Protecting the Wizard of Oz: Or, are NDAs necessary?

In the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz the protagonists spend the majority of the film on a journey to meet the mighty Oz who will handle all of their problems. Why? Because he is all powerful! Only he can fix it! Of course, in the end the wizard turns out to be a fraud when a pulled back curtain reveals who he really is. Hold that thought.

In this age of non disclosure agreements (NDAs), why are we protecting the wizard? Why is it so important to keep mystique alive? Maybe a dose of reality is more healthy than the alternative fantasy we find ourselves in when we allow the “all powerful” to control the narrative.

I worked for many years in the entertainment business in front of the audience and behind the scenes. As president of the ACPA (Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants) I’ve certainly heard my share of stories about famous people, and the NDAs of many of my colleagues. Never was I asked to sign one. My employer of 16 years, self help guru Louise Hay felt that NDAs intrinsically set up an ‘us and them’ dynamic, and she was all about bringing people together, not setting them up for failure.

So what does the Wizard of Oz have to do with all of this, you ask? Reading about the latest kerfluffle in the news about NDAs, one can’t help but notice that the story is basically about keeping something a secret. And people love secrets! Even if they are benign, the mind begins to contour up the possibilities of more there “there”. In the age of reality tv, cliffhangers are commonplace, keeping us on edge until next week! Will she or won’t she leave him? Who is the real killer? 

Bottom line: NDAs are supposed to keep you from becoming a myth buster. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m a cockeyed optimist. Myths, legends, Camelot, angels, leprechauns, etc. I’m all in!

However in this age of Pluto and Saturn breaking down foundations, it’s reality for reals. Non disclosure agreements are in the news bigly. The myth busting has begun. It seems to me that as much as we love to escape the world through food, exercise, sex, music, books, movies, or tv binge watching, eventually the real world wins. It would be cool to teleport ala Star Trek to work and visit a near by planet in the blink of an eye for dinner, returning safely to a home in the clouds. But we are living in a moment in time where the curtain has been drawn back, and the Wizard has been revealed. It’s time to disclose the truth. It’s time to break the NDAs and let the chips fall where they may.

Life is messy. That’s what makes it so fantastic. We can dream about the perfect house, job, relationship, body, etc. but the reality is it’s a lot more fun to see what happens next when we don’t have all our ducks in a row.. The Wizard of Oz would be a short animated film if all Dorothy and her gang did was meet and in the next frame they arrive at the gates of the emerald city. The journey is the story!

That’s why reality tv has been such a big hit. I’m a fan of scripted works myself, but I get the appeal. So without NDAs, the wizard is exposed and now what? In the actual movie, the great and powerful man himself actually turns out to be a kindly old gentleman who is relieved to no longer have to be someone he is not. He imparts wisdom to each of the characters, reveals to all his secrets as he comes out of hiding and helps Dorothy find her way home.

The eternal optimist in me likes to think that is how our current story will end. Truth wins out.

Shelley Anderson

Author, lecturer and former Personal Assistant of Louise Hay Shelley is on a constant quest to uncover the truth and make it accessible to all of us. She lives as a progressive pioneer.

When You Are Haunted by Tears by Dr. Elisa Robyn

I know I have reasons to cry, really, but still I feel haunted. About a year and a half ago my mother and husband died two months apart. This was after several years of dealing with diminishing health for both of them, my mother’s deepening dementia and my husband’s deepening depression. Since their death I have dealt with a step daughter wanting to demonstrate that her grief was superior to mine, while continually asking for money. My generosity to a woman in-need backfired as she became demanding and emotionally invasive. And of course there was a myriad of paper-work and decisions and changes and challenges. 

And then one year almost to the day of my husband’s death I was demoted at work without any explanation or criticism of my work. It is not unusual in many industries to step down from a higher position, but this change is different.  I did not choose it. I was told not to be upset, and in fact helped craft a message that made it seem that this change was my choice. The reason’s I was given shifted and did not align with the stories or changes that followed. It became clear that I was the scapegoat. 

This was more than a demotion, it was the end of a career. The next few weeks found me fielding questions about why “I had made this choice” and series of congratulatory notes from people thinking I had been promoted when they saw the title change. I had to explain the situation in a way that would not upset my supervisor should she hear about the conversation. The one time I was honest, she heard about it and called me into her office to chastise me. She wanted me to understand that she had actually saved me from a worse fate, and that I needed to be grateful. 

I found myself staying in my office, avoiding people and places around campus. The last thing I wanted was for someone to ask me if the new job was awesome, which happened quite a bit. It was worse when people asked if I was happy with my choice and asked for details about the wonderful new work I was doing. It was beyond difficult to come to work and watch other people either dismantle or claim credit for my accomplishments. 

So the year was full of loss and pain, but also full of blessings. After the death of my mother and husband friends and family and the Jewish community surrounded me and held me. My house was full of food and love for two weeks straight. My best friend stayed with me for three weeks, helping me clean out the house and rearrange my life. After that people continued to reach out and offer support. I took two bucket list road trips, and had a variety of adventures, including indoor sky diving, a wild zip-line, and sailing in California. I took care of my mental and physical health, and spent time with cousins who love me.

And yet, those tears haunt me, threatening to emerge without warning or provocation. Why would lifting weights or running on a treadmill make me want to weep? I understand why an animal being injured on TV would lead to tears, but why can a commercial or a song start the flood? And really, why are plane flights always a challenge?

I don’t have answers, just an acknowledgement that time does not heal all wounds, but it does take time to heal. I have learned that the time it takes to heal increases with the number of bruises and wounds we incur. And that betrayal intensifies any wound. I also know that hearts heal, that souls move on, and that there is always another sunrise. However the journey is not straight or predictable, nor is there a destination that marks our successful completion of the process. There are many guide books, but in the end we all take this journey in our own way, with our tears often leading the way.


Dr. Elisa Robyn, A Modern Day Renaissance Educator and leader, is the author of "The Way of the Well, A Spriitual Romance, and pirate wisdom" Lessons in Leadership, her eclectic career positions include Geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and innovative Mojo Coach.  


Currently, Elisa is an exectuive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Her Most current writings can be found at


Elisa Robyn

Dr. Elisa Robyn, a modern-day Renaissance educator and leader, is the author of The Way of the Well, a spiritual romance, and Pirate Wisdom, lessons in leadership. Her eclectic career positions include geologist, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Futurist, and Innovative Mojo Coach. Currently, Elisa is an executive director at Regis University. She holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

ABRACADABRA! by Nancy A Newman

For most of us, ABRACADABRA evokes a vision of a magician in a black cape mysteriously waving his magic wand over a black top hat immediately before pulling out a rabbit.

For some, this is how we view affirmations or the Law of Attraction: Either that a successful affirmation was about as likely as being able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, or if an affirmation or the Law of Attraction worked, it was just luck or a magician's "trick."

Did you know Abracadabra is an Aramaic term meaning:  "I will create as I speak”?  Not what we all thought it was, is it?

Using this definition as a base, that is EXACTLY how affirmations or the Law of Attraction works.  We create what we speak or think about the most.  Our thoughts and beliefs create our reality.  The average person thinks about 70,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day and of those, 95% are negative.  This means that an average person, on an average day, thinks up to 76,000 negative thoughts!  No wonder most of us stumble through life wondering why negative things happen to us, or why the Law of Attraction doesn't work for us!  In reality, it is working perfectly, focusing on the preponderance of daily negative thoughts.

How can we start to turn our negative thoughts to positive ones?  We can start by loving ourselves.  The feeling of not being good enough is so pervasive it is Universal.  By believing we aren't good enough, we are actually saying, "You don't deserve that raise."  "You will be stuck in this dead-end job forever because you don't deserve anything better."  You will never find that perfect mate because you don't deserve it." 

These thoughts originate because at some point in our lives, we accepted someone else's truth as our truth.  We accepted the belief and statement of our teacher, parent, boss, spouse, friend, etc. as true for us, and it became one of those 76,000 negative thoughts that are so automatic, we may not even be aware of them as they flit through our subconscious.

But wait, you can stop that stinking thinking as simply as … ABRACADABRA!  Whenever you become aware of a negative thought, ABRACADABRA, reverse it into a positive thought.  How much better and more empowered do you feel saying:  "I deserve that raise."  "I deserve a job that fulfills me and provides more than enough money for my wants and needs."  "I deserve a mate who loves, nurtures and supports me."

What if 76,000 of your daily thoughts were positive rather than negative?  Although it may seem simplistic, it's as simple as "I will create as I speak."  You CAN pull that rabbit out of the hat.  Try it: ABRACADABRA! 

 NANCY A NEWMAN is a best-selling author, speaker, radio show host for and an advisor for She is also a registered Master Toe Reader and on-line instructor for Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. Nancy has training in many modalities including being a licensed Louise Hay Heal Your Life® Coach, Trainer and Workshop Facilitator.  She brings her message of empowerment to people throughout the world by teaching the tools for healing, loving yourself and discovering the peace within.

NANCY A NEWMAN is a best-selling author, speaker, radio show host for and an advisor for She is also a registered Master Toe Reader and on-line instructor for Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. Nancy has training in many modalities including being a licensed Louise Hay Heal Your Life® Coach, Trainer and Workshop Facilitator.  She brings her message of empowerment to people throughout the world by teaching the tools for healing, loving yourself and discovering the peace within.