Brown, Bailey, and Hanh: Here’s What I Encourage You to Read This Month

the-gifts-of-imperfection-bookI received one of the most complimentary questions from a colleague this week, which was (in summary), “How are you so knowledgeable at this point in your career?”

First off, thank you for the compliment, Cindy! The answer is that I am constantly seeking knowledge. I don’t consider myself to be as knowledgeable as I would like, and I crave learning. I was blessed to have the opportunity to choose a career that I absolutely love. I ask questions of people who know more than I do, read books, listen to audiobooks, and attend conferences and presentations regularly.

Resources for Learning More

Below are the books currently occupying my attention lately. I think you will enjoy them:

1. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

This book by Brene’ Brown, Ph.D, LMSW is so far inspiring and thought-provoking. I am actually listening to this as an audiobook I purchased through iTunes. I have never read a book by Brene Brown before, but she is quoted in nearly every conference or therapy class I attend. Finally, after hearing her name again this past weekend, I thought, I need to see what the devotion is all about and chose The Gifts of Imperfection. Brown no doubt has a gift for words, so much that I find myself listening to one statement twice to really take in her beautiful words.

Additional books by Brene Brown:

2. I Love You Rituals by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D.

This is a charming book with rituals to build connection and bonding between parent and child. Bailey describes the benefits and goals of “I Love You Rituals” in the first part of the book. One paragraph in particular stood out to me:

i-love-you-rituals-bookOne guiding truth about life is that what you offer to others, you strengthen within yourself. Stop reading this book for a moment. Think about your children and how much you love them. If they are at school or a room nearby, just wish them and send them a silent blast of love. Now, how do you feel yourself? Probably warm and cozy. You offered your children love and security by wishing them well, and you yourself welled up with love. The same is true when we offer criticism and blame. When we see what is lacking in others, what they are not doing, and what is wrong with the world, we simultaneously feel lacking. You cannot go through your day seeing what is wrong and go to bed happy. Self-esteem does not come from how others see you, but from how you see others.

An absolutely beautiful message by Bailey, and the book is filled with warm and loving rituals for parents and children!

Additional books by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D.

3. Is Nothing Something?: Kids’ Questions and Zen Answers About Life, Death, Family, Friendship, and Everything in Between by Thich Nhat Hanh.

is-nothing-something-thich-nhat-hanhThis charming, colorful book is written for children, and I have been reading it with my child and adolescent clients lately. Education and practice on mindfulness is a common topic in my sessions with adults and children. This book has been a wonderful therapeutic tool to add in my practice. Here are a few questions within the book:

  • Why is the sun so hot?
  • Why do people make wars?
  • Why are there good days, and why are there bad days?
  • Why do I sometimes feel that everyone is against me?
  • What is meditation, and why do people do it?

Some of you may remember my post on Pebble Meditation where I introduced a book called A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles. These books are both written by the same author, Thich Nhat Hanh, who truly shows a gift for putting meditation into simple, child-friendly words.

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