Spring arrived in terms of the calendar date, not really in terms of good weather. It’s still pretty cold most of the days (with some exceptions) and it rains a lot. We’ve settled in a bit more in the new place, although we still don’t have a sofa or any dining chairs for that matter, but the place starts to have a more homey vibe! We also finally had a housewarming party with ribs, wood fired pizza (still working on nailing the dough to perfection) and lots of drinks – obviously.
As some of you know, I embarked on an unexpected journey last May when I accepted an invitation for attending an introductory session of the Landmark Forum. I would have never signed up for some self-development course in a moment where everything seemed more important than that (finding a job, settling in Australia) but I could see how this might be beneficial for me. I know I have lots of baggage from the past, especially regarding my relationship with my dad and my lack of confidence in certain areas of my life. So what is it? How does it work? It’s an intense immersive three day course (Friday till Sunday) where you sit in a room with 70 other people (more or less) and where a Leader has conversations with you. I know, it sounds creepy. It sounds like some American cult or silly course. Unfortunately the format is the same. But this IS truly amazing. During three days they shake you up until nothing remains. Your empty and it’s wonderful. You can build up the person you truly want to be. Basically, who we are and how we act in life, is all part of our past and our past experiences. We never react to actual situations. We never listen to what is really said. We filter and interpret and use our past experiences to relate to what is happening now. It’s really unbelievable once you discover the silliness. Anyways, after the first course I kind of got it but I couldn’t really apply it fully to my day to day life. I didn’t want to give up so I signed up for the Advanced Course as well – and during this course I had an amazing breakthrough. They shifted the attention from “me” to “everyone else” and this was the real eye opener for me. I think for the first time ever I actually saw the meaning of humanity, how we’re interconnected and as a consequence how nothing in our teeny tiny lives is actually meaningful – in a good way. It made me see that you can either worry and be preoccupied about your own little problems and live in your own little bubble or you can actually make your life mean something, think and see the bigger picture. The world just shifted around me, I am so much happier. Ok, not all the time. It’s easy to fall back into your everyday life and routine and putting your glasses on and create all the drama and sensation around yourself. After all, this is what I’ve been doing all my life, this is what everyone does all the time. And sometimes it’s just easier, and more comfortable to live an ordinary life. But I’m committed to not fall back into it. There’s possibilities all around and up for grabs. I’m loving it! Some of the possibilities I’ve taken on so far are: changing the food industry (especially I want to see farm factories disappear and organic produce being mainstream), running a half marathon early next year, full self expression in every area of my life and empower others to do so too.
I’m inspired people! And that just shines a whole new light on everything around me. I go to work (just started as a waitress in a cafe called The Usual) with a big smile on my face (up to the point where my manager asked me what happened to me). Who cares if I’m a waitress? Who cares if I have no money? There are so many good things in my life, there are so many more things for me to discover and do here, people to meet, dreams to follow. After this shift in my attitude I actually started to bond with all my new colleagues. It’s again a cafe similar to the previous one I worked in, only open from Monday to Friday and located in the city center but the food and coffee quality is of a slightly higher standard. My manager’s name is Suzy and she has the craziest hair you could ever imagine. I mean it. I’m still shocked sometimes. Have you ever seen a Tim Burton movie? If you have, you’re probably familiar with the characters that Helena Bonham Carter normally plays in his movies. Well take her as one of Tim’s characters and don’t change anything of her craziness. I would say the hair has the color of her being the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland and the volume of her character in Sweeney Todd (and that is actually an understatement). It’s just so out of place and hilarious, it’s great.
There is so much more going on, I started my business course today (my student visa got approved so I can stay another 6 months!) which I’ll have to attend twice a week. Already met my teacher – David – and luckily he is a funny chatty middleaged guy and not too fussed. The material is very basic but I’m taking the opportunity to meet new people and today the class was very interactive and David is keen on spreading new ideas, getting people to talk and network, which makes it a bit more stimulating than answering questions like “Is it possible for an organization to provide excellent customer service without every employee having a job they feel makes a real contribution? Explain your answer.”
All in all what have I learned so far in this journey? I can be happy no matter where I am, what I do, who I’m with, what happens. We choose our lives and we are solely responsible for the outcome.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
Bilbo Baggins – The Lord of The Rings J.R.R Tolkien