Hi beautiful friends,
Few things make me happier than passing on something that has changed my life to YOU. Today I’m focusing on my must-reads for healing (from chronic illness.) Unfortunately, as you know, something else I’m passionate about is that we all have different experiences and different cellular structure and different minds, traumas, and pasts so what works for me won’t always benefit the you. I can only hope that something I say or suggest resonates for you and you have a similar feeling of holy-shit-this-is-what-I’ve been-searching-for. Because I so badly want you to feel and be at your most well and joyful, and I know that’s at your fingertips.
When I was bed-bound and raging with sleeplessness, pain, depression, and feral anxiety (just a few of the things), I needed all of the support I could get. Whether that be a text from a friend, a grounding meal, a funny movie, or an inspiring book. The things I could do while alone were my most precious gems in my box-of-tricks—I was alone a lot and self-soothing was both paramount and something I sucked at. The books listed below saved my ass. At first, I couldn’t read because of the terrible anxiety and confusion I experienced, but I could listen. I invested in an audible account, and I really believe that the books I listened to on repeat contributed a great deal to my getting well. As I started getting better, I could read again and books number three, four, and five kept me moving along my inspired path to recovery.
Listed in order of importance:
1.) Self-Compassion, by Kristin Neff—Sure, she’s all of the hype right now because of “Horse Boy,” the super popular documentary on Netflix about her son’s struggle with autism, but, STILL, people don’t seem to know about her work in self-compassion. I don’t remember how I found her, but it was DIVINE AS FUCK. I probably listened to this book 40 times fully through. I listened when I couldn’t calm down at home, I listened when I needed soothing in the car, I listened while taking in sun, or trying to go for a walk. I listened while making myself a meal, while getting ready to go out (if I had somewhere to go), while in epsom salt baths, etc. I listened and listened and listened BECAUSE it seemed to be the only time of day that I found some sense of peace and solace.
In my healthy life, I only knew how to achieve self-esteem: DO, AND ACCOMPLISH. But when I got too sick to do anything let alone accomplish anything, I needed to learn a new way to find self-love, self-worth, or yup you guessed it, self-compassion. Neff opens up a whole new world to us Westerners where self-worth and self-compassion can exist without any prerequisite of achievement. And the bonus is her super jazzy website where you can get free meditations and watch self-compassion lectures. PARTY. HARD.
2.) You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay—What’s a world of healing without the brilliance of Louise Hay? I’m so glad that I had this on audiobook rather than paperback. Hay reads it herself and her voice is extra soothing— If you have trouble loving yourself, don’t worry, she will do it for you. Louise Hay is the Queen of self-love and affirmations. She believes that all healing begins when we learn to love ourselves. My experience with extreme illness was compounded by the fact that I blamed myself and hated myself for being sick. I found myself repulsive for being so weak. (I know, WTF. ) Personally, I needed all of the lessons in self-love and affirmations I could get. If that’s you then give this book a try. It just might heal your life (I know. I know. Insert: eye roll.)
3.) Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg — This one came much later in my journey. Sandberg wrote “Option B” after her experience with extreme grief due to the sudden passing of her husband. Her Option A was, of course, for her husband to be alive. But, there she was with a dead husband and two kids and so she decided (with help), to “kick the shit out of Option B.” My Option A was to have never gotten sick. But it was when I came into acceptance and decided to kick the shit out of healing that I started to really get well. Sandberg also stresses the idea of “bouncing forward.” I’m paraphrasing here, but she says something along the lines of fuck bouncing back, it’s time to fucking bounce forward. I needed that kind of empowerment and inspiration And, by the way, it’s true. I DID bounce forward…. eventually. Sheryl Sandberg has also created Option B communities that may or may not come in handy for you, but I did link above just in case.
4.) Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr— Kris Carr has been a total bubble of light, love and fun on my journey. I found her as I was starting to get well and just when I needed some new inspiration. These days, I follow her closely because she makes me feel good, empowered, and like it’s fucking totally OK to be in Western society and have some chronic illness issues. I can LIVE MY BEST LIFE with these issues. I do not follow all of her dietary suggestions—I am not a vegan and I do not eat soy, but I did her 23 day cleanse listed in the book fully equipped with affirmations and daily lessons, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. if you’re out there just trying to get your hands on all of the wellness related feel-good things then she is not to be missed.
5.) Medical Medium by Anthony William—OK, look, this shouldn’t be #5 because I love it so so much, but he’s a little controversial and will definitely NOT be right for everybody. I highly suggest you take what you like and leave the rest. I, however, need to let it be known that this book changed my life. The dietary, supplemental, and spiritual suggestions he makes all resonate for me, and when I started putting his suggestions into practice… I GOT RESULTS. The thing that is most mainstream is his advice to drink 16 oz. of straight celery juice on an empty stomach. I know a dozen people who vow this changed everything for them. I believe it’s what started helping me to hold weight, and helping my hair grow. He is not a doctor or trained in medicine. He claims (as mediums do) that a spirit works through him giving him top quality information on health and medicine. If you are desperate and can open your mind, you might find GREAT healing offered here.