I was thinking about the wise words that Martha Beck said back on Mother’s Day weekend when I attended the 10th Anniversary Live Your Best Life weekend for “O” Magazine. Martha is Oprah’s life coach and writes features for “O” Magazine.
Martha says “everyone’s road in life is different” and that “our entire life is a road.” We have “joy,” which are good roads and suffering, which are the wrong roads, however Martha says they can lead to great learning. And then, there are the “10 Roads to the Right Life” that Martha shared during her talk on Mother’s Day weekend:
1. “The path of stillness” – Martha says “magic begins with wordlessness.” She says “if I hear with my soul that I will find my way.” (I have to start meditating more. Stop talking so much and listen deep within my soul. What is my soul telling me about moving? Should I put my house up for sale now? Is it time to stop fixing up and instead put that darn “for sale” sign on the lawn and downsize? Hopefully the path of stillness will help lead me to my new home.)
2.”The path of truth” – According to Martha, I should live in the moment. I should ask myself “what is happening to me right now?” and accept the truth of what is happening within me. I should be “me.” (I am learning to be “me.” Finally, at fifty-something, I am trying to be more focused on “me.” Like the other day, I went back to Nordstrom to buy a pair of sneakers during the last day of the pre-season sale. In addition to my sneakers, I bought a Tahari leather jacket. I did exactly as Martha had recommended. I was with my friend L and she saw the asymetrical leather jacket that I had fallen in love with in the catalog and she convinced me to try it on. The rest of that moment is history. I don’t even need to tell you about the moments after that one moment. But, I do LOVE the jacket and it DOES LOOK FANTASTIC on my fiftysomething frame. If not now, when? And it WAS THE LAST DAY OF THE SALE.)
3. “The path of yearning or desire” – What do I yearn for? Martha says that “what you really should get in life is what you yearn for from the heart.” (Oh, Martha, I do yearn to write my book one day and share my story of how I evolved my life after losing my soulmate. I want to share my story with other boomer women. Will I write a book? Can I write a book? Will someone want to publish my book? Ooh, aah, I think I need some inspiration. Maybe I will read “Eat, Pray, Love” again. I can’t wait to see the movie. Ah yes, I yearn to be Elizabeth Gilbert and go to Italy to eat, India to pray and Bali to fall in love.)
4. “The path of creativity” – I must get a copy of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.” Martha says this is a great book. (This is one path that I travel often. I am a creative person.)
5. “The path of risk” – Martha says I should “do something that scares me every day.” (Uh oh, I don’t like this path. Nope this one is not a path that I like to walk or run on too often. Do I have to do something scary every day? What if I start doing something scary once a month? Yes, I’m going to do it next weekend. I must continue to venture on my new “boogie board” and ride a larger wave.)
6. “The path of treats” – Martha says that “I deserve a reward.” She says “It should be physically beautiful and beautiful to my senses. She says that “this treat is special to me because I am wonderful.” (I like this path. I need to start buying flowers for myself again. And I think I need to go to the Magnolia Bakery in NYC this weekend and get a scrumptious Magnolia vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing.
7. “The path of play” – According to Martha, I should start “playing more than working.” (At fifty-something I so want to do more playing. I always loved to play jumprope and hopscotch when I was a kid. And I liked to play cards with my nana. Nana was good at Gin Rummy and Go Fish.)
8. The path of rest” – Martha says I should “intentionally give myself rest.” (But, Martha, I want to play more. There is no time for rest!) Wait, Martha says we should “play and rest, play and rest. (Oh, I like resting now.)
9.” The path of laughter and tears” – It’s the genius of the “and” to get “physically shaken and then bring myself back.
10. “The road of gratitude” – While on this final path, I am to list five things that I am grateful for every day. Here goes:
- I’m grateful for my health
- I’m grateful for my two wonderful kids A and D and my late husband M who helped me create such wonderful kids
- I’m grateful for my family and friends – my mom and sister, my extended family, my best friends L, R, M, and all my other girlfriends, and my boyfriend L
- I’m grateful for my house and my “condo on the corner at the shore” and my job that helped me make money so I could buy my houses
I know I am only supposed to list five things, but I have to tell you that I am also grateful to the Brigantine Garden Club. Do you know that last week the Garden Club gave me, Judi with an “i” a Certificate of Appreciation For A Noteworthy Property In the Year 2010. I am so grateful to the Garden Club of Brigantine. Although, I really have to give credit to my landscaper and to my boyfriend L who bought the flowers for my stone flowerpots near my front porch. I am so grateful to be considered noteworthy by any Garden Club. I think I really yearn to be a gardener during the second half of my life…yes I do, I do.