Martha Beck has an impressive professional background before she stepped out and into her own successful life coaching practice. She understands the demands of professional life as well as the interesting nature of human sociology and spirituality, which she applies to the principles in her book, Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live.
Beck starts by discussing the two parts of the human psyche involved with decision making: the essential self and the social self. The essential self is essentially who you are, “your characteristic desires, preferences, and emotional reactions, bound together by an overall sense of identity… it’s the basic you”; whereas, your social self is “the part of you that developed in response to pressures from the people around you.”
As you can imagine, over time a disconnection occurs where your social self takes over and makes decisions based on external factors, feedback, and opinions; while your essential self grows quieter and switches over to other methods of communication. “The essential self usually ‘speaks’ through parts of your being that aren’t under conscious control.” Your essential self finds alternative ways to remind you about who you are and what you need to be doing with your life.
For example, you may notice that your energy lags during certain activities, or experience forgetfulness due to your brain refusing to recall information that doesn’t resonate, you might make silly mistakes in certain situations, or become socially awkward in others or with certain people, you may experience extreme moodiness or an inability to rest completely. Some of these symptoms may sound like aging, depression, or just being a human, but your essential self will conspire to let you know that “I am not happy where I am, and I need you to notice so we can make a change.”
Finding Your Own North Star offers checklists, helpful anecdotes, writing prompts, and exercises where you can sit down and dive in to getting to know your essential self better; how your body, mind, spirit, and Source are conspiring to get you to where you need to be. Beck recognizes that making change in your life requires bravery, self-care, and a support network, because often under our pain is the most useful information to get headed in the right direction. Lastly, she breaks down change into a process of four elements along with practical advice to survive any change and to view it as a means for transformation, so you can claim the life you were meant to live.
She extends a call to listen and to notice those tiny bits of stardust that settle on the things that fill you with joy, happiness, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. Those bits of cosmic signage are all around, and you are so busy getting through your day that you need a little bit of guidance to tune into the clues your heart has been telling you for years. This book is the guide to strip life down into its most basic form, so you can finally hear what you need to know to move forward—happily and in wholeness.
I know there were moments when I audibly uttered a “Yes!” as I read. I felt as though there was some other force at work—and there was. Me—my essential self, and in my view—God’s Spirit living in and through me opening up my eyes so I could finally hear what I needed to hear: “Heidi, you are on the right path, but you may need to see your therapist soon.” I have landed more firmly in my heartspace because of this book. Beck’s wisdom and clarity offered me practical tools to navigate through change and to clearly see my North Star—the star that has been with me all along—I just needed some clarity to see it.
If you are interested in reading this book and discussing it, I offer two opportunities to process this text: the Pages to Pathways Women’s Circle or P2P Individual Transformational Life Coaching sessions. A new Pages to Pathways Circle will be forming in November of 2014 in Athens, Georgia, so do let me know if you are interested in joining us as we read Finding Your Own North Star to claim the life you were meant to live.
❤ I’d love to have you. ❤