The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
This is the classic in how to explore, discover, enjoy and actualize your creativity. I discovered this book years ago as a participant in an “Artist Way” group. I found it to be inspiring, helpful, fun and full of powerful and deep insights to my personal creative blocks and practical ways to work through those blocks.
The Book of Awakening – Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life you Have by Mark Nepo
This is such an amazing daily reading and mediation book! Every morning, I feel touched by grace and inspired by compassion to enjoy my day and live more fully from my heart. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in a practical everyday guide to profound spiritual awareness and having heart based connections with yourself and others.
Attached. The New Science Of Adult Attachment And How It Can Help You Find-And Keep-Love by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M. A.
I listened to Attached and found it helpful and very insightful in terms of understanding relationship patterns and ways to find and enhance relationships that can meet our needs and be a lasting fit. To quote the back cover: “This book is both fascinating and fun. Attached will help every reader understand whom they are attracted to as partners, why, and what they can do to reach fulfillment in love .”
Brain Gym – Teacher’s Edition Revised by Paul E. Dennison, Ph.D. and Gail E. Dennison
This is loaded with very helpful exercised that you can do and teach others to do that help to balance your brain in order to increase your capacity to focus and just to help calm your entire nervous system.
A Course In Weight Loss- 21 Spiritual Lessons For Surrendering Your Weight Forever by Marianne Williamson
This is the perfect book to use as a follow-up to Women, Food And God because of it’s in depth understanding and guidance on how to deepen your connection to yourself and God. To quote the back cover: “The 21 lessons in this book will take you on a deep, sacred journey. One step at a time, you will learn to shift your relationship with yourself-and your body- from one of fear to one of love. And you will begin to integrate the various parts of yourself-mind, body and spirit to become, once again, and in all ways, the beautiful and peaceful person you were created to be.”
Circle of Stones: Woman’s Journey to Herself by Judith Duerk
The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by Ilene Rosoff
“On rare occasions a book allows us to be utterly drawn in, to fall into another realm where a certain perspective we once struggled with becomes crystal clear. In essence, Circle of Stones is about discovering the power of the feminine and the core of our beings. It is rich with the history, myth and images of the collective consciousness of woman to guide us in our journey. Beautifully conveyed, it is art, poetry and metaphor–astonishingly simple, yet undeniably sublime.”
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie.
I recommend this book to anyone who struggles with losing themselves in relationships and has a pattern of sacrificing their own needs for the needs and wants of others.
The Drama of the Gifted Child – The Search for the True Self by Alice Miller
When I read this book for the first time, I felt that someone finally understood how alone, empty and hopeless I felt as a child. It gave me hope that maybe I could find the understanding, empathy and help that I had always longed for. To quote the back cover: “An unpretentious little book with an amazing impact…Many readers find themselves portrayed with an accuracy and empathy that seem uncanny, as if its author had been a silent, unseen witness to their childhoods and their inner-most and secret selves.”
The Emotionally Abused Woman – Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself by Beverly Engel, MFCC
Using numerous examples drawn her clients’ own stories, Engel helps her readers to identify the patterns that have kept them emotionally trapped, decide whether to walk away or take a stand for healthy and respectful relationships and heal the damage to self-esteem from the abuse.
The Emotional Incest Syndrome; What To Do When A Parent’s Love Rules Your Life by Patricia Love, Ed.D.
This book will help you to recognize the signs of being a chosen child, neglected child or emotionally abused child and help you know what to do to reverse the negative affects of this type of parenting in your adult life.
Find Your Strongest Life – What The Happiest And Most Successful Women do Differently by Marcus Buckingham
I personally prefer to listen to Marcus Buckingham to reading his books. He is a marvelous story teller and makes great use of examples from his life and the lives of others in sharing this very helpful information on ways to find your strongest life. I appreciate his emphasis on focusing on your strengths in order to bring about your desired changes.
Healing the Addicted Brain – The Revolutionary, Science-Based Alcoholism and addiction Recovery Program by Marold C. Urschel, III, MD
“An in-depth look at drug and alcohol addiction as a chronic, treatable disease of the brain. This book presents a step-by-step approach to staying sober and preventing relapse for those recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction.” I am using this with a client who can not participate in AA and it is providing extremely helpful insights and guidance as we work our way through his alcohol addiction and recovery. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with an addiction or struggling trying to help an addict.
THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES – The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
I bought the 5 Love languages after watching Oprah interview Gary Chapman. I was so impressed with the testimonies of the different couples in the interview who all said that understanding their own love language and the love language of their partners had saved and enriched their marriages. They each talked about how their assumptions regarding how love is best expressed had been at the core of many of their most painful conflicts. Gary Chapman has written an easy to understand guide for anyone desiring to learn how to better communicate their love. I highly recommend this book!
The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine Aron.
This book has helped me and many of my clients to recognize that we are highly sensitive people and has given us concrete ways to accept, love and take better care of ourselves. If you have been told by yourself and others for most of your life that you are “too sensitive” or that “you just need to let things things go and relax more” this book is for you!
How Much Joy Can You Stand? A Creative Guide to Facing Your Fears and Making Your Dreams Come True
by Suzanne Falter-Barns This author obviously believes in the absolute necessity for all of us to give expression to our creative natures as evidenced by this quote on page 2: “The creative process is a lifeblood we all share – a fundamental human property with millions of applications. It is essential to accomplishing anything in life that’s uniquely your own; it is the engine that drives your dreams.” Each chapter ends with practical and fun ways to explore, develop and express our creativity.
How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love, Ed.D. and Steven Stosny, Ph.D.
Believe or not you really can improve your relationships without talking about it! This book is life changing in its approach, insights into the deep unmet needs of both women and men in relationships. It is full of practical and easy to understand steps that you can take to improve your relationships and connections with others.
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.
This book is filled with practical and easy ways to help kids deal with their feelings, engage their cooperation and for parents and kids to have more respectful and caring relationships. I love how the authors use cartoons to teach their methods!
Influencer- The Power To Change Anything by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan & Al Switzler
This book has some of the latest research on how to influence change in others and to make it last. One of the main ways we influence other to change is through the sharing of our own stories and this book practices what this change preaches by teaching it’s concepts through many personal stories of change. I found it helpful and interesting!
THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH- Live them and Reach Your Potential by John C. Maxwell
“This is an instruction manual for taking next steps of growth. Embracing these laws will cause you to grow individually and in your contribution to those around you. This book is a must-read for anyone responsible for helping others to grow.” John Calipari
As a therapist I am inspired and touched by the author’s desire and determination to grow to his full potential. He is so committed to his growth that he has dedicated his entire life to this end. These 15 laws are a product of his lifetime dedication and are a summary of what he knows works for those of us who desire to grow. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants guidance in growing to their full potential and is not content to just stand still!
The Introvert Advantage; How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
Do you recover your energy by being alone and sometimes struggle because you think you are not as “outgoing” as you should be? If so, you are probably an introvert and this book will help show you and the extroverts who love you how to appreciate your temperament and to how to enjoy a well-lived life.
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
This has been my daily mediation book for many years now and it has been a reliable source of inspiration and comfort. This is the reading for April 8:
“Rest when you’re tired. Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty. Call a friend when you’re lonely. Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed. Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard, when the problem is that we’re already pushed too hard. Many of us are afraid the work won’t get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe. They are well-times, efficient, and Divinely led.”
Legacy of the Heart – The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood by Wayne Muller
Wayne Muller writes this touching and powerful book from his belief that: “You are not broken; childhood suffering is not a mortal wound.” He also states that “It requires a tremendous leap of faith to imagine that your own childhood-punctuated with pain, loss and hurt- may, in fact, be a gift. Certainly the unhappiness you felt was not, in itself, a blessing; but in response to that pain, you learned to cultivate a powerful intuition, a heightened sensitivity, and a passionate devotion to healing and love that burns deep within you-and these are gifts that may be recognized, honored and cultivated.” I want to invite you to read this book and be inspired to let go of whatever residual blame and shame you may still have and go on to be your best and most loving self!
Nonviolent Communication – A language of Life; Create Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
This book has helped me and my clients to finally have the skills to communicate our feelings and needs truthfully with respect and without blame in a way that can improve our connection with others and ourselves. It has even increased my ability to be proactive and meet my own goals by helping me to understand how to listen to my own feelings and the unmet needs behind my feelings.
Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.
This book is one of the many helpful resources from the Love and Logic Institute. Love and Logic helps parents to have practical ways to be back in control as parents and avoid power struggles with their kids. Love and Logic is famous for “putting the fun back into parenting” and for helping adults raise responsible and respectful kids who they actually enjoy being with!
The Power of Full Engagement – Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
This book has inspired me to be mindful of not only how I am expending my energy, but also to be conscious of the absolute need to recover my energy! Let me give you a sample of their thoughts on p.12: “The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal. We, must learn to live our own lives as a series of sprints – fully engaging for periods of time, and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray to face whatever challenges confront us”. I encourage you to read this book and learn more on how to take care of yourself on every level – spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally!
The Road Less Traveled – A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck, M.D.
I enjoyed this book so much that after I read my paperback version (that’s falling apart) for the 2nd time, I bought a hardback copy of it. A decade may go by in between my readings and it does not fail to inspire me, comfort me and challenge me with the insights, stories and the vulnerability that Scott Peck has found such a meaningful way to express.
Sexual Fluidity – Understanding Women’s Love And Desire By Lisa Diamond.
This book has helped me and some of my clients to broaden our understanding of not only the fluid nature of female sexuality, but sexuality in general. And to quote the back cover:
“The book has many riveting accounts by women of their own experiences of sexual attraction and distraction…Diamond has written a fascinating book”.
THE TOOLS – Transform Your Problems Into Courage, confidence, and Creativity by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels
“These tools are emotional game changers; they can help you work through conflicts, get happier, and feel a deep sense of purpose. As simple and practical as they are, they do nothing less than deliver you to your best and most powerful self.” – Kathy Freston
I love having The Tools as a ready resource because clients are often asking for “tools” and these tools are so practical and easy to use. I also appreciate that they have a spiritual component as well.
Transformation Soup – Healing for the Splendidly Imperfect By SARK
This book looks like it’s written in SARK’s own hand (it is not typed!) and it is such a creative expression of her own healing journey and naked vulnerability. It is full of wisdom and suggestions on how to further your own healing journey and it is just an enjoyable and inspiring read!
You Say More Than You Think – A 7 -Day Plan For Using The New Body Language To Get What You Want by Janine Drive
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their ability to communicate and connect with others. Most of our communication is nonverbal, so it’s helpful to have more understanding about the ways we communicate to others that we may not be that aware of. The author has trained thousands of law enforcement officers to interpret body language.
Way of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and the subsequent movie based on the true story of its author. I have learned much from Dan Millman’s honest struggle with finding his true self and being true to that self. He writes poignantly about his battle between his mind, ego, heart and soul as his teacher, named Socrates, guides him. I have felt that Socrates is guiding me also as he guides Dan in practical ways to stay grounded, centered and healthy in body and spirit. This book also contains the beginning of the love story between Dan and his wife.
Why Good People Do Bad Things – How To Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy By Debbie Ford
I just started reading this book a couple of weeks ago and I can hardly put it down. Debbie Ford writes with such clarity and understanding on this very difficult subject that is often so full of shame for anyone who tackles it on a personal level. I’ll give you a sample of her work on p.12: “It is the false self, birthed out of our woundedness, our deep insecurities, and our self-loathing, that must get addressed if we are to befriend ourselves and ensure a stable future.” I agree that it is our avoidance of our pain and insecurities that leads us to acting in ways that we either keep secret or deeply regret. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to live an authentic life!
Women, Food And God by Geneen Roth
This book was the most profound and challenging book that I read in 2010. The principles within can help you to change and understand any area of your life that is out of control-not just your eating! To quote the back cover: “Geneen Roth has written an extraordinary book- at once beautiful, moving, funny and searing. Most important, she gives us a practical way to use our bodies-along with some of the most difficult parts of our emotional lives- as gracious and transforming portals to our soul.”