Workability - The Antidote to Abilene
Thanks to a long time friend, I almost joined a cult. Well, not exactly a cult, but it was a reboot of EST from the 70’s, called the Landmark Forum. Three hundred people were shamed by a very charismatic speaker for wanting to leave to go to the bathroom. She said, “You can go to the bathroom if you want to, but the benefits of the program would not be available to you.” Seriously. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my supply of NASA space diapers. To be fair(ish), the goal of Landmark is to help people get over themselves and lead a more authentic life, but their method was not for me.
Of course at this point I was done, but I realized I would probably never get to watch another in vivo experiment like this for a long time. Besides, the 400 bucks was non-refundable.
“It's weird to think about how skeptical I was when I first went to the Forum, I brought a book with me in case I was bored. I immediately started railing against the leader about how they were just using me for my money. Then, when I was walking out, it struck me that I was 26 years old and I was never going to take another risk in my life. I was the one being an asshole! So I went back and said, 'Okay, I'd like to take a risk, where do I sign?' After that, I bought a word processor. That was my first step to being a writer.”—
Chuck Palahniuk, (author of Fight Club)
in an interview with the New York Times
I signed up for the Landmark Forum and classes start next week. Let’s hope it’s for the best.
A Real Education
So the past few days I have been attending the Landmark Education Forum. I won’t go too much into details about what it is etc. Needless to say that it’s something I think everyone should experience.
However, I do want to share what I was able to take away from it, and the kind of profound moments I had over the weekend. One of the first things that really struck a cord with me was this idea of how we are in the “stands” of our lives, instead of actually being “in the game”. It’s like we are observers and never really taking action. I really relayed that to my health. I want to be healthy, and to inspire others to be healthy, which is the major reason I started this blog.
But when I sat and thought about this, I’m not being really authentic with that. I don’t eat as healthy as I should sometimes, I struggle with weight issues, and I find excuses to not get on my mat and practice, or to hit the gym, or a class etc. Excuses, excuses, excuses. It’s all just “noise”. So I realized that I need to get on the field and get in the game.
This other idea of how we are always listening to others through these filters of “right and wrong” or being “dominated and avoiding domination”. I realized that I do that even with my Yoga practice and my nutrition. I am letting something dominate me, and I try to look good so I avoid doing it and facing the reality of it.
It all comes down to the fact that I’m not honoring my self worth, and I’m most certainly not honoring my words. I’m basically being pretty lazy and hypocritical.
Out of this came this breakthrough that I want to be open to the possibility of well being and vitality. That I am open to the possibility of and commit to being healthy and to inspire others to be healthy.
I spent many years in the Beauty Industry as a hair stylist and makeup artist, and this is a very artificial and superficial business. I tried to be everything that others wanted, to be perfect, to “look good” for others. I was killing myself just to try to impress others.
So throughout this weekend, we had this chance to share our “problems” with others and I was always very superficial. I touched on it but never really opened up and never authentically shared. I was still trying to “look good” I started to get frustrated on the last day because I didn’t feel I was being “transformed” or “being authentic” or even really “sharing”.
On the last day, graduates of previous forums are invited to come. They sit next to the person that they inspired to be there. When it came time to share, I was sitting next to absolutely no one. At first, I was like “Whew, now I don’t have to share, I don’t have to open up, I can just sit here in my stuff and no one has to know what Ive been thinking this whole weekend”
Just as I thought that, a graduate who was standing in the back, came over and sat next to me for the last three hours of the class. Over those three hours we chatted, shared a little etc. I finally had this lightbulb moment where I was like, I have to be authentic here, or I’m never going to get over this, and start to transform. So I opened up, and this is what I told him:
I am being completely inauthentic with my body. I have stuggled with an eating disorder for years, even when I was little. I attempt to eat healthy, and then I’ll have a binge day where I just eat horribly, and sometimes literally everything in sight. Then the next two days or so, I will feel so bad; physically, emotionally, and mentally. I will then starve myself because it makes me feel better, feel thinner, etc.
This disease was way worse in the past because when I was working in the Beauty Industry there was this pressure to be perfect. And I got positive reinforcements from people because I was so skinny! “Wow, I wish I was as thin as you!” or ”I wish my stomach was as flat as yours” etc. I remember for years eating less than a 1000 calories a day, and working out like a fiend.
Yoga and Meditation has really helped me to curve some of this, and to get a better handle on this disease. However, I still feel like I have a long way to go. I’m still in the stands and now it’s time to take action and get in the game. I am making a declaration to be a healthy person, and to inspire health in others. I can have the body I want by eating healthy and working out regularly, all in healthy ways.
Another point that Landmark drove home was everything in this world is nothing and everything at the same time. It’s all white noise, because nothing matters. Once you get that, you can then move forward. I can do whatever I want to create this transformation, because nothing matters. I dont’ have to be afraid because nothing matters.
Here is the real interesting part. The guy who sat next to me, that I finally opened up to was there for his friend. His friend bailed out of the last three hours of the seminar but my new friend went anyways. If his friend had stayed in the seminar he most likely would have sat next to him, instead of me! So it was pure coincidence. I firmly believe that people come into your life for a particular reason and at just the right time. I believe in guardian angels and higher powers, and I really think that my angels sent this guy to me at that moment because they knew I needed him right there and then to get healthy.
It’s funny to think that I didn’t openly share over this whole weekend and to this point. Then it hit me, I held on to this a LOT longer than three days, Ive been holding on to it for yeas because of shame. That’s the main reason you don’t hear about men having eating disorders either: SHAME! Once I release this, once I can tell to others, once I share this, I am being “authentic” and I am “taking action” and I am “honoring my words”.
Now that I’m honest with myself, and being authentic it made me realize that I can transform into the realm of possibility of being healthy and inspiring others to be healthy. I am now thinking that I want to find ways to use Yoga and Meditation to help others with eating disorders. My goal has been for a while that I want to open a Wellness Center - Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Nutrition and Holistic Therapies. I see now that will be a huge beacon to those struggling with the same disease as myself. I finally feel like I really am on the right path with this.
I commit to being healthy, and inspiring others to be healthy.
This past weekend has been like a roller coaster for me. Literally. My emotions went up and down, up and down, then up again. I’d like to say it ended up in the ‘up’ section. I’m so grateful to be with a company that allows me to attend these classes for free and for me to experience what it’s like to actually be living. For those who don’t know, the Landmark Forum is a 3.5 day conference that allows you to improve the quality of your life. Sounds cheesy, I know. But the bottom line is, it works.
I’ve never felt so confident as I have in the past 21 years of my existence. I’ve created great relationships, sustained the good ones, and even made my good ones into better ones. But most importantly, I realized how to be me, authentically. The possibility I’ve invented for myself and for my life is the possibility to be 100% me, authentically. I choose me, because I choose me. No one else is me and I can’t be anyone else. That was my biggest take away this weekend. For some, it sounds like an easy task. But I can honestly say, I’m happy with who I am and I have no insecurities with myself. Almost everyone I know always say ‘family’ when asked what their core values are in life. But how many times have you actually told your parents how much you loved them? How often do you spend time with them? This weekend, I called them and told them how much I loved them and that they are doing an A+ job at being parents. Needless to say, I cried. But it felt so amazing to know that my parents deserve to know what a great job they’re doing and that they actually know it. Through this, I’ve built my integrity and made a promise to myself to keep that integrity. I want my integrity to show through and to be what I’m remembered for.
This isn’t a promotional post or anything, but I really just wanted to share with everyone my learnings and breakthroughs this past weekend. It’s amazing how much you discover about yourself when you put a little work in to yourself. Learn to love yourself. Wherever you are, be there and be present. Take everything as is and don’t sweat the little things in life. From these take aways, I can truly say I’m really living my life in the present and in action now.
Dear any and every single one of my followers and friends,
If you have ever genuinely wanted to transform your life and unlock any and every possibility for you and simply improve your very being: I implore you to look into the Landmark Forum.
It has been the most incredible and Earth shattering three days of my life, and I can see now that I seriously can achieve anything I want to.
I’m close to tears right now, because it’s affected me so deeply.
PLEASE take a look at the Landmark Forum, everyone. It’s a beautiful experience.
Your life is as only as rich as the quality of your relationships.
These are just a few words that have resonated with me this past weekend. Over the last three days I had the privilege of becoming self-less in a room full of strangers. These 106 strangers opened up to me in ways that are not imaginable. We were able to share intimate stories from our pasts, which led to the realization that we are all constrained. We constrain ourselves from reaching our full potential in all aspects of performance. And we do so by building elaborate stories around situations that we must let go. It is just a matter of manipulating the meanings we attribute to life in which we can be free to live the lives we have always wanted to live.
Thank you Landmark Forum.
"I'm only letting go because I want you to hold on."
What you say: “I’m letting go”
What you mean: “I want you to chase me”
What they hear: “Fuck you, I’m leaving”
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this weekend, it’s that you can’t expect to get something if you don’t give it. If you don’t tell people how much you appreciate and love them, how can you expect them to love and appreciate you? You can’t feel loved if you don’t give love. Why do you think that phrase is always said so melancholy? Answer: BECAUSE IT DOESN’T WORK. Clearly you’ve never actually told said person that you’re leaving because you love them. HELLO. People are idiots and add meaning to everything. You say “I like chocolate” they hear “I hate you because you like vanilla”. It’s not wrong or bad, it’s just what we do and we don’t even realize it 90% of the time.
I lived my whole life saying all things happen for a reason. I lived making excuses for others as well as myself. I lived without loving others fully, without committing fully. I lived looking for the next big thing, the thing that would change my life. I lived thinking I was happy and healthy and being authentic. I ran, I moved, I created barriers. It was not until two weekends ago that my eyes opened to the possibilities that are limitless because I create these possibilities. Two weeks later, close friends have seen and remarked that I have a “glow,” I attribute this to a glow of happiness that I have created, for myself. Personal growth is so amazing. While I cherish and thrive in the amazing things that occurring
before because of me I realize that I want to continue on this path of possibilities. I was the person reading self-help books, new age philosophies, and searching for something. I have yet to know what that one thing was, but I do know that I do not need it anymore. Landmark Education (Forum) showed me that this life. My Life. I am in control of it all. No matter what I believe exists in the after-life, it cannot be my motivation for being of average existence. We all are capable of living powerfully. Our life are filled with problems, no matter the level of success we achieve we will encounter MORE problems. We need to ask ourselves what PROBLEM we WANT to wake up every day for…what problem we would happily deal with day-in and day-out. I love and cherish what is happening because I am what is happening. Being authentic rocks!
Double-Oh-Student - Life as an undercover learner
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here, but I suppose for now that’s okay since I not only have no followers, but have very little concrete substance to act as proper material so early in the game.
Anyway, over the past few months I’ve been carrying on the usual day-to-day tasks of beverage manager for my employer, Saturday through Wednesday, week in, week out. In regards to operations, not much lights me up. It’s been the same corporate-controlled, mind-numbing tasks for some time. No new challenges, no inspiration.
Meanwhile, in my off-hours, I’ve been gobbling up every last bit of information and knowledge pertaining to my vision and further forming its foundation. So far, this has funneled in via two mediums: books and seminars.
Books help cover all the bases of the industry, both those I’ve experienced first-hand over the last six years and those foreign and new to me. At times, I’m enthralled, highlighting like crazy (I’m currently on my third highlighter). The information new to me — the stuff that’s normally handed to you on a silver platter when doing a corporate opening — energizes my mind and spirit. Other times, when the subject matter pertains to the daily ins and outs that I’ve got down already, the pages seem to turn oh-so-slowly as the day drags on.
On the other hand, I’ve been attending several seminars put on by both the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) and San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) brand-spanking-new Energy Innovation Center (EIC). As their namesake’s depict, I’ve been learning an enormous amount of insightful information regarding sustainable practices, cutting energy costs, food safety, and how to be more environmentally friendly as a business operation. I could go on and on, but I’m not sure I’d ever make it to the end.
Instead, I’ll just give a rundown of the materials I’ve been soaking up during this multi-month absence from Tumblr.
Books (in no particular order):
1. The No Asshole Rule - Robert Sutton
2. Weird Ideas That Work - Robert Sutton
3. Good Boss, Bad Boss - Robert Sutton
4. The One Minute Manager - Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson
5. Raving Fans - Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles
6. Start and Run a Money-Making Bar - Bruce Fier
7. Start Your Own Bar and Club - Liane Cassavoy
8. Sacred Commerce - Matthew & Terces Englehart
9. Restaurant Success by the Numbers - Roger Fields
10. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Bar - Steve Johns & Carey Rossi
11. The Professional Bar & Beverage Manager’s Handbook - Douglas Brown (pending)
12. Running a Bar for Dummies - Ray Foley & Heather Dismore (pending)
Seminars (in chronological order):
1. Sustainable Landscaping Contracting & Irrigation
2. How to Manage Your Energy Business Costs
3. How to Sell an Energy Efficiency Project
4. So You Want to Be an Energy Manager
5. Justifying Investment in Energy Efficiency
6. Converting Energy Audits to Business Plans
7. Effective & Efficient Food Service Lighting
8. Energy Efficiency for Chefs
9. Update on Food Safety
10. Where, When & Which Lighting Controls Are Really Cost Effective (pending)
11. Hot Rebates, Cool Savings (pending)
12. Identifying Energy Efficient Upgrades and Incentives (pending)
In a related realm, benefiting an intertwined combination of both professional and personal growth, I recently attended a workshop entitled “A New View of Love” and will soon be diving into three intense days of Landmark Forum.
Meanwhile, all the little Fair Share ideas keep coming. The scattered puzzle pieces are nearly all sorted out, the corner pieces discovered, and the image as a whole has been identified. Feeling really excited and eager to start putting it all together. Pro forma here I come!
hoping for support.
Next weekend I will be attending a class in San Francisco and i’m hoping it goes well. My mom, dad and brother have participated in it, and it has really improved their relationships and outlook on life. Its called the Landmark Forum, and to be honest i’m excited yet scared. Im wanting to discover these other outlooks on life and to better myself, but im scared because if i do improve and return to school, i’m afraid i’ll be judged. Judged as being fake, because all of a sudden i will have realized a new way of thinking and creating possibilitiies. But i would really like if people would support me on this and not make judgements. Im wanting to do this in a way. I want to be able to live my life fully in the way i want. And hopefully with a minimal amount of negativety. Hopefully to an improved life and improved me.
I’m not sure if I have ever told any of you, but when I was very young, my birth father left my mother and I, for another woman. He cut off all contact with me, including phone calls and visits. He remarried and had another child, and I was told that he told my sisters to not be in contact with me either. But yesterday, after ten years of not hearing a word from my father, I called him. This was a possibility I created that before the Landmark Forum, I never even dreamed of. And, today I heard back from him, Norman, my father. He said that he was glad I called and that he wanted to catch up. All these years I had been believing that I was unlovable and unwanted, and I blamed my father for ‘making’ my life so horrible. But I have finally realised that it was me who made my life this way, and I have been able to free myself from this. My life is what I shape it to be.
Landmark Forum - Day#1
About 10 years ago EVERYONE in my family became obsessed with this life coaching seminar called Landmark Forum. My parents, step-parents, grandparents, baby brother etc. all did the program. Everyone, except my brother, was crazy in love with it. As a 12 year old I was forced into attending a lot of Forum “graduations” that were both dull and non-sensical to me. I flat out REFUSED to do the program…until 3 months ago when my mom expertly used her Jewish guilt on me. In a moment of weakness I signed up for it.
Today was day 1 of a 4 day course. Each day lasts 12-13 hours, starting at 9am. I decided to go into it with a skeptical, but open mind. Day 1 is now over and I am convinced now more than ever that this is NOT the program for me. Even angsty 12 year old me had some sense of this. Today I sat in an extremely uncomfortable chair in an overly air conditioned room (which I am convinced has brought on a cold) for 13 hours and watched 10 grown adults stand on a make shift stage and weep openly about their problems to a room filled with 125 strangers. I was asked to perform visualization exercises, given assignments about identifying my authentic/inauthentic personality traits, and a homework assignment about identifying something called a racket and writing a letter to a person I have wronged.
I have never rolled my eyes, sustained laughter, or heard so many irrelevant/corny sports analogies so much in one day. I was an emotional roller coaster verging on frustration, fury, annoyance and just a hint of delirium. Basically, I’m the bitch in the room and I think the forum leader knows this based on how many times she caught me glaring at her today. I’m also the resigned cynic/conspiracy theorist in the room. The whole time I could not help but wonder how many of the people sitting around me were paid actors pretending to have a moving experience or if the extreme air conditioning is actually a gaseous chemical meant to make us happy and compliant. Basically, I’m crazy.
I have nothing in common with most of the people in this program. I have another 3 days of this to look forward to and I don’t think I will be able to make it. However, it’s possible that I will drink the Kool Aid and become obsessed with it like the rest of my family. Maybe.
I embark on my journey of self-discovery and personal development. Three x 13 hour days starting tomorrow. Eek. So many emotions right now.
I’m scared, excited, nervous, anxious…and who knows what else?!?! I’m just really looking forward to my annual leave day Monday, hoping I have something worthwhile to reflect on.
Some guy who is in a friend’s yoga class sent me a friend request a few weeks ago. Earlier last week, he messaged me to say he was really interested in being my friend. OK, dude. So I opened the door, let him in, and today I figured out what his angle is.
I’m writing to invite you two to an event at my home thurs July 5 from 6 to 9 pm, an introduction to a life-transforming course called The Landmark Forum, which provides access to a new world of possibility and allows pathways for new possibilities to be real for us.
Not a chance in hell. I don’t want a thing to do with that; the people I’ve met who attended and enjoyed it have been some of the most intense, exhausting, boundary-disrespecting folks I’ve seen. You know the type…
“How are you doing?”
*intense eye contact, possibly hand on your arm or shoulder*
“No, really: how are you?”
Not. A chance. In hell. Especially after you come on my FB and evangelize.