9 books for your healing journey

Healing is a full-time job.

I’m sure you realize that. Maybe that’s why you don’t prioritize it, yet. Maybe that’s why you feel overwhelmed by it. Maybe that’s why you gave up everything to pursue it.

We all heal in our own ways and in our time.

At one point, I walked away from everything I knew and loved in order to heal. I wanted to make sure I was prepared for when the future needed me.

I had started my healing journey long before that, though. We like to think of the momentous decisions as “the healing beginning”, but when we think about it, we were opening space inside of us or challenging old habits and thoughts long before we saw evidence that we were changing.

Here are 9 book titles that are potentially life-changing. They offer different perspectives than the few that are most often regurgitated in our cultures. They talk about the power YOU have to create the life YOU want… and not in a monetary way.

Ready to blow your own mind? Here we go:

1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is an easy, quick read with a deep, profound message. Excerpt:

Humans agree to help each other suffer. If you have the need to be abused, you will find it easy to be abused by others. Likewise, if you are with people who need to suffer, something in you makes you abuse them.

2. Loving What Is by Byron Katie. This books shares an inquiry process. Excerpt:

If you think that alcohol makes you sick or confused or angry, then when you drink it, it’s as if you’re drinking your own disease. You’re meeting alcohol where it is, and it does exactly what you know it will do. So we investigate the thinking, not in order to stop drinking, but simply to end any confusion about what alcohol will do.

3. A Course in Miracles by Foundation for Inner Peace. This can be found in multiple volumes or a combined volume. Many groups exist around the world to go through this book together because it is a deep and intense work. Excerpt:

The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right. This witness is insane. You trained it in its testimony, and as it gave it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it saw was true. You did this to yourself.

4. Succulent Wild Woman by SARK. This artistic book is fun and affirming. Excerpt:

Creative exploration will always result in mistakes, and if we fear those, we risk paralysis and a numb “good girl” mentality. Our morality may guide us in our sexual exploration. Is your morality yours, or the regurgitation of parents’ and/or religious beliefs?

5. Crystal Woman by Lynn V. Andrews. This is one book in a series about a woman’s adventures into her calling and shamanism. Better than fiction! This book is too full of magick to share an excerpt. You’re just going to have to read it for yourself, if you’re ready.

6. Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck. This is a “how to” book for journeying back to yourself. Lots of magick here, too. Excerpt:

After returning from Rwanda, I met with several of “my” master coaches (born wayfinders all) to discuss new ways we could earn a living doing exactly what we damn well please. I couldn’t help noticing that several of these people looked like they’d been enhanced with Photoshop. They were all glowy: their skin was clear, their eyes were radiant, and they seemed to have the continuous, resilient energy of small children. They happily chatted about the magic that had wrought this rejuvenation. Two words: green smoothies.

This cracks me up! Such a great way to lead into the smoothie life. Okay, moving on…

7. Pranic Healing by Choa Kok Sui. If you can find this book for a reasonable price or you are financially wealthy, buy this book. It will serve you for the rest of your life. This is a book about how to free the energy healer inside of you. Excerpt:

 A cancerous organ or part is clairvoyantly seen as dark muddy yellow and red. There is too much yellow and red prana in the affected area, resulting in the rampant growth of cancerous cells. This condition is brought about by an overactivated basic chakra, meng mein chakra, and solar plexus chakra. Although these chakras are overactivated, they are very depleted.

8. Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan. This book centers on the energetic and spiritual offerings of plants, taking a few steps beyond herbalism. Excerpt:

Obviously plants do not have kidneys and bladders, but they store fluids and harbor the mysterious life spring just as we do. What is more, they will bring peace to our waters if we ask them to.

9. The Complete Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This is another book that has inspired many groups as a sojourning tool. It is three books in one and guides the creative-spiritual connection. Excerpt:

By letting our soul speak first thing in the morning, we align ourselves with the Great Creator. Over the years, I have come to consider Morning Pages to be a valid form of meditation, perhaps a form uniquely suited to hyperactive Westerners.

Within these 9 books, you will find almost all the healing opportunities you require from a cerebral and physical perspective. I wish you well.

parenting teens without breaking down

Once upon a time, I gave birth to four humans within five years, one at a time. It was a ton of fun and I completely immersed myself  in my mothering role. I loved that no day was ever the same, as I am easily bored in this life. Parenting four, young children day-in and day-out rarely bored me and I spent the time doing a lot of healing from my own childhood.

I remember standing in my kitchen when the youngest of the four was around age one and thinking to myself I cannot wait until they are teenagers! I will have four teens at the same time! I can’t wait to see what they try to get away with and what they think they know! To say that parenting was my jam would be a gross understatement.

But, then, I actually had teenagers. Continue reading

7 habits to cultivate healing from trauma

Life is all about habits.

We can become habituated to anything. ANY. THING.

Many of us have become habituated to dysfunction and abuse. Our society acts like these things are fringe social issues, but they are, in fact, the norm. I’ve never met a single woman or man who wasn’t abused or traumatized in some way.

Have you?

As someone who considers herself a Healer, I attract people who may be perceived as broken. I have attracted “broken” people all my life, even before I realized I had a gift for serving those who need it most. At times, I have resented this calling. Being a Healer often means you have to suffer, just so you can internalize and truly empathize with what you have been called to heal. Experience is a wonderful and profound teacher.

Not all Healers have dealt with their own trauma, though. I have met, unfortunately, many Healers who still don’t understand their self-worth, who still don’t understand that they are inherently worthy of the best life has to offer. They became habituated to suffering and never saw themselves as worthy of the freedom they so desperately wanted to share with others.

I don’t think you can share what you don’t even have.

For years, I supported women, but I still had my own work to do and I knew that. I hesitated to be put on a pedestal and I refused success when it tried to befriend me. I just don’t believe in doing anything halfway, you know?

Eventually, I embodied the reality of Abundance in such a way that I just couldn’t jive with suffering, anymore. Like…it doesn’t stick AT ALL. When I’m around people doing great civic work and I see that they are still operating from a fear and scarcity mindset, I realize they are still habituated to suffering. And, I walk away.

To some, this looks callous. To some, this looks like I have my head in the clouds. But the truth is that I know for a fact that Life Is Beautiful. And, I am worthy of all that beauty. Sure, there is crap out there. I know. I have survived a lot of it, myself. But there is also beauty.

I can turn my head and look at what I want to look at. So can you.

If you’re struggling with the habit of feeling traumatized, here are a few steps to help you on your healing journey. We have all been there, my friend. But we don’t have to live there.

1. Walk away. That’s right. Walk away. When something isn’t serving you, when something makes you feel bad, you walk away from it. Distance yourself. Physical distance is best, if you can manage it, but psychological and emotional distance is good, too. Learn when to tell yourself, “This isn’t for me.” And, then leave it where you found it.

2. Focus on gratitude. Crap happens to all of us. But just because something happened doesn’t mean we have to give it a lot of space in our minds. I’m not saying pretend it didn’t happen or distract yourself with mindless games. I’m saying distract yourself with a sense of gratefulness, because just like the bad things that happened, there have been good things. Even if you can only think of one good thing that happened today (and maybe it wasn’t “I woke up”), that one good thing is still a GOOD THING.

3. Meditate on love. Love will change your life. It will change everything about how you view the world. Sit and just think about love. Think about how you feel when you love. Think about how you would like to feel. Maybe you’ve never felt loved before. Imagine what feeling loved would feel like and then…

4. Love yourself radically. Don’t just normally love yourself. GO BIG OR GO HOME. Like, seriously. Say nice, loving things to yourself out loud…no matter where you are. Include others in it. “We look FABULOUS today!” Buy yourself gifts. Literally litter your home with trinkets so that when you see what you’ve bought, you bring a smile to your own face. Get cute every day so that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you like what you see. If you need to make wardrobe or other changes, DO IT. You are the most important thing in your life. Act like it.

5. Change your environment. Okay, you’ve walked away from the messy folks, the folks who bring you down, the folks who are generally miserable. Now, you need to work on bringing positive vibes into your spaces. Put up artwork that makes you feel all good-tingly inside. If you love being on social media, follow a bunch of positive sites…even if you feel like it’s ridiculous. If they’re talking about Law of Attraction stuff, even better. You know why? Because…

6. Remember that Like Attracts Like. I know, I know. You’ve always heard that opposites attract. That’s gotta be why you’re always in dysfunctional relationships, right? Wrong. Because opposites don’t attract unless you’re a magnet. You’re a human. With humans, similars attract. You have got to look at what is going on within you that is attracted to harmful people and situations. You have become habituated to dysfunction and you can become habituated to health. Whenever you find yourself drawn to something or someone, ask yourself why. “Is this a reflection of who I am? Is this a reflection of who I want to be?” Your life is a mirror.

7. Forgive yourself. Maybe you can’t forgive your abusers. Maybe you can’t forgive a certain situation or a certain person. But you can forgive yourself. A lot of us get stuck in the habit of dysfunction as a way of subconsciously punishing ourselves for past mistakes in judgment (even if we were too young to have really made a mistake). It’s not your job to punish yourself; it’s your job to love yourself. And, forgiving you for being a mistaken person in the past (even if that past was 5 seconds ago) is a HUGE part of loving yourself.

It’s possible you’ve never been told this before, so let me tell you, now:

You are precious and worthy of the best life has to offer.

If you need to, print that out and tape it somewhere you can read it several times a day. It’s the truth. And, you are amazing for making it this far in such a challenging world. Kudos!