Coach Marla Beck

Listen to Your Monkey (on writers and passion)

by Marla Beck

in Uncategorized

This spring, I often felt like I was walking through life with an uninvited buddy on my back, a rascally monkey who constantly messed up my hair and whispered loudly in my ear.

”Life is short! Life is SHORT — ” the monkey said.

For weeks, I tried to ignore the weight and whisper of him.

MonkeyI don’t know when my mischievous visitor first appeared, but I suspect it wasn’t long after my mom died, in late January. The monkey stayed with me for several months — feasting on a health scare that turned out to be nothing; accompanying me to the water’s edge on a bitterly cold and foggy day as I released the remainder of my mom’s ashes into the Pacific Ocean.

Like all unwelcome visitors, at first I tried to stare the monkey down, or smack it away with an angry hand. (As you can imagine, this was not very easy, given that the little beast latched itself firmly to my back.)

In time, I realized my contortions must look very silly. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to swat the monkey. Perhaps I was supposed to listen. Gradually, I began to allow the little primate’s message to sink fully into my heart: “Life IS short.”

Rather than feeling fear or sadness, this heartfelt insight actually liberated me. If life is short, then this moment — now — is a deep well of joy! Eckhart Tolle and my Buddhist teachers started to make even more sense than before.

That’s the story of how this already emboldened woman (if I dare say so) became emboldened even a little more.

I’ve decided to say a hearty “YES” to summer, and am pulling my family right along with me. Together, we’ve made a plan I’m very excited to share with you.

Starting late next week, my husband and I are setting out on a 3.5-week adventure with our 10-year-old daughter. Our not-so-little-one is a big fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books, and it seems that South Dakota, the site of one of Laura’s homesteads, isn’t too awfully far from Northern California, by car.

Just a 23-hour drive. (Gulp…what were we thinking?)

As of today, the plan is to see cousins in Portland and Boise. And spend time in the Black Hills, the Badlands, the Grand Tetons, and Lake Tahoe. The plan is listen to fun road trip music, and hopefully make lifelong family memories as we drive, and camp, and sweat, and drive…

The plan is to take that damn monkey’s words from my head all the way down to my HEART.

Because life is short, and right now is the right time to acknowledge and act on your dreams.

I hope my story will spark you to do something you’ve been dreaming of for years.

Perhaps you’ll take a day trip to a new town near you? Or make the time to see an art exhibit, a concert or an exhibition?

Or perhaps you’ll listen to that small voice inside — that voice that, for years, has been urging you get back to writing and finally finish your book?

I’ll be back in late July to help you with your writing. If you need help clarifying your path or finishing the writing projects you start, message me at to get on my waitlist. I’ll be in touch with you shortly after I return. Then we can arrange a time to talk about your writing problems and the fastest path to the productivity, clarity and writing fulfillment of your dreams.

Until then, I’ll be back each week with a brand-new writing article to help you stop postponing your joy and passion.

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