My name is Maureen Bakis and I am the founder of Landscapes for Learning, a company created on the principle that life and all its experiences across all landscapes, inside and out, are meant for learning. Sounds obvious? Sounds simple? It’s not easy. This powerful landscapes for learning mindset guarantees personal growth, life purpose, fulfilment, success, and overall wellness and wholeness. I will provide you with the information, resources, and tools to become the best student and your own best teacher– for life.
Drawing on years of experience as a single-parent of four, high school softball coach, veteran English teacher, adjunct graduate instructor, professional development provider, Bikram yoga teacher and published author, I created programming that features a wisdom curriculum based on the philosophy and principles of yoga. It’s meant to train individuals to adopt the attitude and disposition of a student and apply this way of seeing to their lives. Every experience becomes an opportunity to learn and ultimately to flourish as a human being.
Yoga is a broader term than just physical poses done in a studio. It is the process of self-actualization which is becoming who you are meant to be, and this is an authentic type of learning, a discipline and practice, that is distinctly different from school-based learning. After fourteen years teaching high school students while also teaching yoga to adults, I recognized that teens need more yoga as a prescription for what ails them: anxiety, problems with attention & focus, issues about identity, excessive frustration, lack of physical movement & too much time indoors, addiction to social media, and an over-focus on the future rather than grateful appreciation and awe for the present moment. Instead of limiting myself to one school teaching kids about literary heroes and the humanities, I decided to leave the classroom in order to help more high school students study their own humanity and become the authors and heroes of their own lives!
I also noticed that a genuine love for learning as a lifestyle and explicit instruction about wisdom for wellness are missing in the world of formal education, especially this inner learning piece. Traveling one’s inner landscapes includes learning more about self-awareness and self-realization, how to face fear to manage anxiety and stress, getting beyond one’s comfort zone, taking risks, developing strength, flexibility and balance.
When kids are taught to see life as happening “to them” they tend to feel victimized, defensive, afraid of a world of the unknown. They live from a place of fear rather than of love. Rather than develop a victim-mentality where one sees everything in the world as a threat, my program teaches students to see that the world of experiences, the landscapes of life, are for learning, for their edification and growth. This attitude will empower each person to become more self-reliant, independent, and responsible for his or her own life; to see mistakes and failures as opportunities; to see life as an adventure toward knowing more and more and more.
Through the LFL wisdom curriculum, students will discover that they have the power within them to choose their responses to whatever life brings, rather than to unconsciously react to what is beyond their control. Developing the attitude and disposition of a lifelong, authentic learner is foundational to all other forms of schooling they might pursue. And they will be healthier and more heroic than ever!
The structure of schooling which includes grades reflects the wider culture of competition and comparison, a race to the top to achieve, and is intensely focused on developing one’s future– college & career– to the detriment of cultivating character, personal learning, and wisdom. Kids begin to believe that their identities depend predominantly on their external achievement and academic or other school-defined successes; on doing what they are told, earning prestigious college admission, accolades and external rewards. I saw many “successful” students suffer silently within and later fall apart because they did not know who they were and found very little joy in being a teenager. Because they were so overly-focused on achievement and resume-building, on doing, they rarely had time to just be, to connect with their core, essential self. I created Landscapes for Learning to help high school kids work to right this imbalance so that they can flourish, both within the inner landscape, in the present moment, in school, and across the outer landscapes of their lives beyond schooling, now and in the future.
I will come to your school to engage students in learning to become the hero of their own lives and inspire them to become stronger, flexible and more balanced individuals who enthusiastically and intelligently engage in the process of their own self-realization and self-actualization, for their health and wellbeing right now and for their future.
Contact me using the form below for more information about Landscapes for Learning’s products and services, to set up a coaching consultation, or to schedule an event at your school. Professional development for teachers, parent group programs, and individual coaching also available.
Sincerely Yours in Learning,