If you are looking to be inspired, here are my most highly recommended resources!
Make sure to check in now and then for new additions.
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING:
WOMEN’S BODIES, WOMEN'S WISDOM: Creating Physical and Emotional Healing
By Christiane Northrup
Indigo Product Description: "When it was first published in 1994, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom quickly became an international bestseller, and for the past fifteen years it has remained the veritable bible of women’s health. Now, in this revised and updated edition, world-renowned and much-beloved women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup shares with us the latest developments and advances that will maximize our potential for living well in our bodies today. Inside you will discover:
- new material on sexuality—and how to have a more fulfilling sex life
- the spiritual and scientific principles behind healing from terminal illnesses, and how you can utilize these principles for your own health and the health of others
- vital information about how to truly dissolve PMS and ease menstrual cramps
- extraordinary facts on Vitamin D—and why it is crucial for breast, cardiovascular, and immune system health
- the importance of the preconception diet and how to greatly decrease your risk of birth defects
- how to birth naturally, despite the current induction and C-section epidemic
- all you need to know about thyroid function, including proper blood tests
- life-saving facts about cellular inflammation—the root cause of all chronic degenerative diseases—and how to prevent this condition
- the essentials on the 'fountain of youth molecule' —and how to enhance your levels of it for vibrant health
Living a healthy life in a woman’s body can be downright fun—even ecstatic! And that’s good news for everyone—women, men, and their children."
MOTHER-DAUGHTER WISDOM: Understanding the Crucial Link Between Mothers, Daughters, and Health
By Christiane Northrup
Becoming a mother to a little girl and having suffered so much from a very distant relationship with my mother, I need guidance to avoid repeating patterns and to learn how to initiate healthy patterns with my own daughter. Due to the positive impact of Christiane Northrup’s book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom on my life, I plunged into Mother-Daughter Wisdom trusting that it would offer tremendous insights into the mother-daughter relationship and its link to women’s health. This book has been a most helpful guide in creating health and healing for myself and my daughter and will continue to be a guide all the way through to her adulthood.
Indigo Product Description: “Mother-Daughter Wisdom introduces an entirely new map of female development, exploring the 'five facets of feminine power,' which range from the basics of physical self-care to the discovery of passion and purpose in life. This blueprint allows any woman—whether or not she has children—to repair the gaps in her own upbringing and create a better adult relationship with her mother. If she has her own daughter, it will help her be the mother she has always wanted to be. Drawing on patient case histories and personal experiences, Dr. Northrup also presents findings at the cutting edge of medicine and psychology. Discover:
How to lay the nutritional foundation to prevent eating disorders and adult diseases
The truth about the immunization controversy—and the true meaning of immunity
How we can change our genetic health legacy
Why financial literacy is essential to women’s health
How to foster healthy sexuality and future 'love maps' in our daughters
How to balance independence with caring, and individual growth with family ties”
EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND: Psychology and The Chakra System AS A PATH TO SELF
BY Anodea Judith
Indigo Product Description: "In EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND, chakra authority Anodea Judith brought a fresh approach to the yoga-based Eastern chakra system, adapting it to the Western framework of Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, childhood developmental theory, and metaphysics. This groundbreaking work in transpersonal psychology has been revised and redesigned for a more accessible presentation. Arranged schematically, the book uses the inherent structure of the chakra system as a map upon which to chart our Western understanding of individual development. Each chapter focuses on a single chakra, starting with a description of its characteristics, then exploring its particular childhood developmental patterns, traumas and abuses, and how to heal and maintain balance. Illuminated with personal anecdotes and case studies, EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND seamlessly merges the East and West, science and philosophy, and psychology and spirituality into a compelling interpretation of the chakra system and its relevance for Westerners today."
RADICAL ACCEPTANCE: Embracing your life with the heart of A Buddha
By Tara BracH, Ph.D.
To accept myself, all of myself, the imperfections, the addictions, seemed at many times to be an impossible task. I thought that to accept meant to surrender, and to surrender felt like giving up. Failure. Tara Brach explains in her book that to accept ourselves, to surrender, is to be free. The chains come off and we can move freely through this world. She incorporates western therapy with eastern Buddhism, as well as relating from her personal experience.
Indigo Product Description: "'Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,' says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork—all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach’s twenty years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students. Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.”
(Also offered as an audio book)
HEALING THE SHAME THAT BINDS YOU
BY John Bradshaw
My healing journey has been mostly about identifying and healing the mountain of shame I unknowingly was buried under. In weekly sessions with a therapist over many years, I uncovered the familial shame that was passed down from my parents, along with the heap of shame accumulated from abusing alcohol and drugs for many years. John Bradshaw shares his personal experience about his recovery from alcoholism and shares his insights into the toxic effects of shame and offers immensely accessible strategies to heal.
Indigo Product Description: “Shame is the motivator behind our toxic behaviours: the compulsion, co-dependency, addiction and drive to super-achieve that breaks down the family and destroys personal lives. This book has helped millions identify their personal shame, understand the underlying reasons for it, address these root causes and release themselves from the shame that binds them to their past failures.”
ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
By Caroline Myss
Indigo Product Description: "Anatomy of the Spirit is the boldest presentation to date of energy medicine by one of its premier practitioners, internationally acclaimed medical intuitive Caroline Myss, one of the 'hottest new voices in the alternative health/spirituality scene' (Publishers Weekly). Based on fifteen years of research into energy medicine, Dr. Myss's work shows how every illness corresponds to a pattern of emotional and psychological stresses, beliefs, and attitudes that have influenced corresponding areas of the human body.
Anatomy of the Spirit also presents Dr. Myss's breakthrough model of the body's seven centers of spiritual and physical power, in which she synthesizes the ancient wisdom of three spiritual traditions—the Hindu chakras, the Christian sacraments, and the Kabbalah's Tree of Life—to demonstrate the seven stages through which everyone must pass in the search for higher consciousness and spiritual maturity. With this model, Dr. Myss shows how you can develop your own latent powers of intuition as you simultaneously cultivate your personal power and spiritual growth.
By teaching you to see your body and spirit in a new way, Anatomy of the Spirit provides you with the tools for spiritual maturity and physical wholeness that will change your life."
WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
By Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
Indigo Product Description: “In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine.”
SELF-ESTEEM, BODY IMAGE, DISORDERED EATING
About Geneen Roth:
I turned to Geneen Roth’s work while struggling with compulsive binging. I had always struggled with food, but it really exacerbated when I got sober, especially about five or six years into it. This was probably one of the most painful periods in my life. Surprisingly, binging was even harder to admit to and harder to eradicate than drinking and drugs.
Geneen’s work resonated with me on a soul level. All along I knew it was about the food but not about the food, so when her guidelines encouraged me to know my self on a soul level, I was in. It became clear to me that I was starved on many levels and that I kept using food to fill these voids. I realized that it wasn’t food I craved but rather love I needed and that love had to come from me. All of her teachings were so interwoven with all of the other work I had done, including the Radical Acceptance and Healing the Shame work, that it took some time to incorporate all these teachings into my life.
For anyone struggling with food and body image, I suggest Geneen’s work in addition to seeking out other therapeutic modalities. In addition to her books, she offers online seminars and retreats and workshops in the United States.
From her website:
“Geneen Roth's pioneering books were among the first to link compulsive eating and perpetual dieting with deeply personal and spiritual issues that go far beyond food, weight and body image. She believes that we eat the way we live, and that our relationship to food, money, love is an exact reflection of our deepest held beliefs about ourselves and the amount of joy, abundance, pain, scarcity we believe we have (or are allowed) to have in our lives.
Rather than pushing away the 'crazy' things we do, Geneen's work proceeds with the conviction that our actions and beliefs make exquisite sense, and that the way to transform our relationship with food is to be open, curious and kind with ourselves—instead of punishing, impatient and harsh. In the past thirty years, she has worked with hundreds of thousands of people using meditation, inquiry, and a set of seven eating guidelines that are the foundation of natural eating.”
By Geneen Roth:
WOMEN FOOD AND GOD: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
FEEDING THE HUNGRY HEART: The Experience of Compulsive Eating
WHY WEIGHT: A Workbook for Ending Compulsive Eating
WHEN YOU EAT AT THE REFRIGERATOR, PULL UP A CHAIR: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But)
BREAKING FREE FROM EMOTIONAL EATING
ALCOHOLISM AND ADDICTION
12 STEPS ON BUDDHA’S PATH: Bill, Buddha, and We
By Laura S.
Laura S. candidly shares her story of how she found the 12 Steps, and then how she wove Buddhism into the steps to take her understanding to a whole new level.
Indigo Product Description: “12 Steps on Buddha’s Path is an inspiring firsthand account of what happens when life seems hopeless and the miracle of finding out that it's anything but. The author describes her own journey of recovery from alcoholism—an astonishing passage through strange and frightening territory—and marks out the path that allowed her to emerge from that darkness as a wise and compassionate person living a life that is joyous and free. This book is a powerful and enriching synthesis of the 12-Step recovery programs and the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism. It is sure to appeal to anyone touched by addiction, including those looking for new ways to understand and work with the tried-and-true 12-Step system.”
DRINKING: A LOVE STORY
By Caroline Knapp
My journey to sobriety began with this book. I too used alcohol unknowingly as 'liquid armour.' I bought this book, brought it home, and read it privately in my bedroom. Caroline’s story was one of the first stories I really identified with. I am grateful it cracked open my denial about my own drinking and using.
Indigo Product Description: “Fifteen million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as 'liquid armor,' a way to protect themselves against the difficult realities of life. In this extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Knapp offers important insights not only about alcoholism, but about life itself and how we learn to cope with it.”
ORDINARY RECOVERY: MINDFULNESS, ADDICTION, AND THE PATH OF LIFELONG SOBRIETY
By William Alexander
After years in recovery in a Twelve-Step Program, I began searching for new ways to understand and incorporate the Twelve Steps into my life. There already was a focus on prayer and meditation in the program; however, this is one of the books that was later recommended to me to help me deepen these practices and integrate them into my daily life.
Indigo Product Description: “The key to ongoing freedom from alcoholism or any other kind of addiction is right before us, here and now, in the ordinary and perfect present moment. The problem is that addictions are often the result of our efforts to escape living in the present in the first place. Bill Alexander’s unique approach uses mindfulness (a nonjudgmental awareness of our moment-to-moment experience), story, and meditation to help alcoholics and others learn to come back to the present moment and find healing there. Emerging scientific research suggests that mindfulness can help prevent addiction relapse.”
IN THE REALM OF HUNGRY GHOSTS: Close Encounters with Addiction
By Gabor Maté, M.D.
Indigo Product Description: "In this timely and profoundly original book, writer and physician Gabor Maté looks at the epidemic of various addictions in our society, tells us why we are so prone to them and outlines what is needed to liberate ourselves from their hold. Starting with a dramatically close view of Maté's drug addicted patients, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts weaves in stories of real people while providing a bold synthesis of clinical experience, insight and cutting-edge scientific findings. A haunting, compassionate and deeply personal examination of the nature of addiction."
PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH
INA MAY’S GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH
By Ina May Gaskin
This book was instrumental in helping me see that childbirth is natural, that women have been doing it since the beginning of time, and that I too could have a natural home birth and a healthy baby. Prior to reading this book, I planned to give birth in the hospital. My initial consultations with doctors led me to believe I was high-risk due to my age and RH-negative diagnosis. While reading this book, I realized that I was a healthy thirty-eight-year-old woman capable of a natural homebirth.
Most notably, I felt that having my baby should be a spiritual, intimate experience shared with my husband and facilitated by warm caregivers. This book offers many stories of women and their labour experience, also giving insight to the work of the midwife and the doula. With more than forty years of experience as a midwife, Ina May compares the various methods of childbirth and also explains the different medications, medical procedures, and dangers that can arise from all of them.
INA MAY’S GUIDE TO BREASTFEEDING
BY Ina May Gaskin
I read this book cover to cover prior to the birth of my daughter. The information I had access to on the internet was very fear-based and in some cases made it seem like breastfeeding would be impossible. This book helped to prepare me about what to expect and provided solutions to some of the normal hurdles that can arise when breastfeeding.
THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN
The Business of Being Born is a 2008 documentary that explores the contemporary experience of childbirth in the United States. Produced by Ricki Lake, it compares various childbirth methods, including midwives, natural births, epidurals, and Cesarean sections. The film criticizes the American health care system with its emphasis on medicines and costly interventions and its view of childbirth as a medical emergency rather than a natural occurrence.