APRIL 2016: From Utah to Africa, Life Coach Martha Beck Helps Us Find Our Way to Happiness
By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher, Be Inkandescent Magazine
Finding Your Way in a Wild New World is just one of several best-sellers that Martha Beck has penned to help millions find their way out of a life that doesn’t feel quite right. (Her newest book — Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening — is available April 25, 2016. Beck’s first foray into fiction, “Diana, Herself” is the first book of the Bewilderment Chronicles trilogy.)
Be Inkandescent magazine had the privilege of interviewing the renowned life coach. Scroll down to be inspired.
Be Inkandescent: Once we have mastered Oneness, as well as the magic of Wordlessness, which you talked about earlier, you explain that the next step is Imagination, followed by the idea of Forming our reality. How can we open a line to this skill that children naturally excel at, and that you say will help us “achieve a level of problem-solving that feels like pure fun and looks like pure genius?”
Martha Beck: Most of our biggest problems come from the misuse of our imagination. We imagine a situation or event someone told us we should want, or we imagine a repetition of our past and so create nothing new.
Real imagination isn’t a product of past experience, but a connection of previously unconnected factors that create something unprecedented, a bit like the genes of two people connecting to create a baby who’s utterly unique. If we become very still inwardly (Wordlessness) and very present with everything around us (Oneness), our nonverbal minds begin to make imaginative leaps into the unknown, creating innovative ideas and solutions.
The best way to learn real imagination is to practice “feeling into” the future. Picture yourself feeling your way through an unfamiliar room in the dark. You may be able to see vague shapes, but generally you’ll learn that something is there, and begin figuring out what it is, by feel.
You’ve done something close to this if you’ve ever groped for a name you’ve temporarily forgotten. You can feel “what wants to happen” as a nudging sensation. Relaxing and allowing your mind to wander will actually help you correctly intuit your next steps.
Be Inkandescent: In Steering by Starlight, you explain how readers can become stargazers. Tell us about that.
Martha Beck: We are all literally made of stardust. Every atom in your body was formed in the belly of a star, then sent out into the cosmos when that star exploded. That’s how elements other than hydrogen come into existence. You can never escape starlight — it is your own life, the field of energy animating the stardust that comprises your body. All it takes to steer by starlight is inner quiet, and attentiveness to your own feelings of tension or relaxation, stress or delight. Your whole being is steering you; only your mind can imagine otherwise. Quiet the mind and you’ll always find yourself guided by starlight.
Be Inkandescent: What are the three stages of steering by starlight?
Martha Beck: First, you blast out of your mental limitations by dissolving your fear-based, ego-driven thoughts. Then you map out your future by telling new, more interesting stories. The map comes to life once you free your imagination. Then you move forward by doing just enough work to solve the problems you encounter. It’s all very exciting.
In other words, today not only can your wildest, least conformist, most genuine self make a living, it may be the only part of you that knows how to thrive. This book is designed to help readers reawaken their innate knowledge about how to thrive in a wild state. Using their innate knowledge is both immensely liberating to their true selves, and their best mindset for succeeding professionally. In addition, it will lead to a professional life that in some way serves other people and the world.
Be Inkandescent: In Finding Your Own North Star, you begin with one of my favorite opening paragraphs: “Right in the middle of my life, I realized that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. It was like I’d wandered off the right path into a very, very bad neighborhood. I don’t even want to remember how scary that space was — makes me feel like I’m gonna die or something. I’m only telling you about it because a lot of good came of it in the long run. I don’t even know how I ended up so far off course. I felt like I was sleepwalking.”
In fact, this passage is actually a modern translation of the first 12 lines of “The Divine Comedy,” which was written 700 years ago. What steps from this book can help our readers?
Martha Beck: For starters, right now make a list of “to do’s” for today, read over each one, and notice how your body reacts. Relaxation means your essential self likes the activity, tension means it doesn’t. Start choosing to do a little more of what makes you relax, and a little less of what causes tension.
Next, notice where you think you “can’t” do things you like, or you “have to” do things you hate. Question those beliefs: They are almost certainly wrong.
Third, name the invisible people who make you think you “have to” do things you hate (your parents, peer group, paparazzi, or whoever), and get them out of your mind using therapy, coaching, horse tranquilizers, explosives, or whatever else you can manage without doing too much harm. Repeat until life is perfect.
Be Inkandescent: The book also features the “emotional compass.” How can this be helpful to us at work?