The concept of 'self love' or 'self-nurturing' is a bit of a peculiar topic for many of us -- women, in particular -- to grasp. The world around us is trained towards success, thriving, reaching, creating, becoming. It’s busy to say the least. And for some reason ‘pausing and just being’ wasn’t included in the equation in many of our lives. When we expect so much from ourselves and often are surrounded by others (significant others, children, co-workers, etc.) who expect the world of us as well, taking time to appreciate ourselves can feel frivolous.
In order to do everything that we want to be able to do, though, we need to learn to recharge our batteries, otherwise you're going to run out of gas, metaphorically speaking. Most importantly, if we don’t allow space to slow down we don’t hear the important messages our intuition, our soul and even our body are sending us. Health coaches and dieticians will tell you that the way to do recharge requires eight hours of sleep each night, a grain-free, you name it-free diet, yoga teachers will tell you to do yoga and meditate daily (ideally in a cave for hours) - but those things are not always realistic.
What is realistic, however, is carving out a few minutes to yourself each week, in which you can check in with yourself, refocus, re-prioritize, and remember what is important to you. I've always loved taking the time to read. Reading words of people who inspire me, who reflect and have insights on similar topics that make my soul sing. Even if it's for a few minutes here and there, it feels relaxing, luxurious and give sense to it all. I catch myself thinking, "who are you? This woman who leisurely reads on her couch..." For those 30 minutes I feel like an aristocrat at the turn of the century, basking in laziness, like Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.
And the physical act of sitting down with a book is only the half of it! The best part is what I choose to read in my precious, set-aside time: novels featuring out-of-this-world female heroines, how-to guides on meditation, Zen poetry, memoirs of women who have led powerful, purposeful lives, and the list goes on. The common thread among my reading material? It all inspires me. It all reminds me of the kind of woman I want to be in my own life. It all makes me feel joy and hope and passion, and gives me energy to do everything else that my sometimes less-than-exciting life requires of me.
We could all use a little more self-nurturing on a regular basis, don't you think? So, here are some of my favorite reads for quiet afternoon or cozy evening of self love.
Anyone who has ever experienced depression or anxiety needs to read this book. Hilariously written and illustrated, it brings a much-needed dose of humor to a very heavy topic, making any reader feel at home in their own skin.
I hope the term ‘God’ doesn’t scare you off in the title. This book has changed my life and I read it again regularly with new, incredible insights each time. The author Neale Donald Walsch asks some of the most pressing and meaningful questions - and to his surprise receives responses from ‘God’ completely redefining some of the beliefs, understandings and fears we have.
This one never gets old! Don Miguel Ruiz tells in the most touching way how our world is made up of agreements we made with ourselves and others about how the world, love, relationships, communication and everything else that matters to us works. We made many of these agreements at a very young age. In this book we can learn to become aware of those agreements and beliefs - and shift some of the ones that aren’t the healthiest.
One of the keys to a healthy spirit is a healthy body. Without imposing any harsh rules, this book highlights fact and fiction when it comes to what is actually good for you.
This one is especially dear to my heart - Rochelle gave her book the title 'A compass for navigating a life that is Wise, Wild and Free.' Every single bit of this makes my heart sing. This book is a wonderful guide through learning to move and dance through life being in absolute integrity with our soul.
If you happen to be someone who draws more than nourishment from food, this book is for you. Full of fun, insightful tips and tricks, this book will have you glowing just after reading it.
For any soul seeker in need of a laugh and/or cry, this book brings to light the trials and tribulations of wanting to improve oneself. An absolute must read -- even Oprah says so.
Millennials looking for any kind of deeper meaning in life turn to this book for guidance on aromatherapy, healing crystals, meditation and more. Learn to navigate the Digital Age via New Age practices...it's a lot of fun.
In her book, my dear friend Betsy describes her journey of finally connecting with her sexuality and her body after many years of feeling numb and disconnected.
Anyone who has ever read this novel will tell you that it changed their life forever. Following the story of a young man in the wake of total tragedy, this book reminds us all to love fiercely and fight for what matters most.
'Dear Sugar' is a collection of letters and answers from Cheryl Strayed's famous advice column. Few women have had as many heart-wrenching experiences in life as Strayed has, making it possible for her to respond to help-seekers with more compassion and wisdom than you ever thought was possible. Cheryl Strayed is quite possibly the queen of self love.
Hope you enjoy my list of favourites 💕 Leave us a comment below for any additional book tips or insights.
Sending love from Bali!