Who I Was Being Is Not Exactly Who I Am
Apr 7 2009

Photo by Sandy Blanchard


I just finished the Landmark Advanced Course that builds on the lessons learned in the Landmark Forum.  It was a very powerful course and although it turns out I’m not an elephant or a horse, I discovered courageous parts of myself that I have suppressed because of the fear of what other people would think of me.  And worse yet the fear of what I would think of myself.

To me, life has always been a journey of learning and self discovery.  The Landmark Education courses have been one of the most fascinating steps I’ve taken on that journey.  I’ve gotten more out of these two courses than all of the professional and personal advisers/counselors I’ve seen and books I’ve read…especially more than the romance novels I used to breeze through for mind numbing distractions from my text books in undergrad.

Some people stop pushing the envelope of self discovery because it can be a very scary process and others stop because they realize there really is no envelope to push and are at peace with themselves and the world.  I haven’t met any of the latter kinds of people who have kids…in fact, I’ve met very few of the latter kind.  So I wonder if the way to achieve the rare occurrence of enlightenment is not to have kids.  Hmmm.

I’ve been becoming more aware of an ability/talent I was given to sense people based on what they say, don’t say, their body language, etc.  I’ve heard that 80% of what someone conveys is not through words but through their body language.  I happen to be more attuned to that 80% than most people.  People tell me the most intimate things about themselves and their lives and sometimes I think they are surprised at what they tell me based on how I notice them.

I am sometimes pretty raw and honest about what I see in certain people with varied results.  Sometimes I don’t say anything because I sense the person would not get in the slightest what I’m saying and think I’m crazy.  But ironically, this ability doesn’t work as well with my close family and friends.  And people have had a hard time knowing me because to deal with the bombardment of cues I get from people, I ‘was being’ a person who unknowingly suppressed my ability to share what was going on with me.  In the words of Landmark, I was not being “authentic or fully self expressed” because fundamentally I didn’t trust people with my being.  I was loudly letting them trust me, but I was quietly not trusting them with myself.

There are no magic pills or overnight fixes, just different ways of looking at things, and I think the path I’ve chosen has helped me understand other people and myself a little better, and therefore be a better friend, manager and connector.  I’m sharing more and being more open and vulnerable than I have ever been in my life, and my close friends (and even people I’ve only recently met) and family are responding with such kindness and support that I have found myself with tears in my eyes more often than I expected.

There is another course in this 3 part series, but for now I am not planning on taking any more courses.  I’ll digest, make some changes, and consider what’s next.  I know they are a business so they will do their best to up sell me on their other courses…which is fine because I know I have the choice whether to sign up or not.  Landmark Education is a global, fast growing phenomenon written up in Harvard Business Review and other reputable publications, and I think they will continue to grow given how they deliver their curriculum.  They don’t do any outside advertising but rely solely on word of mouth and occasional press mentions.  Of course those who do the research also pull up stories of their roots in something called EST.  But from what I’ve heard of EST, the courses I’ve taken are drastically different and much less intense.  The only way to know that is to see how it has changed the life of someone you trust and care about.

At any rate, I have met some amazing, brilliant people in these courses who I dare say I’ll probably be in contact with for quite some time.  I’m a bit envious of the younger people who are taking the course because what a head start they will have in making transformation happen in their lives and their organizations.  We had a few 18 year olds  in the group.  What a gift they have been given to have access to this technology at such a young age!

It’s all about Living A Powerful Life and Living A Life You Love!  That is the reason I signed up for the Landmark Education courses.  I’m on my way…stay tuned…

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