In 1996, my college roommate and best friend gave me a gift that would change the way I approached life.
The Artist’s Way is billed as a twelve week course in discovering and recovering your creative self. Doing the work laid out in this book fueled my self-awareness and helped me get incredibly clear about what I had to offer the world. Because of this book, I realized how central writing was to my understanding of myself and critical in the work that I wanted to do in the world. It inspired me to go get an MFA in Creative Writing. I still do exercises from this book and constantly recommend it (I recommended it just last week to a student at Middlebury College when I was speaking there for Eating Disorders Awareness Week).
Thinking about the difference The Artist’s Way has made in my life inspired me to share with you some books that greatly encourage self-awareness and self-acceptance. Are you looking for a book to gently inspire your personal growth, deepen your self-knowledge, and/or lead to motivation or acceptance? Try one of these.
Considered the seminal work on the creative life, some people may see themselves as not creative and think this book has nothing to offer them, but it does. Divided by weekly themes over twelve weeks, this instructive book gives your profound exercises to discover or recover a sense of safety, identity, power, integrity, and more.
One of the most profound things we can do in this life is release guilt and shame and allow our vulnerability to actually be a gift to ourselves and to the world. We build the most profound connections at our most vulnerable, and Brown uses her years of research to teach us how to practice daring greatly while inspiring us to have a new perspective on life. Readers will especially enjoy the Daring Greatly Leadership Manifesto and the Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.
Yogalosophy is an action plan to re-pattern habits, develop positive self-talk, and channel emotions while using intention, yoga, music, reflection and, if you would like, food as tools. There’s an overview in the beginning and then a day by day plan with detailed instructions and photos for guidance.
Part inspirational guide, part instructional workbook, The Desire Map shows you why how you feel matters and then guides you in claiming what your core desired feelings are in a fun and thorough workbook. Ultimately, the idea is that you choose how you want to feel in life and then make choices in your life that guide you to those core desired feelings over and over again.
Since The Artist’s Way got me started on this deep self-awareness work, it seemed appropriate to include my contribution to this effort on this list. Drawing on self-awareness, mind-body, and practical techniques, Beautiful You is an action plan to give women what they need to champion and fully live their own lives. Every day starts with a short inspirational essay and is followed by one action to take that day. With experiences ranging across ages and experiences, Beautiful You is a choose your own adventure to build your self-awareness and self-acceptance.