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Your Self Help Roadmap via My Favorite Books

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Hi guys! I feel the need to share the books that have been pivotal in my life.

The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle 
My self-help journey first began when I heard of the book “The Surrendered Wife”. Here is where I realized I was nagging my husband partly because I was too afraid to look inward and realize what I wasn’t accomplishing in my life. I also realized how much of a victim I was, always feeling like I was stuck in a certain situation. Although this book is a marriage book, it provided me with a much needed paradigm shift in my life. I began to learn about self-care, and how, when we are angry or resentful at our husbands, it often stems from a lack of self care. Which means, it can often be resolved(not always!) but increasing our self care. But how do we practice good self care -keep reading!

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman 
Through reading The Five Love Languages, I had a huge realization. My love language is quality time. Being the 4th in a family of 9, time is hard to come by. It opened my eyes to an entirely new world for myself and those around me. As Gary Chapman explains, we all have a love tank that needs to be filled by each love language but we also have a primary love language. No matter how much love goes inside that love tank, if we are not loved in our love language, its almost impossible to get full. Running on an empty love tank creates a less than ideal person. We can use this in marriage but we can also use it to love and care for ourselves- a crucial step in self care. We can choose to no longer play the victim and take inspired action to live a more meaningful life. We can fill our own emotional love tank in many ways.

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
Intuitive Eating has shaped my life and my career. This is a non-diet, weight neutral approach to health. It is a self care model that puts YOU front and center. It gives you ways to understand yourself and your emotions and how to give yourself what you need. This very much pairs with the Five Love Languages, because once you have a good understanding of one of your biggest needs, you can give it to yourself. For those struggling with chronic dieting, this book explains that dieting doesn’t work for 90-95% of people. The science and research explains that the more we deprive ourselves of a certain food or food group, the more we tend to crave and binge on that exact food. Our bodies are hard wired for survival and one of our most human basic needs is food. But not just eating food as fuel, also enjoyment from food. Think about it – we need to breathe to survive, but we don’t take pleasure in it. There’s a reason why G-d made food enjoyable, that joy and pleasure is a very powerful tool for happy living.

Awareness by Miriam Adahan

This book, coupled with The Five Love Languages, really opened my eyes to different personality types. We all have different triggers. What triggers certain emotions in some, triggers different emotions in others. I finally realized how different we all are, how we all process things differently and naturally have different strengths and weaknesses. Being self aware is so valuable and it is also extremely valuable to help you understand other people’s behaviors. It’s really a gift to yourself and others. This really helps you eliminate shame and guilt in your life.

​This led me to all of Brene Brown’s work(Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, Dare to Lead, Braving the Wilderness, The Gift of Imperfection.) Brene Brown is a social worker who studies shame and vulnerability and how the human experience can be  one riddled with shame. The antidote is vulnerability. In essence, feeling the fear of other people’s judgments and rejection and sitting with the uncomfortable feeling of no longer “people pleasing” and doing it anyways because you know you can, in every fiber of your being that you need to do this. Not only that, Brene is famous for uniting us all as humans by normalizing most human behavior. We are all so scared and embarrassed someone will know our “flaws,” but we all have flaws. In this sense, awareness paired with Brene Brown’s books is extremely liberating to read and understand. For example – I may be extremely organized and anxious, while my husband is relaxed yet disorganized – but this is neither good nor bad, it just is.


Loving What Is by Byron Katie 
Loving What Is solidified this notion where we literally “love what is” through practices. Throughout this book, she gives examples of people who are literally paralyzed in their lives due to anxiety, fear, pain, resentment etc. She presents a framework of working through the painful emotion so that it can better serve us.
At this point, my mind has really been open and I am expanding my mindset. In some ways (not all), I have gotten a taste of the abundance mindset. I am not yet fully immersed in the culture but I am at least open to hearing of it. I have to admit though, I am still pretty stuck in scarcity. Do not despair if you are as well, the more you read these books and take brave, inspired action, the outcome will always motivate you to continue. I will also have to add in here that every person and situation is so different, that the outcome may not at all inspire you, or it may not even happen – this may just mean you’re not ready to make a jump to the other side. You may also need a therapist to move you forward.Tony Robbins explains in his book that you must take massive action to get change. Most of us don’t take massive action. We think we do. The example he always gives is that people come to him and say “I have tried everything.” To which he will answer – “oh really, what have you tried, name them.” They then name 1 or 2 things. “Ok, so you have tried the same thing over and over again and expected the same results. This is actually the definition of insanity. So – there you have it- this took me a really long time to implement – but I did take massive action by quitting my job. I’d love to say it was rainbows and butterflies and the clients came knocking down my door- nuh nuh nuh, not so fast, this is not what happened. I won’t even say “unfortunately” this is not what happened, because I learned so much about myself through the next process and journey of my life. As I just heard in a parenting class by Sima Spetner, “If we handle our children’s fights properly, we actually teach them proper social skills and the process in it of itself if therapeutic.” Everything in life is a learning experience.

Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port ​
I definitely felt discouraged at this point. I geared up with so many aspirations and bravery from quitting my job and only getting 1-2 clients made me feel less than inspired. Still, I looked to see if there was anything out there to inspire me and learn how to make this passion into a business. I heard of the book “Book Yourself Solid.” I didn’t read this entire book but the most important thing I took from this is the importance of working with your ideal client. Why is this so important? Because, when we work with our ideal client, we are fired up and we therefore do our best work. When we work with clients less than ideal, we feel tired and drained, thus producing less than perfect work and unhappy customers. Happy clients create referrals. Unhappy clients create a bad reputation and no referral. It behooves us to work with our ideal clients to produce our best work and continue to get our ideal clients. This is both financially sound but more importantly, fulfillment sound. It is a win-win. If we work with our best clients, we enjoy ourselves, we are fueled by the energy, the clients are happy, and we make money doing it!

Sick Enough by Jennifer L Gaudiani ​
If you are ready to understand the medical and mental health aspects of an eating disorder, this will be your resource. Dietitians learn very little about eating disorders. Doctors learn very little about nutrition let alone eating disorders. There is barely an interface. This is an incredible resource for all healthcare providers looking to learn the depths of an eating disorder or for someone struggling with an eating disorder or if a loved one is.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
I realized that for much of my life, I was indulging in fear based living. I loved victimizing myself and this 100% paralyzed my growth. Until I came across this book from @jewishlatinprincess podcast – “Feel the Fear, and Do it Anyways,” I love how the author gives so many examples of ways you can experience the emotion of fear, and yet still take massive action. Actually the emotion of fear, can espouse motion.
​This book opened my eyes to how there is really no such thing as a bad or wrong decision. We are all trying to do our best with the information we get. Life has so much to offer if we allow it. One example that stuck out to me (and I therefore wrote it on my wall in my bedroom) is to understand how paralyzing decision making can be. When we are stuck in the fear, whether we choose choice A or B, we are disappointed. We aganozie over the decision, and when we do decide, we wonder what would have happened had we chosen the other choice. Now, I want you to imagine that either decision you made was correct because life is full of wonderful things that can come our way if we allow it. Either way, what did you learn – about the world, about yourself, about others? Think about it this way, if you did something and you realized you don’t like that thing as a job,or a hobby, or whatever, you now know you don’t enjoy that thing. Isn’t that valuable information. Failure = data.

You are a Badaxx at Making Money by Jen Sincero
The world wants to give us so much good, so much opportunity and meaning. When we state what we want, create vision boards, meditate and get into our own heads and intuition, we find the best answers. This also overlaps with the surrendered wife and Laura Doyle’s “Things will get as good as you can stand”. As women we say “ no, I don’t need that” or “if you’re not cold I’m not cold”. We shy away from our wants and needs and in return, we reject the generous giver. She gives a powerful example of buying someone a gift card for a manicure. The recipient says “no thank you,” which actually in turn rejects the giver and the receiver doesn’t get the gift that the giver wanted to give her. Let’s open our eyes to possibilities and accept the gifts that come our way!

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
I absolutely fell in love with this book because I love how Humble Dave Ramsey is. With many of these books, the author noticed a pattern in their lives or the lives of their clients. A pattern in behavior, thoughts or feelings that were perhaps creating less than ideal living situations. This book is a comprehensive way to make a choice to take control of your money.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert elaborates on this idea. She explains how the stories just come to her when she is in an inspired state and how you have to grab that magic. Similar to “Book yourself solid,” working with the people or the things that inspire you the most, allow for the best work to be produced.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book also pokes at noticing your biggest fears and challenging them with a whopping dose of grit and resilience. You know you can, you know in your heart, in every fiber of your being, you need to do this. Through her excellent writing styles and entertaining story telling, she brings you on her journey of depression and powering through.

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.
The Highly Sensitive Person is a book explaining this trait of sensitivity. I never knew that this was a studied trait until I heard of this book. 15-20% of the population have this trait. A good friend of mine told me she has a child with this trait and a therapist explained this to her “all children are like flowers, but HSP are like orchids. They need special attention but then you are blessed with the delicacy of an orchid.” If you are a HSP, this book will give you so much insight into your personality and your deepest self. You will learn on a whole new level how to parent yourself and give yourself your needs that went unmet for many years.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gorrlieb
This book speaks of a therapist who goes to therapy. It is a deeply captivating book that gives you much insight into the human experience. Whether you are a therapist or not, we all struggle and feel deep pain.
G-d gives us this roadmap through our emotions. Our emotions should lead to motion. No one wants to feel painful emotions, so we stifle them with addiction, food, money, other people’s approval until the intuition has been buried deep beneath the ground. Through self help and awareness, you can use these painful emotions for incredible guidance and growth.

The Choice by Edith Eda Eger
In this book, the author, a psychologist who went through the Holocaust – explains how we all have choices. I want to make a point here. I have included books in this list explaining different people’s personality types, love languages, and traits, these things are not our choice. One thing to glean from this book and many of these books, is that, as a human, we deal with deep, painful emotions. They can paralyze us or they can be used for tremendous growth. We get to choose.

Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon, PhD
Written by Linda Bacon, who wrote this book as an offshoot of getting her PHD, is a great paring to Intuitive Eating. She was also perplexed by the pursuit of weight loss for much of her adult life and she conducted this research to explain that one can in fact have health at every size.
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Gila Glassberg is a Master's level registered dietitian and a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. Asa teenager, she was faced with constant ha talk, body shaming and obsessive guilt around food, she smuggled with disordered eating.This is what propelled her into the field of nutrition. She uses a on-diet, weight-neutral approach called Intuitive Eating. She helps growth oriented women break out of chronic dieting, and regain clarity into what is really important to them.

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