There’s No “I” in “TEAM”…But There’s ME

Yo!  Martha’s First Blog Post!

Hi, it’s me, Martha.  I recently realized that all I really want to do was sit down and yack with my coaches and clients.  I tried doing this on the phone, and lost six pounds because I forgot to leave time to eat.  So I’ve decided a blog is the way to do my yacking.  I’ll be posting every couple of weeks.  I wish we were hanging out drinking margaritas and roasting marshmallows somewhere in a wilderness paradise, but for now, this will work for a “campfire.”

So about a year ago, I decided I was about to die.Not in a hypochondriacal or suicidal sort of way—I was healthy as a horse and happy as a clam—but because I’d finished every project and realized every dream I could imagine.I was standing on the summit of my personal Everest, looking out at the amazing view, filled with gratitude, with nothing left to climb.Since no new dreams or goals sounded interesting to me, I figured I was all finished, and was about to experience the adventure of death.

So I made sure my will was in order, doubled my life insurance, and headed off to Africa, to run a coach training course.Along the way, I had to stop at my favorite place, Londolozi, a game reserve in northern South Africa that feels like heaven. I wondered, with no little excitement, if I was destined to be killed by lions.I mean, what a way to go, right?  Tell me where I’m wrong!

But to my astonishment, no lions ate me.Instead, I got operating instructions for the rest of my life.

AND HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN.  (Probably.)

If you’re reading this, it’s because you have some sort of interest in, or at least curiosity about, my work: writing, coaching, speaking.And if you have such interest or curiosity, it’s probably because you’re on the Team.

I’ve been aware of the Team since I was a small child, though I still don’t quite understand it.I just felt oddly different from most other people, as I think most children do, except that occasionally I’d see someone and feel a small burst of recognition:“Oh!That person’s on my Team!”I had no idea why I thought this, or why some people were so clearly my Team, while others clearly weren’t.There was no age, gender, race, ethnic, or socioeconomic bias to the Team: I “recognized” people who seemed wildly different from one another.

What all these people shared was a faraway perspective, a sense of standing outside ordinary society and puzzling over its many problems.For a while I called them “Watchers,” though I had a sense they were meant to do more than just watch.At some point, I always felt, the Team had a job to do.And we were all in training for that job.

I pushed these thoughts away during my skeptical adolescent years, but they came back like a tsunami after my son Adam was born, when I was 25. I still had no idea what the Team was meant to do, but I was getting a vague picture.It had something to do with facilitating a major change in the way human beings think.I was in academia, so I figured I’d add a tiny pebble to the edifice of social science, and that would be it.No one would even notice, which was okay by me.

Over the past 20 years, the number of Teammates I’ve spotted has grown exponentially.For the past two years, Team members have been coming out of the woodwork.Many of them have simply walked up and asked me, “We’re on the same Team, aren’t we?”I’m not even surprised by this any more.I just say, “Yup.”

“Do you know what we’re doing?” they’ll say.

“Not exactly,” I tell them.“Something about a transformation of consciousness.”

“Of course,” they say, as though this is very old news.“But do you know exactly how?”

“No idea,” I tell them, then add something I heard from Teammate Betsy Rapoport: “but whatever it is, we move at dawn.”

 

The Task of the Team

This conversation happens to me more in South Africa than anywhere else (you South Africans are big-time Team, the whole kit and kaboodle of you).So I should’ve expected that instead of dying on that Africa trip, I’d awaken to a whole new slate of dreams and goals.

That trip, I met a whole slew of Team members, whose lives are about “rebuilding Eden.”I learned that Londolozi, the wildest place I’ve ever been, was reclaimed from dessicated farmland by John and David Varty, who inherited the land when they were teenagers.Since then, they’ve repaired massive swathes of land all over Africa.According to one of the geologists who’s helped them do this, it would cost $38 billion dollars to repair every ecosystem on earth.This includes having healthy humans who can live on the land by preserving it, rather than ruining it.When I read Dave Varty’s book, The Full Circle, I finally realized why I can’t die just yet.I have to help the Team accomplish one little task.

We have to save the world.

Oh. That.

Understand that I am a natural pragmatist and a trained sociologist.Long ago, I assessed the way the human population was expanding and affecting ecosystems, and decided that I’d tell my kids not to have kids, because that way there would be fewer humans to suffer when everything goes to hell and only the cockroaches survive.To preserve a world where humans can thrive, we not only have to stop ruining the planet, we have to repair much of the damage we’ve already done.Until a year ago, I didn’t think this was possible.Now I believe it may be.But it’s going to take the whole Team, pulling together.

So, are you in?

 

Your Role On the Team

There are probably millions of Teams on earth right now.I only “recognize” people who happen to be in mine, but this isn’t an exclusionary categorization, just a functional one.I’m still not at all sure how we should coordinate our actions when dawn breaks.But I can tell you some of the common characteristics of my Team, and these characteristics will give us some clues about our respective and collective jobs.See if you identify with any of these criteria:

  • You’ve always felt separate and odd, misunderstood by others while having the ability to make them feel understood.
  • You’re haunted by a feeling of having something incredibly important to do, but you don’t know what it is.Over the past couple of years, this feelings has become almost overwhelmingly intense.
  • You hate small talk, but find that large talk is not encouraged.
  • You love, love, love animals; in fact, your life feels incomplete unless you’re interacting with animals.  This is your posse:
 
  • Your childhood and adolescence were difficult.Like really, really difficult—abuse, addiction, years-of-total-despair difficult.
  • You’ve had a significant “life accident” such as losing several family members to death, being physically disabled, or having a child with a disability.
  • You’ve had a long-term, disabling and/or painful illness that was mysteriously unresponsive to medical treatment.
  • You occasionally feel compelled to learn or create certain things, without really knowing why.
  • You’ve begun meeting people who are like you, in a strange way you can’t articulate, and you feeling powerfully drawn to these people despite lots of surface differences.

If this is ringing your chimes, you’re the kind of person who, in a traditional culture, would probably have been identified as a shaman, a wizard, a druid, a medicine person.  You may also have been burned at the stake.  Oh, well, nothing is perfect.

So it’s wonderful to live in a time when the burning-at-the-stake thing has been scaled down.On the other hand, it’s a bummer to be a natural-born shaman in a culture that doesn’t believe in shamans.You may not know exactly what to do with your life.Maybe you’re posing as a therapist, a hospice worker, a human-resources coordinator, or some other identity that is our society’s pale version of tribe mystic.You probably haven’t been trained as a shaman—I haven’t been, and I’d never claim the label.But I was born with the bug.And if you were, too, we probably have similar roles in the saving of the world.

 

Getting Ready to Save the World

The traditional life’s work of a tribe shaman has two components:

1.Learn to align oneself with the Powers That Be.

2.Use connection with the Powers That Be to teach and to heal.

Of these two tasks, the former is far and away the most important.In my “life coaching” system, which is really a form of tribal teaching, we say we have to “live it to give it.”

The good news is that if you live it—if you behave according to your own ethics and constantly work to be more authentic—you can’t help giving it.People will hunt you down to ask for your advice, and they’ll feel healed by being near you.  The word “wizard” comes from the same root as “wisdom,” and wisdom is always in short supply.  It’s a seller’s market…with one catch.

The bad news is that trying to give it without living it (not walking your talk) can make you diabolical.No one does more damage than a born shaman who’s aligned with the wrong Force. Both “living it” without “giving it” and “giving it” without “living it” are impossible.  You must stay in balance to be a Good Wizard.

It’s worth noting here that the term “charisma” is a Greek word that refers to the quality of being connected to the spiritual realm.A “charismatic leader” can create either great good or great evil, be a Martin Luther King or a Hitler.Even if you were born to serve only yourself, your kids, and the dog, being born a shaman means you’ll have unusual influence, so it behooves you to live rightly.

Once you set out to live as authentically as possible, you’ll automatically download the operating instructions for your particular role in saving the world.You may feel drawn to active application of geology and ecology, like Dave Varty.You may become a politician.You may adopt a stray cat.Everyone on the Team has a different, unique path.Shamans are alike in some ways.In other ways, we’re wildly different.The way for you to teach and heal is your way only.So how do you know you’re on track?In a shamanic kinda way.

 

How To Stay On Track

Happily, shamans have a built-in safety mechanism to help keep them (us) on track: if we don’t live authentically and serve others, we become physically sick and psychologically tortured.To stay healthy and happy, you must follow your singular path, even when every bit of social pressure and cultural custom dictate otherwise.You have to realize that “shaman sense” and “common sense” may look very divergent to the people around you—but for you, the two are always aligned.

When my life was filled with activities and intentions that weren’t “on course” for me, I was clinically depressed and/or crippled by massive chronic pain, eventually diagnosed as fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, and a few other incurable illnesses.As long as I live my shaman-path, however, I’m very happy and my “incurable” illnesses are completely dormant—no symptoms at all.

 

So the way to follow your own personal operating instructions is to do whatever makes you happiest.That may sound selfish, but shamans are only happy when helping others.When we’re helping, we’re happy, and when we’re happy, we’re helping.Saving a swathe of Africa, becoming a doctor, writing a book—these are all just byproducts of living in the joy zone.

Right now—ever since that trip to Africa—my operating instructions have been telling me to do what I’m doing right now: find the Team, and tell them who they are.If you’re not on my Team, this whole blog post is ridiculous to you.I don’t mind.I’ve been accused of heresy and insanity plenty of times.But maybe you’re thinking, “I’m on the Team!I’m on the Team!”If so, I’ll be writing to you and about you in future blogs.For now, all I’ll say is, this is Martha Beck, and we move at dawn, and what’s more, my dears, it is almost sunrise.

 

 

 

131 replies
    • Livia
      Livia says:

      I’m have definitely been on the team since I was born. Once someone came to me to ask me at work what fase of the moon she should cut her hair…because you know..”You are that type of person that knows about ioga , breathing and lunar cutting hair schedule…those weird things..” hahahah I had to laugh how she put everything in the same category. To her dismay I had no clue when she had to cut her hair! But that was how I’m usually seen as …Thank you for making me feel I belong somewhere!

      Reply
  1. Alexis Martin Neely
    Alexis Martin Neely says:

    Yep, I’m on the team. So much of what you wrote speaks directly to me that I almost can’t stand it. I can feel the tingling in my body, the aliveness waking up to your call.

    For the longest time, I thought there was something wrong with me for all the things you described. I didn’t want to be on the odd duck team and yet I was and there was/is just no denying it.

    Thank you for adding one more reason to embrace the truth of who I am and my destiny to help others do the same.

    I’m ready to move out. Let’s do it!

    With lots and lots of love,
    Alexis

    Reply
  2. Mary Ann
    Mary Ann says:

    Cool post, Martha! I’m enjoying your site, “talkies” and Steering by Starlight!

    I think you’ve given me the title for a new painting (We Move at Dawn) Ddon’t know what the painting is yet but it is interesting how inspiration finds a way, maybe it’s teamwork?.

    I live in Nova Scotia, and the connection to Africa isn’t lost on me, even though I’ve never been there. Over the horizon from our Atlantic shores, if we could see it, the land mass we’d be looking at is Morocco, and the rock formations here and there share many of the same features. Maybe when our shoreline broke away, it started at dawn?

    I’ve been studying light in the early morning lately, the emerald green that sometimes shows up close to the horizon especially catches my attention. Here’s a link to one I did recently: http://maryann.ca/ma/that-hour/

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog posts and your team members’ blog posts too! They’re wonderful.

    Reply
  3. Robyn
    Robyn says:

    Yep, I’m on the team – just been hanging out at my post out in the hinterlands. Your words are so influential. I got halfway through Following Your own North Star, when I got so emboldened and connected with what you were saying, it gave me the added encouragement to do what I’d been needing to do – I quit my job and started my own business. A few other new ideas have evolved out of this huge shift which has given me renewed energy. Thank you for following your North Star – it has helped the rest of us follow ours!

    Reply
  4. Angelica
    Angelica says:

    YES! I’m on the TEAM!!
    You’ve described me to a T 🙂
    From the horrific childhood to being a “watcher” — tho I’ve called it a “recorder” as I’ve journaled since about age 9.
    Luckily I’ve followed my Path for years and absolutely love it — tho there’s something else Calling….
    Blessings for your Great Work.
    Angelica

    Reply
  5. joanne
    joanne says:

    I’ve had this blog in my feed reader for quite some time without really knowing how I found it or why I originally felt compelled to put it in there. And then I open this up on Monday morning, and now have a much better understanding. Having lived outside my authentic life for so long I know exactly how that feels…problem is I still don’t really know what it means to live inside an authentic one, or how to even begin to do that. Awesome to read this and feel like there are actually other people who feel and experience this too.

    Reply
  6. Jacquie
    Jacquie says:

    Oh my. Yes [hand up] I’m on the team too. I need to list some of those ‘recognition criteria’ again here because they are so deeply a perfect match to my consciousness and inner voice that I can barely stand the intensity of the emotion.

    ** You’ve always felt separate and odd, misunderstood by others while having the ability to make them feel understood.
    ** You’re haunted by a feeling of having something incredibly important to do, but you don’t know what it is.  Over the past couple of years, this feelings has become almost overwhelmingly intense. (yes, see frozen shoulder comment below!!!)
    ** You hate small talk, but find that large talk is not encouraged. (ah-hah.)
    ** You love, love, love animals; in fact, your life feels incomplete unless you’re interacting with animals. (To be ‘recognised’ on/by this descriptor alone is ENORMOUS!)
    ** You’ve had a long-term, disabling and/or painful illness that was mysteriously unresponsive to medical treatment. (Am living through a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) at the moment: a condition that comes pretty well from nowhere and then resolves itself after 18 – 24 moths. Hmmm. There has been a fair amount of learning and awakening this year — not to mention finally listening to those intense feelings !!)
    ** You occasionally feel compelled to learn or create certain things, without really knowing why. (Am ‘writing and speaking’ for animals and now working towards being able to have the space required to look after, work with, and just be with, animals — especially those in recovery and those considered useless or no longer wanted. It is most certainly intended to be my life’s work.)

    Love Steering by Starlight. Thank you. After first read, am now using it as a workbook and feel so grateful for your humour and laser insight in my life.

    Blessings to you and the rest of the team. See you at dawn,
    Jacquie

    Reply
  7. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    This was lovely. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    I’ve had an enormous amount of respect for you ever since, oddly, I read your take on The Secret; I thought it took a lot of courage to come out against something one of your bosses (Oprah) is very much for, not to mention that (as a type 1 diabetic, mother of a girl with an undiagnosable genetic disorder, and lucky recipient of a few other learning experiences) I hate passionately any suggestion that I brought it on myself through negative thinking–or worse, that my daughter brought her condition on herself in the womb.

    But now I think I love you a little bit.

    Reply
    • Pia
      Pia says:

      Dear Andrea

      I really hope that people don’t actually say that to you or your daughter. I don’t like those doctrines either. I believe in wishing for positive things but i don’t thing illnesses/ genetic disorders are bought on are bought on by karma or negative thoughts.

      All the best, Pia from New Zealand xx

      Reply
  8. Sylvia Heed
    Sylvia Heed says:

    Hi,
    From my first read of The Joy Diet I knew you and I already knew each other and I knew that it was only a matter of time until we would meet. That matter of time was only a few months, perfectly arranged by the Universe.

    I have always known I was “different”. Thank you for introducing me to my Tribe. I thought I was the only member of my tribe. My joy is boundless to find You all.

    Reply
  9. Ailsa
    Ailsa says:

    Count me in!

    I have enjoyed in your work over the years: writing, coaching, AND speaking. I am pleased to say I can relate to all the criteria of those on your team. The one that resonates for me most at this point in time is “You’re haunted by a feeling of having something incredibly important to do, but you don’t know what it is. Over the past couple of years, this feelings has become almost overwhelmingly intense.”

    Looking forward to dawn…
    Ailsa

    Reply
  10. Emiko
    Emiko says:

    I am so on the team . . . In addition to identifying with at least half the bullet points of the team member characteristics, I am also riding my empty elevator – but, that’s okay, as I suspect I’ll be meeting other fellow teammates during the January LCT!!! I’m beyond excited. Can’t wait to ride with my posse, roll with my crew, travel with my pack – basically, I’m ready to do this thing! LOVE this entry . . .

    Reply
  11. carol
    carol says:

    I dont doubt Im on the team…..
    But I am still trying to heal all the ailments mentioned with some success….I thought it was a test of healing or something….
    Stilll dont know where I belong…and I’m getting old……
    Someone said I would help a lot of people without ever getting credit for it, that has translated into many ‘shamanic’ type intrusions in my body/soul/spirit that I dont know how to rid myself of to regain my total self and integrity…
    I feel an eric cartman (south park)moment coming on…..I also feel confused….

    Reply
  12. Marya
    Marya says:

    Me again. 🙂 This response is triggered by Emiko who mentions being on an empty elevator. One, we are with you in spirit! 🙂 And two, I wish there was a Steering by Starlight forum where we could all talk and share.

    For instance, I just took a picture of my lizard, Gus, and thought, “I want to share what Gus looks like with others.” And by others I mean those who won’t think I’m crazy for just now taking a photo (and not just a photo… a macro, mind you) of my wind up lizard toy.

    Reply
  13. Marya
    Marya says:

    Just one more note and then I’ll stop: I wish my colon + end parentheses didn’t show up as a yellow-faced smiley face. I’m sending a friendly smile that is perfectly expressed with text. The yellow-face smileys don’t cut it. Web snobbery now over and out (put smile here).

    Reply
  14. Blu
    Blu says:

    Martha…you remind me of Anne Shirley in so many ways! We, indeed, are kindred spirits. Thank you for your gift of authentic self! I am thrilled about your upcoming blog entries.

    Over the last few years I have purged myself of almost all of my belongings…with no real understanding why! There is a calling that I am trying to hear. I will be listening!

    Reply
  15. Laura
    Laura says:

    Holy cats, Martha. I’m glad I’m training with you starting in January. I think you’re gonna be overwhelmed by how many comments you get to this post.

    Reply
  16. Alice Bachini-Smith
    Alice Bachini-Smith says:

    Martha- I’m so excited that you’re blogging! Wonderful inspiring stuff here.

    Also excited to find another interstitial cystitis recoverer! I think it’s always good to do at least one impossible thing before breakfast, especially when the impossible thing is “not peeing a hundred times”. “Not being in extreme discomfort” goes good too.

    “To stay healthy and happy, you must follow your singular path, even when every bit of social pressure and cultural custom dictate otherwise.” I’m printing that out and sticking it on my wall, right now. 🙂

    Reply
  17. Tracee Sioux
    Tracee Sioux says:

    I truly thought maybe I was recognizing the same strands of DNA. I’m a gypsy and have begun to pick out genetic traits in local geography.

    But, some people – strangers – people I don’t know and have no excuse to know – I’m recognizing them as being on my team and I was guessing I was acknowledging DNA similar to mine or to someone I know.

    I’m on the team. I’ve been drawn – inexplicably – to the training you’re offering for Life Coaching. I’ve been preoccupied with ways I can come up with $6,000. (phew.) I am drawn to something I loath – I mean LOATH – public speaking. Joined Toastmasters so I can do what I loath as often as possible. Watch this: you’re in it, I don’t know you at all and I’ve been declaring my membership to your team for some inexplicable reason:http://www.blogfabulous.com/immersion-therapy-fear/

    My husband isn’t on The Team. (It would be much easier to come up with $6,000 if he were). We go to marriage education because he can’t get it – doesn’t get it, doesn’t want to get it, doesn’t try to get it. If I am not living My Purpose I can’t be happy. I get what Meatloaf said, “I’d do anything for love – but I won’t do that.” He’s not on The Team. I have a cousin who’s on the team, but it doesn’t mesh with our Mormon relatives. I have a few friends who are on the team.

    I think a disproportionate number of people I know are plagued by illnesses because they keep running from being on the team.

    Here’s faithing that I’ll be in January’s class. I just know I’m supposed to be.

    I am on the team.

    Reply
  18. Tina
    Tina says:

    Dear Martha,

    On reading your blog about Africa, your team, and possibly being destined to be eaten by lions, because you reached your personal Mount Everest, I was reminded of a column that my favorite German writer Max Goldt published a couple of years ago. (Although I must admit that almost everything I read or hear has the potential to remind me of those columns.) I can’t remember exactly, but I think his point was that a good way of finding adventure in your life would be to sleep on a mattress on the kitchen floor every once in a while and to cherish the moment when you wake up and think “Where the hell am I?” Otherwise, goes his argument, you will end up standing on top of the world’s highest mountain one day and ask yourself “Now what?”

    Anyway, we don’t know each other, but from what my wife Anna – who is one of your LCT students – tells me about you, I thought you might appreciate the following link (Goldt’s writings translated from German):

    http://andrewhammel.typepad.com/german_joys/a_max_goldt_treasury/

    (The first one on the page is not very good though; I recommend “Intact Abdomen thanks to Cool Behavior”)

    I don’t know if you read German (in that case I recommend the original), and I am not sure if this translation ‘works’, but I hope you enjoy it.

    Best wishes and happy Thanksgiving,

    Tina

    Reply
  19. Linda Athis
    Linda Athis says:

    I am on the team! I’ve felt this way all my life…even moreso now-the world is on the verge of something. I am no longer in fear, but so excited to feel a new force bearing down on our world.

    And just like Tracee said in her post…I have been plagued by illness all my life – probably because I hadn’t joined the team!

    In reflection and tribute to African women, and for your enjoyment:

    The Weight of Water- by Linda Athis

    My back and arms ache
    when I lift my jug
    of filtered/safe water,
    for a glassful, to swallow
    my pile of daily pills.

    Then a flash in my mind,
    of tall, African women,
    in their slow,
    foot by foot journey.
    Precious river water
    in huge earthen jugs,
    painfully pounding,
    in delicate balance on their tender heads.

    This existence amazes me.
    What they must do
    to simply live.
    I shift my attitude,
    lift my jug with dignity,
    and drink with gratitude
    for what I have
    that they do not.

    Reply
  20. Jeanne
    Jeanne says:

    Martha,

    I am on the Team.

    I have struggled for awhile now with how to find/embrace my purpose. I’ve read extensively and watched interesting movies that have helped me better understand this whole concept. I like the book Celestine Prophecy. I also enjoy movies like “What the Bleep Do We Know?”, “The Elegant Universe”, “Peaceful Warrior” and “Indigo”.

    Your blog post tied together so much of what I have learned in the past few years. Thanks to Tracee Sioux (see her comment above), I found your blog!

    Tracee has been a blogging mentor for me. She helped me to start blogging despite my apprehension for tackling such a task with all of my illnesses (IC, fibro, and endometriosis are a few examples). I absolutely believe that “swimming against the tide” is exhausting and can contribute to health problems.

    For years, people have sought me out for advice and information. At one workplace, people teased me that I should ‘hang a shingle’ on the wall of my cubicle. People have sought me out for years when they need help, support, and info. This has been going on since I was a child.

    I must admit that sometimes I get so caught up in helping others that I forget to properly take care of myself. My wonderful therapist has drilled into my head the importance of SELF-CARE. I am learning to enforce boundaries, how to say ‘no’ to things that are not healthy for me, etc. Like Tracee, there are strangers I feel very drawn to (and vice versa). There are other people (acquaintances and friends) who I feel a connection with that I can’t quite make complete sense of. Once I get to know them better, I almost always find that we have common beliefs regarding spirituality (not to be confused with religion). It’s very interesting how I can pick up a “vibe” from someone and vice versa.

    I once took a workshop about the topic of Indigo/Crystal and it talked about what you discussed here in strikingly similar terms. The consciousness changes you mentioned were covered in great detail in the workshop. It was fascinating. Nature, the fate of the Earth, animals… these were all covered in the workshop.

    In the workshop, we learned about a child named Akiane (http://www.akiane.com/) who I had seen on TV several times prior to taking the workshop. She is supposed to be an “Indigo”. Her artwork is breathtaking.

    We also learned that Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa were supposed to be “Crystals”. I know it all sounds odd but it was a very interesting workshop that seemed to tie together many things I had learned elsewhere. It talked about “Indigos” paving the way for “Crystals”… and setting the stage for changing human consciousness.

    It talked about how in times of crisis around the world (war, environmental problems that put our planet in peril), it is the job of the “Indigos” and “Crystals” to CHANGE THE CONSCIOUSNESS of the people on this Earth. My blog is about more than just health. I have numerous articles about environmental factors that influence illness. I have blogged about epigenetics. Some people are genetically predisposed to certain illnesses but they never develop them. Others who are predisposed genetically do. There are environmental factors that determine whether certain genes will be expressed. That’s what epigenetics is all about.

    What environmental factors can we control? What illnesses can we potentially prevent from by making lifestyle changes? How can we find our purpose and avoid the trap of getting stuck in a rut doing things that are not aligned with our purpose? How can we have the courage to stand up for what we believe in even when there are strong societal pressures to do something different?

    Regardless of whether one uses the term shaman or terms like “Indigo” and “Crystal”, I do believe some people’s purpose is to HEAL. It could be to heal the Earth from the damage inflicted upon it by man. (I am reading a book now called “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson and it is mind-boggling what mankind has done to damage the Earth. Next, I plan to read “Our Stolen Future” by Theo Colburn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers). The first book focuses on how pesticides and insecticides are killing not just insects but wildlife and even humans. The second book talks about endocrine disruptors and other toxins. It talks about whether we are threatening our very survival.

    I have been drawn to carve out my purpose and to follow my path for quite some time. After 7 years volunteering as a Group Leader for a local endometriosis support group, I started a blog on 6/1/2008. I write about various chronic illnesses including endo, fibro, interstitial cystitis, IBS, etc.

    While I certainly work very hard to improve my health, I try to tell myself that at this moment in my life my purpose is to share info with other patients to direct them to helpful resources and provide useful info. I believe everything happens for a reason.

    I have had endometriosis for 26 of my 39 years. Part of coping with being sick for my entire adult life, for me, has been accepting the fact that (for whatever reason) I have been fortunate enough to meet some strong, fantastic, smart, compassionate fellow patients through my local support groups (since diagnosis of endo in 1992 at the age of 23… after 10 years of incredible suffering that was undiagnosed). These are women I would not have met otherwise.

    Of course I want to heal and would prefer NOT to have the illnesses I do! At the same time, by interacting with fellow patients and helping them find the resources they need to facilitate the healing process, I not only am helping them but I am helping myself.

    Studies have shown that patients who volunteer to facilitate support groups or self-help group benefit physically and mentally from doing so. By helping fellow patients by sharing my personal experiences, I believe I am serving my purpose at this point in time.

    At the same time that I focus energy on helping fellow patients (and myself) to heal, I am very conscious of the dangers associated with ignoring the serious environmental problems that are hurting the earth.

    Pollution, toxins, pesticides, carbon emissions, etc. are endangering our planet and our very survival and we do need a Team to focus energy on what we can do to manage these factors and improve the environment drastically. When I look at my daughter’s asthma and the HUGE increase in other young children nowadays who have asthma, I can’t help but think that there must be environmental factors that are behind the upsurge in illnesses like asthma.

    If the human race does not take action, things will continue to get worse. I believe in the power of the Team. I believe the Team is meant to lead the way for others to follow. I believe the Team is to pave the way for human consciousness to shift. I think perceptions will be altered. I have HOPE that things will get better. There is too much at stake for anyone to choose NOT to do their part. We must ALL work together towards accomplishing common goals. Peace and tranquility ARE possible in this world. We need to harness the power of the members of the Team to pave the way for others to join the efforts to improve things.

    We can do it. We must do it. We will do it.

    From a personal standpoint, I certainly I hope that by following my purpose I’ll become healthier and healthier. I try to resist having my identity wrapped up in my illnesses. I try to help patients without looking at myself as a victim.

    I have often (since I was young) felt that I had something going on that most others didn’t “get”. (I’m not talking about illnesses anymore. I’m talking about the Team).

    I believe that anything that diverts someone’s attention, time, or focus away from their purpose/path can create a “mis-alignment” that can contribute to health problems.

    Years ago, I followed my upbringing… to “follow the rules” and “worry about what people think” (far too much). While I love my parents dearly, I try to reject those theories and follow my intuition about what I am supposed to be doing.

    I believe I’m on the right track. I have spent considerable time learning about different philosophies and perspectives. I have opened my mind to things that my mother would probably frown upon. That’s OK. I love my mom dearly but I’m 39 years old and I don’t need her approval for everything I do! I have to follow my instincts.

    I found the Abraham Hicks CDs helpful regarding the notion that every person has a built-in emotional guidance system. You mentioned doing what makes you happy. I don’t see this as selfish. Frankly, I think more people should do this. I’m not talking about people succumbing to self-destructive urges, of course. I’m talking about people following their guts/instincts and doing what feels right to them. Intuition, emotional guidance system, whatever terminology you want to use for it… I truly believe in following one’s gut feelings and instincts.

    I attended a workshop on Indigos and Crystals. A very over-simplified explanation is that Indigos are the “warriors” (NOT in a violent way… please stick with me here). Indigos are the “pioneers” who pave the way for Crystals by breaking down barriers and rules that don’t work, dismantling systems that don’t work, aren’t logical, and/or prevent progress in the world. Indigos are very special people. The way I understand it, Indigos pave the way for Crystals.

    Examples given in the workshop of Crystals are Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, and Gandhi. It’s important to remember that Indigos pave the way for Crystals to do their “jobs”. Indigos and Crystals are not chronological by generation. In other words, there are Indigos AND Crystals alive now. The special people I listed as examples of Crystals were alive at a time when Indigoes were also present.

    The number of Indigos and Crystals tends to grow/flourish in large numbers in times of need. By that I mean that in times of war or other world turmoil, there are a larger number of Indigos and Crystals on this planet to deal with such circumstances.

    This may sound “pie in the sky” and people make think I’m crazy but there are many in the world who firmly believe in the concept of Indigo and Crystal individuals.

    In the Indigo/Crystal workshop, we discussed the importance of individuals with these special abilities (for lack of a better term). The belief taught in this workshop was that Indigos and Crystals are meant to promote peace, respect animals, save the planet, help others, etc. As you said, there are many different purposes and there is no one “purpose” for all. However, what the “Team” members share, in my humble opinion, is a burning desire to make the world a better place and to use their talents to their biggest potential.

    Your post tied together so much of what I have learned in the last few years from a variety of sources. I sobbed when I read it (happy tears… not sad) because what you said resonated with me so much. Reading your post was emotional for me because it validated my beliefs and increased my sense of hope that the Team will facilitate changing the consciousness of humankind.

    I am grateful to Tracee Sioux for sharing your link with me. I “met” Tracee over the Internet and she helped me to get up the courage to start a blog despite my apprehension of getting in over my head. (I have a history of taking on too much, burning out, getting sick, and winding up in the hospital). Tracee gave me the words I needed to hear… to give me the little “nudge” I needed to be able to “jump in with both feet”.

    I have been blogging less than 6 months but have reached people around the world. My blog has received over 6,000 hits since June. I feel I am doing what I am supposed to be doing at this time. My firsthand experiences with chronic illness make it pretty easy to write my blog. I know I am helping people with info, coping skills, accessing resources, etc. People thank me daily for directing them to needed info. This is very rewarding.

    I have a compulsion to cover various environmental issues on my blog. Knowing the impact of environmental toxins on numerous illnesses (including endometriosis), I feel an obligation to educate others about the grave dangers of ignoring the damage humans are doing to the Earth.

    As far as the teenage years, I can speak to my own experience… I had always been a very good student, had always “followed the rules” (even when they made no sense to me), etc. While I never got into addictive substances, my teen years were very traumatic years for me because I was “coming into my own” as far as questioning the “rules”, “marching to my own drummer”, etc.

    This was very hard for my parents to accept from their “goodie-goodie” first-born child. They just couldn’t handle me asserting my independence. They got very defensive when I was assertive and there was an enormous amount of tension. It didn’t help that my endometriosis kicked in with a vengeance at the age of 13 and that I did not receive the medical attention I needed. Once I was diagnosed at 23, I was able to begin learning about the lifestyle changes I could consciously make to facilitate healing. My teenage years were very painful, very upsetting, very difficult, and the beginning of a huge transformation for me to break out of my shell and transform from a compliant, dependent person into a confident, independent person following my dreams and seeking to determine my purpose in life.

    I have struggled for years against the “training” engrained in me to “smile and be pleasant” regardless of how I felt inside and to “not make waves”. Forcing myself to be “compliant” and fit into other people’s boxes just tore me up and crushed my spirit.

    Despite the risk of offending relatives, I try not to be intimidated into worrying so much about what people think anymore. I cannot control others’ reactions to what I say/do. If I am respectful and polite when setting down boundaries and someone gets “bent out of shape” anyway, I can’t control their words/actions. I absolutely CAN control my reaction to their behaviors, guilt trips, and pressure to comply with their expectations.

    I am on the Team. I am definitely on the Team. Thank you for a fantastic article!!

    🙂

    Jeanne
    http://www.endendoat.blogspot.com

    Reply
  21. Amy D
    Amy D says:

    Martha – Congratulations on your next big step in life! And thank you so much for the invitation to join you in whatever happens next. Your description of the Team, and of my reasons for belonging to it, are exactly spot-on.

    Ever since I read “Following Your Own North Star”, I have been working to acquire all the education I will need to turn my life’s work from accounting and computers to Veterinary Chiropractic. Yep – it’s the animal thing and the healing thing combined.

    Somehow, it’s all connected. And I’ll be ready to move at dawn – count me in.

    Amy

    Reply
  22. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    Did you ever hear the theme song from the movie Baghdad Cafe? Which was an excellent movie, by the way. I can hear it now; the haunting line, “I, I am calling you…”

    I was born into the team. Just let me know, are we shirts or skins?

    Reply
  23. Dr. X
    Dr. X says:

    Martha, I am so excited to see you blogging!!!
    Yes, I am on the team and you know many of the reasons why from our talks.
    I am emeshed in healing myself and feeling all the love around me right now but I will be ready when the sun rises!

    Am so excited for your net blog entry!
    Deb

    Reply
  24. meela
    meela says:

    Hello!
    Thanks for the idea of “Team”. Never had that as a concept. Went looking for the tribe I was to be in service to though.
    Also, REEEELY appreciate the paragraph about downloading instructions. Felt for the longest time that, like the Blues Brothers, I was on a mission from God, but hadn’t got the instructions. I kept sailing until I found Aikido, Nanowrimo.org and Hunatrainer.com, both communities encouraging me to write in public. Now I understand what you mean by Team. Found more of them online in Second Life, where I get to experience the reality of charisma and presence as a non-local effect. Nothing like getting all warm and fuzzy through and avatar with someone so far in the next time zone it’s tomorrow!

    Thank you again, and congratulations to all the other Team members!

    Reply
  25. Iris Doucette
    Iris Doucette says:

    I’m on your team. I don’t fit all your descriptions, but I’m sick of mediocrity. The earth is in peril and needs our help, if we don’t save it who will? Thank you Martha for the wake up call.

    Reply
  26. Christy Cuellar-Wentz
    Christy Cuellar-Wentz says:

    Ready and Willing! I had chills all over my body as you spoke about the Team on “The Mommy-Muse Is In: Empowering Your Journey into Motherhood” internet talk radio show with me today. I LOVE what we’re all up to, and genuinely look forward to waking up each day to receive more instructions (or follow through on the ones I picked up on while sleeping 🙂
    Hugs to all,
    Christy, aka “The Mommy-Muse”

    Reply
  27. Marsha
    Marsha says:

    Thank you, Martha!
    I alternately cried and laughed through your post. You bet I’m on the team. So what if a few more people think I’m insane! I’ve got great work to do. And I’m so glad I won’t be doing it alone anymore. Go team!

    Reply
  28. Jill
    Jill says:

    I am a psychologist but have been left with a feeling that I have still not felt my niche. Despite my love for psychology and helping people, I yearn to have more impact than what I do at this point! This blog and your books have spoken to me yet I still cannot figure out what my next path should be to achieve my purpose. I hope that through these posts and continued exploration I will also discover my place on the team!!!

    Reply
  29. Kay
    Kay says:

    As did many others, I saw myself in your description of a Team member. The clincher was what you wrote about having such a strong affinity with animals. Animals and
    Nature are my biggest allies, my truest friends. How affirming to hear acceptance instead of criticism, to feel a kinship, to be reminded to trust in myself. Wish that I could join you in Africa. I toured in Africa four times, most of the time on the back of a horse. Arriving in Africa the first time felt like coming home. You and your companions will share magical times. Thank you for sharing yourself with us through your writings.

    Reply
  30. Lori Powell
    Lori Powell says:

    Hi Martha,

    So glad you are getting the team together, are we going with a zone offense? I’ve never done one position longer than ten years, variety is the spice of life and all that.

    As a person who does interfaith social justice work (especially racial equity) it does feel as if there is a shift in the air. As if folks are finding their teams and ready to create new connections, make new friends and neighbors. The wind is blowing, I feel a certain synchronicity.

    As a person with two boys with Down syndrome I loved “Expecting Adam”. One of them is magic the other is not – though I still love him dearly. Isn’t that curious.

    Blessings!

    Reply
  31. Dixie St. John
    Dixie St. John says:

    Martha –

    My “chimes” are ringing. Criteria met 100%. The darkest hour of night is right before the dawn. We’ve already been there and so our senses are heightened to the imperceptible shift toward light. The awakening “ring of fire” is rising in the East. Count me in…

    Dixie

    Reply
  32. Kerry H
    Kerry H says:

    Wow, I’ve got chills and no wonder…I’m on the Team, too! The list was me almost to a tee. Not only have I been a huge animal lover all my life, but as a young child I used to get overwhelmed with sadness while watching nature programs with my family. I couldn’t bear to see an animal being maimed or killed by another one – I felt like I would die alongside of them. My family used to tease me and say that I was over-emotional!! It’s only recently that I’ve come to realize that being highly sensitive is not a curse at all, but a glorious gift from the Universe! And it only took me 45 years!

    Thankfully last year I took a huge risk (as a single mom with a young son) and left a well-paid administrative job to go back to school to follow a dream. I put my ability to empathize with others and my aching desire to do something significant with my life to good use – I became a life coach and wellness counsellor here in Vancouver, BC. During that year, not only did I find my calling but I found my other team members (or “tribe”), too. I am just beginning my coaching business and collaboration with other women on workshops, and for the first time in a very long time feel excited and hopeful about my future. Finally I feel like I am doing what I was meant to do on the planet – helping others to live more joyfully and authentically.

    Martha, I want to thank you because your book, Finding Your Own North Star, was one of the first books I read (about 7 years ago) on my journey to becoming more authentic. Ever since then, I’ve found myself inexplicably drawn to you. Your column is the very first thing I turn to in O magazine, your picture has been on my vision (dream) board for several years, I’ve just read your book Leaving the Saints, and “meet Martha Beck” is now on my bucket list. And until now, I kept wondering why – it seemed a tad ‘stalker-ish’ to me! But after reading your blog, I get it! While my head kept questioning this strange draw towards you, my heart recognized a true kindred spirit!

    Reply
  33. Glad Doggett
    Glad Doggett says:

    I’ve always known I am on the team, but I didn’t have the understanding or words to articulate it. I used to say “The world is filled with sleepers — walking sleep walkers who go through the motions” — the problem was I WAS WIDE AWAKE!!!

    I as grateful to have found Martha’s books, and this blog. I’ll see you all at dawn!!!!

    Reply
  34. Tara
    Tara says:

    Thank you, Martha, for an AWESOME blog. YOU ROCK! : )

    I’M ON THE TEAM!!!…

    …and I feel like I’ve finally come home.

    All of the criteria ring true for me. Some of my life experiences have been truly horrible. Martha, I’m eternally grateful to you for helping me to understand that each experience is a perfect, beautiful piece of my life’s divine puzzle, all of which together make me part of the TEAM.

    And I’m so looking forward to dawn – that quite, magical, vast time where darkness gives way to light and doorways to other worlds and our hearts are wide open.

    Reply
  35. Chomba
    Chomba says:

    Hi Martha,
    One sentence in particular really stood out for me. “you’re haunted by a feeling of having something incredibly important to do but you don’t know what it is.” Just seeing that thought written down is a huge relief. This feeling has haunted me for years and I could never make sense of it, so tried to let go of the notion but it won’t let go of me! Recently I’ve been feeling like I’m right on the cusp of “the knowing”. I live my life in eager anticipation of the dawn.

    Love and laughter,
    Chomba

    Reply
  36. Mita
    Mita says:

    Hi Martha,

    Yes, I am on the Team.

    I live in Sweden and am trying to find an answer to “you’re haunted by a feeling of having something incredibly important to do but you don’t know what it is.”
    There is lots to be done for our planet and I am hopeful.

    Mita

    Reply
  37. Elena
    Elena says:

    Dear Martha – I’m so happy the lions in Londolozi decided to eat some other prey with a little more meat on their bones!

    There is a definite worlwide movement already in place focused on transforming our mass consciousness. Its members are spread out globally and trespass all walks of life, as you beautifully pointed out in this inspiring and enlightening blog. I see you (and Oprah) as leaders in the communication of this new awareness. I also believe the current economic global crisis is a way to direct masses of people to reconsider their personal philosophies, if not be right down inspired to adopt new ones. There is a deeper spiritual reason for the shake, rattle and roll the world is going through at this time.

    Stay tuned. Remain alert. And I’ll see you all at the crack of dawn!

    Much love,
    Elena

    Reply
  38. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Glowing example of skyteam/ earthteam hookup Monday night- Dec. 1 conjunction of Moon/Venus/Jupiter is beautifully illustrated with photos from around the world on spaceweather.com (enter date , December 1,on current homepage to view this wonderful stuff).
    The first image, from Iran, looks like Martha’s first “team shot” above.
    Very moving to look at the whole world in awe of this beauty together.

    Reply
  39. Katelyn
    Katelyn says:

    In a small and lovely synchronicity, this month’s UK Guardian poetry workshop is all about identifying with the other creatures and critters who make the world beautiful: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/nov/28/mark-doty-poetry-workshop/print.

    This one quote from the workshop directions really resonates: “If all the animals were to vanish from the earth,” said Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, “then men and women would die of a great loneliness of the spirit.”

    If life-coaching (for oneself and others) is all about rechanneling one’s energies to experience a greater richness of spirit… Maybe Nez tells us why the collective project of life-coaching (human ecology-coaching?) must focus on animals and other elements of our shared habitats.

    Oh, and hoorah for the blog!

    Katelyn

    Reply
  40. Carol
    Carol says:

    so fortunate to find the blog today. As I was reading the words “if this is ringing your chimes,” the chimes at the old church across the street started to ring, striking the hour of 12 noon. What a moment.

    Reply
  41. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    My body feels like a zillion currents are coursing through it! The more I read of your post, the more alight I became. I am crying and laughing at the same time.
    I knew there was a reason I was sooo drawn to you Martha.

    I KNOW we can fix the world!

    Reply
  42. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    Chomba,

    Your words echo my feelings.
    I have always felt the same way.
    I know that any minute, around the next curve I will suddenly understand…
    It can be both frustrating and terribly exciting.
    I hope you are well and at peace with the coming changes.

    Reply
  43. Annette
    Annette says:

    Well, finally!
    Thank you for that post.
    What a Team it is!!!! I can tell that I am on that Team, and I am grateful beyond measure to hear that I am (really) not the only one that feels that way!
    To know that someone out there understands me is a huge relief – as much as I want to help others, it can be difficult when they look at you sideways.
    Animals, animals, animals!!!!!
    The bestest creatures EVER!

    Reply
  44. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    I’ve read so many of the other blog posts on this wonderful site, but for some reason only got to this one today. I’m so very glad that I did!

    Turns out that I’m on the team, who knew?! While I knew that there was something very special that I wanted to give, I have also questioned my gifts, my abilities to make these offerings worthwhile to be received by others. It may sound a bit silly, but you just relieved many of these doubts.

    I’m so looking forward to following this wonderful dream, I’m so grateful that I will never be alone, but in the company of amazing people who will teach me so very much.

    Sandy

    Reply
  45. Marilyn
    Marilyn says:

    Yes, yes, yes. Reading Steering by Starlight was like coming home to myself – and I felt like I knew you, Martha. I have been a therapist and spiritual director, but have been knowing that there’s more, somehow, for me to do, and it’s like it’s on the tip of my tongue and I can’t quite get it. Reading this article has been making me crazy for days. I am ready to go.

    Reply
  46. Anna K
    Anna K says:

    Present and accounted for, Tokyo division.

    Are you my tribe? I’ve been waiting my whole life to find you.

    I hope you’ll have me even though I’m not sick (though I was sick with fear for a long time) and I don’t like animals. In particular I hate zoos. I’ve never interacted with animals outside of a caged or domesticated setting, so who knows what magic might bloom if I could see them face to face?

    Having escaped from religious crazies once, I’m pretty cynical about spiritual woo-woo. In fact, I think you’re all totally cracked.

    But deep below that, I’m a seeker.
    And right now I’m cracked wide open.

    Reply
  47. Maryann Lowry
    Maryann Lowry says:

    Yes, I really saw myself in the description of “the team’. I’ve always looked at life differently and have been passionate about so many issues. Chronic illness almost stole my life, but I knew there was more to life than wasting away in bed. The character makeover through that ordeal definitely changed my already skewed way of looking at the world.
    I left my old life and am now single and see this as a beginning. Through reading your books and my spiritual connectedness to God, I’ve intentionally lived in a way to bring joy into the lives of all I meet. I really find myself just loving everyone…even those who aren’t lovable. Since my recovery from illness, dogs and cats (pets of friends) are immediately attracted to me and will sit in my lap. Friends always comment that this is unusual behavior for their pet. I know that I’m sending out a different vibe.
    I know I’ve got work to do on the planet and it will all be revealed in the right timing. I’m so glad that you wrote about “the team”. i thought I was the only one, who saw my purpose being beyond a traditional life role.
    Thanks for describing the team. I wonder what we’ll discover collectively.

    Stay tuned.
    Mary Ann

    Reply
  48. Susie
    Susie says:

    Hi Martha,

    This is perhaps the most amazing blog post I’ve ever seen, in many ways. I wish I were on your team but there were just a couple of things that made me think I’m not. However I know I can learn from your team!

    I’m trying to live my authentic life but work-wise, as of yet, haven’t found a way around the fact that I’m bound to needing health insurance. I have a pre-existing condition and have not found any way to get insurance other than being employed by someone who provides insurance. And this prevents me from living my ultimate authentic life.

    If anyone here has thoughts about this I’d love to hear. I recently heard about one insurance company who is considering providing insurance to anyone who will pay the premium, which is fine with me. Perhaps that is one of your missions in life, to change the system? 🙂

    In the meantime I will try to come up with a way to live within the constraints of the system while pursuing my life’s purpose.

    Have a wonderful day. You’re such an inspiration.

    Susie

    Reply
  49. rowena
    rowena says:

    Wow, Martha. Awesome. I’m so glad you’re outright stating what I have felt for so long. I totally would have been burned at the stake in another era. Or I’d have been in a temple waiting upon people who came to me for help. But oddly, I think I have been trained to be a shaman. My grandmother was a curandera, my parents converted to buddhism, so I grew up chanting. And then there’s the storytelling and the art.

    I really like seeing here the members of the tribe tallying up.

    I found you via Leah at Creative Everyday

    Reply
  50. linda
    linda says:

    I’m listening, I’m on my team and had no idea there were others on it too….now I am thinking perhaps if I just open my eyes and thus, my heart, I will find more of me out there…

    Reply
  51. Susan
    Susan says:

    I am SO on the team!!! I read Expecting Adam in 1999
    and have reread P.136 about a zillion times. Your description
    on that page has kept me tuned into your frequency.
    In the last decade I have travelled to Africa three times and
    somehow feel I “belong” there although not sure how that will
    take shape. I am paying attention……and waiting for dawn…..

    Reply
  52. kate
    kate says:

    honey, oh yes oh yes we are on the team 🙂 i’ve been calling it the Tribe of Yes. i do shamanic work and spend my days working the Yes from every possible angle. with any luck our paths will cross one day. if not, and this is it: dang skippy, you go, woman! 🙂

    Reply
  53. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I’ve been drawn to your writing since The Breaking Point…and this resonates with me in a huge way! I’m definitely on the team…and grateful to you for articulating your experience. The path you describe isn’t always comfortable, but it is always joyful!

    Reply
  54. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    As Jim Carey would say, “YES!!!” I also need to let you know that Jane Austen is on our Team. I know, I know…but trust me, she is!

    Reply
  55. Ginger
    Ginger says:

    Martha,
    I’ve known this since birth, as a kid I’d tell people I had a family out there somewhere, of course this would upset my mother and she would say “we are your only family” but I would insist that someday I would be with my other family. I was considered weird, but by some, family, friends, teachers, they would just say I was a really old soul inside and that spoke to me. At the age of 12 I decided to accept my old soul and finally got some really good advice after surviving a messy childhood; that I should let my old soul out and let it shine, I’ve come to understand that my light is very bright. I am still a young adult, in my mid-twenties, and am so grateful to have learned this about myself and accept it early in my life so that I can get to work with the rest of the team. I became a wife and mother young and thought that was the other family I was talking about as a kid, but when my children got a little older and it was time for me to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up; I asked God to guide me to the career he wanted me to do. I have just fininshed Life Coach training and am a certified life coach, and now I know this is the family and team I was always talking about. We are called to help people figure out who their authentic self is and start accepting it and letting it out. Once we become authentic we will hold OURSELVES accountable for our power of choice. The first choice I made and hope others will make is to save this planet we have been blessed with, by making small changes. When I decided to become a life coach your name, Martha, came up every where I looked, I too live in AZ, and saw you on TV, your books in the bookstore, your articles, and finally your website. And I have this overwhelming feeling that someday we will meet and from your blog post I now understand why, we’re on the same team! You seem like such a practical teacher and I feel I can learn alot from you. So here’s to our meeting someday, no small talk, just a real conversation about the team and the plan to help others become authentic and to meet us at dawn when we all get the “call”.

    Reply
  56. spydermuse
    spydermuse says:

    literally a spine tingling post (or is that my body singing?) my animals are different – elephant, spider, bear… my child’s disability not readily apparent – all else the same.

    funny – reading Expecting Adam – I grew up in your household – my husband grew up in your husbands household.

    Chills again reading how many others have felt the same “chills” – something is certainly up!

    Thank you Martha

    Reply
  57. spydermuse
    spydermuse says:

    I’m very sorry. I wondered whether others had similar backgrounds and whether that had contributed 1) to a heightened sense of compassion, esp. towards the weak and helpless, and 2) to the feeling of not belonging.

    And the thank you was for bringing so much to the light. I am a fan 🙂 But then again I’m a fan of all y’all here. I’ll read and learn.

    Reply
  58. GrayForestFairy
    GrayForestFairy says:

    Wow.
    I guess that makes me … on the Team.

    I found “Following Your Own North Star” back in late 2001 or in 2002. WHen I first did the exercises, I realized that my body didn’t like much of anything I was doing. Through a bunch of rather weird events (I now try to learn my life lessons gently) I ended up leaving my very conservative religious community, coming out along with my partner, and am now living across the US and studying naturopathic medicine. I’m also in shaman training. My partner, and my kids, are healthier and happier than before.

    I like the bit about “who are my people and how do I serve them?” Great to chew over as I try to figure out how to balance it all….

    Be well.

    Reply
  59. LisaD
    LisaD says:

    I’ve been wondering how to contribute ever since I originally read about Londolozi in the blog: “John and David Varty, who inherited the land when they were teenagers. Since then, they’ve repaired massive swathes of land all over Africa. According to one of the geologists who’s helped them do this, it would cost $38 billion dollars to repair every ecosystem on earth.” Repairing the earths’ ecosystems sounds like a great place to start changing the world, and $38b doesn’t seem so out of reach, not with fellow team members like Oprah. I searched online and couldn’t even find a way to donate to the Vartys’ private efforts. Martha, help!

    Reply
  60. megg
    megg says:

    Your words are resonating right through me to all of the parts that have felt strange or lost or weird. They are singing, ‘me, too!’

    I’m packing light. I’ll be ready just before dawn.

    roar.

    Reply
  61. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    Dear Martha, I’m on the Team! I received “Steering by Starlight” a few days ago while in Lusaka, Zambia, from my sister-in-law as a thank you gift for flying 3000km from my home in South Africa to take care of her & my brother’s two husky dogs during a family emergency. I love & appreciate her for being an instrument in my receiving this book. It resonates with everything I have been learning. Thank you for this book; for sharing your love & wisdom. I’m since back home & it’s been hi-jacked by my boyfriend but that’s all good, I’ll finish it while he’s sleeping 🙂 I don’t know yet the details of my role but I’m learning tortoise-style & feel wonderful peace & excitement about it all. Thank you again. Love, Vanessa (East London, South Africa)

    Reply
  62. Me Too! :)
    Me Too! :) says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!! 😀 It is such a RELIEF to know that I haven’t been losing my mind my *entire* life! To understand why my life has had so much pain, why I never ”fit in”, why I can’t play the toady games at work, why I’ve always been on the outside looking in… yet now, finally, absolutely delighted to understand what’s been happening and why. Again, thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  63. Ane Weed
    Ane Weed says:

    WOW! I have been finding more and more of this. I think you will be highly interested to check out the information that I am putting together on my blog, http://www.sensitiveandthriving.com, about highly sensitive people and how they can thrive. What you said speaks directly to that. Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Elaine Aron and The Highly Sensitive Person? I am seeing that we are all coming together after feeling so different, so lonely, so confused, and feeling like there is something wrong with us. I am finding more and more of us. Dr. Aron gave us the term “Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)”, and you have stated that we are on your “Team”…I think we are all figuring this out and our understanding ourselves, connecting with ourselves, and coming together is CRUCIAL. Thank you! Let’s continue to spread the word, heed the call, and unite!

    Reply
  64. Viki Atkinson
    Viki Atkinson says:

    I just signed up for your email list and was sent the first chapter of The Team to download….I got chills as I read it. I’ve felt connected to your way of seeing the world (and helping me feel my way through mine) ever since reading “Finding Your Own North Star”…I recently read “Steering by Starlight”, too.

    I have always been led to the next thing in my life…or had it placed in front of me. This guidance or flow stopped—just stopped—when my ex-husband and I split. It was like being in a dark room with no windows and no doors. After a couple of years, my inner compass kicked in and I was led to move to a new city in a new state, with strange synchronicities popping up along the way.

    However, I seem to have reached another plateau place….I have felt stuck for some time now, knowing that there’s something I’m supposed to be doing/moving towards but not knowing what it is. I set myself the task recently to stop trying so hard and looking so hard for something I couldn’t seem to see….and to instead listen for guidance, being open to receive.

    Perhaps this is what I was listening for….I eagerly await the dawn.

    Reply
  65. Lisa Dugdale
    Lisa Dugdale says:

    Wow – I haven’t felt such a shock of recognition in a long time. I’ve been having all these odd things synchronistic things happen plus a growing desperation to use these ‘powers’ to serve all beings. Eckhart Tolle talks about groups that form to reflect the enlightened consciousness, which is my particular path.

    Two brief thoughts:
    * To me one of the other signs is something to do with energy (energy healing, being aware of energy, etc.). Perhaps a more ‘traditional’ shamanic power, but one that I think is important to learn about and channel correctly.
    * Have you considered publishing the book as an e-book? (At least at first?) Things are moving so fast in our word right now, and I know I could use the advice sooner rather than later, and would love to purchase an e-book, even an unfinished one.

    Reply
  66. Moroccan girl
    Moroccan girl says:

    Howdy that’s a very fascinating view, It does give one food for thought, I am genuinely delighted I stumbled on your blog, i was using Stumbleupon at the time, in any case i don’t want to drift on too much, but i would like to mention that I will be back when I have a little time to read your blog more thoroughly, Once again thank you for the blog post and please do keep up the good work,

    Reply
  67. Songbird
    Songbird says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Feeling like an outsider most (okay ALL) of my life, I have recently been seeking my tribe, although struggling with the crazymaking thoughts of doubt. Am I nuts… or is this stuff really real?? Moments of complete connection, only to be slammed by illness or depression – to sidetrack me from my path of light. As Dixie put it “The darkest hour of night is right before the dawn”. Thank you! I needed to hear that today! Knowing many have walked this path before me and are out there in my tribe all moving toward the same light. I feel much needed peace in my heart today. Blessings!

    Reply
  68. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    Oooh, THIS is my team!! I’ve been looking for you!!

    ((HUGS))

    I’ve been meeting team members here and there all my life, and especially since I began blogging.

    Sending love to all of you.

    Reply
  69. Sara
    Sara says:

    Dear Martha Beck,
    I am so glad you’re blogging! I first read “Expecting Adam” and proclaimed it my favorite book before you appeared on Oprah. I identified myself so much with your voice.
    I am a music teacher turned stay-at-home mother of 3, and have recently realized I am no longer living authentically because I chose family over career. I am clear that I go crazy when I’m at home doing laundry and dishes, and when I teach in a classroom once a week, I’m alive and can see the students come alive. I know I need to follow that aliveness. As I became aware this week, I google searched and found Elizabeth Gilbert’s “O” speech. I then googled again and found this article. Now realizing that I’m a “mystic” and “part of the team,” I am ready, and will see if this brings new meaning in the coming days.
    With googling anticipation,
    Sara

    Reply
  70. Linda
    Linda says:

    It feels true, found this site by accident and decided to read today. I’ve been looking for answers since the ’70s. I’ve found many in the Seth books by Jane Roberts.

    Hope you are still writing…

    Linda

    Reply
  71. Donna Gallant
    Donna Gallant says:

    Ok, this is wierd. the fact that i stumbled on this is serendipitdous. I would have to say that yes, I am on the team..but i am restless. I definitely fit into the team but I need to know what it is i need to be doing. A very long time ago i watched a Star Treck episode where they landed on a planet that was polulated by women who were healers…as healers they touched the wounded or injured and absorbed the injury and then healed. I knew i was like that character. Less than one year ago i talked with a women who said that I should know my calling … that i am called to heal the earth. She then shared a north american aboriginal fable about a deer who had to blaze a trail past a monster on a mountain. The dear kept aproaching the monster in a quiet but persistent manner and eventually cleared a path for all the animals.

    Reply
  72. Elisabeth Manning
    Elisabeth Manning says:

    Martha, so lovely. Thank you. I reckon we are on the same team and I truly love how you write. I belong to tomorrow’s child; helping the fertility world and parents-to-be usher in the new children who are coming with a high intelligence; to clean up what we dirtied on Mother Earth so everyone has a soft place to land. If mother earth is fertile and pregnant with possibility then so are we. So a huge part of my work is about that connection you spoke of. I admire your work tremendously.

    Reply
  73. Cathie Collier Hulen
    Cathie Collier Hulen says:

    You just described me, and the circumstances of my life up to now! I used to wonder where I came from because I was so different from the rest of my family. Then I had several children, two who were just like me. The lonliness subsided a little, though I felt somewhat responsible for the fact that they were “different.” Five years ago, after 16 other grandchildren, a grandson arrived who is even more “separate” than his aunt, his mother, and me. He reads books about the cervical spine, otolaryngology, volcanoes, and venus fly traps. He knows how the gluten works in pancakes. And he says “I need to go to Africa and help those little brown kids get clean water.” Now we have to figure out how to help him understand himself…..no small task, since we don’t really know, either. But I have a strong feeling we’re all on the same TEAM!

    Reply
  74. Leonie
    Leonie says:

    I followed the link from today’s email and now I’m sitting, crying at my desk, reading this, realising I’ve been resisting.

    Always feeling like I didn’t belong in this world, but often closing myself off from people some part of me recognises as fellow team members.

    I want to change this. I’m prepared to start listening to myself. Properly listening.

    Thanks Martha.

    Reply
  75. Heidi Stacy
    Heidi Stacy says:

    Your writing and way of being and living moves me to laughter and to tears!!!
    I feel understood by your beautiful words!!! I am encouraged and energized to go forward with my unusual dreams……my mission is to add onto the emotional health and happiness of children…I have published two children’s books (I call them “Little stories with BIG meanings”) and I do some parent talks. I am working on uncovering my next steps. But, you are right…the path is zig-zaggy and meandering. I’m happy on this path! Thanks for the thoughts about why to keep going and for defining “shaman” ways. I found you in the Oprah magazine and can’t stop reading your books, daily insights, everything I can get. Thank you for taking on changing the world. You have certainly changed my world and I bless you!!!!

    Reply
  76. Donna Relic
    Donna Relic says:

    I love the concept of The Team, Martha! The moment you began to describe the traits of fellow team members I began welling up with tears. I guess I have known I was on this team since I was a young child, but in my adult years found myself supressing that inner voice for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, except that it has taken me this long to work up the courage to fully own who I am not be afraid. Thank you for further clarity that I am on the right path. Namaste.

    Reply
  77. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    Ooo, ooo, me too! Wow, did this ever resonate with me, and it is so comforting and inspiring that you’ve said the words that have been kicking around in my heart, searching for their voice. Our team is SO important now, as Mother Earth and all her inhabitants are in desperate need of healing and a paradigm shift. How wonderful to connect with those other sparkles in the universe who strive to understand ourselves so we can figure out just what the heck we’re supposed to be doing here! I know it has been some years since you first wrote this, Martha, but that probably just means that we move at dawn, and dawn is NOW. No more hiding our true selves, no more waiting for someone else to find the cure, no more allowing un-authentic living to ruin our health and sanity: we are beautiful, amazing, and powerful and we’re here to save the universe. If we can imagine it and believe it, we can do it.
    Bright and beautiful blessings to you, Martha, and to all the Team members…can’t wait to meet you and join in the light!!

    Reply
  78. Debbie Kienle
    Debbie Kienle says:

    Dear Martha,

    Being South African and having been pulled like a magnet to do you LCT, I would say I am definitely a team member even while living in Chile. We are returning home i.e. South Africa by year end and I cannot wait to get back. So many of my South African expats seem so negative about this beautiful country and continent! I feel such hope!

    I love South Africa with a passion! I love animals with a passion! I FEEL such potential! Let’s do it!

    Abrazos
    Debbie

    Reply
  79. Patti
    Patti says:

    I read the list and felt so many connections… I was stopped by the animal part though… I am not a dog person or cat person, though most people I know don’t understand that at all… birds I am fascinated with… and undersea creatures… sharks and such are magic to me… but really I may be trying to fit myself into a team that I don’t quite belong with…

    I imagine though that there are many teams gathering, with different dreams and different marching orders… some leaving at dawn… some by the light of the moon… some right after their afternoon nap…

    I think my corner of the universe to help clean up and preserve has to do with elders and with old furniture (not such an odd combo really)… recognising the essential beauty of beings and things that may be undervalued by others because of the cosmetic effects of time… not time worn, or worn out, but worn past the superficial shine… not care worn, though a lack of care can be central to many parts of this… but worn into a different level of real, like the velveteen rabbit… or wabi sabi…

    Thanks for this… I love the energy I get from reading about your dreams and ideas…

    Reply
    • Editor
      Editor says:

      Hi Patti – Martha has updated the list in “Finding Your Way in a Wild New World” and found in her additional research that there are core traits all Team members share (the simple fact that you identify at all with this makes you part of the Team!) and then additional traits that may or may not apply. xo

      Reply
  80. cara
    cara says:

    erm…I’m sat with my hand over my mouth in shock and then wonder at myself that I could believe anything different would possibly have happened….I’ve just released my new website with a call to action about Creating a Heaven On Earth and was sitting in the bath thinking…what have I started? Who am I to think I can influence anything like this……I love your work and had no idea when I clicked on the blog post it would include the idea of recreating Eden. Exactly what my work is about – perhaps in a different form to you.

    I’m deeply moved by the synchronicity….thank you xx

    Reply
  81. Katie
    Katie says:

    OMG – this article was almost TMTH!!!!!! I am one of the Team!!!!!! It is exactly what you wrote! This sense of weirdness and lostness and not belongingness!!!!!

    Thank you Martha, again!!!!

    Katie from Finland <3

    Reply
  82. Julie
    Julie says:

    Thank you for this post today. I really needed to hear it. I am definitely on your team! Something is going on, I’ve been on the verge of tears for a few weeks now. I appreciate all your wisdom and hilarity! I can really relate. keep on doing what you do and I will read and absorb as I can.

    Reply
  83. April
    April says:

    Martha,
    I love your books and all your writing. I hit every one of your traits listed so completely, that it makes me have to sit down from the overwhelming-ness of it. It scares me, but in an electric, wow, good kind of way. Like many others, how to heal and work at the same time… is difficult, but a good challenge!

    Reply
  84. Marisa
    Marisa says:

    I’m in the team!!! I felt so understood ang great when reading your post. I could not stop smiling. Yeap! That was me right there. Finally the feeling of belonging…i must admit I’ve felt “tired” many times of what I used to consider “a burden”. The gift, the mission…whatever you want to call it was very heavy to carry… Now i see it differently although I must admit I’m still clueless about how to go about it with it…I keep trying to figure it out every single day…one day I will just know. Until that day arrive, team mates keep on going, don’t give up, together we will make it happen. It is why we are here 🙂

    Reply
  85. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    Everything I read from Martha, I -mean- everything gives me instant warmth in my heart. My spirit takes over and I actually experience the article. It is amazing. Thanks for everything Martha, I’m definitely on the team and so grateful so be on Earth at the same time as you and our other teammates.

    Reply
  86. Evelyn
    Evelyn says:

    Martha- I am on the Team! I found two amazing women who are also on the Team whether they know it or not. ..my yoga therapist and my Tai Chi instructor . We believe we are changing the world one calm breath at a time. Inner calm fosters leading a life with positive intentions and so the good snowballs into action. Peace.

    Reply
  87. T
    T says:

    Dear M:
    I don’t know if I am on the Team or not, all I know is that I get bored really easily and things get old for me pretty fast and the fact that I am still hooked on you and your writing and your ways all these years later must mean, I think, that there is something going on here I have no name for.
    In my dream board I have a picture of you hugging somebody and I put a picture of my face on the other person. I look at it every day, so to me you are very real in my daily life…weird? i don’t know , I just know I dig your thinking and the experiences that you share. I am 48 years old, so I started blooming out of unconsciousness kind of late in life…maybe…maybe not. The only thing that separates me (momentarily) from a direct Martha Beck experience is a little thing I called money. But someday , we shall meet, in some form of realm I hope.
    xo
    T

    Reply
  88. Maurizia
    Maurizia says:

    Hi Folks,

    Any Teammates around in Italy? Martha, Team, I don’t know if you’ve heard: we have wonderful food and landscapes here. I can say that humor is another big talent around here, since we also have hand gestures to spice it up. If you ever need some other reason to bring some of the Team vibe here in my Country just let me know. Meanwhile please picture me whistling, waiting for the realization of this wish while pretending to do nothing about it.

    Reply
  89. alice
    alice says:

    Wow, wow!..I ‘ve definitely and finally found the team where I belong –it has been too long since I have pondered: am I that weird, how come I feel and think differently about things and life in general? I care and I am passionate about humans, animals, nature and life in general. Yet, I have felt like a visitor from out of space, every single day. One thing though, my hopes and dreams about finding my team has never been any higher! Reading your blog was simple the missing piece in affirming that I am not weird! I am now inspired to find myself, my purpose, and my team so I can move forward feeling like I am a normal person!!

    Reply
  90. Lessia Bonn
    Lessia Bonn says:

    When I was in High School, all the other teen girls hated me – I was too myself. Now I'm all grown up – and teen girls love me because I'm so myself. Quirky world. Yep, they call me their Yoda. Honestly, I just breath them in and reflect them back out. Isn't life amazing? Team player here, absolutely. I've always gotten way too bored with just my own fingers and toes 🙂

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] What I now had was full-blown Shaman Illness. What is that you ask?  My mentor Dr. Martha Beck writes  when “You’ve had a long-term, disabling and/or painful illness that was mysteriously unresponsive to medical treatment… in a traditional culture,  [you] would probably have been identified as a shaman, a wizard, a druid, a medicine person.” This is the classical sacred illness of a healer, a certain sign of a shamanic calling. When you are part of this ‘Team’ as Martha Beck puts it, you are a Way-finder, most likely an artistic sort, a writer, a poet, a musician, a sculptor, a painter, a herbalist, a spiritualist, and definitely a healing source.  (http://marthabeck.com/2008/11/theres-no-i-in-teambut-theres-me/) […]

  2. Home Team | Sophie Kyle says:

    […] powerfully drawn to these people despite lots of surface differences.The above is taken from Martha Beck’s Finding Your Way in a Wild New World and some of these rang true for me when I first read the book in 2011. The list above are traits […]

  3. […] What I now had was full-blown Shaman Illness. What is that you ask?  My mentor Dr. Martha Beck writes  when “You’ve had a long-term, disabling and/or painful illness that was mysteriously unresponsive to medical treatment… in a traditional culture,  [you] would probably have been identified as a shaman, a wizard, a druid, a medicine person.” This is the classical sacred illness of a healer, a certain sign of a shamanic calling. When you are part of this ‘Team’ as Martha Beck puts it, you are a Way-finder, most likely an artistic sort, a writer, a poet, a musician, a sculptor, a painter, a herbalist, a spiritualist, and definitely a healing source.  (http://marthabeck.com/2008/11/theres-no-i-in-teambut-theres-me/) […]

  4. […]  Martha Beck and Nick Williams that I have a responsibility to “show up” and serve my tribe: the people who need my expertise in a certain area where I have previously been through hell and […]

  5. […] This is NOT a Martha Beck fan club. This is a “Stand in your own Light – Be the change you wish to see in the world” group.  If you haven’t heard of the Team before,  you may want to read There’s No “I” in “TEAM”…But There’s ME […]

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