Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reflective Readings to Inspire your Health and Wellness

[originally posted 5.15.2017 featuring a spring fundraiser "perks" package.]
List and links updated 03.2019)
Do you or someone you know like to have, on your desk or nightstand, a little book of reflections, poetry, or other quick notes of inspiration?

Here are a few of my favorite reflective reads.  The first list theme is:  health and wellness
The second list is a mix of classic (Yates) and quicky (Ben Franklin) poetry and spiritual themes.

Gift these to yourself or a friend.  If you follow the Amazon links and buy within a couple hours, the Hospital Handbook Project receives a few pennies at no extra cost to you.

With a specific health and wellness theme
  1. the most popular book at my clinic, Attitudes of Gratitude:  how to give and receive joy everyday of your life by M.J. Ryan
  2.  the book, Tao Te Ching or Book of the Way, an acclaimed classic; brief stanzas of poetry by Lao-Tzu about balance, perspective, the spirit of generosity.  A very good translation from Stephen Mitchell.
  3. the book, Letting Everything Become Your Teacher:  100 Lessons in Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn 
  4. The Book of Forgiving: the fourfold path for healing ourselves and our world by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu
  5. Kitchen Table Wisdom: stories that heal by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

More Poetry and some Spirituality
  1. If you love the outdoors and nature:  Meditations on John Muir  or Mary Oliver.
  2. Irish poetry and prose from William Butler Yates
  3. Benjamin Franklin's classic, Poor Richard's Almanack
  4. Or, try one of the "30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher Series", like Peace of Heart (St. Francis of Assisi) or Let Nothing Disturb You (Teresa of Avila)
  5. No Greater Love by Mother Teresa
  6. God is in the Small Stuff and it all matters by Bruce and Stan
  7. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series with Jack Canfield or the 2017 Book of Christmas Miracles
  8. Anam Cara: a book of Celtic wisdom by John O'Donohue (poetry-prose)
  9. The Celtic Way of Prayer: the recovery of the religious imagination by Esther de Waal
Spring Clearing/De-Cluttering and the season of Lent

  1. In celebration of St. Patrick's day (3/17), any Irish poetry and definitely Anam Cara (#2, #8 and #9 above)
  2. Clearing the physical clutter.  For clearing out the physical space to help make room in your internal (mental, emotional, spiritual) space, I recommend the book by Marie Kondo, The Life-ChangingMagic of Tidying Up.  Or, maybe you are interested in her follow-up book, Spark Joy.  
  3. Clearing the internal clutter:  journaling.  Journaling is a useful way to process experiences and find clarity.  It has proven health benefits. For more about the research and health benefits of journaling:  Opening Up by Writing It Down, 3rd edition: how expressive writing improves health and eases emotional pain by James Pennebaker and Joshua Smyth.  For related book that walks you through the practical exercises of this type of journaling for health: Expressive Writing: Words that Heal (2014) by James Pennebaker and John Evans. 
  4. Any time you spend in quiet self-reflection to listen to your heart that you may hear your calling.

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