Some of you may or may not have heard of Landmark Education but I felt compelled to write a post on it after the amazing three hours I experienced tonight.
I had heard of Landmark through a couple people on and off and also looked at their website to find out more about what I can only sum up as a widely spread phenomenon.
WHAT IS IT?
To give you a brief overview of what it’s about, *‘The Landmark Forum is specifically designed to bring about positive and permanent shifts in the quality of your life. These shifts are the direct cause for a new and unique kind of freedom and power—the freedom to be absolutely at ease no matter what the circumstance, the power to be in action effectively in those areas that are important to you.
Landmark’s programs are grounded in a model of transformative learning rather than informative learning.
Informative or additive learning increases what people know, adds to their skills, extends already established capacities by bringing new knowledge to an existing worldview and frames of reference. By comparison, transformative learning (a term introduced by Jack Mezirow) gives people an awareness of the basic structures in which they know, think, and act in the world. From that awareness comes a fundamental shift that leaves people more fully in accord with their own possibilities and those of others. This shift is the single most powerful attribute of The Landmark Forum and Landmark’s other programs. Participants find themselves able to think and act beyond existing views and limits—in their personal and professional lives, relationships, and wider communities of interest.’
One of my dear friends Bec had just completed three out of four days of the Landmark Forum course and invited me to come along on the fourth night as participants can bring people with them to see for themselves what Landmark is fundamentally about. She told me all weekend she thought of how much I would love the course and wanted me to join her (thank you Bec) with no pressure to sign up – I happily accepted. She also invited one of her neighbours, Mitch who accepted so the three of us set off for the three-hour seminar.
On the drive in I asked Bec what she had experienced over the weekend and although she tried, she had trouble explaining apart from saying that it was amazing and that she was on an incredible high. ‘Intriguing’ I thought.
WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
From the moment we walked into the brightly lit room (which was just an ordinary looking space, no bells or whistles) I knew this was going to be a great evening. Mitch commented on how darn happy everyone looked and Bec explained that’s how the Forum leaves you feeling. I went up to the table of wide eyed and bright volunteers handing out name tags and one of them said to me ‘you did the weekend course didn’t you?’ ‘No, I’m a guest’ I replied.
She said she thought for sure I had been to the weekend sessions as I looked so happy and had that glow about me. Nice way to start the night, although the ex saleswoman in me wondered if that is one the tactics they use to lure new prey. Either way it didn’t matter, I was happy to be there.
The seminar was lead by one of the Forum’s coaches, Kathy Elliot who instantly had my attention from the way she spoke and engaged the audience. I found myself listening to her every word, my eyes following her across the stage as she walked, talked and made jokes – it was captivating.
Throughout the evening people who had done the weekend sessions were invited to the stage to share with everyone what they had learnt over the course or a shift they had noticed in the past day or so. While the answers were very different, they were the same. Their experiences were unique however there were common themes in what they all said; they felt light, free, had a shift in perception, knew things were now possible in their lives that they didn’t believe before and they stopped caring what other people thought of them.
We also were invited to share with the person sitting next to us and vice versa. Kathy asked the participants to tell their guests what had made them invite us to come along which I found really rewarding and made the experience even more interactive.
Through conversation I had in the breaks with Mitch, I discovered that we share the same birthday, which I thought was really cool considering how I met Mitch and where we were. Kathy the host shares the same name as my Mum (which is not so much a wow factor but was still interesting to me) and another woman I met during the night had an uncanny similarity in career path to me and was wanting to get into Health Coaching which I am currently studying. Whilst these ‘coincidences’ may sound a bit wishy washy to some, I am a big believer that things happen for a reason and all of these things were a sign for me; a sign that I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people.
It was the strangest thing, there I am in a room full of complete strangers (apart from the people I went with) and yet I felt oddly close to them and as though I could share anything with them. That was when I realised the power Landmark could have on me and how it could dramatically change my life. I knew I would be in the presence of likeminded people who want to make a difference in their life, who are on the path to something bigger, better or different and are willing to challenge what they already know or perhaps don’t know.
I WAS HOOKED
Now let me tell you I had no intention of registering for the course tonight, don’t get me wrong I knew I wanted to do the course in the near future but didn’t have any plans of handing over my credit card details. It got to the end of the evening and I couldn’t believe how fast the three hours had flown by and I didn’t want the night to end. I wanted more.
A few things that Kathy said throughout the seminar really resonated with me and I decided that to sign up for the next course in Sydney, which is in October. I won’t lie, there was a bit of subtle and not so subtle sales pushing going on to get people to register on the spot but at the end of the day that didn’t matter to me because I knew what I was I investing in was myself and that the return on investment (keeping in theme with sales talk) I would receive was going to be life changing. I thought what’s the point in waiting to sign up for something I knew I wanted to do. Perhaps initially it was the ex sales woman in me and not wanting to give them the satisfaction of ‘getting to me,’ or maybe it was my ego not wanting to sign up on the night but in the end I made the decision to take action, to not procrastinate and to embrace the motto I preach ‘life isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s the main event.’
Life really is now so why put off something that is only going to enrich it and make it better because chances are that if I walked out of that room tonight without registering who knows how long it would have been, if at all until I signed up.
On the way home reflecting on the night I understood why Bec had trouble explaining what she learnt and got out of the course, because if someone asked me to explain what I had learnt in the three-hour seminar I would have trouble too. Although I have written a pretty decent length article about Landmark I haven’t really explained what it’s about, what they teach or what I learnt because it’s something you have to experience and learn for yourself.
If someone you know invites you to go along to one of Landmark’s seminars, I encourage you to have an open mind, go along and let it change you too.
If you don’t know anyone participating in Landmark but are interested to see what it has to offer, please feel free to get in touch with me.
I too will be able to invite people along when I do the course in October and would love to share with you what Bec shared with me.
I feel alive, invigorated and inspired. I can feel my life changing already.