The sad reality is that you most likely wont reach your thirties without having to work some personal issues out.
I'm no exception to the rule and towards the end of my twenties I became a voracious reader of self-help books. Some were very hollow and I would find myself flicking though the pages searching for the point, others had me transfixed from the get-go. Ignoring the bad, as they have most likely been donated or recycled at this stage, this article focuses on those special few books I will never be without.
I attended Tony Robbin's three day event which culminated with walking on hot coals and have seen many speakers and genuinely gained a lot from them. But whilst seminars, events and one-to-one counselling are quite pricey I have found books an accessible constant companion.
These are some of the books I will never throw out and would recommend to anyone:
Dr. Northrup is a certified obstetrician who takes a holistic view to health and recognises the unity of body, mind, and spirit. Honestly I found this book so empowering and it really encouraged me to tune in my inner wisdom. It has chapters across every area of a woman's life and the stages her body will go through and is an incredible reference that I turn to time and time again. She writes in a way that is so comforting and weaves her beliefs on angelic presences, past life issues and energetic cords being real issues in our lives and forces to work with as we make our way through. This book has been a phenomenally successful bestseller since it was first published in 1994 - it has been revised and updated so make sure to buy the most recent copy. To give you an idea of here this is a really good interview with her -> Here
I first heard about Dr Galland on an interview on Hay House Radio on Dr. Northrup's show Flourish. In that hour he explained about inflammation which is something I didn't understand enough about, but most definitely experience and helped me understand fatigue and how diet and your home affects it. Having had many conventional tests expensively done and really felt none the wiser, this book has so much wisdom. There is a three day Power wash detox - which I have only done one day of - but it helps you zoom in intuitively on how you feel by cutting out the main culprits for a short period of time. If you're thinking of investing in allergy tests I highly recommend reading this and even trying the power wash first. It's a lot cheaper and will also give you better information for your one-on-one meeting if you decide to proceed.
Staying in the food category, like many, I've had my own things to work out. What I will hand on heart say I know for sure is that it's an inside game and this book is like a dialogue with your mind. It's a much more complex issue than buying the right groceries or scanning a menu and adhering to points and this book really looks at the psychological issues. There's nothing to do with god in the book also, it's the idea of the governing concept that food has, nothing religious. After finishing this book I did quite a lot of journaling and I think developed a much more positive relationship, less highly charged than before, with food as a result of what I learned.
This book came before Quiet - mentioned below - and was one of the first times I had ever heard the trait of sensitivity being described as a quality and an attribute to nourish and appreciate. It goes through various areas of your life to include relationships, work, travelling and learning to develop your voice. It's not shyness. People may confuse it. We all have certain muscles to build and this showed me how to build my social ones up to the extent that I now feel better able to stand up for myself than ever before. I turn to this a lot and think anyone who would categorise themselves as even a little introverted would benefit a lot from it.
Louise Hay is considered the godmother of all self-help. She founded her own publishing company Hay House which is now the global leader in self-help titles after the success of this exact book exceeded anyones expectations. This book explains how many of our body conditions are playing out emotional patterns. She is an advocate for affirmations and a believer that everything we say has a direct effect and outcome in our life. I saw her speak at a Hay House event in Scotland and she was mesmerising. She is now in her 90's and active as ever. Below is a small clip on her message of how thoughts create our reality.
The main message in this book is that in order to get our needs met we must communicate clearly. If we are not directly asking for what we need we cannot expect other's to make us happy and match those needs. I found this book fascinating and even going through business emails afterwards I noticed I was much more clearly communicating what I needed and what I would do. In years gone by I think we all had relationships or family dynamics where we expected people to 'just know' what we want. This book really helped me to understand how and why to communicate much more clearly and directly.
There are many books on The Law of Attraction and if you have a very early copy of The Secret DVD you will see Jerry and Esther Hicks feature. For reasons which they have explained many times they are not in the DVD anymore and to me this book and their work surpasses it. The Law of Attraction, that is the fact that what you think about and emotionally charge and draw to you in some form or other, is a fascinating concept and really puts a lot of self-responsibility on us. The book is channelled by Esther in a deeply meditative state but is surprisingly practical. If you want one book on The Secret, or the Law of Attraction then this is the one I recommend.
I assumed this book was solely for those who worked in very corporate environments so I avoided it for a while despite the hype. Last year I had a book voucher and it was reduced and I picked it up. On one of those genuinely warm sunny days we were so lucky to have I took it outside and started leafing through it and before I knew it hours had passed. This is a genuinely compassionate voice sharing an updated message on modern working life. I am sure there is much that applies more to the corporate world but personally even just the sharing of household maintenance between couple pointers were amazing. We're all living in a world where as women and men so much more is expected of us than ever before. This book is worth the fame and I am so pleased I didn't avoid it based on initial assumptions.
I've mentioned this book on my snapchat quite a bit as it's like the modern handbook for introverts. Whilst it might not immediately appear so on the surface a lot of people I know who have very large social presences are naturally quite quiet and naturally introverted. The key thing that is explained in this book is how valuable those qualities are, even though society tends to initially favour extrovert go-getter type personalities. Susan Cain gave an amazing TED talk which you can check out below. This book is one you want to take your time with. Through several readings it helped me reframe a lot of my negative associations around some social anxieties I had about the fact that 9 hours of Youtube and endless cups of tea beats any nightclub in my opinion!
Codependency is something I had never heard about before but in my own very general terms a way to summarise it is that if you find if your partner is having a bad day, you will automatically have a bad day and your empathy systems are in overdrive to the extent that it's not healthy. With an upcoming wedding and all the emotion that goes alongside that I am reading up on relationships quite a bit. No book can heal a bad relationship but this book definitely helped me understand why some people 'disappear' in relationships and how to avoid it and stay true to yourself despite what's going on around.
Anyway those are my favourite books. I find even if I've read some of them several times over the years, when I pick them up I get something new. Let me know if you have any books you think I would love in the comments below!
Lots of love,
*This post contains affiliate links and Holly.ie may receive commission on sales via the links above.