The Truth about Nothing
I am facilitating a 10 week class covering the 10 elements in the Joy Diet by Martha Beck. The book is a tiny little wisp of a book but good golly it packs a punch. I would highly recommend this book. Even just reading it can be valuable (which I did 2 years ago)…but to actually follow the process, that is kind of like valuable on steroids.
I’ve enjoyed connecting weekly with my six fellow Joy Dieters. It is sort of like Weight Watchers and when we ‘weigh in’ we each have our story of how we skipped doing the work on a few days (or barely did it at all). On our last call I’m imagining our perfectionist ‘alter egos’ (mine is called Princess Perfectionist) were having a proverbial tea party over our judgments of ourselves and our thoughts of ‘throwing in the towel’ because we weren’t doing it “right”.
Side Note: The word “right” will forever have air quotes attached to it in my book because “right” is no longer my target. “Good enough”, “give it a go”, “test and try”, and “fail fast”…those are new supportive concepts in my repertoire.
Back to the Joy Diet; the first chapter is called Nothing and the intention is to do NOTHING for up to 20 minutes. Martha Beck is gentle about this idea to assuage any perfectionists from stopping at the first chapter. She is gentle but she is very clear that is supremely important for the Joy Diet process. The task is simply to attempt to make the space to do Nothing and when possible do it in the vain of ‘meditating’ to clear thoughts and judgments and just ‘be’ for 20 minutes. I’m slowly working my way into this habit (which carries through the 10 chapters).
We have also covered the next two chapters Truth and Desire…these topics brought up interesting insights, unexpected feelings and “unfinished” business to explore in terms of my thoughts and beliefs. Thanks to my Joy Diet crew, I have been able to talk things through and be coached. It is amazingly valuable to be able to witness and be witnessed in this Joy Diet journey.
Even though Princess Perfectionist has been keeping me company through this process, I am deciding that my Wabi Sabi approach is a way more enlightened way to ‘show up’. Our next chapter is Creativity….I can feel the giddy school-girl in me getting excited. Giving myself permission to explore creativity is like being let out of class for an extra long recess…we’ll see if my expectations are met. I hope to write about it here (one of my creative playgrounds!).
My intention this week is to be perfectly imperfect (aka Wabi Sabi) about my Joy Diet process. There…that feels so much better than what Princess Perfectionist has been saying in my ear these past few weeks; I need to refill her ‘chill pill’ prescription!