Life is a Practice. Not an Event.

The Oxford dictionary defines practice as performing an activity, exercise or skill repeatedly or regularly in order to acquire, improve or maintain efficiency in it. This makes sense to me. I have been practicing something or another my entire life. Some skills come more easily than others.

 When I was little I practiced my ABC’s. I became good at that. Learning to tie shoelaces was a big deal and I needed a lot of practice. Time went on, and I practiced riding my bike, and eventually walking in high heels. Then came speaking Spanish. I still need lots of practice speaking Spanish.

 Upon graduating from college I began 35 years of nursing practice sprinkled with practicing diapering babies, talking so kids could listen, helping with homework and the new math, and learning to say I’m sorry.

 I learned a long time ago that I would be effective as a nurse, parent, partner and coach to the extent I was willing to practice what I believe. I believe in love and in the human spirit. I believe in the beauty of imperfection. I believe each day is a new beginning and a new opportunity to practice.  I do not believe that practice makes perfect. That’s lucky for me because I am far from perfect.

 As a life coach I continually practice coaching skills and now my practice is called “Walking the Talk”.  As a life coach the IAC masteries guide my practice of “Walking the Talk.” My clients guide me as well. Indeed, life guides me day and night. Though I don’t coach my family, I practice the masteries in my relationships with my husband and my adult children. Most intimately, I practice the masteries with myself.

 So today, when I’m not practicing how to stay out of my kids’ adult lives, be a compassionate and fun wife, and properly use my computer, I practice the IAC Masteries. Like this:

 1. Establishing trust…how willing am I to trust myself?

 2. Perceiving potential…how willing am I to relinquish self-doubt?

 3. Engaged listening…how willing am I to deeply listen to AND hear my inner voice, intuition and guidance?

 4. Processing in the present…how easily do I remember that all I really have is the present moment. How readily do I embrace my gratitude?

 5. Expressing…how eager am I to give voice to my truth, my fears, my joy, and my desires?

 6. Clarifying…how courageously do I seek to understand?

 7. Make clear intentions…intentions that inspire me, empower me and support me.

 8. Inviting possibility…how willing am I to open to creativity, self-forgiveness and self-love?

 9. Create and use support systems and structure…first I breathe and then ask for help. The gift I give is receiving the help offered to me as I seek to mobilize the energy of love.


This is how I practice “Walking the Talk”.




Martha Pasternack, MMC;  My passion for witnessing the beauty and mystery of life, healthy healing and the promotion of Peace on Earth are integral to my daily life. I have been life coaching since 2004 as a Fearless Living Coach after working 30 years as a health care professional.


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