Janice’s Review Blog

Archive for the ‘Self-Help’ Category

"Finding Your Own North Star"

"Finding Your Own North Star"

Life coach Martha Beck sets out a program to help readers find the life they are meant to live in her book, “Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live.”

Throughout the book, Beck asks hard questions in numerous exercises that she expects readers to answer truthfully in order to discover the path to their own North Star.  Beck divulges personal experiences and how she worked through them to get to her own North Star.  She also gives examples of clients and their problems and how together they work through them.  She refuses to sugar-coat the steps that clients need to follow.

“If you actually do all the exercises I’ve written into this book so far,” says Beck, “you’ll end up either pleased as punch or scared to death.”

Unlike other motivational self-help books, Beck fills her book with a good dose of humor in addition to concrete methods of leading the life you want.  She takes the reader through the change cycle, so they know exactly what to expect.  Beck tells the reader that steps may be hard as well as painful, but she describes in detail all the events and steps involved in the process.

Each of us possesses a social self and an essential self, explains Beck.  The essential self came with you at birth and “first, it is the essence of your personality, and second, you absolutely need it to find your North Star.”  The social self developed over time from rules and regulations and the pressures of people around you.

By following the relaxed essential self instead of the rigid social self, finding the way to your North Star becomes much more fun and easy, explains Beck.  Beck includes a quiz designed to test if readers’ essential self and social self work together.  If the quiz reveals readers already operate with their North Star, Beck congratulates them and suggests they stop reading the book and live their wonderful lives.


According to The Grief Recovery Handbook, “Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.”

Sunrise - A New Day

Sunrise - A New Day

Authors John W. James and Russell Friedman wrote the book to help individuals identify and recover from their grief.  Both authors experienced and documented their own grief and how they used the program to overcome it. 

Grief not only includes death and divorce but it also includes loss of a job or a home, moving, health problems, marriage, legal difficulties, holidays and other loss experiences.

The book guides the reader through the steps to recognizing grief and successfully dealing with it in order to live a happy life.  The authors also established The Grief Recovery Institute to further help individuals and to train certified GriefRecovery Specialists to lead programs to help individuals.

In a recent free program offered by Paradise Valley Community College, I discovered first-hand how valuable the program is in identifying grief. Through the use of the book, the guidance of certified counselors, who in some cases also specialize in alternative wellness methods like meditation, and the interaction with group members, the program works to successfully deal with grief.  I highly recommend the book especially in this time of economic loss and change so individuals can learn to deal with their grief and live a happy life.