Welcome to kristi's

book club!

I love to share resources. This is a collection of books I find very valuable and want to share with the world!

Of course, I don't agree with 100% of the messages these authors share. However, that is the beauty of reading and learning. We can run with the things that inspire us, and leave behind the things that don't fit or we don't need. I hope these books inspire you!

 

Happy reading.

-Kristi

Untamed

By Glennon Doyle

If you are seeking freedom from expectations and people-pleasing, read this book.

I say this with all seriousness- this book lit my soul on fire.

It begins with Glennon sharing the story of taking her daughters to see the cheetah run at a local zoo. They watched this majestic creature chase a dirty pink stuffed bunny tied to the bumper of a jeep, leaving Glennon to wonder... If a damn cheetah can be tamed to forget her wild, how have we been tamed?

This book dives in to the topics of people pleasing, boundaries, resilience and creating your truest and most beautiful life. It was written for women, but the messages within apply to everyone.

My own two cents? We are social creatures and look to others from birth to learn lessons about who we are and how the world works. We absorb literal and implied messages and do our best to walk through life with the information we have gathered. The kicker? Some of this information is crap. Some of it tries to stuff us into boxes- the gender box, the sexuality box, the religion box, the culture box, the socioeconomic status box. I don't believe that humans fit well into boxes. We are beautiful, unique creatures who change and grow from one moment to the next. This book is a breath of fresh air for anyone wanting to live a life designed for and by them.

"Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul." Walt Whitman

The untethered soul

By michael a. singer

If you are seeking greater understanding of yourself and your reactions to this world, read this book.

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This book aligns so beautifully with what I believe about healing, growth, and human nature. Michael A. Singer must be a kindred spirit.

The Untethered Soul does an excellent job of normalizing what feels like "brokenness." Michael offers empowering viewpoints and gives you some logic to back them. For example, you are not your thoughts or emotions, and we know this because you can observe these things. He also provides an in-depth explanation of why we react the way we do and how patterns of emotion and behaviour are forged throughout our lifetime.

My favourite part of this book is actually the tangible skills described. "Don't worry so much" isn't helpful homework at all. Instead, Michael describes in depth how to get into the practice of noticing your thoughts, feelings and watching them play out like a movie rather than jumping into the drama with them. These are difficult concepts to comprehend, but he has come the closest I have ever witnessed to practically explaining how to observe our inner world without becoming overwhelmed or feeling out of control.

My only caution about this read is that the language can present as somewhat "fluffy." However, when Michael uses the word "heart," I would use the term "nervous system" and we would be describing precisely the same thing.

The Dance of Intimacy

By harriet lerner

For those wanting to build closer, more authentic relationships. Learn what it looks like to set boundaries and maintain them when the going gets tough.

This is one of my very favorite books to recommend when the topic of intimacy arises. Harriet shares some powerful truths about how we learn to interact and communicate with each other. She breaks down how patterns are carried forward in families and what maintains them.

Harriet highlights so important learnings,like what is our responsibility and what is not ours to carry. I had many "aha!" moments when I originally read this book, and have returned to it several times since for the valuable reminders.

My favorite part of this book is how she provides tangible ways to put your learning into action. Case examples are outlined, and we are given an idea of what boundaries can actually sound like in words that don't feel forced or out of character.

"We cannot make another person change his or her steps to an old dance, but if we change our own steps, the dance no longer can continue in the same predictable pattern."

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Burnout

By emily and amelia nagoski

For those wanting to better understand where stress comes from, how it manifests in the body, and what you can do about it.

My favorite read over the Chrismtas break, and a very fitting end to 2020! As a psychologist, I have a decent understanding of how stress impacts our nervous systems, emotions, and wellness. I still learned so much from this book.

The Nagoski's outline the stress response cycle- which is how our bodies respond to threats in our world. They distinguish between stressors (i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic) and stress (the tension and fear we feel in our bodies). My favorite part is their list of ideas to combat the stress. (Hint: #1 is movement!)

An excellent source of education on how your body functions in times of stress, and how to prevent stress from accumulating in the body, ultimately leading to physical/mental illness or burnout.

"Wellness happens when your body is a place of safety for you, even when your body is not necessarily in a safe place."

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The gift:

12 lessons to save your life

by dr. edith eger

If you are looking for a dramatic change in perspective, read this book.

Dr. Edith Eger is a psychologist and holocaust survivor. This book is full of "give it to me straight" truths and powerful new ways of looking at barriers such as fear, avoidance, and rigidity. Her writing is beautiful and full of powerful examples of her own learnings and experiences. Dr. Eger also provides tangible homework and self reflection assignments at the end of each chapter, which help us put her teachings into action. I absolutely loved this book.

A word of caution: there are no trigger warnings in this book, and there should be. Dr. Eger shares detailed stories of her own traumatic experiences in Auschwitz in addition to similarly difficult stories from her clients. Please read with caution and take a break if you find this book is activating you in a way that feels unsafe or overwhelming.

"It doesn't take courage to strive for perfection. It takes courage to be average. To say, "I'm okay with me." To say, "Good enough is good enough."

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how to do the work

by dr. nicole lepera

for those wanting to make connections between childhood experiences and behaviour, learn to set boundaries, and improve their relationships.

I think if I ever wrote a book on what I have learned from psychology, this would be it. (I guess I'm off the hook!) This book connects all the learning I use when I help my clients discover the basis of their emotions and behaviour, which shifts the belief from "brokenness" to "this is how I have learned to survive." Dr. LePera leads us on a journey of self discovery and gives practical tools and homework for putting the learning into action. Her lessons aim to help us find our truest selves, in turn improving our wellbeing and relationships.

I feel it is important that I address some of the controversy around Dr. LePera, her massive instagram following, and her "self healers" group. It has been stated that Dr. LePera does not take into account the impact of systemic injustices and discrimination in her writing. Her approach is heavily based in taking full responsibility for our thoughts, attitudes and traumas, which downplays the greater systemic issues that impact mental health. That being said, I still recommend this book because I believe it contains incredibly valuable information. I also believe this read should be accompanied by books that speak to systemic injustices and how these issues impact mental health in ways we can't easily control. Recommendations for books that speak to this will soon land in our book club recommendations!

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