Mon 29 Sep 2008
Catamaran Spa and Resort San Diego, CA
Though it is now nearly noon, this picture is a beautiful shot of where I’m writing you from. I’m sitting on the fifth floor of that tall building on the right side of the photograph look ing back down at the boats while I write you my latest blog. Today marks the fourth day of living on the west coast staring out at the Pacific Ocean. Last night was the first full night’s sleep I’ve had in about three weeks very long hours and hard work getting ready for The Miracles Weekend seminar that I’ve helped put together for Dr. Joe Vitale.
First up on the Negotiator’s tales of this seminar weekend are two people that I met who touched me deeply and reinforced some valuable Negotiating Lessons (even for me). Peggy Roux and Dennis (prounounced Din-EE) Hartings we two extraordinary individuals. First they flew all the way from Montreal to be here in San Diego to listen to a fascinating lineup of speakers talk about the relationship between mind, body and spirt. English is not their first language though their proficiency with American English was superb. Secondly both Dennis and Peggy are completely blind.
I have to admit when I first saw them I discovered some social revulsion coming up for me for people with significant disabilities. I got quiet enough to discover I was dealing with my own fear of blindness and realized that I wasn’t repulsed by them but my own lack of gratitude and appreciation for my ability to see. I made the choice to discover what they knew that I did not.
The Miracle’s Weekend seminar Officially Ended with a fantastic talk by Dr. Joe Vitale on “Awakening”. However, after his talk he invited Denis on stage to sing. As a big guy I hate to admit this but while this 80 pound blind French Canadian sang “I can see clearly now the rain has gone” I found myself crying. I was thunderstruck by the exquisite quality of his voice and his massive passion for singing.
So even though I have many tales of the Adventures of Peggy and Dennis, the one thing my Negotiator’s radar picked up was almost comical though you had to really being paying attention to notice. The ballroom had cleared of the Seminar participants, my wife and I were gathering the last remains of things to be shipped back home from the Seminar and the Hotel staff was clearing the room of all the tables, table cloths and chairs. There were just a handful of people left in the ballroom, including Peggy and Dennis. A tradition of Dr. Vitale’s support team is for him to take us out to dinner after an event. Someone (my wife perhaps) was on the phone and talk was being exchanged in the room and on the phone about where to meet and when. I happened to look all the way across the ballroom and noticed Peggy and Dennis were like statues, standing alone, not speaking or doing anything else.
I realized then that they were doing what so many of us only half-do or occasionally do or do poorly – they were listening with every fiber of their being to all the information flying about the room. I walked back over to them and teased them a little about it by saying “You guys are ‘listening’ aren’t you?” They are both very gregarious individuals with strong spirits that have endured obstacles I cannot imagine. The laughed happily and began to Negotiate their way into our private dinner.
Their flight was scheduled to leave in only a few hours and I wasn’t really in a position to get them invited. I’m sorry Peggy and Dennis – next time I see you I’ll do my best to get you a couple of seats at the VIP table. Dennis is self-employed and is the Visionary behind The UFO Proeject (Unified Field Orchestra). Peggy is a full-time mom with her teenage daughter.
I’m probably going to play and relax today after 3 weeks of 16-18 hour days non-stop. I’ll be back in Austin later on this week.
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I’ll see you at the Negotiating Table!
Bruce Burns, the Negotiator!