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A Word or 2 From 3 Wise Women

Life lessons, saving money and saving the world

Another writer — life coach Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want — urges women to abandon their 9-to-5 work culture and follow a less conventional, more meaningful path through life. Pursue this alt-route far enough, she insists, and you might even be able to make a living from it.

Beck melds the practices of ancient healers with the principles of modern science to create physical and mental exercises designed to help you imagine a new vocation based on your true nature and then implement a life plan.

See also: Finding a life calling in pizza, after a career in computers.

To convince those who might accuse her of peddling "woo woo" (her term), Beck cites stories of fellow "wayfinders," as she calls them, who have blazed a trail from traditional career path to more gratifying livelihood: training service dogs, healing victims of PTSD, running a cartoon website — you get the idea.

Beck "didn't choose life coaching as a career," she remarks at one point in Finding Your Way. "I wanted to be something more prestigious, like a professor, a convenience store clerk, or a crack addict." Her openness to new adventures turns out to be the wisest lesson in the book.

You may also like: Kathleen Turner on parenting adult children.

Carol Kaufmann is a freelance writer and editor in Alexandria, Va. Her latest book, Safari (Workman), will be published in the fall.

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