Interview with Martha Beck: Author, Coach & an Inspiration
Kelly: In writing your memoir and telling your own personal story, what were some of the after effects both positive and negative? How did telling your story shift you personally, emotionally and professionally?
Martha: Well I have written two memoirs, but if you are referring to my memoir, Leaving Mormonism, How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith – at first it was not a fabulous time. It was truly the scariest thing I ever did. All of the things I feared would happen – happened. I was truly afraid for my life at times. I feared that I would be ruined. I hired five lawyers to determine credible threats to me. But truly, after I walked through the fear I realized it did not destroy me. Telling my story actually set me free. I received many many letters of support. I stopped counting at 2000. Many of them said that the book “saved their lives” and to this day I still receive letters thanking me. One letter would have been enough to know that I helped someone that was going through what I went through.
One example of this was when I was traveling in Utah. After my book was published I was truly afraid of being recognized – especially in Utah. So I went into a Starbucks because Mormons do not drink coffee. I felt safe knowing I would probably not be recognized in a coffee shop. Then, a female barista grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let go and looked at me with gratitude and said, “Thank you for writing the book.” This is just one example of many in how sharing my story impacted others’ lives. All of the letters of support made me less afraid and freed me of my fear.
Kelly: Did telling your story inspire you to take more action in your life and in what way?
Martha: Telling my story in two different memoirs made me less afraid to do what I thought was right in life. It made me more dependent on faith and my own inner compass. Additionally, when everything that I feared would happen actually came true after I told my story and I still survived, it actually freed me from fear even more.
Kelly: We base Wf1 on authenticity and inspiration, so with those two words: 1) How do you define authenticity in your own life and act on it?
Martha: In all of my books, lectures and throughout my own personal life, I truly believe one should never lie with their words or their actions. I write about finding your own moral compass in several of my books. Of course someone needs to tell the truth to themselves first, and find out what their truth is before they can be authentic with others through their own words and actions. If I become aware of a place where I am not telling the truth for a specific reason, I make a conscious choice to do that know what is true for me. I believe you should never lie to yourself – always own your truth.
For example, I had a big realization the other day when I was heading to do a taping for Oprah. I was looking outside of my car at these two dogs that were playing and I realized in that moment that I really don’t like filming over and over half as much as I like being outside in nature and with animals. I have been doing television appearances for all of these years and I just now got real with myself about knowing what is true for me and important for my own happiness and authenticity. It is inauthentic to do something if its not what you love.
Kelly: What inspires you?
Martha: After my time in Africa, I founded The Leap Foundation, (Love + Energy + Alignment = Power) a foundation that supports the The Good Work Foundation, an organization whose goal is to bring world class education to the rural areas of South Africa. The foundation also brings in safaris so local people can make money using ancient tracking systems. They create skills so the culture can profit from helping the wilderness. I realized that this healing can be done not only in South Africa, but can be done anywhere. So, recently, I literally spent almost all of my money on a ranch in California. In my most recent book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Reclaim the Life You Want, I talk about my adventures in Africa and the South Africans working together to heal their eco-system and the Earth itself. I want to do this on my ranch in my new community. This is my life’s passion – to help people heal the Earth and themselves. This decision is not financially what any advisor would recommend. But it felt true and right in my life’s purpose. I am going to use it as a base of operations for people to be healed – emotionally and spiritually. It is like restoring eden for people and their environment. It feels like a deeply spiritual decision for myself.
Kelly: Thank you Martha for sharing your time, your energy, your wisdom and most importantly, your life force in empowering the people of this world to step into their own greatness. Additionally, thank you for personally inspiring me to follow my passion and speak my own truth.