“Once You’ve Signed On, You’ve Already Begun”

I heard these words last night, from a practical stranger. He, along with a charming young woman, convinced me I should…this will change my life, they said.

So, I put my name down, and afterwards on the car ride home I asked myself, “what the hell did I just do?”

Nothing bad. I promise. But, significant. Story time.

Once upon a time, Dave told me about this grand forum, run by a company called Landmark. It’s a worldwide organization who’s goal it is to help people through intensive, transformative learning. What I went to last night was just an intro, which was just a small spoonful of what the 3 day weekend forum is like. There, I met a large group of people who said to me that they went through the forum and their lives were changed completely. Of course I’m skeptical…actually, I was skeptical the moment Dave asked me to go to the intro. Yet, I felt that I had nothing to lose. So, what else do they do? Let me explain. All the members are highly trained to work with you to get you to have breakthroughs to the unknowns in your life; they help you see the things inside of you that you’ve never seen before. Through deep questions and motivation and a unique, what I call, “funneling” method, you take a handful of issues in your life, narrow them down and knock them out by creating a brand new possibility for yourself and your future. With this being said, I’d like to share what my intro experience was like.

Since there was no one else that was new at the meeting, I was the one and only lucky chick to go off with that aforementioned charming girl, Amanda, to a separate room where we could talk. It’s interesting because she was the first one I met when heading into the hotel to the meeting. My first thought was, “wow, she looks super nice, I like her!” Her personality was genuine and calming; she really took the time to get to know me as a person, almost as a friend, not just another potential “client” who has a bunch of problems, thinking “let’s get this over with”. She kept eye contact with me the entire time, which didn’t feel intimidating, thankfully. To me, it was a genuine, look into your soul kind of eye contact. Her deep brown eyes that glinted in the lights definitely shone with compassion. Okay, so yes, I pretty much had an instant crush on this woman. (She’s engaged to be married, so I couldn’t get too excited.) Anyway…. back to the talking. So after getting to know each other a little, we went right into a little booklet which had 6 sections in it. In section one, you filled out what did and did not work out in your life. Two, choose the most important one that wasn’t working for you. Three, say what you have, what you do and what you are being when you are in your bad situation. In four, you state what’s missing; you think of who you don’t get to be when you feel suppressed. Section five is about writing a new possibility for yourself. And lastly, you take your declaration, and write it again on the back.

I chose the current situation with my mom. And what I am missing is that I don’t feel like that I can be myself around her, (or my dad), because of them being prejudice against Dave and not giving two craps about what my life is like. The major point is that I feel guilty. They create that feeling within me…that everything is completely my fault and it always will be. Guiltlessness is what I am missing. So in the end, I stated that the new possibility I can create for myself is a life where I am myself! Completely, unbarred and unashamed. I’m not guilty and I’m loving, compassionate and caring for them unconditionally. Personally, I feel that I’ve nailed most of those. The only one that I’m struggling with now is with feeling guilty. Just the other day when my mom was telling me how unbearably down she was, I couldn’t help but to feel that I was truly the cause of her suffering. I know, deep down, that I’m not the cause of her pain, it’s within her, and she needs to be able to let it go.

2 1/2 hours was definitely not enough time to talk about all this with Amanda. We had two halves of a session, and in the second half, she spent more time explaining to me what Landmark was all about and how I can register. To be honest, I wasn’t ready to register. At all. I was planning on leaving there and then thinking about it/talking it over with Dave and then make a decision based on that. But, Amanda slid it in there very smoothly…as she was talking, she gave me the paperwork, and told me there was a little card that I could fill out that would be for registration. I said, okay…and she said just go ahead and start to fill that out…now, at this point, I wasn’t expecting to finish, and I wasn’t expecting that to be for real…yet, it was. So, I’m filling it out and she gave me the seminar dates…there was a session in May and one in June in Philly. Initially, I chose the one in June. Soon after, I mentioned how I wouldn’t be able to afford such a thing but that Dave mentioned in the past this would be a gift for me. So, she went out, got Dave, and I told him the exciting/terrifying news! He shed tears and shared many hugs with me in a brief time. After he signed the papers and agreed to pay for me, we headed out.

Once in the car, I couldn’t believe I actually did it. Dave told me story after story of how this course impacted different peoples’ lives…deeply. Intensely. His daughter, Nicole went through it, and she said she came out a different person. And she was as skeptical as myself initially. Dave said that when he took it, he got verbally violent with some of the session leaders because of the way they were coaching him. They broke through his resistance though, as they are trained to do, and in the end he learned a powerful lesson. All of this leaves me wondering what’s going to happen to me? Am I going to have the same Earth-shaking experience as these others? Is this going to be something where I see something within myself so deeply that I’ll be able to clear up the sky-high walls that’s between my family and I? If so, how in the world are they going to do it? More importantly, how in God’s creation are my parents and family going to take this…will they be open minded enough to take whatever happens to me and what I say into consideration so that we can mend??

Whew. Heavy. I’m still not ready for this. Dave has cried three times today just thinking about what it can do…he admitted that he’s actually scared for what it can do to our relationship. I’m sure it’s nothing bad, but he admitted that he wondered what it would be like if the both of us drastically changed.

Time will tell what is to come. In the meantime, I’m proud to say I’m on this better path…not only for myself, but for my family and for Dave. I’m hoping that there could be some peaceful communication all around with everyone before May.

Here’s to embarking on another big journey and continuing transformation.


One thought on ““Once You’ve Signed On, You’ve Already Begun”

  1. Hey Love !! πŸ˜€ I’m still in semi-shock that this happened so quickly for you. Yes, I’ve been through this program – The Landmark Forum – and many other of their courses over the past four years. And I have to say it’s totally transformative. You won’t come out the same person that went in after just three short days. Short meaning three days of your life. In fact these days will be morning to night packed with exercises that totally break through your inner barriers so you can get a look at who you really are inside. It’s kind of scary indeed. We all put up those walls ourselves, over the course of a lifetime… to see behind them… well, there’s nothing quite like it. Again, you won’t be the same Carla that went in. You’ll be more aware, more capable (of anything), and more powerful in character than ever before. It’s going to be quite the change in our lives and relationship. However…. with the basis of deep, right down to the soul love that we’re built on… I have a strong feeling it’ll only make us more powerful together WITH one another. I already have the best romantic partner, the best lover, best girlfriend, best friend, that I ever had in my life ! I hope that you’ll choose to keep me close in your life once you realize that you have the ability to choose any life and any outcome you desire πŸ˜‰ I’m just a regular guy, you know. You might look me over and say… hmmmm…. I could do better. πŸ˜‰ I surely hope not. I know I’ll also come out completely transformed all over again with some of the rough edges removed, edges put back in place by a life without the Landmark skills in daily action. I’ve got the core within me. It’ll be fantastic to do this together and make better human beings of ourselves. I’m looking forward to it. For you, for me, for us, for your family especially !!! And for everyone our lives touch for the rest of our lives πŸ™‚


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