Landmark Forum: Now I become myself

It’s a long one…but I have finally put a life altering experience to words:

I took the Landmark Forum in May and will continue taking a number of Landmark seminars starting in July. Rick and I took the course because our friends, Michael, Pam, and Dayna had taken it and had spoken so highly of it.  We thought we’d like to take this enrichment course to learn how to effectively navigate our way through life and  learn strategies for living a powerful and meaningful life.  I soon realized Landmark Education is not about becoming a “better” person.  It is more about transformation, a non-traditional look at one’s language, actions, outlook, and vision.

Susan, our coach/leader told us,  “One of the pitfalls to the Landmark Forum is you may feel that everyone else is having amazing breakthroughs and that you are not having any of those ahaaaa moments.”   Right on!  Rick was blasting his way through the intensive weekend with one incredible insight and breakthrough after another and so were others in the forum. Rick wrote a very exciting email to friends about his incredible experiences from having taken the course  Before my very eyes, I watched Rick become more focused in his writing and more gentle in his entire being and it seemed nothing of that sort was happening to me.

Well, ever the late bloomer in life, slowly I am beginning to see new ideas take root in me and I feel a transformation in my ways of thinking.

“The only reason you woke up this morning is because you didn’t die last night!”  Susan knows how to make poignant statements!  Humorous, but that very sentence left me asking myself, “How can I wake up each and every morning with the enthusiasm of a four year-old? How can I invent a way of living that is fully worthy of MY life?”

The Landmark Forum intensive made me look at my “blind spots”.  This is where all the trouble is, but this is also where all the breakthrough thinking happens.  Susan asked us to “try on” new views and new perspectives.    She didn’t let us take notes, which I found really irritating because I love taking notes!  She explained that note taking is a traditional way of learning and that Landmark Forum is a non-traditional radical way of learning.  So lesson number one for me was to simply listen and soak in what was being taught.

The words that keep coming at me are: “TAKE ACTION”.  This life is not a dress rehearsal.  This is the real thing and this is the one and only chance we have at living, so why not live absolutely fully?  I always thought I was a person of action, but now it is as if I can see all these little leaks in the boat I’ve been riding.  I am setting about to repair these leaks which haven’t allowed the boat to move efficiently.   If left alone, these leaks can ultimately sink the boat.  That is the analogy I have come up with to describe the work I am doing as a result of having taken the Landmark Forum.

Landmark Education grew out of est Training which was established by Werner Erhard in the 70’s.   Werner is perhaps one of the most important philosophical thinkers of the 20th century.  His teachings promote self awareness.  He believes that through an awakened perception, we can radically alter our lives.  From this place of awareness, we can fulfill countless humanitarian objectives and take on huge beautiful projects where humanity benefits!  The Hunger Project, The AIDS Ride, and Youth at Risk are just three examples of projects inspired by this education.  Werner studied metaphysics and at one point, went to India to study philosophy and to do comparative religious studies.   You can read more about Werner at

Following are some key points from the weekend that have taken root in me:

1) There is this radical thought: Your past has nothing to do with who you are today!  Rather it is the future you are living into and the future is what keeps impacting who you are today. The problem is we keep putting our past into the future so it keeps coming at us.  I am learning to put the past where it belongs… which is in the past.

2) We learned to distinguish between a past event and the interpretation of that event.   The interpretations are what govern us, limit us, and imprison us.  I am practicing letting go of fixed negative interpretations.

3) Language is so incredibly powerful.  For example, the words “I’ll try” have got to go!  What does this sentence mean?  Try dropping a glass of water.  You can’t “try”.  It’s a farce.  Either you drop it or you don’t!

4) The course helped me to distinguish where in my life I am being inauthentic with myself.  Being inauthentic gives rise to lack of freedom, power, peace, and self expression.  Being completely authentic to oneself is the key to doing amazing actions with one’s life!

5) Replace the word BUT, which is extremely limiting and disempowering, with AND and create an entirely new way of looking at any situation!  (Try it!!)

6) Start speaking more in the present progressive tense and you become your word.  Cut out the old language of “change”  which has to do with use of comparisons such as “I want to be better, smarter, luckier” and use words of transformation which include the present progressive tense such as, “I am creating a possibility.”

7) Live a life of integrity.  Always say what you say you will do.  This also includes honoring your principals and values at all times and not compromising oneself.  I must ask myself, “Am I honoring what I say to myself?”

8)  We run our life with reasons.  We constantly justify how we act in life.  “I’m tired because…”   I am cutting out “because”.  It is now time to transcend my reasons.  This has been a big one with me and my feelings about driving.  I had never felt comfortable driving because of a hundred different reasons.  Some examples of limiting reasons for me and driving are as follows:  mom had an accident and nearly died when I was about 5 years old, mom instilled fear in me, riding the bus is easier on the environment, I could hit someone or cause an accident, I won’t take driving courses again because I took them when I was 16 and besides I drove  years ago so I know how to drive, I choose not to drive.  The transformed me is transcending her thousands of reasons.  The transformed me sees  I could come up with a thousand reasons to mask or even destroy my trust in myself!  The transformed me is taking driving lessons and I am comfortable doing this!  The new me will be driving on her own by the end of this summer.  Who knows?  The new me could possibly have her own car soon.

The paragraph above is probably the biggest ‘breakthrough” for me.  Becoming a driver is a symbolic gesture for me, too.  I am now officially in the driver’s seat of my own life!  How thrilling!  I believe in myself, in my judgment, and in my ability to do anything I put my mind to do.  This has been the toughest hurdle for me, especially since, recently, my judgment and trust of someone has failed me greatly.  I was deeply hurt by that person in more ways than anyone could possibly imagine and I felt very ashamed for having been so trusting.  The Landmark Forum helped me to move forward.  I no longer feel ashamed from having trusted someone who did not merit my trust.

Landmark Forum is about learning how to create new possibilities and a new vision for the future.  The course is teaching me a new way of being that gives me potential to be powerful in all areas of my life.  I so want to live fully and that is what I am doing!  I recommend the Landmark Forum to anyone wanting to become more fully awakened!

This beautiful poem by May Sarton (and part of the title of this blog!)  is very thought provoking and carries with it the feeling of empowerment that is ours when we truly do our homework and get to know ourselves:

Now I Become Myself
by May Sarton

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before–”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

“Now I Become Myself” by May Sarton, from Collected Poems 1930-1993. © W.W. Norton, 1993.


4 Responses to “Landmark Forum: Now I become myself”

  1. Rick Clark Says:

    As the Brits say, Brilliant!

    I’m beaming.

    Huge love from your Rick


  2. Laurie Says:

    Thank you for sharing. It all sounds so amazing. The sky is the limit!
    Much love, LL


  3. kay Says:

    It takes courage to live more authentically. you are just the woman for the job!!
    What a treat to read your blog today!


  4. Jenelle Says:

    As someone who has taken the LM Forum, several years ago, its helpful to be reminded of the core message of what I learned. Thank you for sharing your experience!


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