Updated: Mar 13, 2021
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Knowledge is power. And life is full of unexpected lessons. These are two things I know to be true. At some point we all find ourselves standing bewildered with the events of our lives, unsure how to cope with it and what to do.
Depression, in its very definition, is a sign that something in our lives is not working. Anxiety, on the other hand, is generally an indication that we are living from a place of fear more often than not. And so, we need tools. We need to recognize what is happening, allow it to be there, investigate it, and then use our tools to care for ourselves. This is how we begin to feel empowered again.
I've been incredibly lucky in my life; teachers have walked into my focus at the exact moment I needed them and brought with them, knowledge that helped me overcome whatever struggle I was encountering. Even if it wasn't the message I wanted to receive at the time, it was the message that helped me heal whatever hurt was revealing itself to me. Interestingly, these are also the books I find myself recommending to my clients most often.
Take a glance at the summaries for each of these books and see if one calls to you today. Whatever it is that you need, trust your gut. It will help you choose where to begin. There is no right or wrong way to read any of these books. There is no direct path to take to healing. Trust your process and allow yourself to be guided to what you need right now. Trust.
#1: The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
The ego is an interesting part of ourselves; Freud made the term popular, but his approach is a bit outdated. Singer, however, has created a resource to give us a tool to get beyond, or behind, our ego to reach our true selves. Who knew that chatter box in our heads was the ego and wasn't really our pal? I didn't, until Singer taught me.
#2: The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron
This title about sums it up. There are places within all of us, that scare us. Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, compassionately walks us through how to reach those parts of ourselves and heal them. When you're ready to go there, pick this book up to help guide you. Follow her on instagram @anipemachodron or visit her website https://pemachodronfoundation.org/about/pema-chodron/
#3: Do Less by Kate Northrup
Practical and magical, Northrup guides us through the beauty of women; their cycles, their intuitive wisdom, and ways to work with ourselves not against; therefore "doing less." Have you ever felt out of sync with your body, rhythm, cycle? Northrup will help you re-align yourself in this easy-to-read, practical approach. For more great info follow her on instagram @katenorthrup or visit her website www.katenorthrup.com
#4: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
An incredible chronicle of how creativity manifests itself within us. Gilbert sheds the common idea that we must be tortured to create, and replaces it with a beautiful love story between ourselves and the creative flow that exists all around us. If you're feeling stuck in your creative process this may be the book for you. And to receive continuous inspiration you can follow her on instagram @elizabeth_gilbert_writer or visit https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/
#5 & #6: Daring Greatly & Rising Strong by Brene Brown
These two books belong to author, Brene Brown, a shame and vulnerability researcher living in Houston, Texas. Brown provides research to help us better understand ourselves and our learned reactions toward shame and guilt, which ultimately shut us down and disconnect us from one another. I promise, it's not as scary and technical as I just made it seem. She is quite witty and her books are enjoyable to read. Brown also has some great resources and entertaining posts on instagram @brenebrown You can also visit her at https://brenebrown.com/
#7 When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
I mean, the title says it all, right? At some point in all our lives, things fall apart. It's just the natural order of things. Chodron gracefully guides us through practices to help us heal the parts that are undergoing transformation through the lends of Buddhist principles.
Follow her on instagram @anipemachodron
#8: The Tools by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels
These gentleman wrote one of the most practical applications of tools that I have ever seen, which I suppose is why they appropriately named it, The Tools. If you're ready for some real-life tools to help you deal with your feelings, this is the book for you right now. Curious to know more about this resource, visit https://www.thetoolsbook.com/
#9: Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.
Arguably, the best book I have ever read. I will add, that it took me almost 2 years to read so this isn't one to rush through in a weekend. This is a book to absorb, little bits at a time. And then go back and re-read that part 2 months later, and then again 2 weeks later. Pinkola Estes provides living stories rich with lessons for every woman at all the stages in her life. She helps each of us connect to the wild, soul sister inside of us. Follow her on instagram @clarissapinkolaestes or visit her at http://www.clarissapinkolaestes.com/
There it is! The 9 books every woman needs to read. Drop a comment below and tell me about your journey with these books. I'm looking forward to hearing about it!