Like last week, I am still reading Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star. Also like last week, I am still finding it just difficult. Huge resistance is coming up. This is despite being on to the seemingly ‘nice’ chapter where you think about good memories rather than the time you humiliated yourself in front of a vast audience (or even just one special person). I started off all enthusiastic but this ebbed away the moment I reached the exercises…what is that all about? All I can figure is that I’m scared of what I might find; or more specifically, what I might *not* find. What if I can’t remember enough joyous moments to fill out the answer space? Ridiculous, I know. As French novelist Colette observed, ‘What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realised it sooner’.
I’ve just started to read Martha Beck’s “Finding Your Own North Star”. I’ve only got through chapters one and two and already it is blowing my mind. How can a few “Write down a time when…” exercises drop a plumb line into your soul and retrieve the secrets you’ve been keeping even from yourself? Staring at the blooms before me feels like the only way to keep hold of things.
Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the day’. Yet rather than seizing every day, often it is only on the weekend that we feel we have time to stop, collect ourselves and breathe. This feature is designed to help with that: a small suggestion, tip or hint for you to try (if you wish!) over the weekend. Maybe it will make a difference to your life, maybe it won’t, maybe it will prompt some other thoughts. Enjoy – and seize your weekend!
This week, cancel something over the weekend. I’m not suggesting that you become a total flake and drop out of a whole load of commitments and engagements; simply pick one thing and cancel it. It need not even be an event; it could be that you take a minute to unsubscribe from a mailing list that you’re no longer interested in or that you put a stop to a direct debit that goes to waste (new year’s gym membership, anyone?!). Or it may be that a future commitment looms large like a big black cloud. Do you *have* to do it? Is there no way of graciously getting out of it without causing damage or hassle for others? I’ve been on a cancelling spree of late, encouraged by Anna Kunnecke’s Queen Sweep programme. She drew on Martha Beck’s concept of The Three Bs, or bag it, barter it, better it; ie ditch, delegate or somehow improve responsibilities (damn not being able to find a word beginning with d for the last one!). From simple things such as Ebay saved searches that I don’t want daily updates about anymore to some big work projects, I’ve bagged, bartered and bettered across various areas of my life and can attest that I feel relieved – lighter – because of it. But there’s no need to do lots. Just pick one thing. Cancel it. It may only create a tiny space in your life, but as Leonard Cohen sang, a crack is how the light gets in.