BOOKS, ARTICLES AND VIDEOS
5 Languages of Love Quiz: A few years ago I had my son take the this quiz, and, to this day, I am so glad that I learned his language of love. It has helped me understand how to love him in a way that he knows and feels. When my daughter was younger, she took it. Back then all of her languages were about the same. Last weekend, we retook the test, and I learned a lot. I will often love her with physical touch; lots of hugs and kisses. We discovered that this is her least preferred away of being loved, and, in fact, her preferred way is through words of affirmation (which is the hardest way for me to love). The quiz for children and adults is super helpful, and I would strongly recommend taking it.
Anxiety: My friend sent me this talk on anxiety in kids which can be applied to adults as well. It is worth the time to watch this.
Brene Brown: This past week, I drove up to Wisconsin with my son and his friends. While they played on their iPhones, I listened to this great interview with Brene Brown about vulnerability. I also watched her insightful and funny Netflix program, A Call to Courage.
Boundaries: The other day, I watched this Brene Brown clip and was stopped in my tracks. Through watching I was reminded that when I don’t set boundaries, resentment and anger build. Boundaries revolve around what is and is not acceptable. While it is often more uncomfortable for me personally to not set boundaries in order to please another and to be liked, it may backfire. And along those same lines, I’ve read this book, Boundaries, a few times. It is insightful. While it does have a Christian tone that may not resonate with some, the message rings true, and I would recommend it to anyone. Let me know your thoughts.
Center for Non-Violent Communication: I’ve always been a huge fan of the Center for Non-Violent Communication. They have an abundance of great resources which I refer back to frequently. Here is a 10-Steps to Peace resource that I think you may enjoy. I especially like these few: Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others. Remember that all human beings have the same needs. Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
Core Values: If you contemplate or write about your values, it transforms how you think about stressful experiences and your ability to cope with them. When you are connected to your values, you’re more likely to believe that you can improve the situation through effort and the support and others. Research shows that you see yourself as strong and able to grow from adversity. You become more likely to approach challenges than to avoid them. And you are better able to see the meaning in difficult situations. What happens if you orient your life to the values that are important to you?
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown: This author was first recognized for her TED talk on human vulnerability. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it (click to watch). There is one quote from this book which I especially love: “The third thing I learned has turned into a mandate by which I live: If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I’m not interested in or open to your feedback. There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their lives but who will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgement at those who dare greatly. Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism, and fear mongering. If you’re criticizing from a place where you’re not also putting yourself on the line, I’m not interested in what you have to say.”
Depression as a Loss of Heart: One of my favorite articles about depression is by John Welwood. I often go back to this one.
The Disease of Being Busy is an article written my one of my favorite columnists on Onbeing.org. “What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?”
Dumplin‘: This is such a sweet, feel-good movie. It is worth watching.
Embracing Womanhood… this is such a lovely reflection. Share it with your daughters and young girls. “When a woman honors herself, all women collectively move closer to becoming what they’re truly capable of being.”
Feelings: This is a quick watch about the value of working with difficult emotions rather than always bypassing them.
The Five People You Meet In Heaven: This past fall I read this beautiful book, and, just last week, watched the two-part movie on Hallmark Movies. It was so good. It made me think about the people we come into contact with and the unknown ways that each of our lives makes a difference.
Forgiveness and Holding Grudges: This is a powerful article. Hard to do; but definitely worth thinking about. Just like the author asked his readers, I am curious to hear from you… how did you forgive someone and how did it change you? These 9 steps towards forgiveness may also be helpful.
Friendship: I have the blessings of a few dear friends who love me unconditionally and send me notes, quotes and songs that go right to the heart. I call these special friends “Spiritual Sisters.” I received these two the other day. You HAVE to listen in order though. You’ll see why. Pick me up 1 and Pick me up 2. I sent this one back to her… Pick me up 3.
Get Ready to Laugh: I am a huge fan of practical jokes and LOVE the Brooke and Jubal Show in the Morning. If you want a good belly laugh, I would highly recommend listening to this practical joke. I have a few more coming your way in the upcoming Soothing Saturdays. This is another phone tap on the Brooke and Jubal Morning Show that made me smile.
Gift from the Sea: I remember reading this book when my son was in preschool. I rarely reread books from start to finish, but for some reason I picked this book up again and am so glad that I did. This is one of my favorite quotes, “Traditionally we are taught, and instinctively we long, to give where it is needed-and immediately. Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim.”
Glenn Close: I don’t know which I enjoy more the movie itself or Glenn Close’s acceptance speech for Best Actress in The Wife. I cried listening to her speech. It brought me great joy that courage and honoring women are what received a standing ovation. Click here to view her speech and here for the trailer for The Wife.
Glennon Doyle: I recently listened to this Glennon Doyle and Anny Wambach recording, and I am so glad that I did. I loved when Glennon asked, “What if we could actually be fully human and honest with each other in real life?”
The Green Book: This was honestly one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is thought-provoking, explores the the dark history of racial discrimination in the south in the 1960’s, studies the depths of friendship, reminds you that you never know the whole story, and, in the end, champions the resurrection of a lost soul. Click here to see the clip for The Green Book.
Heal: This is a fascinating documentary about the power of the mind. I think you will enjoy.
How Yoga and Breathing Help the Brain Unwind: This is a powerful article that shows what you are doing and how it impacts your well-being.
Illuminating the Beauty in Our Broken Places: I am so glad that I came across this beautifully written piece on our broken places. Please read this article. It is like medicine for the mind. In fact, read it out loud. One of my favorite quotes from the article is: “It’s a realization that life is not a smooth, linear climb to the mountaintop of “success,” but often a messy, beautifully messy series of falling flat on one’s face, bouncing back, and falling slightly less awkwardly the next time (and the next, and the next).”
Insight from Terminally Ill Kids: I actually created a Twitter account just to be able to read the accounts of what terminally kids with cancer find joy in. We can all learn a lot about what’s really important.
Joan Didion: My favorite piece is this journalist’s memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. What I appreciated most in the documentary was when a former editor explained that Didion wrote to understand what she thought and felt. I can relate to that sentiment- especially as I remember this blog I wrote a few years ago, The Woman I Met.
John Welwood is a master writer. His words are exquisite, and the way that he blends Western Psychology with Buddhism was one of his many gifts. He first coined the term Spiritual Bypassing. It is the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks. I have read each of his books. They are old now sitting on my bookshelf with lots of highlights and folded pages. You can find a list of his published work here.
Listening to Our Bodies: Do you listen to your body when it feels tired, your head hurts or your energy is fragmented? If so, what do you do to take care of yourself? If not, how do you distract yourself? Read to find out more about what messages your body is sending you.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl: This book is a classic that can be read over and over. I love this quote. “Don’t aim at success-the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”
Menopause and Yoga: Read this recent article about the benefits of yoga during menopause.
Michelle Obama Karaoke Carpooling: I love when women have fun. I love when women dance and sing. I love when women can just be themselves despite who they are supposed to be. I laughed so hard watching this. Regardless of how you may feel about Michelle Obama, it was a delight to see her being herself and letting her energy shine.
Mystery Man Inspiration: I truly enjoy feel-good inspirational stories like this one about an act of holiday kindness.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: I read this book a few summers ago, and, to this day, I still think about the characters. It is a long read, but once you get started it’s hard to put it down.
Oil Massage: I rely on self-massage in the fall, winter and spring months. It is known as Abhyanga in Ayurveda. I highly recommend incorporating this massage into your weekly routines. It will warm, ground and nourish you. I use sesame oil in the colder months and coconut oil in the warmer weather. Sometimes I don’t have time to heat up the oil so I do the massage at room temperature instead.
Parenting: A great article about what it feels like not to belong and feel rejected by other parents. Seems like it’s not uncommon.
Parenting Middle Schoolers: If you have a child in middle school you may relate to this article. New research shows that moms feel most stressed about parenting when their children are in middle school.
Pema Chodron: I love any books by Pema Chodron. She is a Buddhist nun and talks about the human condition and all of the complexities in the context of meditation. Her language is simple, practical and relatable.
Physical Benefits of Yoga: Harvard Medical School research study shows that 90% of all doctor visits are linked to stress-related problems. In that same study, they found that yoga may be quite beneficial for back related issues and arthritis. You may want to read it or pass it along to someone who may appreciate the research.
Redefining Elder Care: How would you prefer to spend the last years of your life? Take a few minutes out of your day to listen to this inspirational TED Talk with Yvonne van Amerongen and how she is helping to change elder care.
Reflection Question: How do we know the story we are telling ourselves has actually happened? Watch this video for some insight.
Sarah Gottfried: I’ve often referred to Sara Gottfried in my Soothing Saturday posts. She writes about hormonal health. Anyway, she was interviewed by Maria Shriver and thought you would enjoy this conversation.
Six Ways to Reduce Depression: This is a helpful breakdown about the elements in life that we need to help support and energize us when we experience a low mood or feel depressed. I found it to be helpful to see where I focus most of my energy and where I tend to withdraw my energy from (service, connection, nature, alcohol, communication and exercise). These are helpful guideposts when we aren’t feeling our best.
Sleep Resources. A few weeks ago, I shared a recording that I enjoyed called Healing Anxiety. Just a few days ago, I listened to the second part. In it, Tara Brach shares a list of suggestions from her community on strategies, practices and ideas to help with sleep. If you have any sleep challenges or know of anyone who does, I would highly recommend reading through this list of suggestions for easing into a peaceful sleep from people just like you and me.
Sue Klebold: There is always more to the story… Watch this amazing TedTalk to see what I mean.
Sunscreen Chemicals Soak All the Way into Your Bloodstream: An interesting read… especially with summer approaching.
Tara Brach is a Buddhist meditation teacher. Her talks are wonderful and inspiring. You can subscribe to her PodCast or visit her website.
Tattoos on the Heart is one of my favorite books and definitely worth the read. Knowing that she would be just as inspired as I was, I shared it with a dear friend, Maureen Gainer Reilly. She was just as inspired and used her determination to contact the author, Father Gregory Boyle. Because of Maureen, he will be visiting us in BEVERLY this spring. Please read his book, participate in a book club with friends and attend this special event on Thursday, April 11th. Click here for more information and watch this amazing video of a commencement speech Father Gregory Boyle gave at Pepperdine University.
UnDo It!: This book was recently released. I was with Anne while she wrote parts of it and am so happy that it was waiting on my doorstep this week. It is a wonderful testament to how simple changes can make a world of difference in our lives. I HIGHLY recommend this book and can speak first hand at the integrity of Dean and Anne Ornish. I am so happy for them! Click here to order.
The Untethered Soul: This is a classic book! I hope you enjoy.
Upside of Stress: This book really helped me to rethink the way that I feel about stress and anxiety. There were many profound insights. One that I especially resonated with me is, “People with meaningful lives worry more and have more stress then people with less meaningful lives. Why are they linked? One reason is that stress seems to be an inevitable consequence of engaging roles and pursuing goals that feed our sense of purpose. . . Rather then stress being a sign that something is wrong with your life, feeling stressed can be a barometer for how engaged you are in activities and relationships that are personally meaningful.” You can also listen to her TED talk here.
What a great reminder that joy still exists and that it is great to be on the dance floor. Watch this 96-year-old woman tear it up on the dance floor.
Why I Have Coffee with People who Send Me Hate Mail: Several months ago I watched this TED Talk. For some reason, I didn’t post it on Soothing Saturdays right away. Then, recently, I received a very difficult email for me to read. At first I wanted to defend myself. Then I wanted to cry and place blame on others. After a few moments passed, this TED Talk came to mind, and I was able to apply the lesson I learned from it.
Wisdom of Menopause: I have recently learned that my body is in the beginning stages of perimenopause. I’ve started researching what happens and how to best support myself. What I’ve come to appreciate more then anything is how women can look to this period as a sacred time of change, growth and healing.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor: I watched this movie last weekend and was not only moved by Mr. Rogers and his dedication to children; but also to the importance of feelings and talking about difficult life situations. If you haven’t seen the documentary, I’d recommend it.