My Top 5 Books for Healing
March 2, 2019
There are all kinds of books out there on healing. Ones that help you with a cleaner, healthier diet; ones that help you understand your nervous system, neuroplasticity, and the power of believing you can heal. Books that explain and books that inspire, and they’re all important in their own way. Because there isn’t just one way–or one right way–to heal. Each part of your life is just one piece of the puzzle: your food choices, your mental and emotional health, your attitude, your relationships, passions, work and your spiritual life. Healing has to be a holistic approach. In some ways, you have to be prepared to tear your world down to the foundation and rebuild a healthier, more meaningful life. These are the top five books that helped me do just that.
My copy of this book is full of notes, highlights and the word, “yes!” scrawled beside dozens of passages. If I had to describe this book in two words it would be: wake-up call. Sarah is both a gentle cheerleader–coaxing you to be brave, to live your best life–and a mentor, pushing you to dig deeper for authentic joy with tough love. If I could assign every woman just one book to read in their life, it would be this one.
As a type-A perfectionist personality, anxiety and depression have been constant companions in my life. But they were under control enough that I could function normally most of the time. After my near-death experience, the daily panic attacks became debilitating. My therapist was great and gave me many tools to use for them, but I couldn’t get past the “panic” part to use them. When you’re struggling to breathe, it’s kind of hard to do much of anything. But, this book changed that. It’s an older book, but the only one I’ve read on anxiety that actually stopped my panic attacks. Her approach is simple and powerful. Anxiety and nervous system dysfunction are a vicious loop, one feeding the other, so it’s important to address any anxiety.
Lucy is a single mom and magical writer who also suffers from chronic illness. Medicine Woman is an archetype comprising of the wisdom, intuition and healing power within each of us, which has been lost in the world of Western medicine. This book is not just Lucy’s personal story, but a battle cry, a call for women to rise and reclaim our own healing journey, and a large dose of hope that healing is possible.
We should aim for balance in all aspects of life when trying to heal, so it’s important not to leave out our spiritual life. I’ve always envied people who have a solid faith in something greater than this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it existence. But I’ve spent a lot time studying different world religions and, while I liked some aspects of some of them, I could never find anything that resonated with me fully. Not for lack of trying. I’ve been obsessed with the big questions of life and death ever since I realized, at the age of nine, that one day I would no longer exist. I’m grateful I found this book at the right time, when I was ready for it. It taught me that it’s okay to be spiritual but not religious, to embrace some aspects of a religion but not others, and to find my own path to a belief system I could actually have faith in. My nervous system appreciates the calm that comes with being able to have faith in something bigger than myself.
Reading this book was instrumental for my understanding of what I was dealing with. It’s a bit heavy on the details of what goes wrong in your body, which is hard to read if one of your symptoms is brain fog. But, you can still get a basic understanding of how underlying nervous system dysfunction is the root cause of all these syndromes the medical community has given different labels to. When you understand the root cause, you no longer worry about every symptom, which is a relief, and you can work on healing the right thing.
What about you? Any books that you’d add to this list?