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Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the…

Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live (edition 2002)

by Martha Beck

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552718,107 (3.98)5
Title:Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live
Authors:Martha Beck
Info:Three Rivers Press (2002), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck



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This book saved my life. I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say that. I was deep in the grip of depression when my onii-san, David, let me borrow his copy of "Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live" by Martha Beck. I was in pain, confused, and trying desperately to claw my way out of a hole I had only recently realized I was in. I needed to make sense of what was happening to me, why I was so unhappy, and what to do about it. Listening to other people doesn’t help me much because I often find it hard to relate to someone else’s thought processes. But books…a book I can read. A book I can understand and apply to my own life and experiences. And "Finding You Own North Star" helped me do just that.

"Finding Your Own North Star" helps you make sense of your life and find sources of unhappiness and happiness around you through self-examination and gentle suggestions. Exercises are present throughout the book to help you along. Most of all, "North Star" tells you to listen to your own body. Too often we override our emotions, our instincts, our gut reactions in favor of cold, hard logic or doing what we have to do, regardless of the damage it may cause us. We each have an internal north star, a sensation that tells us when we are getting close to something that is good for us, and the deep-set sickness that comes when we are on a course counter to our inner star. Since I’ve been trained to delay or deny my own needs in favor of the needs of others, I’m still working on sorting out and pinpointing these feelings. But at least I pay much more attention to my body and reactions to people, situations, and choices in my life. If I’m aware of what’s making me happy or unhappy, I can take steps to change my external life to more closely match what Martha Beck calls, my “essential self.” If you suffer from depression, unhappiness, or dissatisfaction with your life, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  Starsister12 | Jan 18, 2014 |
When Martha Beck first got "found" (by Oprah?) she was interesting in how she presented her ideas, with a generous amount of casual humor thrown in. I liked her books. Now, after many books, and with a regular column in Oprah magazine, she seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel with old ideas presented as new, and the cute "humor" now just juvenile and tedious. ( )
1 vote afinch11 | Aug 22, 2013 |
I am increasingly impressed by Martha Beck. While not every single thing she says rings true for me, I find that she brings together a great many concepts, familiar and unfamiliar, in ways that make total and immediate sense. Even things that should be obvious to me suddenly make more sense and have more context after reading her anecdotes. I find her refreshing, funny, thought-provoking and practical. I will be reading more of her work. ( )
  mandochild | Feb 9, 2012 |
This is my favorite self-help book (fortunately or unfortunately, however your glass is filled, I've read a lot of them). Martha Beck packs a tremendous amount of information and guidance into this book, and along with her sense of humor, I found so much support and strength in its pages.

Definitely a keeper, I will continue to refer back to it as I waiver in my journey to find my own North Star. Intelligent, supportive--I need all the help I can get to be the best possible person and sometimes I have to find that help outside of myself. She makes a person see their situation for the truth it is and what it isn't, and work towards a fulfilling life.

Very much recommended to everyone. ( )
  DanaJean | Mar 29, 2010 |
amazing amazing book about figuring out how to live a life that is right for you, and resonates with your own inner compass.
  mochap | Mar 22, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812932188, Paperback)

Put the telescope away; the North Star mentioned here is a human body, not a heavenly one. And like Polaris, which has guided sailors for centuries, the human body's gut feelings and emotions can help guide a wayward soul back to his or her "essential self." In this absorbing combination of detailed self-awareness exercises and true stories from her own counseling experience (equal parts sobering and hysterically entertaining), Harvard-trained sociologist Martha Beck invites readers to explore their heart's desires and the vast social webs that keep such desires in check. The goal is not to forsake the "social self" and indulge every emotional impulse of the "essential self." Rather, Beck gives readers the tools and the encouragement to achieve maximum happiness by harmonizing these typically divergent voices.

Beck (author of Expecting Adam) admits that repairing a damaged emotional compass and setting out on such a vital journey--which often involves painful realizations and changes--"has all the combined attractions of suicide and childbirth." But the payoff, she concludes, is a love affair with real life. To that end, she walks readers through a lengthy exercise to evaluate their current lifestyle's pleasures and pains, teaches the process of listening to the body for directional cues, describes how to extract "soul shrapnel" (healing all those nasty, self-defeating emotional wounds), and provides an intriguing "Map of Change" to achieve an authentic life. Beck's impressive knowledge, her engaging (if somewhat irreverent) voice, and her ability to parse this scary process into achievable steps make her a new champion in the self-help arena. --Liane Thomas

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:43 -0400)

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