Coach Marla Beck

Staying Grounded in What Matters Most

by Marla Beck

in brilliant self-care, brilliant vision, brilliant writing life

When life gets very busy and we fall into habits of distraction and reaction, it’s important to approach flightiness and unfocused energy with deliberate and kind attention.

Why?  Because we become what we do.

And we lose our perspective — that part of us that imagines and executes brilliant things — when we simply react to the busy world and its demands.

One of the easiest ways to ground yourself is to practice the art of appreciation each day.  But how?

Read on and I’ll share a few ideas that have shaped my life and daily practice for many years.  Perhaps my journey will inspire your life and writing, too.

An ‘Unfair Advantage’

When it comes to appreciating the gift of life and being alive, I can say without reserve:  I’m gifted.

I like to say I’ve had an unfair advantage.  My life and health history has been shaped by two, just-out-of-my-teens cancer diagnoses and a long cascade of significant adverse reactions.  (The chemo caused this. The radiation did that.)  

Sometimes things became so weighty it all felt a bit absurd.   

But it’s interesting.

  • All that dancing with uncertainty…
  • All the procedures…
  • All that time spent doing nothing (i.e., resting and recovering)…
  • All the damn fear…

Each of these experiences — repeatedly — has catalyzed me into a making a deliberate decision when faced with these questions:

Am I going to face life head-on?  Or shrink? 

Over and over, I’ve chosen to grow.

One of my primary vehicles, perhaps my favorite — is gratitude.

Using Gratitude As My Guide

My kind of life-experience-turned-gift has offered me a steady foundation for choosing my focus, investing my time and allowing myself to enjoy the things that make me feel happiest and most alive.

So every week, these are the intentions I direct my head, heart and hands to:

  • deepening my strength and capacities as a spiritual, physical, emotional being
  • showing up fully for my husband and daughter, family, friends and the writers I coach
  • coaching writers to access their joy, invest in their talent, and build successful lives and careers using the power of their voices
  • practicing, creating and sharing music
  • going on walks up big trails or under the redwoods
  • goofing off  🙂

I know I’m living right — right for me — when my eyes are shining.

They often, often are. 💫

A Daily Practice:  Gratitude

The ways I practice acknowledgement and gratitude have evolved and changed through the years.

Right now, my habits are simple, daily and reflexive:

After waking up, I reflect on the fact that I am alive. I wait to get up until I feel sincere gratitude, wait until I feel it right down to my very bones. (Sometimes I have to wait a few minutes. Most days, I’m rarely in bed for long.)

Throughout the day I often stop and ask myself:  Is this a good use of this precious day?

When I’m driving for 20 minutes or more, I often use this time to challenge myself to a rapid-fire list of “20 Things I’m Grateful For.”  (This sounds trite, I know.  But it’s the fastest way I know to shift my state into appreciation and abundance.)

In the evening, I acknowledge and thank the people and the practices that’ve helped me on my path to vitality, happiness and the best health of my life.

It’s a privilege to be alive.

Isn’t it?

Even If Nobody Reads What You Write Today…

We become what we do, day after day after day.

No matter what’s happening in your life today, I hope you take a moment to slow down, face and appreciate the power and potential of your voice as a thinker, creator and writer.


Even if nobody reads what you write — just by being fully you, you are making a difference.

Your happiness, even expressed on a quiet page as you sit alone, this writing happiness edges out into the rest of your life and relationships like rings on a pond after a stone slices the surface.

And day after day after day of writing?  Imagine the happiness you become.  And share.

Even if you’re busy today, sit down for a moment.  Write.

I am here to help you write more boldly and consistently if you need a coach.

Please reach out and we can chat.

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