I’m currently writing my memoir that spans 2015-2019 that shares my journey with mental illness and my struggle to find me. I thought I would share part of the book (Chapter 4) that I’m removing because it’s not meant to be a self help and giving a list of suggestions of what to read would fall under self-help. I want women to walk away from the book with a spark lit and not a library to visit. The list of books begins after the first two paragraphs. Also with being stuck at home we all have some extra time to read – right?
Do not skip this chapter of your life! If it wasn’t for filling my life with self help and therapy I would never have made it to writing the ending of this book. It would have ended at Chapter 6. It would go on and on and on about the shit I went through and the ups and downs and the fucking crazy rollercoaster that I somehow hopped on but it would never reveal the hero or the happy ending. It would be on repeat. Chapter 6 would lead you back into Chapter 1. I don’t know about you but as much as I like to watch a train wreck on TV it breaks my heart to see a woman living one in real life. We’re wired, or atleast many of us are, to want the happy ending.
That’s the thing you want to become your own hero in the end. You want to look at yourself with the strength and purpose that hero’s show up with. You want to elevate yourself! To do that you need to empower yourself. Many of these books are written to empower us women. Going into mid-life we feel we’ve given up our power (sacrificed, stolen) and the time is ticking to take it back. We have spent years giving all of our emotions and power to others because society taught us that. We are in a new era for women who didn’t want to give it up but we did because something had to give. Don’t be selfish we are taught from the beginning of our life. Share. Give. Sacrifice. Well there is a fine line between giving yourself to the world and loosing yourself to the world.
My first self help was really When Life Changes in my college years. I wish I had loved to read more and maybe I would have become addicted to new thought and self help books. Flash forward to the beginning of my mid-life crisis and I discovered Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love. So what to read. Also get a pen and highlighter and learn from these books.
Anything by Marianne Williamson. Seriously anything she has written buy it, borrow it or steal it! No don’t steal it – bad advice. Get your hands on it. Highlight, write in the margins, dog ear it and cover it in post-its. If you have to choose one book I would say A Woman’s Worth and Return to Love. Those are books I return to often. I use them so much that I own the physical book and the digital version. She is a true writer and healer. She has walked the walk for sure and writes very openly about it.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
I read this before I knew the amazingness and brilliance of Brene Brown. This is not a typical self-help but instead an “ah-ha” book. Each chapter will having you making realizations that you are imperfect but those are your gifts – your uniqueness and each imperfection has the opportunity of learning something about yourself. This book washed away my idea that I had to be perfect and inspired me to take off my mask or perfection.
Women Who Run With Wolves
Life changer here! This book plugged straight into my soul. What I regret is that my therapist had suggested it to me a year before I finally purchased it as reading for my trip to Costa Rica. You want empowerment – it will give it to you! It will take you on a ride through myths and folklore of women that stopped being passed down and open your eyes up to some of your own flaws but the gifts of those flaws. It shines a light on the light and dark in us all as well as the light and the dark in the world we live in.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*&K
Reverend John held this book up during Sunday sermon with a post-it over FK. If your reverend endorses it and you cuss like a sailor then this book is for you. Actually after the first few chapters the F word starts to disappear. It’s a great book about empowerment, living your truth and learning how to not worry about what others think. They could be just as miserable as you – why? Because they are giving a fuck.
You Are A Badass
Thanks Jen for reminding us of this. We are all badass goddesses!
The Four Agreements
MUST READ!! Write these down on a post it and stick them on your car dash for a month. These agreements you make with yourself will become engrained in your head because everyday you will look at them and quietly read them. They are really simple and common sense really but in our ego driven world we forget to not be offended, speak clearly and go with the flow. My biggest was don’t take things personally. If people want to hurt or judge you they are secretly doing it to themselves. Move on and know that it’s their weaknesses trying to become yours.
Okay this is a curveball for you. However reading it you realize that we have gotten away from the simple joys in our lives. It also gave me the idea that I needed to leave my life of comfort at times to rediscover me and the power I had within me. I did not need all of the comforts I am given but just me and the power that resides in me. It is also an inspiration for the she-shed and it’s purpose.
Alice In Wonderland
Yep a children’s classic that can teach you to find faith in the impossible. Alice took a tumble into the great unknown. She felt she had to escape a life she did not want and knew would bring her misery and keep her from her true desires. Jump, fall, trip or dive into the rabbit hole. You won’t regret it and will meet some pretty interesting characters (guides and teachers) along the way.
Don’t want to read it then watch it. My daughters love the new and older versions and it’s always a great opportunity to talk about growing as a person.
Wizard of Oz
Oh Dorothy. When I was a teen I had to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed and for a week I watched Wizard of Oz on repeat as a dozed in and out of reality. Little did I know that her journey would be my journey. Her reality would become mine.
You can read here about how she discovered she was her own hero and had everything she ever needed within her. Also watch it with your kids to have a family night. Once my kids make it to Oz they love it. “Black and white is so boring mom.”
Feel free to comment below with your fave books that have inspired you or encouraged you. For me I can’t talk about Marianne Williamson enough. Her words held me in the beginning and now they truly inspire me.
Want more check out this post by blogger Tomas Laurinavicius.