I am on a healing journey. And based on the almost daily conversations I have with other women from all around, it seems like many of you are, too. So today I wanted to share my top 9 book recommendations for a healing and self-love journey.

Not sure what a healing journey is? Well, it could be that you’re on one but you haven’t realized it. Or, maybe you’re searching to begin a healing journey, and you haven’t quite found the right place to start. Or maybe you’re well on your healing journey, and you’re looking for a next place to go.

A healing journey, to me, is a self-love journey. It’s a journey to stop holding on to everything so tightly, and learn instead how to loosen your grip. It’s less pushing and pulling, and more flow. It’s releasing judgment towards ourselves, which then allows us to release judgment towards others. It’s learning how to love ourselves and to take care of ourselves first, to heal ourselves first, so we can then teach others how to love, take care of, and heal themselves. 

And then it becomes a beautiful, beautiful ripple effect of more love, more healing, more pure joy, and less judgment. It becomes more of us leaning into the light.

I believe 1000% down to my core, that when we begin to heal and love ourselves, that the energy we put out into the world will envelop others and they will feel the healing and the loving energy we are putting out. And then those people will be supported and inspired to begin their own journeys towards greater self love and healing. 

Yes, this is what I truly believe. 

I’m asked often how I began this journey. I’ve shared little snippets of my journey to get here, in my articles about How I’ve Healed My Relationship With Food Through Self Love, Why I Decided to Stop Weighing Myself, and Is An Alcohol-Free Lifestyle Calling Your Name?

Long story short, I’ve been unkind to myself over the years with judgment, berating self talk, restriction at times, and overconsumption of food and alcohol at other times. My self worth has not always been great and it’s something I’m still working on at 39 years old.

This journey is an every day commitment to loving myself and focusing on the things I need to do to heal. 

A strong commitment to personal growth and development has been a huge part of my journey towards greater self love and healing. If any of this resonates with you, I encourage you to pick up one of these 9 book recommendations for a healing and self-love journey. I believe any of these will help you no matter where you are on your journey, and I’ve shared a bit about each of them to explain why each particular book is special to help you choose which one/s might be a good place for you to start.

1. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom, Don Miguel Ruiz | I chose this book as the first on this list intentionally. If you haven’t read it, I would suggest starting here. I refer back to this book almost weekly and anytime I feel like I’m getting off track with my spiritual self or with self-limiting beliefs, I pick it up, read a few pages, and I immediately feel more at peace. In a nutshell, in this book Ruiz teaches how to eliminate needless suffering from our lives. Favorite quote from the book: “We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth.” Buy it here

2. You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay | Louise Hay is the founder of Hay House Inc, and millions of people credit her and her books with literally helping them to heal their lives. The premise of this book is that the body and the mind are connected, and Louise Hay believed that stress and unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs about ourselves lead to illnesses and dis-ease in our bodies. Favorite quote from the book: “I continue to explain that no matter what their problem seems to be, there is only one thing I ever work on with anyone, and this is Loving the Self. Love is the miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” Buy it here

3. Rising Strong, Brené Brown | This book describes the simple truth that it’s not about if we fail, but instead how we rise back up and own our story after our fall. Brené is also an advocate of living more authentically and vulnerably which empowers us and also those around us. If you’ve ever experienced disappointment, heartbreak, or failure (so, basically everyone), you should consider reading this book. Brené’s writing style is candid and direct, and I love everything she says. She is one of the people I most credit with helping me learn why it’s important to be honest and brave with my story. Favorite quote from the book: “I now recognize that people learn how to treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves. If I don’t put value on my work or my time, neither will the person I am helping. Boundaries are a function of self-respect and self-love.” Buy it here

4. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Michael A. Singer | This book dives into the topic of how willing one is to honestly look at oneself, and it will take you deep into an inner journey. And that’s a really good thing. I read this book on my journey to learn how to be more true to myself, but the first step in doing that is finding yourself, and the second step is using that new focus and knowledge to empower yourself along the way. No more blaming others. Favorite quote from the book: “In order to be who you are, you must be willing to let go of who you think you are.” Buy it here

5. Judgment Detox, Gabrielle Bernstein | Gabrielle Bernstein is someone I would consider a spiritual leader for my generation. It was when I read this book that I first realized that any judgment I placed on another person, stemmed from judgments I was placing on myself. When we can forgive and love ourselves and stop judging ourselves, we are also able to forgive and love others and stop judging them. And in this book, Gabby proves just how much judgment blocks us from happiness, abundance, and love in our lives. Favorite quote from the book: “We get a quick hit of self-righteousness when we judge others. It’s a reliable little crutch when we feel hurt, insecure, or vulnerable. Our judgments toward others seem to make us feel better than them—smarter, savvier, more enlightened, healthier, or wealthier.” Buy it here

6. What Are You Hungry For?, Dr. Deepak Chopra | A long-time fan of Dr. Deepak Chopra’s meditations, I happened to pick this book up at a time in my life when I was constantly craving sweets. One cookie, two cookies, three cookies…after eating them, I didn’t really feel better for having done it, and often times I even felt worse. This book helped me shift my perspective and learn to go inward, teaching me to change my approach when the desire to overeat feels strong. Make no mistake, this is a spirituality book. But overeating is a spiritual matter, too. Favorite quote from the book: “Life is about fulfillment. If your life isn’t fulfilled, your stomach can never supply what’s missing.” Buy it here

7. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert | This one is my most recent read from this list, and it was a magical read for me. This book is really about finding your creative spark and surrendering to the process of finding joy and inspiration through doing what we do best as humans: staying curious. Following my curiosity has been a theme I’ve focused on for 2018, and this book summarizes that thought process seamlessly. It comes down to having fun, doing more of what you love, and finding more inspiration (no matter what your occupation) from the joys of everyday life. Favorite quote from the book: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” Buy it here

8. Living In The Light, Shakti Gawain | My own healing and self-love journey has often revolved around the theme of learning to trust myself more, and to trust that everything is working out just as it should. In this book, Shakti Gawain lovingly teaches us how to bring awareness to every part of ourselves, even the darker parts. She teaches us how to listen to our intuition more and how to use it as a guiding force for our lives, and what a powerful lesson that is to learn. Favorite quote from the book: “Because many of us have never really learned how to take care of ourselves, our relationships have been based on trying to get someone else to take care of us.” Buy it here

9. A Return To Love, Marianne Williamson | This is a powerful, powerful book, and I would definitely recommend it to someone who is a bit further on their healing or spiritual journey, as some of the concepts will likely be very new. It helps to be open to new ideas already when you pick this book up. In A Return To Love, Marianne Williamson teaches that each of us can be a miracle worker by expressing love in our daily lives. She teaches that love is the most powerful force and that by practicing love daily, we can find more fulfillment and more peace in our lives. Favorite quote from the book: “We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.” Buy it here

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