So I went with this family and started to school in their little west Texas town. And I was a very happy little girl. Life began to open for me like a spring flower bed.
Then one day a few months later, I skipped home from school and ran in the front door of the big old house we lived in. I called out, “Anybody home?” No one was, but there, in the middle of the front hall, was my battered cardboard suitcase with my little coat thrown over it. As I stood there and looked at that suitcase, it slowly dawned on me what it meant… they didn’t want me. And I hadn’t even suspected.”
Alice stopped speaking for a moment, but the rest of us didn’t notice. We were each standing in that front hall with the high ceiling, looking at the battered suitcase and trying not to cry. Then Alice cleared her throat and said almost matter-of-factly, “That happened to me seven times before I was thirteen years old.”
I looked at this tall, gray-haired, forty year old woman sitting across the room, and I wept. I had just met Alice, but I found myself loving her and feeling a great compassion for her. She looked up, surprised and touched at what had happened to us as we responded to her story. She held up her hand and shook her head slightly in a gesture to stop us from feeling sorry for her. “Don’t,” she said with a genuine smile. “I needed my past. You see, it brought me to God.”
Wizard Academy Grad
J. Keith Miller passed away Sunday, January 22nd at the age of 84. Keith was one of the greatest people I’ve had the pleasure to know and work with. Keith and I work together in 2001 republishing/rewiting one of his books into the title What to do With the Rest of Your Life. We gave this book away at the second Wizard Academy Reunion. This was one of the first books I published and the one I’m most proud of. It was then picked up by another publisher, reworked, and re-released. Keith first attend Wizard Academy in 2001.
His funeral will be held Saturday February 4th, 10am at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.
Keith, you will be missed.
First Friday at Wizard Academy
If you’re new to Wizard Academy this is the event you need to attend. The first friday of each month Wizard Academy will host a FREE half-day event, from 1pm to 5pm. This will give you the opportunity to indulge your curiosity and discover Wizard Academy.
Presenters: Devin Wright and Jacob Harrison
Guest Speaker: Vi Wickam
Magical Worlds and Advanced Thought Particles, 5 days
**Engelbrecht House is Full**
February 20th to the 24th
$6000 (Grad Rate: $3000)
These are the Big Two, taught by the wizard himself, Magical Worlds is the course that triggered the New York Times bestsellers that are quoted around the world. Advanced Thought Particles is the sequel course that makes the Magical Worlds epiphanies more practical and productive.
February 29th and March 1st
$1500 (Grad Rate: $750)
Advanced Wordsmithing is a surprising series of short writing assignments designed to teach you how to write clearly, simply and directly.
You’ll learn that beautiful writing is less about the beauty of the words themselves. You’ll learn that beautiful writing is the clear communication of your ideas, images and ideas.
Learn how to say the damned thing!
How to Make Awesome Sauce
March 13th to the 15th
$2500 (Grad Rate: $1250)
Ready, Fire, Aim. We’re going to build some businesses in three days. Do you want to help? Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way. It is easy to overcomplicate things when launching a business idea. New tools exist today that did not exist 12 months ago that make it possible to accelerate a business startup. The idea behind this class is to leverage the talent of Wizard Academy faculty and alumni to develop 3-5 new businesses in a 3-day period.
Da Vinci and the 40 Answers
March 27th and 28th
$2000 (Grad Rate: $1000)
You’ll return home from this class with 40 Universal Answers, a series of specific techniques and perspectives that will give you the ability to ‘think outside the box’ at the snap of your fingers. In short, you’ll be handed the keys to innovation. nThese are powerful tools you’ll use for the rest of your life. You’ll become widely known as the person who can always find a solution. There’s no end to what you can do with this knowledge.
April 17th and 18th
$2000 (Grad Rate: $1000)
Ad Writing 101
$600 (Grad Rate: $300)