Martha Beck


* * * * *


Enrollment for January 

Life Coach Training 

Is Now Open!



January Life Coach Training Class




* * * * *






* * * * *
Series Class Continues 
North Star Intensive



 * * * * *




Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter
A Formula for Happiness
Insight from Martha


In last month's column, I commented on a contradiction between some of my earlier writing and what I have come to see as a constructive approach to creating your best life. The contradiction was about the concept of yearning. In the book The Joy Diet, I wrote that yearning is the internal map of the course your life was meant to follow. I believe I wrote something like, "Your destiny pulls you through life by the heart." Last month I wrote that intense yearning is a form of attachment that can actually stop the thing you desire from reaching you. In the past month, I've realized that each of these ideas is accurate in its own way. Yearning is, indeed, a valuable indication of our best future, but it contains an energy that can push away our dreams even as it tries to pull them towards us.


Here's the key to understanding how you can use the positive aspects of yearning while avoiding the negative: Recognize that yearning is loving something before you believe in it. The same may be said of jealousy, envy, disappointment and even despair. To love something deeply without believing it can be true is enormously painful.


The problem here is that we often fight our desire rather than our disbelief. Being firmly convinced that what we want could never happen, we fight to extinguish the enjoyment and delight of the experience for which we long. But every great spiritual teacher, from Jesus to Forrest Gump, has tried to explain to the world that love is indestructible. Therefore, the part of the yearning equation we must eliminate is not the love of the unseen thing, but our fear that it can never be ours.


Let's write this as an equation. Here is what happens when we fight our desire rather than our disbelief:


Love + Disbelief = Yearning


To eliminate the distaste of this yearning, most of us try to solve the equation this way:


Yearning - Love = Happiness


This does not work because, as stated earlier, love cannot be subtracted. It's the one permanent thing in the universe. In addition, subtracting love from anything makes it more painful, not less.


So this month, try the following equation:


Yearning - Disbelief = Happiness


If you have trouble simply subtracting disbelief, please realize you cannot force belief to exist, so you can't simply add belief to something you don't believe. The way to balance the equation is to allow your heart to trust that what it loves is real. If you can do this, trust automatically causes disbelief to relax and disappear. Then your equation looks like this:


Yearning + Trust = Happiness


Right now, make a list of everything you yearn for. Make sure that you realize that your yearning is for the emotional sensation that the experience would bring you rather than the form itself. (For example, you don't just wish for the perfect lover, but for the sensation of knowing you are deeply loved. The perfect lover without that feeling would do nothing for you.) Make another list of things you feel you deserve, but don't believe you'll ever get -- things like good luck, a soul mate, a really great haircut. Again, focus on the essence of the experience, not the physical form. 


Now try a small thought experiment. Go through this list item by item and allow yourself to trust that the thing you love not only will come, but has already connected with you through the barrier of time. Notice any fear that arises to tell you that the thing for which you yearn will never come to you. Notice the choking, tensing or other form of contraction in your body when you focus on your disbelief. This is the body's response to a lie. Give yourself a short space of time, say one minute, to take your attention off your disbelief and focus instead on the love of this thing that has not yet happened. Feel the warmth and openness of your life when you believe that your connection with this thing is real, solid, and inevitable. As the poet Rilke said, "You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to be born. Fear not the strangeness you feel. The future must enter you long before it happens."


Psychologists who study rats sometimes hook up the poor little creatures to harnesses that measure their pulling strength. Then they measure how hard the rats run away from an electric shock, or toward a pellet of food. If they put the shock and the food in the same place, the rats run toward it to exactly the point where their fear of the shock is as strong as their lust for the food. At that point, they develop what is called an "approach avoidance" response. They run back and forth, back and forth, toward the food and away from the shock and end up basically stuck in no man's land.   


When we yearn for something and focus on our fear that it may not happen, we create an approach avoidance response in everything our hearts desire. The love makes us magnetic to the outcomes we desire; the fear of loss or failure repels what we are trying to create just before it reaches us. 


If we can change the way we solve the yearning equation so that more of our time is spent focusing on love and enjoyment than on our fear of failure or disappointment, the approach avoidance pattern begins to break down. The future our hearts have already mapped for us gains the energy and momentum to break through the shell of fear and into our material lives. To live without fear or doubt is perhaps too much to ask of a small, frightened, human animal, but to practice the discipline of focusing on love rather than fear is something we can all achieve. Start with the things you want just a little. As trust begins drawing these things into your life, you'll gain the confidence to escape approach avoidance responses and more impressive results will follow.


Fear not the strangeness you feel. The future has already entered you. It is pulling you through life by your heart. 


~ Martha


How To Change Your World ~

The Art, Science, and Magic of Personal Power 

A Horse-Whispering Workshop  

With Martha Beck and Koelle Simpson. 


Martha and Koelle Horse WhisperingJoin Martha, horse whisperer Koelle Simpson, and some four-legged friends for a weekend of learning to use your personal power in calm, intense, practical, irresistible ways. Time with them will help you close the gap between dreaming your dreams and seeing them come true.


As modern writer Melissa Sovey-Nelson wrote, "The horse is...the messenger of commandeering our own lives, truly setting us free." 


Come feel how true that is. Whatever your heart's desire may be --whether it's making money, finding a mate, or fulfilling a lifelong goal --you'll head home with the tools to help you change your world. 


This workshop is limited to 12 participants and is one of only three small group workshops Martha will be doing in 2012. 



April 21-23, 2012
Scottsdale, Arizona  


Click here to register early. This one always sells out fast!


Have questions?
Email Koelle directly for more information.



Finding Your Own North Star ~  

Eight Session Intensive Study

With Master Coaches Susan Hyatt and Bridgette Boudreau 

Part of the Martha Beck Master Coach Series  


Steering Cover ButterflyBack by popular demand!

Join Bridgette and Susan for this deep dive into Martha's best-selling book Finding Your Own North Star. We'll delve in chapter-by-chapter, taking an in-depth look at Martha's go-to tools for finding your right life. These intensives are some of the most popular classes we teach and are a rare offering, so don't miss it!


Dates: Thursdays, September 15 - November 10

(No class October 13th)

Time: 10am PT / 11am MT / 12noon CT / 1pm ET
Eight-session telecourse, each session is 60 minutes.
Registration: $99

Click here for more details!


Can't make the class but still want the content? Starting in the middle of the course? No worries! All course participants receive a downloadable MP3 recording of each class.  

Martha's Bookshelf  


September Newsletter Book CoverAnyone with school-aged children -- or for that matter anyone who has ever been to school -- should read Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn by Duke University Professor Cathy Davidson. 


Davidson is a brilliant academic who, being gifted with dyslexia, noticed something radically important for everyone in the 21st century: We are being educated to act like morons. Our whole culture glorifies a form of learning in which children and adults sit in tidy rows answering standardized questions on standardized tests, always in competition with one another. Our ability to focus in this way is actually called "intelligence." This type of task was only useful during the age when most workers had factory jobs. Sitting all day and focusing on one task is perfect for someone on an assembly line. However, in virtually all other imaginable activities, this robot-like repetitive focus is STUPID.


Davidson points out that in the 21st century, intelligent behavior is closer to the intelligence that will keep you alive in the wilderness: scanning the environment for interesting or anomalous patterns, noticing when we are uneasy, paying attention to our hunches, and learning from everything around us continuously. In the Internet age, we need skills like being able to tell good data from bad, to know the best sources for useful information, and to collaboratively create things that utilize the best skills of all available collaborators.


This type of intelligence, Davidson argues, helps us overcome the blind spots in our attention that cause us to miss dangerous problems or brilliant solutions. Her specific field is attention blindness, the phenomenon that makes us ignore things like massive flaws in our banking system or the implications of technological development. Two of our greatest allies in overcoming attention blindness are distraction and failure. These two experiences are abhorrent to our culture, yet they are in many ways our wisest teachers. Distraction is an over-focused brain nudging at our consciousness to say "Look over here, there is something you missed." Failure is the real world saying, "You need to rethink something." With this, Davidson advises us to not only court failure and celebrate distraction, but to talk to one another about them openly. It is only by combining our knowledge that we can discover what has been hiding in our blind spots.


This book made me very happy that the first thing every Martha Beck coach learns is to say with complete sincerity, "Tell me where I'm wrong." We live in an age where that question is perhaps the quickest path to success. I'm committing right now to courting failure and celebrating distraction, but of course, I may be wrong. 


~ Martha 


January Life Coach Training
Is Now Open for Enrollment!  

Are you feeling called to become a Martha Beck Coach?


You're probably a born Martha Beck Coach if...

  • You love talking with others and listening to what they have to say.
  • You're often itching to help them, but in a way that steers them to what's right for them.
  • People often ask you for advice, input, or a listening ear (or just start talking!)
  • You're drawn to one of more of these things - animals, nature, creative endeavors, and various forms of healing.
  • You've read some of Martha's work and feel an uplifting "zing" inside or hear a little voice in your head saying, "I want to do THIS!"
  • You've been through difficult and painful life events and want to help others with these life experiences.

Life Coach Stamp 

January Life Coach Training is now enrolling, and it's the last chance to take the training at the current rate!


We've added new instructors, new classes, and other updates to the training, which means we'll be increasing the price next time around. Grab this opportunity now to learn all the coaching tools, get support in living your passion, and enjoy the immense and friendly coaching community. You'll get structure, inspiration, lots of practical knowledge to get you started, and a deep personal clarity that will give you confidence and energy to make your coaching dream a reality.



F*R*E*E Information Call Wednesday, November 30th!

To learn more about this life-altering program, join Martha and Life Coach Training Coordinator Abigail Steidley for a  f*r*e*e* informational call on Wednesday, Nov 30th at 4:00 pm PT/7:00 pm ET.   


You can register for the call by clicking here and providing your name and e-mail address in the box.  If you can't make the call live, no worries!  There will be a recording!




Coach Offerings


September Newsletter Koelle ad


Learning to Lead from the Inside Out

October 22nd & 23rd in Scottsdale, AZ


Let horses lead you back to your true nature. Join Koelle Simpson and Diane Hunter for an unforgettable weekend. Get ready to lead the way in creating a whole new world!  


Sign up with a buddy and receive a $250 per person discount!


September Newsletter Laura ad 

Ready to Make Peace with Your Job?  

Is your career making you sad, blue, and maybe a little queasy too? Certified Coach Laura Tirello can help you "Make Peace with Your Job and Your Dreams."


Learn five ways to create a healthier relationship with your job and start owning your future. Click here for free tele-class information.


September Newsletter Bev ad 


New Groups!

I'd Follow My Passion If Only I Knew What It Was!    

Get a roadmap - Get inspired - Get connected - Get going!

You might think that your true calling is noble and self-sacrificing. Wrong! It is actually the most fun you can possibly have. Your passions will lead you there. Small coaching groups with Bev Barnes start at the end of September. For more information, click here.


September Newsletter Keisha ad

Who Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?

A crash tele-course to power up your gifts. Catch Fire with Certified Martha Beck Life Coaches Keisha Gallegos and Mary Welty-Dapkus to ignite the spark and reclaim your brilliant self. Four consecutive Mondays starting September 19th - 7pm PDT. Click here for details.


September Newsletter Artists Way ad 

The Roar of Awakening

"The creative spirit, like the dragon, is a thrilling, joyous, chaotic, and powerful force that deserves and demands respect. ~ The Artist's Way at Work.

Grow your business with creativity catalysts Lailey Jenkins and Kelly Pratt, Certified Martha Beck coaches. Starting 9/27. Click here for details. 


March 2011 Flight Kit 

You're Changing the World. This Kit Will Help.

Are you ready to change the world with your great ideas? Do you need a little help getting your ideas off the ground? Get a copy of the idea flight kit to get your ideas up and flying. You're changing the world. This kit from Jenny Shih will help. Get yours now. (It's free!)


Thank You! 


Thank you, as always, for sharing space with us in your inbox. We hope you know that we like you a lot for that!  


We also hope that you'll venture out to Facebook and "Like" Martha too. Facebook won't let her change the name of her "fan" page, so she's created a new one. Check it out by clicking >> here << and for every 500 "likes" that she receives, she will post a new favorite YouTube video. All her news and updates (and, of course, those videos) will now be posted on her new page. Don't miss out!


Happy "fall-is-in-the-air" everyone! And please stay safe, dry and grounded!



Jennifer Voss

Newsletter Editor