I always swore that I wouldn’t be one of those blog-creators who mysteriously disappear and then return a month or so later full of apologies and promises to be more consistent in the future… But here I am. Luckily, I believe in the philosophy of wabi sabi–that nothing is perfect, nothing is permanent and nothing is finished. That most certainly includes this website.
But I have exciting news to share–this year, I am fulfilling a long-standing dream to become a Martha Beck trained life coach. The program begins in 2 weeks, and is a 9 month, intensive training of Martha Beck’s life design methods. As you may have noticed from reading these posts, I am a huge fan of Martha Beck and her work, and I recommend her writing very strongly.
One practice that she advocates is “turtle steps,” that is, taking goals and breaking them into small pieces until they are so simple you just can’t help but accomplish them. Most people tend to set huge goals, particularly at this time of the year–to lose so many pounds, to begin a massive workout program or to achieve some other high and lofty goal. These goals, while commendable, are also daunting. They tend to scare us out of accomplishing anything. It is far preferable to set a smaller, reachable goal, and then continue to build on it.
For the past several years, I have kept my New Year’s resolutions small and interesting, rather than large and frightening, and I am happy to say that I have had a lot of success with them. Last year, for example, my goal was to scatter light. I wasn’t sure what that meant, all I knew was that I had been reading and studying wonderful ideas, and I was ready to share them, in one form or another, with the world. In March, I created this website; in July, I published my e-book; in September, the book came out in print. None of that was a stated part of my goal, but it all came naturally and organically from the desire to simply scatter light. If my goal had been “to publish a book,” I’m not sure I would have accomplished anything.
So this year, I am interested in deepening my meditation practice, but setting any kind of specific meditation goal feels too daunting. Instead, I have determined to read A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations by Daniel Ladinsky. Hafiz was a Persian poet who wrote about the sacred–something that can slowly and surely encourage and deepen my own meditation practice. Who knows where these turtle steps will lead, but I know I’ll be further down this path a year from now than I am today. Of course, by the end of the year, I’ll also be a trained life coach, but that feels less like a resolution and more like the beginning of an adventure!
Wishing you your own turtle steps,
P.S. If you’re interested in the science behind using turtle steps to achieve goals, check out Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live or The Four-Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace, both by Martha Beck.