Any Excuse To Fall In Love

A little before my last birthday, I mentioned returning to the Landmark Forum. The past year and over have been a draining experience. I was feeling demotivated, depressed, frustrated and worst of all for me – disinclined to write. I’ve been a lot of places in my head, a lot of things in situations but I’ve never been drained of the will to strive, to aim for, to try, to want more and better. Not before this anyway. It wasn’t a feeling I liked and I wasn’t sure what to do about it.

I realized that the last time I came close to feeling this near-dead, rigor mortis state was when I was nineteen, hating the college course I was enrolled in, feeling ground down by other people’s dramas, suffocated by expectations. I did the Landmark Forum then (actually, I got sent) and truly, it changed my life.

Cutting the excessive preamble, I rewrote my life from average to rockstar. And truly, that is the life I’ve led since then. This is not to say there haven’t been lows. All the tests that I didn’t crack, the interviews I didn’t make through, the jobs I didn’t get, the relationships that didn’t work – all of these have happened. But they’ve all been dramatic, flourishy, glorious – a life I deem worthy of a rockstar. That’s probably why coasting along on auto-pilot has felt so dissatisfactory, of late. And why, I felt it was time to return to the source to replenish my spent self.

I reviewed the Landmark Forum this July around and on my birthday. It didn’t exactly bring revelations but perhaps that’s okay for someone who has been a Landmark graduate for 15 years. What did happen though, is that I was pulled into a following seminar series. Normally, as a Landmark Forum participant, I would have gone on to the Forum in Action (FIA) series which is a follow-up activity that’s part of the Landmark Forum. But as a reviewing graduate, I was offered a seat in a senior seminar that was starting at the same time called ‘Causing the Miraculous‘. On a whim and figuring the FIA would be more of the same old, I took this up.

I’ve just returned from session 9 of this series and have one remaining to complete this program. So how has it been? Well, a rollercoaster journey. I’ve argued with my seminar leader, Hari Kotian, often. I’ve scheduled meetings, calls, assignments and not delivered on them, felt terrible and nearly dropped out. I’ve whined to my group members about how hard it is and on occasion, even written it off as nonsense. I even cracked a bone, running to the building for one of the sessions. πŸ˜€ And you know something? It has been a great experience. You’d have to have experienced at least one Landmark program to understand why.

I’ve never talked about Landmark on my blog before, for fear of being labelled an MLM salesperson, a cult-pusher and other such interesting things that Landmark graduates who talk about it, sometimes get. But I realised something in my session today. Writing is me, my calling, my best friend, my definition. This blog is about what I think and see and experience of life. And my Landmark experiences have to do with the conscious shaping and playing of the life experience.

So I’m starting a new diary section on this blog about what has come up for me from my Landmark programs. titled ‘A Landmark Life’. I am not an employee of Landmark Worldwide. I also do not get a commission on any registrations that happen, to Landmark programs. So I do not intend to promote the company or its programs. This is my sharing, my personal experiences and I’ll be happy if you’d like to engage in conversations with me about these.

To end this post – did I get what I set out for? Well, in my notes of the series, between doodles, frantic scribbles, note-passing and copying down from the board, I found I’d written this in Session 4:

People and experiences and moments and sights to fall in love with!

The experience of miracles for me, is one with the experience of falling in love. The excitement, the heart racing, the instant energy burst that makes you almost giddy-headed when you find it are exactly the same. Love could happen with a person or a place or an activity or an object. Life is strewn with opportunities for us to fall in love. And I remember thinking, when I wrote this,

What would it be like, if I actively went out looking for excuses to fall in love, every single day?

There’s a reason I’ve been writing love stories in my SeptShorts, though I didn’t realise that when I set myself that challenge. There is a reason I’ve engaged in more conversations about love, about trust and about relationships these past few weeks, with the people in my life, than ever before. I’m examining this thing called love.

I once called love, a dirty four-letter word. Yes, romantic love was for me, that, once. But it doesn’t have to be. And that’s not all love is about. And suddenly, without my even trying or thinking about it, people have been reaching out to me. They’re strangers, friendly acquaintances, once-neighbors, potential colleagues, readers. But doors are opening all around me, for possibly great friendships and wonderful conversations.

When I shared this today, Hari said,

“Go out and be with the world like you’re wooing it.”

Yes! That makes my pulse race, for sure. And where my pulse is racing, my fingers are flying and the words are pouring out of me. I’m back! New, improved, better and writing. πŸ™‚

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