THE ART OF PAPER & PEN= The Teachings of Martha Beck


Martha Beck, PhD. is a writer, life coach and monthly columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. She specializes in helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, all from Harvard University. She worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School, Studying career paths and life-course changes in today’s economic and social environment. Before becoming a life coach, Beck taught sociology, social psychology, organizational behavior, business management, and career development at Harvard and at the American Graduate School for International Management.

I discovered Martha Beck by her monthly column in O, The Oprah Magazine. Recently, I studied with her by taking her online writing course called, Write into Light which was amazingly enlightening.


The First book I read was FINDING YOUR OWN NORTH STAR: claiming the life you were meant to live on Kindle. In this book, you’ll start by learning how to read the internal compasses already built into your brain and body — and why you may have spent your life ignoring signals. As you become reacquainted with your own deepest desires, you will identify and repair any unconscious wounds that may be blocking your progress.

This will change your life, but don’t worry – although every life is unique, major transformations have common elements and Beck provides a map that will guide you through your own life changes. You’ll learn how to navigate every stage, from the first flickering appearance of a new dream to the planning and implementation of your own ideal life.

Finding Your Own North Star offers thoroughly tested case studies, questionnaires, and exercises to help you articulate your core desires and act on them to build a more satisfying life.


STEERING by STARLIGHT: Find Your Right Life No Matter What! This book will make you laugh and change your life. Martha Beck’s work as a life coach has earned her accolades in outlets from National Public Radio to USA Today. More important, her trademark wisdom, empathy, and humor have changed thousands of lives, helping people who felt disconnected from their true sense of purpose to locate meaning in their lives and change.

Steering by Starlight reconnects readers with their authentic hopes, needs, and desires by bringing together cutting-edge research in psychiatry and neurology and offering powerful new methods for solving problems that beset every one of us.


FINDING YOUR WAY IN A WILD NEW WORLD: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want reveals a remarkable path to the most important discovery you can make: the knowledge of what you should be doing with your one wild and precious life. It’s the thing that so fulfills you that, if you knew what it was, you’d run straight toward it through brambles and fire. As a bestselling author, Martha Beck guides you to find out how you got to where you are now and what you should do next, with clear instructions on tapping into the deep, wordless knowledge you carry in your body and soul.

You probably have sensed that you have a higher calling and a quiet power that could change the world – you lack only the tools. With her sparkling prose, Beck draws from ancient wisdom and modern science to help you consciously tap into that power and develop those tools for transformation. You’ll also find your inner identity and your external “tribe” of like-minded people, experience the spark of inspiration, and take action to make a lasting impact on the world.


THE JOY DIET: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life offers a menu of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day’s journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence. You can add these behaviors gradually and watch your life become steadily more vivid and satisfying. Or you can go on a “crash Joy Diet” to help you navigate life’s emergencies.

The ten menu items are:

  • NOTHING: Do nothing for 15 minutes a day. Stop mindlessly chasing goals and figure out which goals are worth going after.
  • TRUTH: Create a moment of truth to help you unmask what you’re hiding – from others and from yourself.
  • DESIRE: Identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart’s desires – and learn how to let yourself want what you want.
  • CREATIVITY: Learn six new ways to develop at least one new idea to help you obtain your heart’s desire.
  • RISK: Take one baby step toward reaching your goal. The only rule is it has to scare the pants off you.
  • TREATS: Give yourself a treat for every risk you take and two treats just because you’re you. No exceptions. No excuses.
  • PLAY: Take a moment to remember your real life’s work and differentiate it from the games you play to achieve it. Then play wholeheartedly.
  • LAUGHTER: Laugh at least thirty times a day. Props encouraged.
  • CONNECTION: Use your Joy Diet skills to interact with someone who matters to you.
  • FEASTING: Enjoy at least three square feasts a day, with or without food.


My personal favorite is, DIANA, HERSELF: An Allegory of Awakening (The Bewilderment Chronicles) (Volume 1) Maybe, once or twice in your life, you’ve experienced a surge of destiny so strong it made you believe in miracles. Such bolts from the blue seem to hit when weariness or ill fortune have plowed through the ground of reason, breaking it up so magic can take root. What follows is so perfect that to call it accidental defies belief.

Diana Archer is an absolutely-mathematically-average woman, living an unremarkable life when destiny reaches her. Without quite knowing how or why, she finds herself leaving everything familiar and moving into a world where miracles are commonplace, where her supposed flaws become her salvation, and where each person’s story is everyone’s.

As the first volume of the three-part “Bewilderment Chronicles” proceeds, Diana will undergo a transformation that will change her irrevocably, and just possibly save the world. Let the enchantment begin.


EXPECTING ADAM: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic! From the moment Martha and her husband John accidentally conceived their second child, all hell broke loose. They were a couple obsessed with success. After years of matching IQs and test scores with less driven peers, they had two Harvard degrees apiece and were gunning for more. They’d plotted out a future in the most vaunted ivory tower of academie. But the dream had begun to disintegrate. Then, when their unborn son, Adam, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, doctors, advisers, and friends in the Harvard community warned them that if they decided to keep the baby, they would lose all hope of achieving their carefully crafted goals. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened.

Expecting Adam is a poignant, challenging, and achingly funny chronicle of the extraordinary nine months of Martha’s pregnancy. By the time Adam was born, Martha and John were propelled into a world in which they were forced to redefine everything of value to them, put all their faith in miracles, and trust that they could fly without a net. And it worked.

Martha’s riveting, beautifully written memoir captures the abject terror and exhilarating freedom of facing impending parenthood, being forced to question one’s deepest beliefs, and rewriting life’s rules. It is an unforgettable celebration fo the everyday magic that connects human souls to one another.


In THE FOUR DAY WIN: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace, Martha Beck reverses this trend and teaches dieters to get lean from the brain outward. Instead of becoming thinner caterpillars, those who follow The Four Day Win will metamorphose into butterflies, with entirely new bodies … for good.

Everyone knows how to lose weight: eat less, move more. But though they know what to do, millions of dieters don’t do what they know. Why not? Because they don’t understand the brain-body dynamics of weight loss. Now, cutting-edge research has revealed that millions of overweight dieters are programming themselves to get fatter. These unlucky individuals are following typical weight-loss programs and are being trained to become thinner versions of themselves, like caterpillars becoming thinner caterpillars.

In this book, Martha Beck observes that:

  • Traditional dieting relies on the ability to go numb or to override physical and emotional feelings.
  • Overeating is a self-calming compulsion similar to OCD-dieters turn to food (and lots of it) when they’re deprived of comfort.
  • Overweight people can reverse the brain-body programming that is making them fat. Instead of attacking their bodies, they can learn to support them.

By ending each chapter with psychological exercise, Dr. Beck helps her readers to think thin and end their compulsion to overeat. For those who aren’t patient enough to await the transformation that will inevitably follow, she also includes a Jump-Start weight-loss program that will help them shed pounds in the best way, both psychologically and physically.


THE MARTHA BECK COLLECTION: Essays for Creating Your Right Life is the best of Martha Beck’s Columns from O, The Oprah Magazine

Other books by Martha Beck are …

  • Leaving the Saints: How I lost the Mormons and Found My Faith
  • Breaking Point: Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Recreate Their Lives

I have been on a deep journey of transformation through the magical words of authors/teachers like Martha Beck. If your life is not filled with joy, happiness, laughter, and abundance then please sit with this blog and my past blogs on other teachers to see which book can enlighten you to discover your truth and destiny. Whatever it is that haunts you, look within for the guidance and begin to change yourself.

Pray. Meditate. Journal. (blog)

Books available @



THE ART OF PAPER AND PEN = The Teachings of Steven Kessler


The 5 Personality Patterns: Your Guide to Understanding Yourself and Others and Developing Emotional Maturity by Stephen Kessler has been an amazing avenue I walked.

As a student of the written word; all books and as a writer, I am led by the universe on my path and journey to teachers, books, classes, and workshops of many.

For many years my teacher has been Deborah King. In fact, she was the first to bring my attention to what she calls defense patterns or our characterology which we manifest under the age of 6 during a time when we feel the need to protect ourselves. As it is a pattern created by everyone that means that we all have at least two of these patterns or more during difficult stressful moments. We tend to manifest our defense when we are triggered and when we are not living our truth.

Another teacher of mine has been Anodea Judith.  In 2014, I received an email about a 6-week online course with Anodea Judith about Steven Kessler’s new book, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? This was a course where I could learn in-depth about each Character Structure: how to identify, understand and work with these patterns in myself, my relationships and my clients. A basic map about personality where I would easily figure out how to communicate successfully with others and how to interact with them in a way that works for both of us.

“Your experience of life is determined mostly by your habits of attention and the patterned flow of your life energy.” -Steven Kessler

In 2015, The 5 Personality Patterns: Your Guide to Understanding Yourself and Others and Developing Emotional Maturity was published by Steven Kessler. The name has changed, but it is the exact information from the online course called WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?


Much of our human suffering is not necessary. It is created by old patterns of feeling and acting that helped us survive the traumas of childhood, but then got stuck in our bodies. These patterns have shaped us so deeply that now we think that is who we are. But these patterns are not your true self. In fact, they cover up your true self and prevent it from shining out into the world.

Fortunately, there is a map of these survival patterns, a map that helps you:

  • Discover how you got stuck and how to get free
  • Heal your core wounds
  • Learn the skills you missed
  • Communicate effectively with others
  • Develop emotional maturity
  • Become all you can be

This book lays out that map and shows you the path out of your suffering and back to your real self. Once you know where you’re going, your journey will be easier. Without a map, you may have been walking in circles for years. With a map, you can find your way home.

The interesting information in this book is that there are only five patterns that are created by us. Beginning with Leaving (Schizoid), Merging (Oral), Enduring (Masochist), Aggressive (Psychopath), and Rigid. Deborah King teaches the same information but with different names as in italics. Our reactions at the time of development because of shame are as follows;

  • Leaving – flees
  • Mergining – collapses
  • Enduring – blames self
  • Aggressive – becomes angry
  • Rigid – blames self and/or others

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in healing themselves or have the desire to know another better, because of their actions towards them and others. When we accept that there is a reason for everything, then and only then can we open our hearts to one another.

Steven Kessler has been a licensed psychotherapist for almost 30 years. He has studied many different maps of personality and many healing modalities, including Character Structure, the Enneagram, energy work, EFT (emotional freedom techniques), and various meditation and spiritual practices.

Pray! Meditate! Journal!

Book Available: