Last updated on February 25th, 2023 at 11:52 pm
A redhead, a Harvard grad, a “recovering perfectionist,” a modern-day mystic, and famously neurotic although she lives her dreams in spite of it.
I am describing one of my heroes, Martha Beck, a best-selling author and life coach whose work I first stumbled onto years ago when reading one of her columns in Oprah’s “O” magazine.
I love her feistiness, her sense of humor, how direct she is–ambitious and self-deprecating in a charming way. She gives amazing tips on how to live a happier, fuller life.
I bought her books and I loved them: Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live and Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny. Reading experiences where I plowed through both books in a sitting or two, and every word truly resonated with me.
I considered becoming a life coach back then, to expand my skill set and create a completely location-independent business to complement my writing, to allow me to travel, and of course to help people achieve a dream, while also living mine.
Pursuing the Dream
It took me a few years to decide to commit to life coach training. In the meantime, I was still playing with other career possibilities, including running for public office in my little city of Troy, New York. I wanted to be sure before investing the time and money that this truly felt like the right next step.
Finally, I decided it was time. I signed up for the life coach training with Martha Beck, my long-time inspiration.
I’d researched several life coach training programs, and hers was comparably priced and seemed more intensive and in-depth than some of the others. Besides, I’d be meeting and working with someone I’d admired for years, and someone who is arguably one of the best-known life coaches in the U.S.
I was off and running in an eight-month life coach training program. The classes wrapped up last spring, but I still had to take my certification exam to be an “official” Certified Martha Beck Life Coach.
At Long Last, A Dream was Achieved
I finally took the written exam and passed with flying colors, thank goodness. It was a weeklong process and incorporated many of the concepts we’d studied, including the fun exercise of doing a “dream analysis” with a client.
Then, I had to coach one of the Martha Beck master coaches live (on the phone) in order to complete my certification process. I coached Master Coach Chris Brandt. I was nervous and kept checking in with her ahead of time to make sure I was prepping correctly for the call. She told me to just relax, have fun and approach it as a conversation between the two of us.
I set aside a few minutes to just breathe, meditate and visualize success before the call. One-half hour later, I’d coached Chris through a challenge she was facing in her life and survived it. Had fun, even.
“You did a great job,” she said. I got some constructive feedback as well to help me be an even better coach. But I passed!
Next Up: Marketing Fun
As an official Certified Martha Beck Coach, I am featured on her Website and get to use her logo and coaching materials with my clients. I still have to finish designing my own Website, and get that up and running.
So many new projects to launch, now that I’m a certified coach. More teleclasses and coaching clients, more workshops, and speaking engagements. I will have fun designing the next steps. Luckily I also have all the tools that I’ve learned through Martha Beck to “self-coach,” and can reach out to the other coaches if I need help working through an issue. It’s a very friendly and connected group, and many of us have kept in touch via our Facebook life coach training page.
A Big Milestone
This is a big milestone for me since it’s a dream I’ve been thinking about, exploring, and now working on for a few years. Completing my certification process will help me to grow my business; I “feel” more official and am more equipped with great tools to help people to follow their own inner guidance to live their dreams.
Sometimes when we reach a milestone, cross a threshold, or achieve a long-held dream, we’re so anxious to move on to the next thing that we forget to celebrate our accomplishments.
I’m going to suggest that celebrating YOU is the most important thing that you can do after you achieve a dream you have long desired.
5 ways to celebrate when you achieve a dream
1. Celebrate with friends who will cheer you on and who know what you have sacrificed and how hard you’ve worked to achieve your dream goal. I spent last Saturday in charming New Paltz, New York with my friend Bianca, who is my “accountability partner” (we email each other a to-do list every weekday, and coach each other as we work towards our goals).
2. Do something to replenish yourself and your spirit. I attended a service at a Baptist church with a rocking band and choir (I love gospel!) and visited a very spiritual friend on Sunday. We shared vegan pizzas and salads and talked about how to live our highest possibilities. Good for the soul.
3. Do something active and fun. For me, this means taking more dance classes – hip hop, belly dancing, and Zumba lately along with my usual aerobic dance “BodyJam” classes at my gym.
4. Buy yourself something nice. While in New Paltz with Bianca, I bought a miniature compass, because it is a symbol that Martha Beck refers to frequently (trusting our “inner compass” to guide us on the path). It signifies, to me, trusting in my soul to guide me on my magical life journey.
5. Get excited about your next goal. For me, this includes growing my business, polishing my business Website, and planning out more workshops and teleclasses. I’ve always had fun doing this work, and am looking forward to the next steps…
The point is not what you do, just that it is important to acknowledge yourself and what you have achieved.
Lisa P. Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, TED motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning in their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on her website or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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