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RECOMMENDED READING

If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever-more wonders.
— Andrew Harvey

Like I said on the “Written Word” page, turning to insights, inspirations, new thoughts, and shared experiences from others via their written words can be a type of relationship that is extremely healing and supportive. I hope some of these books might be helpful or interesting to you

Books About Therapy

Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart
by Mark Epstein
How therapy and meditation can help us manage our most powerful emotions and make us feel more alive in the process.

Grace Unfolding: Psychotherapy in the Spirit of the Tao-te Ching
by Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz
Talks about therapy as a partnership with the task of the therapist to help us to be more aware of our unique individuality and our own inner wisdom.

Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
by Irvin Yalom
Ten eloquent, engaging tales of personal transformation. The stories are fictionalized accounts of Irvin Yalom’s psychotherapy clients’ life changes.

Books About Loss and Grief

The Soul in Grief: Love, Death, and Transformation
by Robert Romanyshyn
A book on grief that goes beyond psychology by looking at the lessons to be learned from grieving and the imaginative thoughts often stimulated by it.

Companion Through the Darkness: Inner Dialogues on Grief
by Stephanie Ericsson
An intimate, profoundly touching book for those in grief, legitimizing the complex and often taboo emotions we all feel when loss transforms our lives.

Good Grief Rituals
by Elaine Childs-Gowell
Offers a series of simple grief rituals that can help hold you and can help contain and express the difficult feelings of mourning.

Grace and Grit
by Ken Wilber
A story of spirituality and healing in the life and death of Ken’s wife. He weaves his thoughts on spirituality (mostly from an Eastern perspective) throughout his story of love and loss.

Books About Parenting

Positive Discipline
by Jane Nelsen
Dr. Nelsen explains that parents who use kindness and firmness to teach life skills will encourage self-respect, self-discipline, cooperation, good behavior, and problem-solving skills in their children.

Whole Child/Whole Parent: A Spiritual and Practical Guide to Parenthood
by Polly Berends
The first spiritually oriented book on parenthood and the first to address the value of parenthood for the parent as well as for the child. Provides a sound, practical, psychological and spiritual footing for parenthood and family life.

Your Child’s Self Esteem
by Dorothy Briggs
Information about raising responsible, productive, happy children. Self-image is your child's most important characteristic, and this book talks about ways to to help create strong feelings of self-worth in your child.

Parenting From the Inside Out
by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell
Draws upon new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, and explains how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain. Offers parents an approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.

Books About Writing

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
by Natalie Goldberg
This is about writing and life. It’s a wonderful combination of Zen wisdom and down-to-earth advice about writing. Natalie says, “Keep your hand moving, lose control, and don't think.”

Pain and Possibility: Writing Your Way Through Personal Crisis
by Gabriele Lusser Rico
A warmly personal guide to using natural writing techniques to help you in the process of moving through emotional pain, to help you be an active participant in the changes pain brings to your life.

Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval
by James Pennebaker
This book contains a series of guided writing exercises that help you explore your feelings about difficult experiences. It shows how the act of putting thoughts and feelings on paper is, itself, a powerful exercise that can make you feel heard and acknowledged—a way of regaining perspective and control over the events that move your life.

Books About Living an Authentic Life

Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life
by Gregg Levoy
While honoring a calling's essential mystery, this book also guides readers to ask and answer the fundamental questions that arise from any calling: How do we recognize it? How do we distinguish the true call from the siren song? How do we handle our resistance to a call? What happens when we say yes? What happens when we say no?

The Hero With A Thousand Faces
by Joseph Campbell
Examines heroic myths in the light of modern psychology. It considers not only the patterns and stages of mythology but also its relevance to our lives today.

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives
by Wayne Muller
Shows how to create a special time of sacred rest, and how we can use this time to refresh our bodies and minds, restore our creativity, and regain happiness.

Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life
by Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore offers a philosophy for living that involves accepting our humanity rather than struggling to transcend it. By nurturing the soul in everyday life, he shows how to cultivate dignity, peace, and depth of character.

A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Promises and Perils of Spiritual Life
by Jack Kornfield
A wonderful book about meditation, the process of inner transformation, and the integration of spiritual practice into our way of life.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Describes how meditation is important because it brings about a state of "mindfulness," a condition of "being" rather than "doing" during which you pay attention to the moment rather than the past, the future, or the distractions of life. In brief chapters, he describes different meditative practices and what they can do for you.

Books About Dark Night of The Soul and Spiritual Growth

The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth
by Gerald May
Talks about confronting and integrating the dark side of existence. Shows how our darkest moments are vital to the freedom and joy that result from authentic spiritual growth.

Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow
by Elizabeth Lesser
With personal and touching stories, shows how we humans emerge from suffering and challenge with real, encompassing wisdom and love.

Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life’s Ordeals
by Thomas Moore
Explores how honoring periods of fragility such as the loss of a loved one or end of a relationship, aging and illness, career disappointments or just an ongoing sense of dissatisfaction as periods of incubation and opportunities to delve the soul’s deepest needs can provide healing and a new understanding of life’s meaning.

A Delicious Assortment of Books on Other Subjects

I and Thou
by Martin Buber
A philosophical book about where Buber explains at length the range and ramifications of the ways people treat one another, and the ways they bear themselves in the natural world.

Share the Care: How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who Is Seriously Ill
by Cappy Capossela and Shiela Warnock
Very clear and compassionate book about dealing with caregiver burnout by forming an "alternate family" and spreading the responsibilities and strain of providing care among them. Include sample forms, checklists, and scripted passages for use in forming such support groups.

The Normal One: Life With a Difficult or Damaged Sibling
by Jeanne Safer
A profoundly sensitive and deeply personal examination of the considerable effect that impaired brothers and sisters have upon their “normal” siblings throughout life.

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
by John O’Donohue
Poetic exploration of how Celtic wisdom provides profound insights on the universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death.

A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
selected and edited by Diane K. Osbon
A delightful book of bite-sized pieces of Joseph Campbell’s wisdom. Inspiring and very accessible.