It was Fall 2002 when the leader at my Landmark Forum walked up very close to my face and said:
“Under that pretty face and pretty smile there must have been something terrible that happened to you as a child.”
This was after I had faced all my fears about speaking in public and walked up to the microphone to ask her this one question:
“What is your idea of freedom?”
I asked that question because I was pissed off.
Two hours into the weekend and I didn't want to be in that room.
It felt like a cult.
The only reason I was there was because it was a requirement for the school I was attending at at the time.
Her name was Sophia.
She had a French accent.
She was beautiful.
After verbally spitting in my face, she took her very high heels and walked back toward the audience, put one hand on her hip and said:
“I once was a bitch, too.”
Soon thereafter, I walked out of that stuffy ballroom and went home.
I picked up the phone and called the director of NYC Landmark Forum.
He apologized and said that should never have happened and said if I ever want to go back, I have a free pass.
I said thanks, but no thanks.
Fast forward six months.
I was at a coffee shop in Brooklyn reading a book by Swami Muktananda called “I Have Become Alive”.
I had a ruler and I was furiously taking notes.
When I read the following I was stopped in my tracks:
One day as Augustine was walking by the ocean, he saw a boy standing by the shore, holding a cup in his hand. The boy looked very worried and anxious, and Augustine wondered why such a young boy had so much on his mind. So he approached him and asked, “What’s the matter with you? Why are you so depressed?” The boy said, “I’m trying to figure out how I can make the ocean come into my cup. But no matter what I do there is no way I can contain the ocean in this cup. The ocean is so big, and my cup is so small.” “Then why don’t you just throw your cup into the ocean?” Augustine said.
I asked myself where in my life I’m like that young boy.
I remembered the morning in the Landmark Forum.
I literally ran home, picked up the phone and called the office.
I told the woman on the other end of the line that I have a free ticket and I also explained the incident six months prior.
I got the dates and felt excited.
The phone rang soon after I hung up.
It was her.
She told me that that particular weekend is led by the same woman Sophia and that we should probably pick another weekend.
“Absolutely not!” I said.
It was so perfect.
“Thank you God,” I whispered.
This was a turning point in my life.
Here’s the fun part:
Two hours into the weekend there was a chance to ask questions again.
I saw some people standing by the doors ready to leave the seminar, just like I had been six months earlier.
Maybe my story would encourage them to stay.
I got up front and told everyone my story.
Sophia turned her head and said: “Oh it’s YOU!”.
It was love at first sight – well, second.
If your cup is too small, throw it in the ocean.