This has been such a great series and I couldn’t wait another day to let you read the rest of it. When I first realized my self-image was trashed, it was hard to find my way out of the weeds. I couldn’t find my footing and everywhere I turned, I couldn’t see the path in front of me. My decisions had always lead me in the wrong direction before and it was hard to change that habit. I just had to trust myself and move forward.
In this last section of Martha’s post, she talks about taking baby steps. Take it from me, it’s not easy, but the outcome is so worth the effort! I was like a modern day Rip Van Winkle. I slept through a lot of my life … I went through the motions and wasted so much time! I just want to shout out, “WAKE UP PEOPLE!” You can follow your dreams! The great thing about dreams is they don’t expire! They can lay dormant for years and when you pull them out and dust them off, they shine like new!!! I really want to thank Martha for her incredible insight.
Put All Your Energy into Your Life’s Work
The moment you lift your gaze from your old stories, you’ll see your life’s work. I don’t mean a gilt-edged proclamation from God, describing every step you are to take for the rest of your existence. I mean the next step, which is usually very small: Ask for the promotion. Pick up the kids. Take a nap. Then take the step that comes after that.
From time to time, as you continue along, a Big Dream will coalesce out of the swamp fog. The way forward is to shake the quicksand off your feet and take one small step toward that dream. Trust me, it will be all you can do. Taking things step-by-step means working—working hard, working scared, working through confusion and embarrassment and failure. I’ve met many people the world thinks of as “lucky,” and all of them operate this way. I’ve come to think that the main purpose of rumination is work avoidance. Dwelling endlessly on the past keeps us from the wild, exhausting, terrifying tasks that create our right lives.
When I become a little more ruthless with myself and a lot more present in what I have to do, I see that writing a humble column is my next step—and I have writer’s block. I’d love to enter therapy and figure out why, but I don’t have that kind of time. Instead, I’ll focus on a saying from the Ojibwa tradition, one that deserves the attention I customarily lavish on my problems: Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the while I am being carried on great winds across the sky.
by Martha Beck
Thanks, Martha !!! Your words could not be more inspiring!