Technologies of Magic
Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want
By Martha Beck
Atria Books (December 27, 2011), 320 pages
Martha Beck’s book is a guide through the metaphorical jungle of life. And, Martha explains life’s deepest meanings with her real-life jungle experiences. Finding your Way is written for “menders.” Menders are the creative healers or empathic doers of the world; shamans in another life.
Not your typical self-help book
Through her life coaching clients, Martha Beck noticed a trend. When menders haven’t figured out their exact purpose in life, they will frantically seek it out. And, all their frantic energies usually complicate or cloud their purpose more. Or even worse, drive it away. This is just another self-help book at its heart but, don’t expect an easy read. Finding Your Way will open your mind to the impossibilities that are actually quite possible and within reach.
Finding Your Way is a few years old, but transfers well to current day job market and trends in society. The world is shrinking which consequently means more options to work in a non-traditional job. In conversations with her daughter, Martha recounts how she encouraged her to continue on in her current path as futile as its future seemed. She knows that eventually a job will be created that will encapsulate what her daughter loves doing. This reminded me of my own path wherein I completed a program knowing that it would not pay well, but it was the job and the life I kept coming back to repeatedly: my calling.
This book brings us down to painful reality that we already know deep down what we’re meant to do, but we either fight it or bury it with words and other forms of confusion. If you’re able to swallow that, continue on reading and the book guides you through the process of clearing your mind. A clear mind is essential to realizing your purpose. Martha won’t come out and tell you the answers to the burning question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” These answers come from within. Indeed, true life coaching is not about telling people what path to take, but rather opening their eyes to the paths they already know. It’s about helping them realize their own personal truth that fear keeps at arm’s length.
How do we find our way in this “wild new world’?
Martha Beck lays out four “technologies of magic” or key phases in the process:
- Oneness – these are your feelings. To achieve Oneness, connect with the world, animals, nature, other people. Spending time outdoors or watching the behaviour of animals is a quick way to reaching Oneness.
- Wordlessness – these are your thoughts. To achieve Wordlessness, you must remove language. Meditation is a good way to reach a state of Wordlessness. Check out Mala Collective, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Insight Timer for some freebies to get you started.
- Imagination – these are your dreams. To achieve Imagination, revert back to a child’s open minded imagination. Tinkering is a quicker way to Imagination than chasing a puzzle around by the tail. Leave judgement behind when imaginative solutions come to you – it’s the worst idea killer.
- Forming – when the other 3 technologies are working properly for you, it won’t take much effort to achieve this 4th technology. Here you are turning all the inner parts of you, your thoughts, feelings, dreams into a physical reality. “A lot of people eat bread without their faces sweating at all.” Ebb and flow, not just flow. Form without gripping. Focus on the essence of a thing rather than the actual physical thing. If you feel compelled to act, do it.
Reasons to put Martha Beck’s Finding Your Way on your shelf:
- This book is a fun read. Martha’s style of writing is refreshing for a self-help book. Rather than self-help, It feels like you’re reading a memoir or adventure. She has masterfully intermingled life coaching with her real life experiences. Even better, it feels wiser and more concrete than the self-help genre generally does.
- You’ll receive life coaching from the best. Martha is a celebrity level life coach, connected with the likes of Oprah. You can read lots of Martha’s articles on Oprah’s site.
You must calm your inner lizard.