The Amazing and Brutal Results of Zero Lies for 365 Days — Martha Beck

The Amazing and Brutal Results of Zero Lies for 365 Days — Martha Beck

Preview (00:00:00)

  • Most people try to say no by becoming a victim and making excuses, which is ineffective.
  • Julius Caesar's quote, "I dare not" is a better model for saying no assertively.
  • Studies show that eliminating the words "I can't" and "I have to" and replacing them with "I choose not to," "I choose to," "I will," and "I won't" can help people come out of depression faster.

My contribution to teen atrociousness. (00:01:19)

  • The speaker gave their teenage children "The 4-Hour Workweek" to study and learn from.
  • The speaker hopes it didn't turn their children to the "dark side" or make them atrocious.

Connecting with Boyd Varty. (00:01:47)

  • Martha Beck met Boyd Varty, a renowned author and coach, at a game preserve in South Africa.
  • Despite their age difference, they felt a strong connection and developed a close friendship over the years.
  • Boyd's family faced legal challenges, and Martha, a sociologist and psychologist, offered them advice on dealing with attacks from psychopaths.
  • Boyd has become an incredible coach, and they have learned from each other's experiences.
  • Boyd possesses a remarkable ability to handle certain threats, including surviving a near-fatal encounter with a crocodile.
  • Boyd is widely regarded as one of the best storytellers in the world.
  • One of his famous quotes, "I don't know where we're going but I know exactly how to get there," resonates with many people.

The path of not here. (00:07:55)

  • Boyd, an expert tracker, describes the "path of not here" as a state of being lost and unaware of it.
  • Recognizing the "path of not here" allows individuals to make changes and shift their direction.
  • People often get stuck in the "path of not here" in various aspects of their lives, such as unfulfilling jobs or unhappy marriages, without realizing it.
  • Expert trackers use deductive reasoning and observation skills to track animals, which may seem like magic to those unfamiliar with their methods.
  • Ancient forms of wisdom, such as tracking, may appear magical to those who are not familiar with them.
  • Martha Beck's first tracking lesson involved identifying a lion's paw print and understanding the lion's behavior based on subtle disturbances in the track.
  • Learning to read tracks is compared to learning to read for the second time, as it opens up a new level of understanding.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's quote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," highlights the similarities between advanced technology and magical abilities.

Finding joy in the body can save your life. (00:12:26)

  • Joy is its own excuse for being.
  • Shift your life towards a simple test: does it bring you joy or not?
  • Joy is the track to follow.
  • Boyd had experienced a lot of trauma and had become numb.
  • Many people who haven't had wild lives are also far off their track of joy.
  • Joy is like oxygen, you need it no matter how you lose it or what it looks like to you.
  • Boyd and his sister were put through a kind of American therapy involving relaxation and laughter.
  • The body is smarter than the mind, it processes 11 million bits of information per second compared to the mind's 40 bits per second.
  • When Boyd was able to relax, he started to find joy in his body.

The pregnant pause that ended Martha's obsession with intellect. (00:17:18)

  • Martha Beck, a speaker and author, shares her personal experiences and reflections on the significance of reconnecting with the body and the nervous system.
  • Despite medical advice to terminate her pregnancy due to her child's Down syndrome diagnosis, Beck chose to continue, challenging societal norms and expectations.
  • During her encounter with the head of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Harvard, who advised her to terminate, Beck noticed a duality in his expression, suggesting his own fears and insecurities.
  • Beck questions the conventional pursuit of intellect and success, emphasizing the importance of joy and fulfillment in life.
  • She observed that many individuals in academia, despite their intellectual achievements, lacked true joy and fulfillment.

Sensitivity and suffering. (00:23:25)

  • Suffering is the only thing that gets our attention enough to make us stop and change our path.
  • Losing the track is part of tracking.
  • Finding the track again or finding a proper track is part of good tracking.
  • The first step is to identify what you are looking for.
  • Once you know what you are looking for, you can start to see it in your life.
  • You can then make choices that will lead you towards more joy and away from suffering.

The year of living lie-lessly. (00:27:03)

  • To address her unhappiness and chronic pain, Martha Beck embarked on a year-long challenge of complete honesty, refraining from telling any lies.
  • This experiment resulted in profound consequences, including the loss of her family, religious beliefs, job, and marriage.
  • Beck's motivation for this challenge stemmed from her desire to uncover the truth and liberate herself from suffering caused by personal struggles, including sexual abuse and unresolved trauma.
  • The experiment revealed that the majority of her lies were related to her emotions rather than significant aspects of her life such as taxes or personal matters.
  • As she ceased lying, her relationships disintegrated due to the exposure of secrets and untruths, leading to a complete transformation in her beliefs and identity.

An illuminating change of perspective. (00:32:59)

  • During emergency surgery, Martha Beck had a profound spiritual experience involving a beautiful light and immense joy.
  • The light revealed her forgotten true nature as a spiritual being and foretold a difficult experience, but assured her of its constant presence.
  • Committed to staying connected to the light, Martha stopped lying as her first step.
  • The experience continues to influence Martha's choices and remains a significant presence in her life.

The path to taking a black belt integrity cleanse. (00:43:16)

  • Integrity cleanse involves being aware of and writing down instances when you say something you don't believe.
  • The purpose is to find the "true path" by distinguishing between truth and falsehood.
  • Choose a 3-day period.
  • During this time, be aware of when you say something you don't believe.
  • Write down these instances in a journal.
  • Choose a 1-month period.
  • During this time, speak the whole truth to another person, such as a therapist or a 12-step group.
  • Strive to never lie, even with your actions or facial expressions.
  • Only speak if what you have to say is an improvement upon silence and is true, kind, and useful.

Owning your right to say "No." (00:47:06)

  • Being truthful involves saying "no" more often.
  • Avoid victim mentality and phrases like "I can't" when declining requests.
  • Use phrases like "I choose not to" or "I will" to assert your choices.
  • Eliminating "I can't" and "I have to" from responses can help overcome depression.
  • Keep a notebook to record honest thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  • Forgive yourself for mistakes and avoid self-hatred.
  • Kindness and gentleness are the truth when integrity is challenging.
  • There's a level beyond just telling the truth called "The Way of Integrity."
  • It involves being honest with yourself and others, even when it's difficult.
  • It requires self-compassion and forgiveness when you make mistakes.

Alternatives to "No" that remain honest. (00:51:24)

  • Suggest alternative activities when declining an invitation to show that you still value the relationship and want to spend time with the person.
  • Be honest about your feelings and explain why you don't want to do something.
  • When you ask people to do things with you, make sure they are activities that you genuinely want to do. This will make everyone's life more enjoyable.

The language of candor. (00:55:05)

  • Using a different language can be helpful for people who have trouble saying no.
  • Be honest and direct, but also be mindful of the other person's feelings.
  • Claim your right to joy and make it clear that you want others to have joy as well.
  • Avoid relationships built on manipulation and secrets.

Ending relationships that have run their course. (00:57:42)

  • Be honest about your feelings, even if it's difficult.
  • Don't be afraid to say no to people if you don't want to do something.
  • Telling the truth may cause the other person to end the relationship, which can be a positive outcome.

The Asian influence. (00:58:59)

  • Martha Beck studied East Asian languages and philosophies.
  • In Asia, there's a reverse idea of perfection: people are born perfect and acquire illusions as they grow.
  • In Asia, the pursuit of freedom from suffering involves dropping illusions.
  • Martha Beck believes that all thoughts are illusions and truth is something that can be felt or participated in as Consciousness.

Sweet or savory? (01:03:08)

  • Martha Beck compares choosing between sweet or savory baking to choosing between being a chef or a pastry chef.
  • People who are OCD-friendly and precision-oriented may find baking more satisfying.

Are you comfortable? (01:04:19)

  • Martha Beck asks audiences if they are comfortable during her talks.
  • Most people initially say yes, but when asked if they would be in the same position if they were home alone, many realize they are not truly comfortable.
  • Beck points out that people are often unaware of their physical discomfort and that this can lead to lying to themselves about their true feelings.

The Amazing and Brutal Results of Zero Lies for 365 Days — Martha Beck (00:00:00)

  • Martha Beck decided to challenge herself to not tell any lies for a year.
  • She found that it was incredibly difficult, as she had been lying to herself and others about many things, both big and small.
  • As she continued the challenge, she noticed that her relationships improved, her anxiety decreased, and she felt more authentic and connected to herself.
  • However, she also faced challenges, such as losing friends who were uncomfortable with her honesty and having to confront difficult truths about herself.
  • Overall, Beck believes that the challenge was worth it and that it helped her to become a more honest and authentic person.

Want vs. yearning and jumping the track. (01:06:13)

  • Martha Beck discusses the difference between what people want (material possessions) and what they yearn for (profound desires for peace, belonging, freedom, love, and happiness).
  • Wants can be achieved through concrete actions, while yearnings require a shift in perspective and openness to non-physical realities.
  • Exercises to connect with yearnings include focusing on physical sensations and energies associated with joy and identifying things one loves to taste, hear, and see.
  • Engaging the senses and vividly imagining a scene that incorporates enjoyable experiences activates the sensory parts of the brain and promotes happiness.
  • Yearnings are feeling states achieved by shifting from thought-based to sensory-based experiential thinking.
  • An exercise involves identifying the current emotional state and focusing on positive sensory experiences to create a new emotional landmark.
  • This shift in thinking allows individuals to experience joy and fulfillment beyond language and logic alone.
  • Stephen Hayes suggests that humans can create a terrifying reality through language, leading to suicide as a perceived escape from an unknown future.
  • Individuals should move beyond language and logic and engage their entire nervous system to experience true joy.

Rhino ruminations. (01:20:42)

  • Rhinos have a large front toe and two side toes.
  • Rhinos, tapirs, horses, asses, and zebras belong to the order Perissodactyla.
  • Perissodactyla is an order of ungulates that includes 17 living species divided into three families.

The Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell, and Byron Katie. (01:22:06)

  • Martha Beck had an intense experience reading Steven Mitchell's version of the Tao Te Ching, which led her to memorize and share the book with others.
  • She discovered Byron Katie's work through Mitchell's endorsement and found Katie's four simple questions particularly impactful.
  • Katie's approach involves reversing negative thoughts and fears to find the next step toward enlightenment.
  • Beck provides an example of how applying Katie's work helped her overcome her fear of potential consequences from writing a book about Mormons.
  • Katie's work has had a profound effect on Beck, and she recommends it to others interested in personal growth and overcoming fears.
  • Martha Beck, a self-help author, conducted an experiment where she lived without telling any lies for 365 days.
  • Despite his skepticism, Martha's husband, Stephen, couldn't find any evidence that she wasn't living in perpetual joy.
  • Martha Beck is described as a "field of transformation" and a "very unusual woman" by the author.

America's Goethe? (01:34:20)

  • Martha Beck and her guest discuss Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer, innovator, and polymath.
  • They mention some of Goethe's quotes, including "when you trust yourself you will know how to live" and "never hurry, never cease."
  • They compare Goethe to Shakespeare and discuss his influence on German literature and culture.
  • Martha Beck suggests that Goethe may have felt lonely due to his exceptional talents and abilities.

The Amazing and Brutal Results of Zero Lies for 365 Days — Martha Beck (00:00:00)

  • Martha Beck shares her experience of going a year without telling any lies.
  • She found that it was incredibly difficult, but also very rewarding.
  • She learned a lot about herself and her relationships with others.
  • She believes that lying is a form of self-betrayal and that it can have a negative impact on our lives.
  • She encourages others to try going a period of time without lying to see how it affects them.

Weighing kryptonite against superpowers. (01:37:29)

  • Martha Beck, a speaker with unique cognitive abilities and weaknesses, excels in spatial awareness and measurement estimation but struggles with digit recall.
  • Despite not having exceptional auditory sensitivity, Beck can mimic accents and tones.
  • Beck criticizes traditional teaching methods, especially in language education, and proposes a more efficient approach.
  • Beck reflects on their undiagnosed neurodivergence and the concept of destiny after their child's self-identification as autistic.
  • Beck believes neurodivergent individuals, with brains that deviate from societal norms, hold the key to humanity's future and environmental preservation.
  • Beck acknowledges the potential mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety, associated with their unique abilities.

Exploring the opposite of anxiety. (01:46:04)

  • The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for anxiety and fear, while the right hemisphere is responsible for creativity and joy.
  • Anxiety can hinder creativity, as even a little bit of stress can significantly reduce a person's ability to think creatively.
  • Children are naturally more creative than adults because they have less social anxiety.
  • Curiosity can help overcome anxiety by shifting the focus from control to exploration.
  • Engaging in creative activities can reduce anxiety.
  • Writing your name in mirror writing, upside down, and upside down and backward can help stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain and reduce anxiety.

Dick Schwartz and Internal Family Systems. (01:55:03)

  • Gesture drawing involves capturing the essence of a pose that changes every 60 seconds, promoting quick drawing and reducing overanalyzing. It serves as a therapeutic activity, especially for individuals with anxiety and depression, as it shifts the focus from the result to the joy of creation.
  • Websites with gesture poses that change over time allow individuals to mimic gesture drawing at home, while gesture drawing classes offer additional benefits such as interacting with others, moving the body, and breaking away from fixed visual focus.
  • Engaging in activities that activate the right hemisphere, such as gesture drawing, is crucial for psychological well-being, as it nurtures, finds meaning, and brings joy.
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is a therapeutic approach that views the mind as a system of multiple parts, each with its own unique identity and perspective. IFS can be effective in helping people resolve anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues by allowing them to connect with and understand their different parts.

Compassion even for the self's unwanted pieces. (02:04:47)

  • Anxiety, insomnia, and depression are parts of the self that want to be included and accepted.
  • Rejecting these parts leads to increased anxiety and depression.
  • Accepting and showing compassion towards these parts can help reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Radical acceptance by T. Brock is a recommended book on this topic.

Favorite animal. (02:07:24)

  • Martha Beck's favorite animal is the cheetah.
  • Cheetahs are delicate, scared, and built for speed.
  • They have long legs and a distinct energy that is similar to a dog's energy with a lot of sugar added to it.
  • Cheetahs are very affectionate and love to lick, but their tongues are raspy and can take off a layer of skin.
  • Martha Beck has a scar from a cheetah licking her arm.
  • Cheetahs have deep amber-orange eyes and a very square brow line.
  • They are built for speed and have a rectangular tail that they use for maneuvering aerodynamically.

Equine therapy. (02:12:12)

  • Horses are highly sensitive to human energy and can provide undeniable feedback on a person's emotional state, making them valuable in equine therapy, especially for individuals with PTSD or neurodivergent conditions.
  • To connect with a horse, one must soften their energy, lower their gaze, and move like prey rather than a predator, which can lead to the horse accepting the person as the herd leader.
  • Horses can help humans become more aware of their own emotions and behaviors, promoting self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Honesty can have a profound impact on relationships and interactions with others, as demonstrated by a woman's experience during a seminar on honesty, where she struggled to connect with a horse until she revealed her hidden truth about getting a divorce, after which the horse showed genuine affection and comfort towards her.
  • Nature and animals can provide companionship and support when one is truthful.

Selling the ranch. (02:18:47)

  • Martha Beck felt it was time to sell her ranch and move on to something new.
  • She compares the process to the natural death of an animal, a bittersweet experience that teaches one how to die and live without fear.
  • Beck describes the ranch as a place where she was supposed to be at one point, but now it was time for a change.
  • She mentions that a massage therapist who worked at the ranch inherited a lot of money and bought the ranch after Beck sold it.

The monkey whisperer. (02:22:06)

  • Beck talks about her experience in Costa Rica, where she didn't see any monkeys for six days.
  • She decided to energetically call the monkeys, and they appeared everywhere until her son got scared, and she had to ask them to leave with her mind.
  • Beck acknowledges that monkeys can be mischievous and scary creatures, especially baboons.
  • She mentions listening to recordings of baboon alarm calls before bed, which resulted in terrifying dreams.
  • Beck describes the monkeys she encountered in Costa Rica as caichins, which are cute but also scary.

Parting thoughts. (02:24:10)

  • Martha Beck, the podcast guest, expresses gratitude for the host's presence and energy.
  • Martha suggests that being in a liminal phase, a threshold between one thing and the next, can be a place of magic and unformed potential. She recommends staying in this phase to learn magic and use it for good.
  • Martha mentions the importance of telling the truth and using magic for good, drawing parallels to trickster archetypes in mythology.
  • She highlights her upcoming book, "Beyond Anxiety: Curiosity, Creativity, and Finding Your Life's Purpose," and encourages people to find her on various platforms like and social media accounts.
  • The host, Martha Beck, expresses gratitude for the opportunity to have a conversation with her guest and compliments her baking skills. She suggests they bake more cakes together in the future.

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