There's another Scanner retreat coming up in France in April (6 - 11) and I just visited the hotel and the medieval village where we'll be holding it. Oh boy that food is good. Never mind. Here's what the retreat's about and a powerful letter from someone who realized he might not be a Scanner after all. Because mistaken identity will mess up a beautiful plan your DNA has set up for you and leave you unhappy and unproductive whether you're multi-talented and love to do everything (a Scanner) or you're a specialist in Scanner disguise who has avoided going deeply into what you love (a Diver).
I knew I was a Scanner long before I came up with the name in I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What it Was. I love to do so many things that I spent years figuring out how to do them all (and earn a living at the same time). I developed so many systems to show different types of I had most of the steps right. But running 7 retreats and interviewing hundreds of Scanners for my book, Refuse To Choose, has taught me so much more.
The Scanner retreat has evolved so much. We still help each Scanner get what he or she needs -- a goal, a direction, a plan, and personal work on their own brand of resistance -- so the power of the retreat continues even after they've returned home. But nothing is more important to me than making sure every single Scanner leaves my retreat with all the right tools and skills so they can stay on course after the retreat ends. That takes time and careful work which is why I started doing 5-day retreats in the first place, and why I keep them very small.
But in the last three years I've added so many new elements that I should change the name to Scanner Workshop. Discoveries that will surprise you, new skills you never knew existed, pinpointing your dream -- all of this is a revelation for a Scanner. Of course, brainstorming a plan for your future with Scanners (and me :-) -- each of whom has knowledge in dozens of fields -- is its own kind of heaven.
I've started to talk about the inevitable ups and downs of going after any dream. and what the 'high' of excitement is really for, why we always crash (and should!), and how that's just the beginning. Once that light bulb goes on for you, going after a dream will never feel the same.
Some of you will learn even more. Depending on who wants and needs it, there's often a brief course in understanding your feelings and discovering how old the child inside you is who is afraid to dream.
And this time, depending on who attends the retreat, we may even help you figure out if you're really a thwarted Diver, like this wonderful person who just wrote me yesterday:
On Jan 9, 2010, at 4:49 PM, MM wrote:
Hello again Barbara,
You know when you read something that hits so close to home it just really shakes you up? Well, you seem to have done it again. I read something in "I Could Do Anything..." that stopped me in my tracks. I haven't been able to read beyond it because I keep reading it over and over and considering it from so many angles. I'm not sure I need to read any further.
Among many other significant points you raise in you section on Divers on page 116 you say, "Only sustained effort will develop the mastery that an unhappy diver really craves. Always feeling like amateurs, but sensing their considerable talent, these people are caught in a nightmare of self-evaluation: Am I a genius or am I a fool? That seesaw thinking is a painful mistake people make when they haven't worked enough."
I'm not embarrassed to say tears came to my eyes when I read that. It couldn't describe my feelings and my patterns any better. And you know what else? I've been thinking for a while now that I was a scanner but now I'm almost certain that I've been a diver all along and even used the scanner label to dodge the truth of what you said about divers. I used it as an excuse to not work harder. I am caught in a wicked circle of self-sabotage and self-evaluation and it has stolen years of valuable time. I'm going to take your 30-day commitment and turn it into a 30-year commitment.
Thanks so much - yet again - for your wisdom and insight.
If that rings any bells, I'd love to hear your comments and questions. I haven't talked much about Divers for awhile, but because of this letter, I'm going to be doing some search and rescue work for Divers as well as Scanners in the next retreat this coming April.
The April retreat is filling up faster than I expected. I don't send out newsletters that include marketing anymore, as you probably know: it's here on the blogs or maybe at www.geniuspress.com or nowhere. But if you want to be there, you'd best head over and save your space.