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our psyches and our spirits are geared to find the place where we are most joyful, because that is the place from which we are most powerful.
Mendhi Audlin 0:11
What's the difference between magical thinking and magic thinking? How do we learn to feel our way into our own futures? What are the two kinds of fear? How do we identify them when they show up? And how can we literally open up new neural pathways that allow us to move through that fear today on the web? If it all goes right podcast, I'm taking you back in time with me to one of my favorite all time interviews with Martha Beck. You may know Martha from her articles in Oh magazine. She's a best selling author and a Harvard trained sociologist. I first met Martha Beck when I read finding your own North Star. Not long after that I had the opportunity to interview Martha to discuss what was then her newest book, steering by Starlight find your right life no matter what Martha Beck is a world renowned life coach. She's wise, she's funny, she's real. Talking to her was like discovering that I had another sister. So today I'd like to share with you a throwback to that conversation, which is as relevant today as it was back then. So take a deep breath, grab a dream and let's do this.
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Brain down if you chase your dream, and it changes your
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Mendhi Audlin 1:36
I'm Mendhi Audlin. Welcome to the wealth it all goes right podcast. If you enjoy this program, I invite you to subscribe, share a comment and share it on your social media. Today I am sharing a throwback to an interview with world renowned life coach Martha Beck, Martha has a new program out called Think like a Wayfinder. Four Steps to your true self. And you can learn more about that at Martha beck.com. In this interview, we were talking about her book steering by starlight. So of course, I had to ask, what does it mean to steer by starlight? Well, I wrote a book when I first started doing life coaching, I came out of Harvard to be a sociology professor and then switch to life coach, which I'm sure if they had known what I was going to do, they would have rescinded my degree. But
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I started using the image of the North Star as symbolizing a part of each of us that knows our destiny, and in sort of an inner North Star. And so I use that metaphor for my first book. And then I coached for 15 years using the image of finding your own North Star. And what I realized was that people who did that started living these amazing lives. And after years and years of watching them, I wrote this book steering by Starlight to say, here's what happens. When you start following your own personal North Star, you start steering and your life is steered by forces that are not really of this world and magical, miraculous, wonderful things happen. And I finally just decided, after 13 years, I'm gonna write it down. Let's talk about what that means to be your true self to find that North Star. In her first book, Martha wrote about the socialized self versus the essential self, what's the difference. And the essential self is like what you were born with in your genes. Like, if you have a certain type of talent or an interest in music, or athletics or whatever, that's genetically what you prefer, and you need to go with your genotype, I was being very social sciency about it. But then I realized over the past 10 years that people's genotypes are susceptible to things like death, or dementia or paranoia. And those things aren't really the true self, even though they're genetically programmed in. So I started to notice that there's a different self that is not even part of the body, and I call that the Stargazer. It's the part of you that never loses sight of your destiny, even if you went crazy, this part of you would still be just steadfastly focused on what is right for you. And so getting to that, that's the point of this book. So what sorts of mystical magical miraculous things begin to happen when we step into that Stargate? Oh, it's so cool. I mean, one of the things it's so funny that we even take that out of our experience in our culture, where the only culture in history modern rationalist culture that takes away the mystical component of human experience. And the fact is, almost everyone has mystical experiences, we've just learned not to pay attention to them. So it's kind of like suppressing sexuality in the Victorian era. we suppress mysticism. And when you take away the usual social rules, and somebody sort of goes out and takes a gamble, what happens is that circumstances seem to begin to facilitate what you're doing. So it's very much for me, it has been like realizing that the fairy tales where the hero accepts the call and goes out, and then the animals start to help and the forest starts to help and magical helpers show up. This is the hero saga that's common to all cultures, so they're very variations in the details. And that's what I say
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happening when my clients start out on this type of path. And when I start out on that kind of path, literally, I've had when I've gone to Africa and had animals come and seem to be communicating with me things about my own destiny, that's how weird it's gotten. And I have, I've been examined by psychiatrists.
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I'm telling you, when I learned horse whispering, which is a big part of my coaching now. And when you realize that the horse knows you're speaking in its language of gesture, and the horse, a wild horse will do this will come and just wrapped its head against your shoulder without a rope or without anything. It's like, Oh, my God, all the magic I believed in as a little kid, it's all real. It's already. And it gets just the whole world responds to you like that. If you are willing to follow your own Northstar, without any variations. That sounds a bit like magical thinking here in The What If UP Club, when we ask the question, what if it all goes right? Sometimes people say, but isn't that magical thinking? Well, there's a difference between magical thinking and magic thinking, what's the difference? Magical thinking is where using your bills make you feel scared, and horrible. So you tell yourself, the only reason that I have bills is that I think about them. So I'm going to not think about bills ever. And I'm not going to go pick them up from the mailbox and they will go away. Okay, that's magical thinking, magic thinking is wow, I have all these bills. Now I'm going to get really deep inside myself and see what brings me the most joy. And strangely enough, My instincts tell me to quit my job and create a new business for myself. And I'm going to dare to do this crazy thing. Even though I have these bills. And I feel in my heart that the moment I start doing this, the bills will be taken care of, and you dare to do it. They used to call it walking out on the Word of God and the, you know, the Southern Baptist community. And you dare to do that not because gosh, it would be great if your bills were gone. But because you feel a peaceful core knowing that says I should go this way, I should learn this. And I call it the core of peace. Things that are that come from the shallow level of material thinking, do not have any magic in them. But the things you believe and feel in the core of peace are tremendously magical and powerful. In our worship community, we talk about our feelings as an important part of creating the life that you want. Martha writes about this, she says external circumstances do not create feeling states, feeling states create external circumstances biggest lesson I've learned as a coach, if you actually experienced something as it is meant to happen to you, I believe I mean, Einstein said, people like us who believe in physics understand that the distinction between the past the present and the future is nothing more than a stubbornly persistent illusion. So I believe that we feel our own futures. So being willing to say I feel this in my future is really, really different from coming from a shallow perspective and saying, in a very manic way, I hope, I hope, I hope that this is true. So we can feel our way into our future. And when those feelings are manic or panicky or anxious, we have the power to go back and the what we call the creative cycle, to change the way we are thinking so we can create a new way forward. Your thoughts are entities and quantum physics. You know, Einstein looked at relativity on the very big scale of things. While quantum mechanics on the very small end of things the physicists tell us all matter is basically just energy and thoughts are energy. And it's been well tested that our thoughts can actually affect the physical universe not in really grossly obvious ways that in laboratory experiments, we can affect things like random number generators, just for our intentions. So there's something people are waking up to this incredible power, but learning to use it is a little bit like learning to ride a bicycle or ice skate or something. You just there's a balancing that has to occur. There's a certain finesse that you need in order to keep from just falling into magical thinking which is totally ineffective when that's where the process begins. So in steering by starlight, you talk about it is a process. This is a metamorphic process and even compare it to like the caterpillar becoming the butterfly. Right? So tell us a little bit about that metaphor. Well, the interesting thing about caterpillars becoming butterflies is that they don't just pull up in their little cocoon and grow wings. The first thing that happens with many species of Caterpillar is that they go into their cocoons and they completely dissolve into a liquid. So if you've caught up in the cocoon, you would see nothing that looks even remotely alive. And it's just a soup, but given time it reassembles the DNA gives that soup a set of instructions for
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reassembling themselves into a butterfly. It's a total miracle. And I believe that there are many times in human life when we go through a similar experience with our psyche, so our psyches have our egos, our thoughts, structures have to melt down entirely. And it is like dying. Because conceptually, your mind is giving up everything it is, and it feels like a death. And it's scary as a death. And it requires grieving like death. But the joyous part of it is, we get to be reborn, while we're still in these bodies, and experience becoming a new creature over and over and over again, as many times as it happens to us, if we know how to submit to the process. So that's part of what this book is about. Well, at this point, I had a laugh, because I was very familiar, and still am. With the feeling of that goopy mess of transformation. It can be terrifying, especially the first time it happens. But what if it gets easier each time we are willing to go there? Once you've been through it a few times, it's less terrifying. Yeah. Oh, and I, I teach my clients to say, Oh, this is melting down, I'm melting down again. I hate it when I melt down, but I'm just gonna allow it to go forward. So this brought up the topic of surrender, and not surrender to horrible fate, not surrender to horrible people, but surrender to what is happening to you at the moment. And surrender. This is an odd thing, but a surrender to believing what you wish were true, is true. I really do believe that one of our biggest jobs is to believe that what we yearn for is the truth. What You Love is what God wants for you. Not what's hard, not what's painful, but joy and peace and ease. Those are the feelings that God gives you. And if God is love, what other feelings would God give you? So let that nugget sink in a bit. And one of the biggest jobs, she says is to believe that what we yearn for is the truth. This is truly the intention at the heart of the question, what if it all goes right? So that brings us to the question of faith, trusting that this truth is actually possible. But to me faith now is you trust that this moment will take you to the place you need to go if you allow it to be as it is, without any resistance whatsoever. The first time I really articulated this is when I was pregnant with my son and he had just been diagnosed with Down syndrome. And I had chosen not to end the pregnancy because it was very late in the pregnancy. But I was absolutely terrified. I didn't know if he would die. And I was 25 years old. I wasn't like a seasoned veteran ready for this. So I remember putting on a recording of The Jungle Book, the Disney copy of The Jungle Book for my daughter who was 18 months old. And there's a song in there where this snake is trying to hypnotize Mowgli and he sings this song called trust in me. And I remember sitting there and I heard these words, trust in me trust in me, trusting me. And for the first time since the diagnosis, I started to relax enough to fall asleep. And I just yearned to trust. And at the same time, I'm thinking this is a song being sung by night.
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But I felt like it was something reaching to me through those lyrics that was very powerful and completely loving. My guest is Martha Beck and at this time in our interview, we were talking about her book steering by starlight, find your right life no matter what. So I asked her to talk more about that last important bit, no matter what people tend to give up. They think now it's really too late. I'm too old. I'm too fat. I'm too broken. I'm too hurt. My relationship is whatever it is, it's too late. And I really wanted to tell people No, no, no, it is never ever, ever too late. Because if you're going to go off into my kind of zany belief system, you've got to know that you will never be allowed to leave the earth with your purpose unfulfilled. It just is not going to happen. You're still ready for it. If you start surrendering to it, it is going to happen and it's going to be a lot of well fun doesn't even begin to describe it as glorious. It is glorious. So with so much at stake. Why do so many of us make up all those excuses that prevent us from living the dream. It is in our brain there is a little bit of the brain that is very deep in our structurally in our brains and also in our psychology, and it's called the reptile brain by psychologists because it first of all didn't reptiles. I call it your inner Lizard.
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Lizard. Its only function is to spit out two kinds of fear. One fear is something bad's gonna happen to me and I call that attack fears. And then the other fear is there's not enough for me. There's not enough food not enough mate. There's not enough shelter, whatever that I call lack fear. So our lack and attack fears are pretty much
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as medical psychologists have found that they are pretty much always active. And so if we obey our fear, we never get to experience the things that are the rest of our brain is interested in because the inner lizard is driving the bus the entire time. That lizard doesn't drive very well, either. It's no, it's been a wild ride driver and, you know, wakes up in the middle of the night and things. Danger Danger Will Robinson. There's no danger, you're sitting there on, you're lying in your nice bed. And yeah, there are problems in the world. But things are not that bad. And the inner lizard is going absolutely nuts, you know that beyond the alert, don't sleep. In fact, most of our big illnesses, degenerative illnesses, and also obesity, I wrote a book on that are very tied into the inner lizard. The more we listen to our inner lizards, the louder they scream, you can't like hate them. If you feed them, they just get stronger. They get bigger, they get bigger, they get stronger, they get more convincing, and they create patterns of behavior that actually make us physically ill, as well as miserably unhappy. But the lizard brain does have a good intention, right? Oh, it's really well and well intentioned, is just kind of dumb. So how do we inform our lizard? Or how do we, you know, put it on the leash and keep it keep it at bay? Well, you need to know the difference between a genuine survival fear and the inner lizard, I always recommend the book the gift of fear by Gavin de Becker, because he talks about how real fear is extremely motivating you know exactly what to do. There's a clarity involved. If you've talked to people who've been in real danger, they'll say, I just went into action. i There wasn't even time to be to feel that kind of panic. However, later when the dangers passed by sat for years, gritting my teeth, and brooding about how it might happen again, the real fears that are helpful actually feel healthy. It's like I said, magical thinking that doesn't work feels manic. So does unfounded fear, it feels hyper and anxious. And without any action implication, if you feel that way, you're listening to your inner lizard. And the fear is not real. And you need to be able to watch that fear and watching it and sort of laughing at yourself. Oh, there goes my inner lizard that actually physically changes the structure of your brain, observing your own fear without listening to it changes the brain so that you become less and less afraid. Absolutely amazing. So after chatting with Martha about fear, I asked her about something else that she mentioned in her book, pain in steering by starlight, Martha references, clean pain and dirty pain. So what's the difference? Oh, clean pain. And I have to credit a psychologist named Steven Hayes for this. Clean pain is when for example, you've lost a loved one. There's no way to just be happy, happy happy about that. So you'll grieve that or if I came up and smacked you in the head, and it physically hurt. That's clean pain, dirty Pain is pain that comes not from events, but from thoughts about event. So if I smacked you in the head and then walked away, and you sat there thinking to yourself, it's all my fault. I'm a bad person, or all women hate me? Or what if she does it again? Yeah, if we want to she's, she's coming back any minute. And she's, you know, whatever. That's all dirty pain. And animals. Don't feel that because they don't have the ability to think abstractly. So they're much more peaceful than we are. And they actually are closer to their destinies I believe. So how do we dig ourselves out of those dirty pain dungeons? An easy way is just to say, Okay, what's the belief that's driving this? Now think of as many reasons is that not true, as you can possibly come up with? And just starting to think through reasons. I was just talking to a woman who said she wanted to follow her intuition, but she was afraid to and I said, What's the the frightening thought? The frightening thought that she would be pulled into, like bankruptcy. So I said, and that's it's classic lizard fear. But just to say, why will you not be dragged into bankruptcy? Well, let's see, it's never happened before. I've always had plenty of money, something always came to help. I've had this fear for 25 years, and it never once come true. I have a good savings account and a life insurance policy on my husband, thinking logically, and it actually creates neuron paths in the brain that are different from the fear based neuron path. So it strengthens the calming part of the brain and takes strength away from the fearful part of the brain. And that's why we like to say in The What If UP Club practice makes progress. I'm talking with Martha Beck about the different stages of living your ultimate life. And one of those stages that Martha
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writes about is dream time. Tell us about dream time. Well, to go back to the metaphor of the caterpillar, once the dissolving of the old ego is complete, what happens is that something wakes up inside the cells that tells them how to create a butterfly. And what usually happens for humans, since we're talking about the melting down of a belief system isn't the new ideas about what we are to become, start to show up in our night dreams? Excuse me, I've got two dogs going completely bananas. That's the great thing about living your dream life. You get to have your dogs right there, right? Yes, I write about their frequent interruptions, and
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it's everywhere. Anyway, you started having these odd dreams. And I cannot tell you that I was just gonna tell you before we started the show, every time I go to Africa, I find myself reliving dreams that I had about 20 years ago, I had these very vivid dreams. And I thought that they were all symbolic images, because they were like impossible, like elephants on a beach with penguins. Turns out, they were all real. They're all real. And I wrote them down, I drew pictures of them because they were so intense. And 20 years later, suddenly, I'm ending up in the middle of these dream scenes. And I, you know, I long ago had dismissed them as symbolic. So I think there are a lot of symbolic dreams. And I go through my favorite kind of dream analysis in the book and try to teach the reader to do that. But even beyond symbolism, dreams, I think, carry information about our right lives that is sometimes just straight across factual information. So this is from the book steering by Starlight by Martha Beck. Now Martha says there are a few dream time errors to watch out for error number one, making too much of magic and miracles. So how would that look in our lives? Oh, every bit, you know, I had, there's this woman and I knew she was going to move somewhere. And she went for a walk on the beach, and she tripped. So that to her was a sign that she shouldn't go, you know, all these, we get into this magical thinking, if I turn around three times, and close my eyes tightly, then my baseball team will win, you know, it just we start putting you have a few dreams that are like, pre cognitive or deeply symbolic, it's something wonderful. And then you may have a dream just because you ate something strange. You do not have to. It's not all of a sudden, every single bit of it, you know, fraught with meaning that can be a little exhausting. Yeah, because it's just some of it's just ordinary dreams. There's not a lot to it. But when the real dreams come the big dreams, as Jung called them, they have a very different feeling. And again, they're characterized by that deep peace. So that's dream time. Era. Number one, dream time, era. Number two, is making too little of magic and miracles. But we come from a culture that, you know, they're coming off things like the the Spanish Inquisition where people were killed for not believing the right religion.
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You know, the rationalist founders went a little too far the other direction, they said nothing that is not physical exists at all. And boy, did I get a dose of this in 10 years at Harvard, you know, you just don't talk about having any mystical experiences. And that really robs us of part of the legacy of being human. And it's been acknowledged in every culture, except rationalism, you know, all over the world at all times, and places and rationalists say, well, that proves that it's just a brain phenomenon. Well, you know what all cultures say they see the moon too. And that doesn't mean that the moon is a brain phenomenon. It means there's a moon.
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And in this case, it means there's a mystical world, there's a mystical level of perception. At this point, we talk about creating what Martha calls a star chart. So how does that work? Um, it's you go inside, and you read what is written in your own soul. And it's written in the language of desire, which is such anathema to many Christians, and also many Eastern religions. They'll say, No, desire is the root of all evil. Desire is the beginning of suffering. Actually, that's not what the Masters taught. They taught that attachment to desire is the root of suffering, becoming obsessed with what we desire, and saying, only that can make me happy, and I will not let go, that can get you crazy. But if God is love, which I believe, then moving toward God means moving toward love, and that is delicious. It is what we all yearn for. So you go inside and you read the chart that is written in the language of yearning in your own soul, and you find a way to believe that what you yearn to be true is possible. And you open yourself to the possibility and that's when the magic starts. I love it. Bring on the magic. So how do we take the first step? You vividly picture the thing that is you're yearning for. And then you
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Speak to magical spell or prayer, whatever your prayer is. Thanks, I quit. Thanks, I quit. And the thanks is an expression of gratitude because it's like, Okay, I've ordered that I know it's coming. And the I quit is releasing attachments so that you give it permission to happen. And I don't know exactly the, the mechanics of this. But I can tell you after 15 years of watching people's lives through a microscope, I completely believe that this works, that if you find what you yearn for deeply, and it may be a Mercedes, but it's probably not, right. Yes. If you imagine that what you yearn for most deeply is true, and you picture it and you then experience total gratitude for it and let it go. It will happen, maybe not exactly what you pictured, but the essence of what you really wanted it and go process is really important. If what you really want is self esteem, and you think of it as a Mercedes, it may not come as a Mercedes. But if you picture something making you feel wonderful, that'll happen, and it will take the form that is most beneficial for you. Thank you to Martha Beck. I hope you've enjoyed this throwback interview and captures some inspiring ideas to help you steer by that North Star. You can check out more books by Martha Beck as well as her new program. Think like a Wayfinder at Martha beck.com If you'd like show notes for today's episode and future episodes of the what if it all goes right podcast? You can subscribe at what if up.org While you're there, what if you join us The What If UP Club is a nonprofit organization on a mission to elevate humanity by spreading hope building connection and inspiring positive change. We would love to connect with you bring your good ideas to life. I'm Mendhi Audlin Thanks for tuning in. I will see you next week. In the meantime, what if you follow your North Star? What if you tame your fears and what if it all goes right?
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rains down if you chase your dream
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