press release – excerpt from a podcast interview:
With Dan mullins – my camino, the podcast
Dan – I am so pleased this week to introduce Arlene Laskey, from Alberta Canada, to all of you. Arlene sent me a copy of her new book, The Enlightened Pilgrim. After reading it, I couldn’t wait to meet her. It’s about the Camino, but so much more! Arlene, could you tell us a bit about the book?
Arlene – Sure Dan. This is a work of fiction. The Camino de Santiago is real, and anyone who has walked the Camino will happily share a true story of Camino Magic with you.
Dan – Yes, I can attest to that!
Arlene – And the Master Key System by Charles Haanel is real as well. The way I put it together is the fictional part. This is the story of a young woman who is lost, and finds herself, and the hero within, while walking the Camino.
Dan – How did the idea come about?
Arlene – In 2018, I began two journeys that made a lasting impact on my life. The first was walking the Camino de Santiago, an 800 km pilgrimage in Northern Spain. The other was the Master Key Experience, which is a guided journey of Self-Directed Thinking based on the teachings of Charles Haanel, who wrote his Master Key System over 100 years ago.
These two journeys are ongoing, and I have blended them together here, for your enjoyment and, perhaps, enlightenment. I started to discover the similarities, and when I looked up the meaning of Pilgrimage, I found this Wikipedia definition:
“A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, after which the pilgrim returns to their daily life.”
For me, this perfectly describes the Camino, the Master Key Experience, and the Hero’s Journey!
Dan – That’s great. Are you talking about the Hero’s Journey as Joseph Campbell describes it?
Arlene – Yes, exactly! And Lucy, the hero of our story, has her own adventure as she walks the Camino. She discovers the Master Key System, and learns to love and trust herself. My goal is to inspire people to walk the Camino, or study the Master Key System, or to seek out whatever adventure is calling to them.
Dan – Do you think the Camino is an adventure for everyone?
Arlene – I believe almost anyone could do the Camino, but not everyone wants to. If you find that the Camino is calling to you, though, then it is definitely for you. And you can and should do it!
Dan – What else are you doing besides promoting your new book?
Arlene – Well, I also have a home-based business that is very successful. The passive income that I receive through that business funds my lifestyle, including plenty of travel. That includes luxury beach resorts, cruises, and of course pilgrimages. My next Camino is to retrace the steps of my first Camino Frances. Except this time I plan to savour the journey instead of rushing through it, as I did the first time.
Dan – I understand that you did something special in Santiago de Compostela recently. Can you tell us about that?
Arlene – I had a vision of signing and handing out copies of my book in the Praza do Obradoiro, in front of the Cathedral in Santiago. It was a unique kind of book launch. I knew pilgrims wouldn’t want to carry a book from the start of the Camino, but they might appreciate one at the end.
Dan – I can imagine that they would. How did that idea come about?
Arlene – Well, Dan, I was at an online retreat (during Covid) and the speaker was talking about finding your ‘one thing’ – that one thing that is your true purpose, your dharma. The word ‘INSPIRE‘ popped into my mind! And not just in a general way, but to inspire others to live their own Hero’s Adventure. I don’t want people to think: :She’s so great, I could never do something like that.” On the contrary, I want them to think “If she could do it, maybe I can do that thing I am thinking of.” During that same seminar, I had a picture in my mind of handing out copies of the book in the plaza in front of the cathedral in Santiago.
Dan – Are you still involved with the Master Key group?
Arlene – Yes, I am a Guide with the Master Key Experience, and I am honoured to help others through their journey of Self-Directed thinking.
Dan – Tell us a Camino story if you will.
Arlene – Could I read a passage from the book?
Dan – Of course, that would be perfect.
Arlene – Okay then. This is when Lucy is in St Jean Pied de Port, the evening before she starts her Camino (I’m skipping some bits):
After dinner, Lucy returned to her shared room, thinking she would organize her pack a bit before bedtime. On her bunk she found a large manila envelope with a single page, folded in half, and taped to the envelope. It was addressed, simply: “to the pilgrim in bed 4.” She peeled off the tape to read the note.
“Dear pilgrim, congratulations on your decision to walk the Camino de Santiago. The path ahead holds challenges, rewards, maybe even magic and miracles. You have been selected to receive this manuscript. Please read the Forward tonight, then read Part One in the morning before you start your walk.”
Lucy looked around. Of course no one was there, but she did wonder who might have left this for her. (More instructions follow)
“Be open to the experience and integrate the principles into your life. When you do so, you shall meet the Enlightened Pilgrim.
Ultreia and Buen Camino, fellow peregrino.”
“Okay, this is weird,” Lucy thought, wondering where it came from. No one else staying in the room would admit to putting it there, or to seeing anyone place it on her bed. She asked Josef, the owner, and he also denied any knowledge of this strange gift.
Was it meant for her in particular or was it a random coincidence that it ended up on her bunk, an English-speaking pilgrim? So strange. Did she really want to accept this challenge? This would add another 500 gm or so to her pack. Which was already heavier than recommended. It was the last thing she needed.
So, she set it aside, meaning to leave it on the bunk when she left, for the next sucker, er, more open-minded pilgrim.
Dan – Thank you so much, that is great! I have thoroughly enjoyed talking with you, and wish you continued success in all areas of your life. Buen Camino, fellow peregrino!
Arlene – Thank you so much Dan, it has been an honour to join you. And for your listeners: What dreams are inside YOU that you can bring out and take action on? Buen Camino and Ultreia!