Does the Thought of Being Caught Reading a Self-Help Book Embarrass You?
Sometimes self-help is better than no help at all. Saturating yourself with good information and wisdom sources is Strategy of the Spirit # 9
Have You Ever Wondered Why Common Sense is Called Common?
I once overheard an emergency room physician say, “When they invent the common sense vaccine we’ll all be out of business.” Much of my work for the past 20 years has been teaching people common sense…what actually helps us weather life more gracefully. We will NOT learn this from what we are offered through the media. In fact, if you look to the popular culture to figure out “what’s normal” you will be led seriously astray.
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." …Krishnamurti
For those who:
who have the nagging feeling "there must be a better way!"
who simply want to learn to live more skillfully
who can’t access a good therapist / wise mentor, or
who don’t believe in “therapy”
there are times when the fresh insight available in self-help books can be very beneficial. They can inoculate you with better possibilities.
All Self-Help Books Are Not Created Equal.
Self-help books are everywhere. You could spend your life and your fortune attempting to exhaust them all. Some are complete superficial nonsense. Others can provide some much needed understanding. Here is a list of just a few that my clients have found helpful over the years. (Click on title to link to Amazon.)
The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner
This book should be in every family library. It can be real relationship saver when you begin to apply the principles to yourself. It is marketed to "women" but applies to everyone, male or female. A go-to read, even when you think it is the "other person" who has an anger issue and needs to change.
Constructive Living by David K. Reynolds
Our psycho-babble culture has created the misperception that if we can only figure out “why” things are the way things are then they will get better. This psychotherapist teaches that it may be much more important to first dwell on“how shall I respond to what is” and “what does this situation call for”. Excellent “life training” manual. Short and clear.
by Frank Pittman
I really enjoy Frank Pittman’s common sense and humor. Worth the read simply for his lists: “How to Be a Grown Up Man”, “How to Be a Grown Up Woman”, "How to Have a Grown Up Marriage”, “The Advantages to Being a Grown Up”, “Secrets for Getting Your Parents to Treat You Like an Adult”, etc.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown.
I used this in one of my Happiness Study groups and it was a big hit. It takes a look at how unacknowledged shame seeps into our lives and limits wholehearted living. Study group members then went on to buy multiple copies as gifts for all the women in their lives.
It is only common sense that an increased understanding of how our brain affects our wellbeing would be helpful. This book teaches us how to recognize when our primitive brain is running the show and how to access more evolved responses to life. An “owners manual for the mind”, this was extremely helpful to many in the Mind Body Spirit Study Group I ran. Bear with the first section of the book… the hands-on application that comes after is well worth it!
Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy by Richard O’Connor
Common sense tells us that waiting for happiness to show up on your doorstep does not work. We need to take more responsibility than that. A psychologist teaches the behaviors that need to be chosen and cultivated to protect the biology and emotions that support happiness.
Common sense lets us know that “religious beliefs” don’t always lead to better lives and relationships. Just look at the news to see what we do to each other in the name of “belief”. It is spiritual practices that we need more of, not belief systems. These practices help develop the capacities of human consciousness that lead to more peaceful, centered, graceful lives. This spiritual self-help book teaches the basic core practices common to all Wisdom traditions.
How about adding one of these to your summer reading list?
Which self-help books have you found beneficial? Let us know below
What have you been saturating yourself with lately? See Strategy of the Spirit # 9
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