" 'I am here for one reason: to help you break a sinister spell that has held you in its thrall most of your adult lives. Yes, a spell. You have been hexed. You have been cursed. You have been hypnotized into believing something so insidious that it has jeopardized your ability to live the life you deserve. You have been lured into a lie that has controlled your mind and contaminated your life, a lie that has prevented you from being your best, from taking risks, from having the confidence and strength needed to seize the life that you've always wanted.'
"The wizard's voice had been building in passion, and he nearly fell off the stool at the end of his sentence.
" 'Friends,' he said moments later, scooting back again to the center of the stool, 'forgive my passion. But this spell is powerful, and you must be made aware of it. Though you cannot recall it ever happening, a spell has been cast upon you, and it has mesmerized you into believing that you are not good enough and that there is something wrong with you. This spell is Society's Spell, and it has made you secretly feel inadequate, ugly, weak, slow, small, useless, and helpless for far too long. Tonight we break that spell.'
"The wizard paused and examined the crowd once more. Everyone was pressed to the backs of their seats; the force of the wizard's words had rolled over us like a great wave.
"The wizard took a deep breath and eyed the ground. He spoke in an apologetic tone. 'Unfortunately, I lack the power to break this spell on you. I don't have the time or the skills to completely break Society's Spell you have unwittingly allowed it to control your life for too long, and my time is almost up. But there is good news,' he said, his voice lifting. 'You can begin to break the spell tonight, with this journey. Since you are the only one who can truly control your mind, you can defeat the spell. How do you break it?'
"Now he slowly shifted to the edge of the stool.
" 'First, you must recognize that a spell exists. This one is easy. Look to little children. Watch them play and crawl and be. Does any child believe there is something wrong with himself or herself? No. Do small children routinely, if ever, experience the onslaught of negative emotions like insecurity, doubt, sadness, or depression? No. You see, you weren't born feeling badly about yourself, you were taught to feel that way. Here's more fundamental evidence. If, when I say to you, "You are not good enough," you do not have a strong reaction, a need to fight and argue with me or at least to scoff at me and brush me aside, then there is a spell on you. And it is neutralizing your innate desire to stand up for yourself and become the person you were destined to be.
" 'If you can believe this, then you have taken the first step . . . and you will be able to take the second and third. The second step is to interrupt the spell to question or tune out society's messages, as well as those in your mind, that make you question your strength. The third step is to start living your life by conscious control. In your adventure here, you will take these steps and we will help you.'
"The wizard slowly tottered to his feet and shuffled to the front of the stage.
" 'Clearly, there is much ahead of you tonight. But now I simply want to impart an old magician's secret: to break a spell, you must override it with a more powerful magic. If you want to break Society's Spell, you must mix a magic within you that can overpower it. That magic, which I am sure you have long forgotten to stir within your soul, is hope. You must flood your entire being with the hope that you can start anew, that there is more out there for you, that you will become the powerful person you were destined to become.' ”