Believing There Is A Reason

Do people come into your life for a reason?

I believe they do.

And I believe I discovered Aydens reason and I’m simply pleased as punch.

Many years ago I took a course which, at the time, was called The Forum.  It was a derivative of est.  For those that are unfamiliar, here is a quick definition of the course evolution:

“Erhard Seminars Training (marketed as est, though often encountered as EST or Est), an organization founded by Werner Erhard, offered a two-weekend (60-hour) course known officially as “The est Standard Training”. The purpose of the seminar was “to transform one’s ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up just in the process of life itself.” It “brought to the forefront the ideas of transformation, personal responsibility, accountability, and possibility.” (taken from Wikipedia)

The last est training was held in December 1984 in San Francisco; in its place came a newly developed course called “The Forum“, which began in January 1985. The est training presented several concepts, most notably the concept of transformation and taking responsibility for one’s life. The actual teaching, called “the technology of transformation”, emphasizes the value of integrity.

“est, Inc.” evolved into “est, an Educational Corporation”, and eventually into “Werner Erhard & Associates”. In 1991 the business was sold to the employees who formed a new company called Landmark Education with Erhard’s brother, Harry Rosenberg, becoming the CEO. Landmark Education was structured as a for-profit, employee-owned company; it operates with a consulting division called Vanto Group.” (taken from Wikipedia)

More  simply put, est, The Forum, or Landmark Forum (as it is now known) helps set free certain “scripts” in our lives and sets us on the path of transformation.  The theory is called Ontological Coaching.  This type of coaching is an extraordinarily powerful methodology for effecting change for individuals. It is highly effective because it is based on a new deeply grounded and practical understanding of language, moods and conversations for behavioural and cultural transformation.

It’s heavy stuff.  It’s the kind of stuff you really need to believe in for it to work.  You have to subscribe to the ability to change yourself to impact this type of change. Transformative learning instead of informational learning.

So back to the Ayden part of the story….while Ayden and I were attempting to schedule a date a while ago, he told me he was attending The Landmark Forum and suddenly, a flood of memories rushed at me.

It was like finding a key to secret room you stumbled across. A room full of long-held secret weapons you had at your disposal all along and had shut away.   A shed of amazing tools!

Since I associate important events with the people or situations that surrounded them, Ayden will now always be associated with guiding me to this toolshed of treasures.

I started reading about The Forum again.  I dug out some of my old books and ordered a few new ones.  I was able to throw myself right back to the time I took the course and recall how impactful and powerful this course was in my life.

I realized something very important as well.  I believed in these theories and my ability to impact change within myself.  I subscribed to a better way of being through this course.  And then, I got married and allowed a man who was close minded to tell me the things I had learned, this type of behavior I was demonstrating was ridiculous, unnecessary and I was foolish.  I let this happen to me.  He didn’t do this to me, it was just his small-minded way of thinking and behaving and now I subscribed to his beliefs in an effort to be a better wife and partner.  I realize one of my biggest mistakes in marriage, how I let go of the person I believed I could be and tried to be someone I wasn’t.  He married me for the person I was but then he didn’t want her, he wanted her to become a shadow of her original self because then he could control her.  That worked for a long, long while.

Until it didn’t.

Finally, over the past few years, I realized I had let go of this person.  For those of you on the blog journey with me, you have seen many of my realizations and changes in action.  But, going through the course material again reminded me that I have always known a better way of being, and I have control of that.  Ann would call this a “locus of control” and The Forum did teach me that many years ago, I just promptly put these learnings away while I focused on marriage and child-rearing.  Instead of utilizing the tools I had created, I stored them in a long forgotten shed.

Ayden simply shone the light for me and I remember the shed now.  I’ve cleared away some weeds in the last week and I’m working on getting into it again.  There are powerful tools in there, things I can use during this change period of my life, tools I must access again to remain positive, healthy and in control of what comes next.

The Forum taught me my life is a river.  I can paddle against the flow, allow myself to drift with it, or understand exactly where I am going and see my destination.  And then, get there. Get to my new way of being.

So I’m going to think about it again.  I’m going to visualize my river and find where I am going.  I’m going to rediscover my “rackets.”

“The main activity of the Landmark is to make—not urge—participants to apologize to the people around them for the “rackets” they have dumped on them. A racket is a state of being, a story one tells oneself where one is a victim in a permanent state of complaint. We are constantly affixing “stories” to events rather than seeing the separation between “event” and “interpretation,” and these stories are usually based in our self-righteous feeling of being wronged.” (credit: Huffpost)

I realize now why last week with Ayden was suddenly so different for me.  I had become thankful.  The Forum was had a sincere impact in my life but I allowed the tenets and learnings to be put away in that shed.  I realize all Ayden did was remind me, but I consider it an immense gift to be grateful because it makes me feel as though I am surrounded in love and abundance.   There is no objective reason to be grateful, other than feeling the grace flow through.  Perhaps that’s why the sex was so good.  Perhaps that’s why I was able to just enjoy the time spent with him for what it was.  I’m not positive why, but something did change in my attitude toward Ayden last week, and I like how it feels.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

27 thoughts on “Believing There Is A Reason”

  1. Change any whatever change agent one finds are very good things. Following the blogs I follow, yours and others, have taught me much and helped me on my own journey. Thank you and please continue to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t really know if I believe people come into your lives for a reason. My question would be…what possible reason could there be when somebody comes into your life and destroys it? What’s the reasoning behind that? Sure…the tired old phrase…it makes you stronger.
    It doesn’t always make you stronger. Sometimes, it ends you.
    I know you had a horrible marriage…but your pluck and determination allowed you to get out before it was too late. You were not ended. I think you are just beginning.
    Hats off to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think to answer your question maybe that person has unresolved issues from a past life and now they have come to destroy it ?

      I know that sounds harsh but the only reasonable explanation I could think of. Also, we do learn (at least hopefully). If not it’s in repetition. Maybe it’s the rock bottom state where you either fight back or give up.


      1. Not necessarily a woman, you could have been a man. That’s why you think do u need to endure all this karma so it won’t continue onto the next life ? Not if you’re gonna get mentally or physically tortured. I don’t know about myself personally. I think I was trying to break out of my constructed self.


      2. I don’t know….I do know that if I was capable….I would exact my own Karma on some people. LOL. I think sometimes, people are just put here to suffer. How else could others know how great life is?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We can only appreciate life if we suffer ? Yes I wish I can do too. In fact, I would like to do karma telepathically. Amazing superhero skills.


  3. I remember EST; never took any lessons in but even back in 1985, I knew I had to be who I was meant to be, not as someone else wanted me to be. In those times, there were a lot of people “faking the funk,” pretending to be anything other than who they really were and there was even some talk about the masks we all wear and how the show one thing but hide many other things.

    Around the same time and in some circles, there was much talk and complaint about how marriage was forcing people to be someone other than the person they really were; as you pointed out, you’d fall in love with someone for who they were (and perhaps whatever future potential you saw in them), marry them… and everything changed and not for the better. The “perfect girl” for you transformed from an absolute sweetheart to a demanding, shrewish harpy; that great guy morphed into an overbearing martinet of a male chauvinistic pig who went out of his way to invoke a marriage based on the Old Testatment and the mindset that modern day wives were still just chattel or property.

    And while this kind of thinking messed up a lot of people – and still does today – it became important for me to always be mindful that while I was capable of doing great works, I could still only be who I was; before I could be husband, father, or even employee, I had to be who I was first and foremost. I can compromise with the best of them but the one thing I will never compromise is who (and what) I am because there is no sense in being someone you cannot be and, importantly, that you never were.

    “What you see is what you get” or WYSIWYG (wissywig) – there was even a song about this – became the agent against “forced personality changes;” if ya didn’t like what you saw – the real me without masks or other pretenses, then too bad because while being married does imply sacrifice, the one thing that should never be sacrificed is one’s sense of self.

    EST didn’t teach me that – being married taught me that…


  4. I remember my parents doing that course when I was a kid….it led my father to then increase his abuse of me because I rejected the doctrine he tried to push on me….but I’ve always been an independent critical thinker….from a young age.

    But glad to hear it’s had a good outcome for you….but I will always associate this cult with abuse….!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s horrible. My parents and later my husband also fully rejected the tenets of this belief. It’s not longer a cult but an award winning leadership course. As with anything, a little power for weak minds tends to bring out the worst as seems the case with your father.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I think you know me well enough that I take what I need and don’t necessarily subscribe to those full “beliefs”. I haven’t done it in so many years that it was refreshing to find things buried that I had actually unknowingly tapped into over the years. Now thinking about it consciously makes me aware I can utilize those tools!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Haven’t heard those terms in YEARS. Seriously. My mom took the EST training nearly 40 years ago, and I remember attending some big thing in an auditorium with her and my stepdad where she sat among others on stage and embarrassed me by mentioning my bedtime games (hey- I was very young). She later attended the Forum. She is a highly evolved and spiritual woman, my mom, and I attribute a great deal of who I am to her (and now, I suppose the after effects of EST and Forum). I’m thoroughly enjoying your journeys through your eyes, and your revelations make me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I did the landmark forum in 2000, then the advanced course in 2003, then self expression and leadership program, the introduction leaders program, the wisdom course, the 2 communication courses, probably 5 seminars, I coached the SELP twice and head coached twice. Oh yeah.

    Liked by 1 person

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