Martha Beck discusses the secrets to finding your destiny.
The secrets to discovering your destiny are they are sort of written in the enjoyment of your life.
And the best place to start finding out where that is most strongly directing you is your physical body.
Again, I tend to come back over and over to the physical body. I got three degrees from Harvard. I spent a lot of my life in my head and I learned that that’s not usually the best source for information about where I need to go in my life.
The brain is a wonderful tool to move us forward toward a goal, but it doesn’t know much about how to establish the goal. The body is actually a better indicator of that.
So, here’s a little game you can play. Think of something you really love to do and then just hold the thought of it in your mind as you scan your body with your attention and notice what the feelings are in your body physically when you think about doing that wonderful thing, okay?
Now think about something you really dislike doing, that you’ve had to do a lot in your life. Imagine doing that thing and then scan your body again with your attention.
Notice that you become more contracted, less energetic, there’s a feeling of heaviness. There might be constriction in your throat or your gut, just pay attention to that.
Now make a list of things that you have to do today and go down the list and imagine doing each thing and notice how your body reacts and you will find that it’s just like that children’s game; you are getting warmer; you are getting colder.
There are things that make your body sort of pick up and there are things that make your body retract.
In my experience after 20 years of coaching and living this way is that if you keep going toward the things that feel warm to your body your life gets more and more and more joyful.
And if you continue doing things that feel like they are colder you become more and more miserable until your life sort of screams that you have to stop and change direction.
So take the hints at the early stages. Go toward warming now, start today, put a few more warm things in your schedule and cross off a few more colder things, and pretty soon your life is going to be headed in a very different direction that is really, really wonderful.
About Martha Beck:
Martha Beck, Ph.D., is a writer and life coach who 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 has published academic books and articles on a variety of social science and business topics.
Her non-academic books include the New York Times bestsellers “Expecting Adam” and “Leaving the Saints,” as well as “Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live” and her newest book, “Steering by Starlight.” Dr. Beck has also been a contributing editor for many popular magazines, including Real Simple and Redbook, and is currently a columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine.