Martha Beck

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Martha Beck gets to the heart of the law of attraction in the February 2008 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine . In her remarkable column , Martha looks at the case of Alice Gorman, a woman who created a "love list" —a list of the 100 qualities she was looking for in a man—and then watched as a man who matched the list almost exactly entered her life.

Martha explains there are two ways to create such a list. One is what she calls "the shallow way." "It comes from our fears and from our grasping," she says. "'I want a man to make me happy.' 'I want a man to make me secure.' It's very fear-based. 'I want a man who's handsome so he'll look good to other people.'"

If you make a list for a shallow reason, Martha says, it just won't work.

The other way to create a list is if you've been through "the ring of fire." This is a period of adversity that can change the reasons you want things from shallowness into wanting from a "core of peace."

"The classic example is King Midas. He thought he wanted everything he touched to turn to gold. Turns out that his wife and his child and his bed all became metal, so his core of peace didn't want that at all," Martha says. "It's meant to teach us not to grasp for things in the shallows because if they come true from there, they're not good for us. In his core of peace, what [Midas] wanted was love and that, if he'd gone there and made a list, he would have had love and gold and everything."