Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The joys of a Scanners life...

So much to do and so little time (and I keep coming up with new stuff).

Oh well. Here's the newsletter I just sent out in case you don't sign up for newsletters because you don't want your inbox all crowded. (You might not mind my newsletters so much. I hardly ever send them out. I know that's supposed to be bad business but I get a lot thank yous, which I think is a compliment. ?.

I don't know how to get the links in for some reason. The buttons aren't there today. But almost everything you'll need is at geniuspress.com and the German-language info is at www.barbarasher.com/boards way down in the international section. Or write. Or comment.

Hi Friends.

Still running (what else is new?). Running, that is to say, the WriteSpeak program (with about 20 very cool students developing remarkable messages) and the Coaches Master Class (a tiny group of fiendishly talented people who might change the world), and almost ready for a December or January launch of a brand new E.U.-based program that's still under wraps. The first two aren't open and the third one's still a secret (clue: it has to do with weekends, coaching and Scanners), but I'll be part of some very jolly events that you might want to attend so I'm putting the announcements and info up here at the top:

Frankfurt! Had such a great weekend workshop there last year at the Frankfurt Ring that we're doing it all again. We start the evening of Sept 17. Then many will continue on to the weekend workshop, which runs most of Saturday and Sunday. It was fantastic last time. We had a remarkable group of people, smart, friendly, generous and creative. I'm hoping some of them will show up again so we can see what became of the dreams launched last year. Here's a video clip from that event

If you read German, you can get all the details of the Frankfurt events right here. I don't speak much German, but I speak a whole lot English and an intrepid interpreter will be taking up the slack.

Scanner Retreats in the Tarn area of France: The Scanner Retreat of Oct 3-8 filled up fast so I was able to schedule a second Scanner Retreat, Oct 23-28. 5 of the 15 spaces are already taken, so if you want to be there, I wouldn't delay. I won't be scheduling any others until spring of next year. Below you'll find links and a wonderful letter, as well as an amusing summary of the decision-making process you might experience. Or you can skip all that and head straight to GeniusPress.com.

New York
Another Big Cheap Weekend Workshop in New York! The last one was such a blast I'm flying back to NY to do it all again: November 19-21, 2010. It's filling up already, don't ask me how because I'm only just announcing it right here in this newsletter. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with Stellar Assistant Andrea and her preternatural posse who loved the last Big Cheap Weekend Workshop in NY so much they're already banging the drum. Here's the link, this time with extravagant praise from attendees of the last one.

Zurich - This is the second round of a very remarkable event which I'm proud to be part of. Last year the other speakers included people who helped run the Grameen Bank with Mohammed Yunus. I'll be presenting there November 25 - 27. Try to make it if you can. You'll be glad you did. Here's the link.

You don't want to know. I've designed two new program. I don't want to talk about it. (Scanners will understand.) (But the programs are so neat!!!)

As mentioned above, there will be a second Scanner Retreat in October, and it will begin on October 23 at around 6pm and will end after breakfast on October 28, 2010. It will be at the same wonderful place we've held the last two Scanner Retreats - in a restored French medieval village, not on most maps, in a 3-star hotel and (heavenly) restaurant run by an owner chef who really cares about the inn and the food.

I get a lot of questions about starting times and food allergies, and apparently a lot goes into making up one's mind to attend a Scanner Retreat, so for once let me answer them in advance by including this funny thing assembled by some grads of recent retreats. Here's what often happens on the way to deciding to attend a Scanner Retreat:

1. Discovery time:
For some reason you no longer remember, you find yourself at Geniuspress.com listening to the podcast about people with 'too many interests,' and you discover that you're not flaky or weird, and you aren't sabotaging your success. In fact there's not a damn thing wrong with you. Far from it. You read that it's important that you learn how to manage all your interests/passions/ 'hit-and-run obsessions,' and you already know that you need to pay your rent without being head-bangingly bored by a job that should have happened to your enemies. You look at the photos of Puycelsi and maybe sneak over to Flickr.com to see more. Then you read what actually happens during the eight sessions with Barbara and then you read the letters by recent grads and you know this is something special, not average, not likely to disappoint you. It seems so lovely. But you've been fooled before, so, enter stage 2:

2. Snoop-around time:
You check out the videos on YouTube and watch Barb Sher talk about things in front of big groups (she'll make you laugh, but she might also make you cry) and then to small groups at a retreat, and right away you realize she's not like the others out there. If you're Twitter-savvy, you head over and do a search for Barbara Sher and @barbarasher to see what's being said. And you are impressed.

If you're Facebook savvy, you look her up and check the links to her blogs. (Yes, more than one. She's a Scanner. What did you expect?) And if you want to know what people really think of her, you check out Refuse To Choose at amazon.com and you read the awesome reader reviews (and the occasional insults, which are kind of fun, too). If you're an exceedingly thoughtful person, you might even make a bodily appearance at a local bookstore so you can flip through her books. She's out there. No secrets. It's easy to know where she's coming from.

3. Hesitate-Hope time:
You look at your checkbook and your credit card statement. You wonder whether or not you should put in storm windows or if it can wait another year. You remember that you're not getting any younger and that Barbara just turned 75 and maybe you shouldn't play fast-and-easy with time anymore.
4. Semi-Sort-Of-Decision time:
You decide that you're finally going to stop trying to solve this problem of 'too many interests' all alone and you're going to come spend 6 days with the world's reigning expert on what to do when you want to do everything (or can't bear another job that batters you with boredom and makes you wish you had lived in a different century.)

5. Step-up-and-Ask Time
You write Barbara to tell her what you're thinking and ask if there are really planes that go to Toulouse and once you're in Toulouse, what will happen to you? Will you just stand there in the airport for 6 days, stranded, not speaking French, with no idea how to get to the actual retreat, knowing everyone is sitting around loving each other, having fun, forgetting all about you, remembering that your big brother has been waiting for this to happen since you were born. You can't walk up to a stranger and say, 'Bonjour, how does one get up into the hills to this off-the-map medieval village with the lovable stone houses and the elegant auberge with its comfy, snow-white sheets on plump featherbeds and the incredible food..." And then you remember you don't know if your peculiar eating habits can be accommodated: no lactose, no gluten, or extra gluten, vegetarian, vegan, kosher, cave man, or deep-fried Mars Bars, or if you should bring sandwiches and trail mix.

You're thinking ahead so you type up all your questions on the question form at http://geniuspress.com/scannerretreat.htm and send it off -- and you get a personal answer from Barbara! Your concerns are put to rest. (But why isn't she in a stretch limo going somewhere important or making an audience of thousands roar with laughter from a stage in London or Sao Paulo? Maybe she can't afford to hire help. Or maybe she wants to screen applicants personally to make sure she only invites interesting people.)

6. Signup time
You go to the GeniusPress signup page or directly to PayPal and send $2500 (until Sept 7 after which you send $2750) to Barbara's email address (which you got when she responded to your afore-mentioned emails) and you get yourself a wonderful room (shared with another person unless you pay 20 Euros per night surcharge in which case you get a private room), plus a really good breakfast and superb dinner every day. (Well you get dinner the first day, and you get breakfast the last day, you know, but it all works out just right.) Okay. You're in.

7. Jump-into-the-group-email time:
You're invited to join the others who are coming to the retreat, you get to know everyone and share travel tips and see who's coming early or leaving late or heading out for Paris or Dordogne afterwards and what's the best airline and when should you show up and all the additional chatting that people should do because they know they're going to like each other.

8. Come-to-the-Retreat time.
And for what happens next, you might as well just read what a grad of the latest Scanner Retreat wrote:
Toulouse. Barbara Sher. Change. Joy. 04/13/2010

I returned to the USA last night after the Scanner retreat and a week I will remember for as long as I live.

I'm looking at a postcard of an ancient stone village perched on top of a mountain in the south of France, and I'm wondering how to describe the week I've just lived through. I will try to summarize the elements that made up this experience, but I know my words will be inadequate.

Southern France

I have been to France before - along the German / French border, and to Paris. All were lovely. But I have never felt that I had stepped back into history as much as I did in visiting these ancient walled stone cities on top of rolling green hills in southern France. To say they were breathtaking is just an understatement. Everywhere your eye turned was a scene that needed to be captured and framed. And each day, as the sun shone down, the stone walls turned golden, and the fields grew greener.

I walked on cobblestones that have been there forever, sat on benches carved of stone and stared across mountain ranges, found a peaceful, slower pace of life and kind, smiling, patient people who stole my heart.

The Food

I cannot mention a trip to France without mentioning the food. Oh my, the food! Starting in Toulouse, we ate our way through France. I should have said goodbye to my diet when I first saw their breads!

And cheeses. And pat├ęs. And wine. And -- just everything. They make food an art. Our inn had a wonderful chef who took great pride in what she cooked. Each meal was an act of love. People stopped talking and just swooned.

(Strangely enough, although I never denied myself a culinary pleasure, I guess the walking balanced it all out, because I came home one pound lighter than when I left.)

The Other Students

I suppose you know by now that Barbara attracts people from all over the world, who are as intelligent, talented, and diverse as they come. It's worth going to a retreat just to see who shows up. What a club! We had our fair share of genius IQs, talented artists, scientists, writers, crafts persons, business people, singers, grant writers, and more. You could have started a think tank or a small town with the brains that showed up. And funny! Is there anything funnier than a multifaceted, brilliant woman who is relaxed? There was much laughter and some silliness, to be sure, but being a Barbara Sher retreat, there was also heart-breaking honesty and revelation after realization.


I have read most, if not all, of Barbara's books. I own and have watched all of her videos and listened to her podcasts. I've seen all of her Youtube videos. I thought I knew her messages and that there would be no surprises. I was wrong.

She taught me new things, and made me see old issues in new lights. She worked with each person one-on-one, in such a gentle and supportive way that every person there wanted to have her stop and look into their soul and share what she saw. It was powerful, emotional, and healing.

Perhaps the best moments for me were the simple ones - just walking slowly in the village, leaning out on a stone wall, and sharing quietly with Barbara.

How to Summarize All this??

What is it worth to feel you can share who you are with someone and have it accepted fully and unconditionally? When I left France I left behind some old ideas, fears, and beliefs. I brought home a greater sense of peace. JB, Wash D.C.

Okay, there you are. That's everything, except, of course, your audio tips.

I hope you're ready for some dream-launching, because I'm rolling up my sleeves and heading out into the world to make sure that you get all the help you need to make them come true. All you have to do is show up. I know how to do the rest.
See you soon,


  1. It's funny to read the steps of deciding - when you've gone through them, for step 8 soon to come ...
    Could it be possible that you forgot to put the link to the Zurich-Event? I'm actually only interested if this is Zurich, Switzerland ;-)

  2. oh, ok it is Zurich, Switzerland and I found the link on the barbarasher.com/boards page :-)

  3. But things have changed and I won't be there after all! I'm not sure if the program has been cancelled or not.

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