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“When you observe things through the lens of mindfulness, whether it be during formal meditation practice or in daily living, you invariably begin to appreciate things in a new way because your very perceptions change.
Ordinary experiences may suddenly be seen as extraordinary.” Full Catastrophe Living, written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, is arguably the best introduction to mindfulness in our social consciousness as we know it today. The book makes the case for cultivating mindfulness in different ways, (including through breathing, the body scan, and yoga) in order to harness our ability to accept uncomfortable physical and emotional experiences with more compassion and less judgment.
With that in mind, below please find some books that I have personally read and reviewed in-depth, and am therefore recommending to a broader audience to assist you as you take the next steps towards wellness.
My goal is to expand this library to be a true therapeutic resource.
This book offers a structured ten-step approach to learning more about one’s innermost passions and desires, quizzes for quick assessment, and very actionable follow-up ideas for how to begin to achieve greater fulfillment.“We are going to learn about what brings you joy because if you are not engaging with Activities of Joy, life is just another task that you have to do instead of an unfinished adventure that you get to do.” Often, my clients come into my office because they feel stuck but they unsure of what that means or what to do about it.
In addition to the work we do in our sessions, I always recommend Your Next Big Thing, by Ben Michaelis, Ph D. Michaelis gives real-life examples of people who have gone from stuck to a creative space that is in more alignment with who they are.
In each chapter he provides a Deeper Dating workbook-esque exercise, encouraging us to bring his insights to life, and then a micro-meditation with which to harness the emotions that are being elicited. The idea of our individual “core gifts” has particularly resonated with those who are mesmerized by the self-validation and self-compassion that they are filled with when given the opportunity to re-frame the parts of themselves they’ve come to therapy feeling ashamed of.
I have organized my recommendations by category so that if you have a specific interest you can find what you need with more ease.In Deeper Dating, Ken Page, LCSW, brings an entirely new meaning to the idea that self-love is the foundation for love with another.In his gentle, guiding, and supportive voice, he articulates through client vignettes, and his own lived experience, the absolute essentially of recognizing those things within us that we have grown to be ashamed of, those parts of ourselves we’ve learned to admonish, the places inside us we try to hide for fear that they make us unlovable.My clients have also loved this book, and it fits in really well with the theory and practice we explore in our sessions.Tara walks us through the transformative process of bringing to ourselves the qualities of compassion and kindness, and in doing so, allows us to trade in our negative perceptions for radical acceptance.
The author, Sharon Salzberg, who I go to see speak whenever I get the opportunity, offers a well-written, detailed, but very relatable and down to earth, book that also comes with an audio CD with guided meditations!