Declaring My Word to You

(Terrifying as it is!)

If you are reading this, then I acknowledge to you my failure to keep my word. I have said to you that I would write blog posts, and I did not. I asked you to check our blog for updates, which didn’t happen.

I now create a new future with you, dear reader; a promise:

A future where you see something (anything!) from us on this blog, once a week from here on. A future of us including you more in our amazing, amazing journey!

21648990658_0efc65eedb_o (1)
Confused? Yeah. So was I.

Ok, possibly bewildering terminology used above: acknowledged.  ; )

What happened? Well we (Ingo and I, as well as some friends) just completed a personal development seminar called the Landmark Forum.

Without going into technicalities (I believe their tools are trademarked), they teach participants tools, creating the ability to help you go deep inside your psyche; to see things you didn’t even realise you were doing; to comprehend more fully why you live your life the way you do. They help you to transform your life from within. 

And as martial artists, transformation is how we roll.

Warrior Camp Thailande 2015
So what do you fight for? (Credit: Elsa Girault)

Ingo remarked:

Martial arts is essentially transformative learning. And so is personal development. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why martial artists often have an affinity towards personal development.

(Isn’t that brilliant? Damn. That’s some class-A observation right there. I adore this man.)

Intriguing, you say. But I’m not yet getting a clear picture of how this works, you say.  So here is one example:

Why didn’t I say “Sorry” right from the beginning? That’s something that was taught at the seminar: We can apologise… but there’s no point! Because apologies don’t really do anything, and this can be even more disrespectful to the other party we already broke our word to. No-one, when faced with another’s broken word, is as interested in hearing a “sorry”, as knowing that it won’t happen again. So we acknowledge our mistake, and we create the world where it simply cannot exist again. This world is created through our word – created through our connection with others. (There’s more about “sorry”, keeping your word, and how powerfully that relates to self-respect. Attend forum for more.)

We don’t explain either. Because “because” goes on infinitely. Example: If Ingo were to be late for an appointment, and he says: I’m late because I was held up by a traffic jam – then he’s saying it’s the traffic jam’s fault that he’s late. But why was there a jam? Because John crashed his car, he didn’t see another car indicate to change lanes. So it’s John’s fault that Ingo was late. But why wasn’t John paying attention on the road? Because he was thinking about his cat who just that morning had decapitated his pet hamster and put the trophy proudly on his pillow. So it was the cat’s fault that Ingo was late…? And the cat did it because… And so on.

So I won’t say why I didn’t post. I could say that it was because I had a shit ton of fear, and have a complex over writing and meeting deadlines. Then I blame myself. But then who created this fear? Wasn’t it my mother, and the control and pressure she exerted on me throughout childhood? Actually yes, yes it was her. But why did she do that? Because she wanted me to do well, in a society that privileges academic performance above all else in children? Then it’s society’s fault I didn’t post? Ad infinitum.

What I will do is Take Responsibility. I take full responsibility for not posting before. And I express taking full responsibility by Declaring that it does not happen again. I give you my Word.

Hang on though! This is not to say that everything is just magically fine now, and all my fears of writing and posting have disappeared into thin air with the other unicorns. I do still have fear over writing and posting – lots of it. But thanks to the tools and teaching given to us at Landmark, I can now say: Yes, I am scared. To bits. But I’m doing this anyway. I’m keeping my Declared Word. To you.

Let me know in comments, if you want to know more!


3 thoughts on “Declaring My Word to You

  1. I think reasons are relevant. It’s not about whose fault it is that Ingo was late. It’s about telling the person he’s meeting that he didn’t intend to be late, and it’s not that he didn’t respect the appointment.

    As for you, you could say it’s your mum’s fault that you didn’t post. You could go further to say that your fear has caused you to procrastinate. Now the reason you didn’t post is due to procrastination, and you can, and did, solve the problem by promising to post every week. While if you say it’s society’s fault that you didn’t post, you would need to become prime minister to change that, and you still wouldn’t have solved your procrastination problem.


    1. Reasons ARE relevant – but they don’t help : )

      Landmark encouraged us not to give reasons, because reasons do nothing to solve the problem (of procrastination, but also of many other similar human-bean-emotional-context stuff). I’ve been giving reasons my whole damn life and they clearly didn’t do anything to help ; )

      Someone who is always on time – we know people like that – has the same ‘reasons’ as everybody else, but they are still on time. Some people are pretty much always late. It isn’t the reasons that cause the lateness.

      I hid behind the reasons, as do a lot of people. Taking away the reasons and putting my personal honour, self-respect and my /person/ forward as the stake, is a huge, huge risk. Landmark’s teaching is a radical re-envisioning: i.e. it is genuinely some really scary shit; forces a completely different type of thinking and acting. And it actually results in giving ourselves a lot more power.


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