A new year and a new blog!

Seven years ago, my phone rang. It was my best friend Desiree calling who said:

“You ARE Martha Beck.”

“What?” I replied, quite sure that I was still named Pam.

“Turn on Oprah.  There is this lady on right now called Martha Beck who is doing exactly what you should be doing with your life.”

I watched the show and was intrigued by this “life coach” named Martha.  I rushed out to buy her book, Finding Your Own North Star.  I took a couple of her workshops.  I started a coaching business.  And today, as I gaze up at the URL over my head like Alice in the intro of The Brady Bunch, I see “marthabeck.com.”

Weird?  Yes.  Random coincidence?  Absolutely not.

It is one small example of what happens when you listen to your inner voice (or that of a wise friend) and follow your North Star.  We all have an internal navigation system which points to our right life filled with meaningful work, good health, loving relationships and a nice fat bank account.

But somehow, for reasons ranging from wildly dysfunctional childhoods to rigid educational structures to crazy-making corporate environments, we fail to listen to this voice and get stuck thinking things like:

  • I would rather commit Hara-kiri than spend one more day in my office
  • My body is my enemy
  • I am an imposter in my high-paying job and when they find out, they will fire me
  • My family is right – I am the crazy uncle that will never get it together
  • I have the mate-finding skills of Pamela Anderson
  • I am drowning in debt and will never get out

The good news?  You are not alone and there is something you can do about it.

Through this miraculous field called life coaching, there are specific tools and exercises for clearing the gunk that gets in the way of your right life.  “Roto Rooter for the soul,” as Martha is fond of saying.  These tools are not just touchy-feely mumbo jumbo, they are well-researched and tested and they work.

Here on this blog, we want to share these tools, widely, so that you don’t have to stay stuck and unhappy for too long.  Wallowing in self-pity can be fun for awhile, but like relatives overstaying their welcome, it gets awkward, strained, uncomfortable and unhealthy.

The format of the blog is the following:

  • I will write a couple of articles a month
  • As we get on a roll, we will add tips and tools from other coaches and authors, including Martha
  • We’ll spotlight Martha’s monthly columns in O Magazine
  • We’ll introduce new content from Martha’s forthcoming book Steering by Starlight
  • And we will delight in having conversations about these things with YOU, our dear readers, that will educate and inspire us all.

And just to clarify, since you obviously know by now that I am NOT Martha Beck, my name is Pamela Slim. I am a coach, writer and author of the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog.  Self-employed for 11 years, I spent 8 years consulting in the guts of Corporate America, in conference rooms and cubicle farms from San Francisco to New York.  While I enjoyed my work, I noticed that scores of people were walking around like the living dead, doing their best to pretend that everything was alright while secretly fantasizing about jumping on a desk, throwing a stapler at their boss and screaming a goodbye speech to rival that of Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. So I trained as a coach (with Martha) and now act as a kind of a modern-day, Web 2.0, Anglo suburban Harriet Tubman for corporate employees.

I look forward to getting to know each of you this year.  What fun!

Now it’s your turn:  What kinds of things are you dying to discuss on this blog?

20 replies
  1. Escape from Cubicle Nation
    Escape from Cubicle Nation says:

    <strong>New year, new blogging gig with Martha Beck</strong>

    Happy New Year! I am so excited about this year I can hardly stand it. I am looking at a fresh, clean desk that I spent 3 hours working on yesterday. I shredded 2 garbage bags worth of old documents,

    Reply
  2. Lisa Steadman
    Lisa Steadman says:

    I totally relate to all those inner voice “I’m stuck” thoughts. I used to have them all. Then I, like you, gave up my corporate gig for the freelance life. 3 years later, I’m a published author living my dream life with my dream man because I said Sayonara to what wasn’t working and created a vision for what I really wanted. Looking forward to reading your blog! And I will definitely check out your site!

    Happy new year!

    Lisa

    Lisa Steadman

    Author, It’s a Breakup, Not a Breakdown

    Editor, http://www.BreakupChronicles.com

    Reply
  3. Dick Carlson
    Dick Carlson says:

    Congratulations on the new gig — I’ve enjoyed your blog and look forward to what you’re going to do in your new persona.

    I’d like to hear more about coaching — what tools and techniques are most useful, what models of engagement work well, and how you measure success.

    Reply
  4. Maun Flanagan
    Maun Flanagan says:

    I stumbled upon this accidentally(except that there are no accidents)and really need to hear the coaching and stories of others to help me along in my journey.

    I am a Nurse who hasn’t worked in ten years while I have been getting myself stable with bipolar disorder. I am ready to do some type of work but not traditional nursing. I don’t know what it is I want to do. My art work?, working with teens?, I just don’t know what to set my sights on and persue. I feel like I did fresh out of highschool trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up.

    I just know I am meant to do something worthwhile with my time and energy. I have too large a heart to keep to myself. I loved working as a nurse. I miss bouncing out of bed in the morning looking forward to the new day.

    I appreciate all the contributions I have been reading. Thanks for the new idea of appreciating myself now rather than just setting goals for the new year. I have really come a long way and I am doing great!Thanks again

    Reply
  5. Never the Same River Twice
    Never the Same River Twice says:

    I'm so excited that you're expanding your blogging reach, Pam. I've been an Escape from Cubicle Nation reader for several months now and I look forward to you sharing more tips.

    I'm really working on accessing my intuition this year. I'm a big believer in Stephen Shapiro's concept of a compass, not a map as a way of navigating through the world. Really looking forward to what you have to say about this.

    Reply
  6. Erica Ross-Krieger
    Erica Ross-Krieger says:

    Hi Pam,

    Glad to see your North Star is lighting the way for you to head over here too. I’ve enjoyed Cubicle Nation and know you’ve got the capacity to bring even more forward! Look forward to being here for it.

    Things I’d love to discuss here:

    – Tips for clearing the “gunk” that we let stop us.

    – Keeping connected while working from home (saying no to isolation.)

    – How introverts can still be great coaches.

    – Setting boundaries while working from home.

    – Money Management Tips for Coaches (for this I’d recommend interviewing Loral Langemeier at http://www.LiveOutLoud.com)

    – Rekindling the passion that got you to your own business in the 1st place

    I’ll keep you posted if I think of more:)

    Warmly,

    Erica

    Erica Ross-Krieger

    Author, Seven Sacred Attitudes®

    Blog: http://www.WellnessCoach.com

    Reply
  7. Courtney
    Courtney says:

    Yay! A Blog with North Star Coaches! Thank you!

    I hear a lot about finding your “real life” and it usually seems to indicate/suggest leaving a 9-5 job or leaving the cubicle world. I am interested in how you can integrate your steady job WITH your dreams/interests — the grey area that offers some stability of “health insurance and steady paycheck” while moving towards “endless fulfullment of personal dreams”.

    Thanks and I look forward to future posts.

    Reply
  8. Lise the Aussie Gal
    Lise the Aussie Gal says:

    I am so blessed to be subbed to your blog, I’ve attracted the right sort of info I need RIGHT NOW. I’ve decided 2008 is the year to really get to it, to give me, this divine discontent, more attention and get me out of the cubicle I’ve been chosing to stay in for far too long for so many reasons, excuses and can nots. I’m rapt to be surrounded by so many wonderful people who read this blog, you Pamela for creating it, Martha for being a guest blogger and anyone else I’ve left out. I need to promise myself to act on the info that comes from here, as my spirit inspiring me to move into a more joyful place! Warm wishes, Lise x

    Reply
  9. Gosia
    Gosia says:

    Dear Pam, congratulations on your new blogging engagement. It must be thrilling to be around Martha and to contribute to the great work she does. I have been a fan of your blog, and am free from a cubicle nation for five months now and coincidentally, I am reading Finding Your North Star at this very moment. It is amazing how this all comes together. I admire Martha’s delivery on the subject of the inner compass and I am studious to uncover my own calling. As I am in the midst of this experience, I am most interested in the advice on how to network with people who already have experience in one’s chosen field while I am only making my first baby steps. This part scares me to no end.

    Thank you and I love your work! Gosia

    Reply
  10. Jules
    Jules says:

    Hi Pam and Martha–what a great idea for a blog! I’d like to hear more about how to explain/pitch/sell your value as a consultant/knowledge worker. I’m in the process of becoming a consultant and am pitching friends, colleagues and friends of friends in my former field, but what I do is a little esoteric and I don’t have a lot of experience under my belt to feel completely assured when I’m trying to pitch my skill. I also need a sure-fire pitch in terms of being able to solve my clent’s problem.

    Thanks so much, really looking forward to reading this throughout the year.

    Reply
  11. Tom
    Tom says:

    Congratulations on the start-up of this site. It is exciting to me to see this happen. As with most of these kind of self-help sites, it is assumed that people already have some measure of something in their lives. What about the person that has no real income, has tried to do what they liked doing and totally failed, has no real relationships, nearing 60 and therefore it is not realistic to start a new career, and basically is tired of doing work they have no real interest in. In other words, someone who is back to square one with little resources and dwindling hope. I am sure you will help the people that just need a slight nudge or new twist to follow. I hope I can find something here that will help me. Thanks and all the best.

    Reply
  12. michael gibbons
    michael gibbons says:

    Who needs more KUDOS right…? Well one more — I think this will be a particularly interesting mashup as Martha has the practical spirituality and you have the practical practicality — you know what I mean — you take a kind of spiritual/there is a bigger picture view of life/career — should be a good mix — Congrats you Pam & Martha!

    Reply
  13. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    I guess my comment relates to Courtney’s a bit. I’d like to hear more about making the transition from your ‘old’ life to your ‘right life’ once you have found your calling. I am in the process myself and find it challenging. Eventually, I want to be self employed–but I also need to pay student loans and want to be able to keep my lovely home (which also has a lovely mortgage)…so, while I don’t feel like I have ‘I’m stuck’ thoughts, I am challenged by how to transition to my right life without letting the good parts of my current life go down the toilet! Thanks for the new blog and new site!

    Reply
  14. Surya
    Surya says:

    Hi, I just read Leaving the Saints, and I just wanted to say how much I loved that book. I have gone through something similar, (but completely different), and It was definately something divine which led me to that book. I love the way it was written, it would make a great movie!

    Reply
  15. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    I was pleased to find the blog here. However, I can’t find an RSS feed. I’d rather find new posts via a feed than have to come to a website and scroll through a list.

    Which brings up one of my biggest “stuck” issues. I find it difficult to make suggestions, even very helpful ones. Why? Most of the time (like yesterday at work) I meet with resistance and unpleasantness if I suggest that someone outside my direct authority do something just a teensy bit different, but in a way that would be more efficient. It seems that a lot of people have trouble make the false assumption that I am criticizing the job they are doing, if I suggest doing a task differently. People in general seem to be on edge and unhappy, living lives of quiet desperation.

    Reply
  16. The SMARTSTART Coach
    The SMARTSTART Coach says:

    Hi Pam,

    I’ve enjoyed reading Martha’s columns and books for years; it doesn’t surprise me that the two of you are connected! It’s wonderful to read about the great things that are happening for you: the new blogging gig, the book underway and I’m sure many other projects are on the horizon too.

    The family must be oh-so-proud of you!

    I look forward to reading more from a blog veteran I admire.

    Sincerely,

    former blogging virgin, Linda M. Lopeke

    http://www.smartstartgiving.com

    Reply

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