Natalie has long been fascinated by witches, wizards and the world of fantasy, but she wants to be able to do real magic. When green-haired, unpredictable Nina bursts into her life with a plan to form a ‘Mastery Club’, Natalie’s mind and world are opened up to some startling possibilities and a colorful, creative family. Natalie’s friends join the Mastery Club too, and together they are introduced to powerful tools like creative visualization, affirmations and treasure-mapping, as one-by-one, they find a goal or challenge to undertake.
To summarise the story, a group of 12-year-olds learn to use tools such as visualisation and affirmations to manifest their reality. As The Mastery Club unfolds, the reader learns about ‘Universal Laws’, such as the Law of Attraction – popularly known as ‘what you put out, you shall receive’. We spoke with Liliane about her award-winning story.
How open are teenagers to these concepts? The characters in your book discover they need intense focus and commitment to stick to their visualisations. Focus and commitment do not often come easily to teenagers!
We are always committed to and focused on something – even if it’s school or study evasion! Often we focus unconsciously, just in reaction to the things that are happening around us. The Mastery Club invites readers to consciously choose goals that are aligned with their values, ie things that are important to them. It’s easiest and most natural to commit to the things that we value most highly.
“Teens who are low in confidence or perhaps resistant to counseling might be willing to read a story… and through the reading gain a few new and useful ideas”
Visualisation only needs to take a few seconds a day. Fiona Wood is the WA surgeon who invented spray-on skin for burns victims. She has also read and endorsed The Mastery Club. She believes that ‘we can think ourselves whole’ through the power of visualisation, and she is working with this tool to assist burns victims in speeding up the healing process. There are countless books and stories and case studies of people who have used their minds to effect changes in their lives.
Also, the learning provided in the book occurs through story – there is no effort applied; it’s effortless learning because the reader is being entertained rather than straining to absorb and retain, so teens who are low in confidence or perhaps resistant to counseling or other strategies might be willing to read a story… and through the reading gain a few new and useful ideas.
Depression and anxiety are big issues for teenagers today. How might the skills and tools you describe in The Mastery Club help kids with these problems?
People become depressed when they are comparing their life to a ‘fantasy’, a dream of how it could or ‘should’ be. The Mastery Club is about creating the life of your dreams – in a realistic, practical way, through simple steps that are provided.
“Confidence follows as a result of taking realistic, grounded action on one’s important goals”
Anxiety occurs when we feel we are not coping or we are inadequate to the task at hand. The Mastery Club presents empowering and inspiring ideas in the form of simple practical strategies (goal-setting, visualisation, treasure-mapping) and six character lessons that communicate the importance of characteristics such as patience, persistence and resilience. This combination often moves the reader to apply the principles in their own life. In fact, one of my slogans is, ‘It’s not just a story’. Confidence follows as a result of taking realistic, grounded action on one’s important goals.
You’ve dedicated The Mastery Club to your mother. What kind of an influence was she on your philosophy and way of living today?
My mother was born in Poland in 1939, just three months before WWII broke out. Being Jewish, she and her mother were confined to the Warsaw Ghetto. (Her father had just left Poland to explore emigration options; when the war began, the borders were closed and he was unable to return to his family.)
When my grandmother heard rumours about the concentration camps and gas chambers, she obtained false papers, took my mother and escaped from the ghetto. They spent the rest of the war on the run, in hiding and in fear. At the end of the war they faced up to their losses – family members, friends, property. My grandfather had remarried in America, assuming them to have died in the camps. My grandmother and mother emigrated to Australia where they had to deal with a new language, culture and customs that were totally foreign to them.
As my mother grew up, she naturally had lots of questions about life, its purpose, why people do such things to each other, how to protect oneself… She began to read quite widely and her bookshelf included titles like The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, and Life & Teachings of the Masters of the Far East.
“When I watched my son playing ‘Harry Potter’, I thought, ‘What if kids knew they could do magic for real?’”
When I was a teenager, I began to read her books and I became hooked by the possibility that we can deliberately ‘create’ our reality. I had already been hooked by fiction-writing (where we create worlds for the purpose of entertainment) and was a mad story-writer; as I read this material I began to recognise the power of the word to influence our feelings and state of mind. The Mastery Club is an imaginary story about deliberately creating one’s reality (world).
Why did you want to write this book?
I was so inspired by the ideas I had read about in my mother’s library that I wanted to share them with my children and ultimately other young people around the world. When I watched my son and his friends playing ‘Harry Potter’ with cloaks and wands, I thought, “What if kids knew they could do magic for real?”
“Everyone has relationship issues, money issues, health issues… I wanted to bring some magic into everyday reality”
Youth literature is roughly divided into two categories: Fantasy fiction (magical objects, dragons, wizards, vampires) and Reality fiction (dealing with divorce, drugs, war, being a refugee, being Muslim in a western society), and while not many kids are going to stumble upon a dragon’s egg on their next stroll through the local park, everyone has relationship issues, money issues, health issues… I wanted to bring some magic into everyday reality.
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