My Martha Beck Love List

Three Things I Learned from Martha Beck that Changed My Life:
1.  It’s Okay.

  • It’s okay to think and believe and live different than you’re supposed to.
  • It’s okay to watch tv, to enjoy it, and to admit it.
  • It’s okay to say “retarded” and other politically incorrect things.
  • It’s okay to play it safe; it’s okay to get risky; and it’s okay to be wrong.
  • It’s also okay to paint while you coach.

It’s okay to do things different.
Actually, Martha says it’s more than okay, she says it’s crucial to do life your way.  Letting your Essential Self lead is the only way we’ll ever know happiness and joy.
Her story about refusing to cut her ski vacation short just because Oprah Winfrey’s producer wanted to talk about her guesting on the show is a prime example of:

  1. how well Martha walks the talk and
  2. how well that pays off.

Martha gave me permission to live life my way.  Thank you for that, Martha.
2.  Your Body Knows
If you’re ever not getting the clue about your life, you can trust your body to tell you.
It’ll take you out with a headache, back ache, or life-threatening illness if it has to in order to get your attention to create a new direction or decision for your life.  Your body won’t give up on you, and in that sense your body’s “illness signals” can be your best friend.
(Martha also taught how to hear those messages from the body sooner rather than later.)
3.  Learn from & Share with Others
Martha is a powerhouse of knowledge, and continues to learn every way she can.  Even though everyone looks up to her as one who has all the answers, she doesn’t play the “know it all” guru role.
She studies other cultures, other viewpoints, nature and animals, she reads voraciously and – she generously and enthusiastically shares her gained insights with others.
Lesson taken: Keep an open mind, and don’t keep it to yourself.
Those are three of my favorite things picked up from the incomparable Martha Beck.
If you’ve had the benefit of gaining life wisdom from Martha, please feel free to add to this Martha Love List by commenting below!

  • September 1, 2010
  • manda says:


  • That is a good one, Manda!
    Thanks for adding to the list!! 🙂

  • I love and embody these lessons! And I got goosebumos cos you said life my way – everywhere I look I am getting signs of Go, Go, GO with my new tagline 😀 Here’s to livin life your way, my way, our way! Martha’s a big thinking Saggi like me yknow (even though my Cappy rising is a big part of me as is my Cancer moon) Gosh I love me some astrology!

  • I not only love the astrology with you, Tia, but I REALLY love what you’re up to with your work! I thought of you when I found myself typing live life my way. That says to me you’ve got brand recognition going for you already!

  • Martha taught me that it’s okay to have a huge stack of books by my bedside, and that I don’t have to finish them all. In fact, I don’t have to finish ANY project I start. I don’t HAVE to do anything, and when I start thinking “I HAVE TO…” then I take a minute, make fun of myself, and go do the next fun thing.
    Martha taught me that spiritual growth could be fun, and that hilarity is a part of the hero’s journey. I could go on and on and on about how much she’s taught me about acceptance and deep joy and resting…And I just love her for that.

  • Among the many….
    1. Most thoughts are worth the attention and the attachment
    2. Your body doesn’t lie – your thoughts will lie to you on a regular basis – your body does not know how to lie
    3. Staying in my business is perfect

    1. Most thoughts are not worth the attention and the attachment

  • Sawa says:

    This is why I took her training!!!! 🙂

  • That’s funny, Hadley – Manda quoting Martha on just getting started, and you quoting her on not having to finish. hee hee She is kind of a “no rules” girl, isn’t she?!
    Love what you added about hilarity and fun as part of the journey. She does do that in spades!
    Thanks for reading and especially for posting, Hadley.

  • Sounds to me, Susan, like you resonated very well with the Byron Katie teachings that Martha shares. Those are good ones to incorporate, and I know you have done an excellent job of that! As well as anyone I know (and that’s saying something)!
    Thanks for pitching in on this one, my friend. 🙂

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Most of what I’ve learned from Martha I’ve learned from all of you. That’s proof she shares her knowledge and so do you all.
    Susan Hyatt has shared some great Martha tools with me for coping with overwhelm…my favorite being that if I HAVE to do something, then how can I do it in a way that feels good to me? What can I do that dresses it up or makes it fun or at least LESS of a chore?
    This is a perfect post for me today, because I was just telling someone how I love working for myself, even as a lawyer, but that I still get outside pressure from other lawyers and law firms to do things their way and be a “real lawyer”…whatever that means. I type this as I sit in my whitening trays and pjs researching both a legal issue for a client and looking for special wedding readings that mean something to me and my soon-to-be husband. That’s what I call my life my way.

  • That is FUNNY, Dana!! Getting pressure from others to do it their way while you’re thoroughly enjoying it YOUR way! ha ha
    SO glad you’re not even remotely tempted to conform. I like your style .
    Was nice to hear from you on this post – thanks, Dana!

  • Jessica says:

    How are we suppoused to know what our body is telling us?

  • That topic is a post in itself, Jessica, but I’ll see if I can find something she’s written up about it that I can provide a link to.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Iyabo Asani, leanesy. leanesy said: My Martha Beck #Love List […]

  • I LOVE Martha Beck! I agree with everything, I am currently listening to 2 of her audio books every day while I walk my dog. I love how you she gives me permission to just be me; flaws, warts, bumps and all…and how THAT is what makes me perfect.
    Love Martha Beck.

  • Anna says:

    My favorite thing I learned from Martha Beck is that she’s an effin FABULOUS trainer of coaches! Because the best thing I’ve learned is that IT’S OK to be EXACTLY WHO I AM!
    And both of these I learned from our beloved and much-adored (verbal rhyming on the second “ed” with the first) Jeannette Maw – and I am eternally grateful. So much that I’m thanking your parents for getting together that night, raising you right and screwing you up exactly as they did, so you could be exactly who you are – someone I respect, admire, look up to, trust, and look forward to talking with whenever possible because I always feel so incredibly fantastic leading up to, during and afterward.
    So, I LOVE Martha Beck because Jeannette LOVES Martha, I LOVE Jeannette, Jackson LOVES me, and Fred LOVES Jackson! (Jackson is my son, Fred is his guide)
    Now THERE’s a trickled down love effect to be admired!
    Thanks, Martha! (and Jeannette’s parents…)

  • Permission to love who we are – that’s a powerful one, huh, Kimberly and Anna?
    Thanks for posting!

  • Hmmmn.
    Three things I’ve learned from Jeannette Maw:
    1. Feel free to laugh a real laugh. A from-your-belly-button laugh. Whenever and wherever you feel the urge.
    2. You can absolutely manifest your dreams, but first you must be clear.
    3. Love is not something you aim to get, it’s something you aim to give.
    And, there’s a 4:
    4. Gratitude underlies all.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeannette Maw, Sherold Barr. Sherold Barr said: My Martha Beck Love List […]

  • Oh, Michele, you should read my “3 Things I Learned from Michele that Changed My Life” post! (Well, you will.) hee hee
    I’m LOVING this post series I have planned!!

  • Melissa says:

    If you have a problem and one of your solutions is not something illegal….then you are not thinking outside the box!

  • Melissa, that’s one of my FAVORITES! Ah, I forgot how much I love that one! I quote her on that all the time! lol
    Thanks for getting it listed here! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t recall exactly which book or article I read it in (I’ve read 90% of what she’s written), but somewhere she wrote something to effect that [there’s more than one way (perfect way) to be in this world]. That’s certainly NOT a quote, but I know she said something to that effect in something she wrote with reference to her son Adam, who has Downs Syndrome. I’ve LOVED that idea since the moment I first saw it written by Martha Beck, and I KNEW it was true.
    And, Martha, well, she’s taken the ‘stuffy’ & ‘uptight’ out of spirituality – THANK YOU MARTHA!
    She’s also restored my silly sense of humour – shaken me loose! And, I can’t get enough of what she writes, swear to God.
    Then, in searching for Martha Beck trained coaches, I find Jeannette Maw, which goes to prove that following the trail of gold leads to, BONUS!!!!, MORE gold!!!! Who knew?

  • Parul Bhargava says:

    My most favourite Martha Beck quote is, “All humans are united, no matter how great our differences, by our fear of looking dorky.”
    There’s something so poignant about the thought… I first came across it on her blog post, where she compares high-heel wearers and Zulu dancers, it’s an interesting read.I’m enclosing the link.

  • Anonymous, your energy feels really good to me – do we know each other?
    Parul, thanks for the link. I haven’t read that! Off to do so now …

  • Tami McCall says:

    I love this post, Jeannette, and I love YOU to pieces. Your energy, generosity of spirit, and clarity are in inspiration! Thank you!!

  • Thank you, Tami, and right back atcha! 🙂
    Ann, glad you found some inspiration it. That was my intention – to share the goods.
    Thanks for reading, you two!

  • Ann says:

    What a great way to start my day! Thank you for sharing and for turning me on to Martha Beck! I love living life my way!!!! You are an inspiration, Jeannette! Blessings & Bliss for a Happy Weekend!

  • Zoe Routh says:

    Parul – anyone who can use the word ‘dorky’ rocks in my book!
    Jessica – if your body is sick or hurting its saying something is out of alignment – you’re out of the vortex and some serious self-love and letting go is in order.
    Having had cancer,now I stop at headache to listen to my body
    I love Michele Woodward for celebrating Jeanette too! And herself! There are so many fantastic teachers gathering here – and we are still learning too.
    Gratitude- appreciation – I feel it for all of you 🙂

  • Indeed, Zoe, before I even finished reading your comment, I thought “hearing Zoe talk about listening to the body is as good as it gets.”
    No one can share that better than you, my friend, for having walked the talk.
    I appreciate your sharing your words of wisdom here! 🙂

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  • Rishan says:

    Thanks for the great post. I especially enjoyed the first part about it “being ok to live the way you want to live” – so many of us do things, then disapprove of ourselves for doing them, instead of simply allowing ourselves to enjoy doing the things we do. I’m a firm believer that self-acceptance, and acceptance of what is…is the cornerstone to peace.

  • Rishan, it fits nicely with your “It’s Ok to Do What You Want” post, doesn’t it? (Great blog, by the way!)
    I agree with you on self-acceptance and acceptance of what is – it’s actually the topic of my next group call!

  • Julio Blanco says:

    Reading Martha’s work is how I found you, Jeannette. Thanks to both of you for living life your own way… it inspires me to no end and it’s amazing how much impact your example has already had on my life. Deepest thanks from the depths of my heart.

  • Really? For some reason that surprises me to hear, Julio! But I will thank Martha for it (introducting us), next time I see her.
    PS – I just ordered your free ebook – it looks GREAT!

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