The Landmark Forum was absolutely life changing for me.
My perspective of human beings and the way in which we live our lives will never be the same. I now get (and not just understand) that we are all just the same, all of us are just trying to get along and do our best, we play our parts and at the end of the day-each of us suffers from the same doubts and fears as the other. We walk down the street, concerned with how we look, we talk to strangers without noticing the accuracy in which we deliver our speech. We hide our faults and cover our backs. The fact we all share similar fears and insecurities enters very few peoples minds. We are so consumed with ourselves, we don't think for a second that someone else may feel the same as we do.
Think about how honest we really are with one another...how easy is it to tell the truth when it will make us look bad? Its hard! It doesn't come naturally! We've lived our lives blaming and pointing fingers at anyone but ourselves. Not many of us are good at sacrificing how we look for the sake of the truth - and dare I ask, how many of us do summon the courage to do just that?
I always felt I was honest (and I think I mostly am!) but my fear of hurting others, offending others or simply ruffling a few feathers, has certainly impacted the conversations I have had daily for most of my life. This doesn't mean to say I will be shooting from the hip from now on, it just means I get that in taking part in these unauthentic conversations, little by little, I sacrifice myself. I've noticed that now I am truly aware of just how authentic and honest the words I choose are.
Try it tomorrow! Whenever you speak or even send a text message - have you choosen your words or let the words roll off your tounge? 'Today was horrible without you' has a completely different meaning to 'Today was just not the same without you.' It may not be a challenging change to make to your words - but the meaning is different - and its essentially our words that give the facts. Its the facts (not our feelings or use of emotive language) that tells it as it is. And isn't that what we all want, in all conversations and aspects of life - to really know, exactly how it is?! Try answering direct questions from your boss/parents/partner/friends/flatmates (the list goes on) and then see how challenging being truly authentic really is!
And this is JUST the beginning!
Even though I took what I got, understood and made sense of at the Landmark Forum and that which I didn't, I left behind - it has absolutely consumed me (or I have been consumed by it).
I spent 11 hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the company of fellow human beings, engaging in honest and authentic conversations. Nice-ities such as 'How are you' and 'Isn't the weather divine' were replaced with open and engaging discussions about life. The sharing was empowering as were the people who had the courage to be authentic.
As I said, this is only the beginning!