Tag Archives: martha beck

E-Squared Book Club: Week 5

This week we discussed Experiments #6 (The Superhero Principle) and #7 (The Jenny Craig Principle). Both principles relate to the ability of our thoughts to impact physical matter in the material world. First we discussed the results of the seed experiment. As you may recall, Tammy gifted us with sunflower seeds from her studio garden, along with a little bag of soil. It was such a beautiful gift! I went home and planted my seeds that night. As I tossed them into the soil playfully, I said, "Isn't it AMAZING that this one row of seeds is already growing faster than the other row?? I'm AMAZED!". At that point, of course, they were "just" dry seeds going into soil, sitting on my kitchen table. Nothing had happened yet. Except my thought and feeling of ALREADY being amazed at their growth. Two days later, I was truly amazed to see sprouts beginning to show. I literally thought nothing about these seeds other than the feeling of amazement that they were already growing faster.
Nov 3 seeds

Tiny sprouts visible to the camera.

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Essential Self Extravaganza

As 2010 came to a close, I realized that over the past year, I have had the opportunity to become part of three brand new communities (without even changing my physical address). As I embarked on life coach training, certification in music and sound healing, and improvisation as a violinist in the local “open mic” scene, I was welcomed into three totally new worlds for me. As I crisscrossed the Bay Area and the internet interacting with these distinct groups, it occurred to me that no single place brought together people with such wide-ranging interests. What fun it would be if someone could create a space and purpose for gathering that would allow the expression and sharing of all these creative souls! I realized that I could be that person! I was inspired to create the Essential Self Extravaganza. The name refers to a central concept of Martha Beck's life coaching approach, which guides us to find and follow the voice of our essential self, versus the social self we so readily construct as an identity to show the world and "fit in" with the rules of our families, religions, cultures, professional group, or demographic. I had had enough of the typical "holiday party", where the focus is on the display of our social selves. The typical conversations starting with the question, "So, what do you do?" or "Where are you from?" were familiar to me, yet no longer of interest. Instead of complaining or lamenting about these kinds of parties, I decided (in the empowerment I am growing into) to host my own gathering - the kind of party I would want to attend myself. Continue reading

Watch my interview on KMVT-15 King’s Connections – Remarkable Young Women Series with Rusty King

I had the pleasure and honor of being Rusty King's guest #3 on the Remarkable Young Women Series of King's Connections, on channel KMVT-15 in Mountain View. I met Rusty at a Mountain View Chamber of Commerce event, and we immediately connected on the subject of being musicians. Rusty is an award-winning songwriter and drummer, in addition to hosting his own show on KMVT-15. Thanks to Rusty's thorough research, in this half-hour interview we talk about my entire life, from my childhood in Libertyville, Illinois, through the launch of Chinese Melodrama just a few months ago. Watching it is like taking the "heroine's journey" all over again. It reminds me how this past year of my life, 2010, has been such a rapid whirlwind in some respects, while at the same time being some of the most spacious time I've ever experienced. Rusty and I discuss education, success, parental expectations, music, creativity, failure, and the necessity of following your own heart. Enjoy!

Is living really as simple as being open to change?

"Truth is living, and therefore, changing." - Bruce Lee
I read that the other day and it shifted my thinking. It hit me like the ring of truth. Could it really be that simple? That living is simply changing? I recalled that the first piece of information that drew me into the field of life coaching was Martha Beck's Change Cycle. It was simple, yet no one had ever presented life as a cycle of change - meaning a continuous circular flow, not a straight line pointing in one direction. I also loved the image of caterpillar turning into butterfly. I had read Trina Paulus' little yellow book, Hope For the Flowers, many times over the past fifteen years, and it always resonated with me as the truth. That within each of us, when we are born, is the potential to transform, to fly, to be beautiful. That it also takes a single act of courage on each person's part, at some point in their caterpillar life, in order to make that transformation possible. Here's an excerpt, paraphrased from Trina Paulus' book:
"How does one become a butterfly?" asked the caterpillar. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." "You mean to die?" asked the caterpillar. "Yes and No...Life is changed, not taken away. Isn't that different from those who die without ever becoming butterflies?"
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Feeling your own North Star

I'm finally starting to feel what my North Star and source of internal wisdom feels like. A big day!

Are you carrying around more than you need?

Sometimes having to look at your life through the metaphor of an object can help you see yourself in a different way. Here I talk about the revelation of looking at my keychain one morning.

Revolutionizing Medicine…One Belief At A Time – Part 1

If you have behaved yourself into a situation, you must behave yourself out of it! The behavior in this case is the behavior of the mind. As a physician, you went through systematic training of the mind to get you to believe certain thoughts. When was the last time you questioned one of these thoughts? Learning that the mind's natural tendency is to attach to certain thoughts and believe them; and observing that the root of all painful, stressful feelings is believing certain thoughts, was revolutionary for me. I uncovered a system of thoughts that I believed without question, and realized that I already had all the freedom I was longing for. I simply had to question my thoughts. To show you how this process works, it's best to use real examples. Each week I’m going to take a stressful thought that is central to the physician’s belief system, and question it. Follow along, and even listen in on the audio podcast as you do your own work on the same thought. [display_podcast] *This process is based on The Work of Byron Katie. For more information, visit www.thework.com. A list of physicians’ common stressful thoughts: “I need to take care of patients.” “I am surrounded by illness, suffering, and death.” “Patients demand my time.” “People need me to respond.” Continue reading

Mastering Your Mind (& Not Letting It Master You) – Life Coaching Basics Part 4 of 4

"It is on no map. No true place ever is." - Melville
Trying to describe the nature of the mind is a little bit like giving directions to a place that is on no map. How do I tell you how to get there? It might be easier to come along with me and see for yourself. If you pay attention along the way, you'll learn how to get there on your own. This is the last in my 4-part series on Life Coaching Basics. I started out with my best description of what a life coach does, with a reminder that there are some things you just have to experience first (and getting coached is one of those things). Then I presented Martha Beck's beautiful model of The Change Cycle. It's a great starting point for making sense of things when everything is changing and you're wondering what to do. Next I dove deeper into the subject of how our essential self speaks to us, and how our bodies convey important signals to listen to. The final part I'll cover in this series is perhaps the most important, and also the most challenging to grasp at first. Since we are using the mind to consider the mind, it's a little...well, mind-bending! I like to call this "Yoga of the Mind", because it's really about building flexibility, balance, and strength (yes, all three!) in your THINKING, in the same way that most people think of yoga doing this for your BODY.

Turning Your World Upside Down

Lately I've been trying to stand on my head for at least a few minutes each day. Not only does it help align my spine and bring energy to my body through the brief reversal of blood flow, but it helps me literally see the world from a different perspective. Up is down. Down is up. It's not just making fancy shapes with your body, it's literally yoga for your mind. In order to change your experience of the things that happen in your life, your awareness needs to change. That means, not only your thinking, but becoming aware of what you are thinking. Becoming the watcher of your thoughts requires asking the question, "What am I using my mind for?" Continue reading

The language of the essential self – Part 3 of 4

"I have to live a glamorous life like all of my friends who graduated from law school with me!", says your social self, leading you to feel guilty every weekend you're not slaving away at your computer, responding to emails within minutes of their arrival in your inbox and feeling overwhelmed before you can even start your own agenda for the day. Meanwhile, the small, childlike voice of your essential self says, "I want to create something I am proud to call my own, and sound like a human being again when I write. It's like I've forgotten what it's like to be me." How is it that we can end up with the demands of the outer trappings of our lives leading us one way, and our innermost desires - the thoughts and feelings we are hiding from - leading us in another? From the moment we are born, we live in contact with a world of ideas being absorbed into our brains, becoming part of our habitual thinking. We also have an innate intelligence that is present inside us before, during, and after all the habituation. If you're like me and have lived most of your life without consciously examining this innate layer of intelligence (which some call "intuition", others call "heart", and others call "soul"), at first it might seem downright outrageous to even consider that there might even be a distinction between what we've been taught to believe versus what we know in our hearts to be true. All of the "learning" that we do in school is basically training the social self. If we were really lucky, we had one or two outlets in our childhood which allowed us to explore the expressions of our essential self - a sport, a musical instrument, dance, visual arts, collecting comic books, or staring at the sky. And when I say "if we were really lucky", I mean that many of our essential self expressions are not easily accepted in social settings or approved of by parents, and not always encouraged in school. The essential self speaks through passion, imagination, and hard-to-explain joy. Continue reading

The Change Cycle – Life Coaching Basics Part 2 of 4

So if you're reading this, that means you're curious enough about life coaching to see what more I might have to say about it (hopefully you've read Part 1 of this series on "Life Coaching Basics"). Keep your eyes, ears and heart open, and see if what I'm about to show you resonates with your soul. When I first saw this model of change presented by a Martha Beck life coach, something clicked inside me. Big time. The key word for me was "CYCLE", as in cyclical and constant. I had always thought that changes were simply jarring or inconvenient events along a linear path, and that someday, if I just found the RIGHT changes to make, I would no longer need to keep changing. Yes, this after making two major career shifts and multiple geographical moves within the past decade of my life. I somehow still believed that there would be an END to the change, if I would just get it "right", and that I had somehow failed because I was feeling a sneaky suspicion that it was time for yet ANOTHER change.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world had come to an end, it became a butterfly."

Sitting there in the workshop, I was holding on tightly to what I had created, afraid to let go because of what it would mean to all the other people in my life, who were so delighted with the image I projected and what I was providing. I felt so much guilt for not being able to share in that same delight, and, most of all, not knowing how to say what I knew to be true for me. The truth was not always a neatly tied package, ready to be presented to others. The truth was sometimes full of uncertainty. But I did not feel safe - and did not have the skills at the time - to stand in my own uncertainty and proclaim it as my truth. It led to all kinds of messy stuff that brought me the lessons I am able to share with you today. I struggled, I stumbled, I took out my pent-up anger and deeply held secrets on many people in my life. I confused a lot of people. I might have even scared some. But once I embraced this model and actually allowed myself to go through some of these squares, everything indeed began to change. Continue reading