Books that Have Radically Impacted my Relationship with Self

For the past 3 years, I've set aside the juicy fiction for that of the self-improvement kind. Quite frankly, it was a topic I avoided for a long time, but as we are with ourselves more than anyone else in our lifetime, it is the most important relationship we will have. Once I opened the door, this rabbit hole of intersecting concepts, perspectives, and insights have reshaped how I view and understand myself and, more importantly, have enabled me to change ingrained patterns and limiting beliefs. And to be honest, it's been addicting. At 47, I've been able to (mostly) swap out the inner critic for self-compassion, tackle and reframe inner child trauma (which all of us have in some form), and more consciously choose where to put my energy and focus. What does this have to do with art? If you look at the themes of my collections - "Constructs of the Mind", "Road to Alignment", "Own Your Aura", "hoMEostasis" – you'll see that the messages and lessons directly inform my work in an effort to both process for myself, and spread them out into the world.

The books listed here, combined with meditation, and working with a therapist specialized in parts work/somatic/EMDR for the past 6 months, have vastly improved my relationship to myself and others. I have become my own anchor while friendships are noticeably more authentic.

I'd also like to add that I'm a really slow reader - Audible has been a game-changer. No matter how busy you are, you can listen while driving, folding laundry, walking the dog, etc. to integrate it into your day. It's a worthwhile journey and I truly hope you find these helpful:

"Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer - Introduction to consciousness in a very relatable way

"No Bad Parts" by Richard C. Schwartz - Really helpful way to separate yourself from your various feelings, behaviors. It's a completely new way of understanding your inner world. A must.

"How to be the Love You Seek" by Dr. Nicole LePera - Dig into clues from your nervous system of how your past impacts you today. She also has a great Instagram feed full of bite-sized reminders and tips: @the.holistic.psychologist

"How to Do the Work" by Dr. Nicole LePera - How to get out of dysfunctional patterns to honor your authenticity

"Origins of You" by Vienna Pharaon - Understanding how your tendencies and coping mechanisms were formed. She also has a great podcast: "This Keeps Happening" 

"Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents" by Lindsay C. Gibson - If you feel disconnected from your feelings, this is probably why. If you don't want to read the full book, you can get the gist in this podcast interview: "We Can Do Hard Things" Episode 263

"Liberated Love" by Kylie McBeath and Mark Groves - Consider this a co-dependent's toolkit. You must do the journal exercises to get the full impact.

"On Our Best Behavior" by Elise Loehnen - The good-girl syndrome explained. This one was powerful.

"The Code of the Extraordinary Mind" by Vishen Lakhiani - Question the beliefs/culture/traditions you are surrounded by vs. blindly abiding by them

"Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" by Joe Dispenza - changing behaviors, interesting science-based findings of how the brain works

"Worthy" by Jamie Kern Lima - Reframing limiting beliefs to get unstuck. She also just launched a podcast last week: The Jamie Kern Lima Show

"The Surrender Experiment" by Michael A. Singer - A story-like telling of how Singer's life unfolded from a place of being led by what the universe presented to him, rather than from ego or forced agenda