“Promoting a love for learning beyond schooling”
The Landscapes for Learning mission is to promote a love for learning beyond schooling so that young people become stronger, more flexible and balanced for a healthy, high quality life of personal meaning and purpose.
“Landscapes FOR learning“ is a mindset and foundational principle for living. To approach life with the attitude of a learner—as assertive, curious, open, responsible, and courageous enables an individual to live life with grateful appreciation rather than victim-mentality and to value life as a gift rather than see it as a curse. Experiences on the landscapes of life happen for us rather than to us so we can learn, grow, and be fully alive.
To mindfully observe, know, and care for oneself inside and out, and capitalize on life’s experiences as opportunities for learning is each person’s individual responsibility, an authentic trial and error process that’s incredibly empowering but challenging and often painful. The joy is in the struggle, if you choose to see it that way. My job is to give you tools that will help you see that you have choices about how to respond to life rather than to react to it.
Inner and Outer Landscapes
The inner landscape is our basic essential nature, including our personality, disposition, and the inner workings of our body and mind; it’s what’s in our personal, internal control. We need explicit instruction about this place where our true, essential self lives and how to manage it. We need to travel the inner landscapes more often and more mindfully to become the expert on our selves so we can care for ourselves appropriately, be our own best friend, doctor, coach, parent. This is our responsibility that comes with being human. Rather than look for mentors to over-rely on, we can become the hero of our own lives through focused attention on our own direct experience.
The external landscape is the social world outside the individual self, including the influences of one’s environment, culture, and its values, norms, and conventions. The external landscape dominates our attention and is a place of competition and comparison that often leaves us feeling unfulfilled and disconnected from our true nature. The external world shapes us to the degree we agree and allow it to, whether consciously or unconsciously. We can buy what it sells us, internalize its values, or take responsibility for choosing how to define and feed ourselves according to what we know is best for us. Knowing what’s best for oneself comes from a keen understanding of who one is from having traveled the inner landscapes.
These landscapes of our livesboth internally and externallycontain a myriad of opportunities for learning, “teachable moments,” from which individuals can continually discover their limits and potential, who one is today, in each moment, and who one could possibly become in the future.
Traveling the Landscapes to Optimize the Human Experience
Learning to become a more conscious, active, and deeply engaged and intentional traveler across the landscapes for learning, inside and out, is the way to a high quality, healthy, meaningful life. But this is hard work and requires honesty. LFL exists to guide you as you build, through mindful practice, the character and courage required to travel the landscapes of your life successfully.
Maureen Bakis, Founder
Drawing on years of personal and professional experience as a parent, high school coach and English teacher, adjunct instructor of graduate students and other educators, Bikram yoga teacher, and published author, I hope to work with students, parents, schools and other learning communities to promote the landscapes for learning mindset for creating the healthiest and most fulfilling lifestyle possible.
Through curriculum, books, workshops, motivational speaking events, professional development for educators, parenting programs, and personal coaching, I hope to inspire and motivate young people to consider their inner-life experiences as valuable opportunities for learning and growth and see how authentic learning is critical to understanding their experiences on the outer landscapes of life, especially the landscapes for learning beyond schooling.
The Value of Learning Beyond Schooling
The process of self-actualization, becoming who you are meant to be, is authentic learning beyond the narrow objectives of schooling! The cultivation of inner wisdom and balance is not a priority, mostly due to the prohibitive structure of schooling, grades, and a culture of competition and comparison– a race to the top to achieve and create one’s career. A love for learning as a lifestyle and explicit instruction for inner learning is needed now more than ever, including practices for self-awareness and self-realization; facing fear and managing anxiety and stress; traveling beyond one’s comfort zone; taking risks; and developing strength, flexibility and humility toward learning.
Empowering the Individual
Learning to travel one’s inner landscape is foundational for empowering young people to put schooling in its proper place, where it belongs, and approach the important process of academic learning with a more informed and mature attitude, while also better navigating their lives to experience healthy balance, more vitality, and overall wellness as a whole human being.
I can help you whether you are a high school, college, or graduate student or recently begun navigating your way through the world of work and struggling to figure out who to be and what to pursue to find your own life meaningful. Hint: There’s no “right” answer or conclusion; the joy and meaning is in the struggle, the journey. If you can implement this mindset that the landscapes in life are for learning, your frustration and confusion will melt away, but not without your honest, consistent effort. I can help you in your quest for a meaningful life beyond schooling.
Through quality curriculum, parent programs, teacher professional development, and motivational speaking events for students, my goals are:
- To teach young people the value of trial and error as continual practice to build balance, strength & flexibility
- To teach young people how to build habits of mind, character, and a learning disposition for good health and vitality
- To teach young people about the nature of limits and possibilities on the inner and outer landscapes of their lives
- To create dialogue with educators and parents about the relationship between learning, schooling, knowledge, wisdom and wellbeing to improve formal academic experiences for students.
Products & Services
LFL provides motivational speeches for large groups, including, but not limited to, parents, students, school leaders, athletic coaches, and teachers about the process of authentic life learning, inner learning, and character development. My purpose is to inspire individuals to enthusiastically and intelligently engage in the process of self-actualization– that is, to travel their inner landscapes as well as all the life learning available on the external landscapes beyond formal schooling.
Professional Development for Educators
“Professional development that doesn’t suck”
LFL provides professional development for K-12 teachers to help teachers understand how their own rigorous self-inquiry and understanding of their own human nature can improve their lives and careers. Teachers will learn the importance of their own authenticity, the “who” of teaching (Parker Palmer), self-care and self-compassion, as well as how to be present and healthy to be their best selves and positively affect their students.
Because of their own personal growth and wellness, teachers can better learn how to navigate the complex dynamic of schooling, fully realize their important role as educators, and improve at managing professional and personal demands including the intellectual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Teachers will learn, by tapping into their individual strengths and weaknesses, how to implement more authentic forms of learning in their teaching roles in a way that maintains their personal integrity and fosters authentic learning in students.
This professional development program is not about effective teaching methods, techniques for classroom management or delivering content; it is about teachers as individual people, their personal growth, self-care, and individual fulfilment. The programs are designed for any teacher, new or seasoned, interested in avoiding burnout and disillusionment, or gaining clarity of purpose to make their own teaching lives more meaningful and enjoyable for themselves, their colleagues, and their students.
Training in my unique wisdom curriculum forstudents is included along with materials to easily implement within the classroom environment. Connection your own inner life is the example for your students! This is professional development that doesn’t suck where you’ll be able to build a better relationship with yourself as well as fellow educators.
LFL provides private coaching sessions to individuals and groups, including parents, high school and college students, K-12 school leaders, and teachers about the process of authentic life learning which is inner landscape learning and character development. I provide guidance, support, and resources, including video lecture & courses online to assist with the process of self-actualization. Through a process of honest and rigorous self-inquiry and assessment, that is –traveling one’s inner landscape, clients learn how to align goals with the value of authentic learning and develop positive actions and habits to transform their lives for optimal fulfilment and genuine purpose, including but not limited to academic and athletic or career success.
“Promoting a love for learning one ordinary story at a time”
The Landscapes for Learning podcast is curricula focused on educating people about authentic forms of learning that exist everywhere outside of the formal academic realm to promote love for learning and embrace it as a lifestyle on the road to individual self-realization and self-actualization.
LFL interviews ordinary people who embrace various kinds of authentic learning in their lives, with a special focus on traveling inner landscapes. My hope is that these stories will inspire and/or fill a gap for many young people who may not be exposed to great stories of real people who might serve as positive examples of authentic learning and models of living life from the inside-out. Guests discuss their road to self-realization and the tools and techniques of learning they use to fulfill their life purpose.
LFL publishes a variety of solo podcasts on various subject matter related to life, learning, schooling, character development and the principles of yoga that are foundational to the LFL character development curriculum. I share my personal reflections, observations, and experiences, as well as share the work and ideas of other thinkers, writers, and podcasters, and offer helpful tips and insights about how to embrace authentic learning and make learning a lifestyle, as well as how to successfully help young people navigate the world of schooling and beyond. I also share resources about positive, life-affirming values, self-inquiry, and my own process of self-actualization.
Curriculum for Secondary Education
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