I work with women who want to own their truth. The truth of who they are, what they want to do, and how they want to show up in this world.
There are 10,001 things out there that will try to get in the way of women just being themselves and being okay with that. From Body-Shaming Diets to Pinterest Envy to Social Media Comparisonitis, we are bombarded daily by a culture that doesn’t really want us to own our unique selves.
(There’s not a whole lot of money in that, is there?)
Below, I’ve compiled some of my favorite self-care resources for women who are committed to owning their truth and showing up in the world.
I was a part of the diet culture for a long time because I worked as a weight loss consultant. I was so steeped in that culture that I didn’t see the detrimental effects it had on my clients and me. It was only after I finally stopped dieting that I was able to look back and see just how much unnecessary time and energy women were spending trying to fit a certain ideal. Today, I see things very differently, and I am huge supporter of people like Isabel Foxen Duke, who is an expert in helping women to stop feeling crazy around food. I can tell you from experience that when you stop putting all your mental energy towards calorie counting and food obsession, you open up space for so much more in your life. You open up space for doing what truly lights you up. (Affiliate Disclosure: I am a proud affiliate of Isabel Foxen Duke’s programs. The more women doing this work, the better, and I am happy to share her video series with you.)
Jacqueline Raposo is a freelance writer and radio host who embarked upon a year of removing negative habits from her life to see how her life would change. She experimented with 40 days without social media, practiced consuming less, and worked on releasing negative thoughts, along with other habits. All of this led her to feel happier and more at peace with her life. At the end of her year, she created a template and journaling questions to help others embark upon their own “year of abstinence.” You can find her template and all of her blog posts about her year here.
I read this book years ago when I was in a place of deep depression. Through the daily journaling and exercises, I made some huge life changes that might never have happened if I hadn’t randomly picked up that book. Absolutely a game changer for me.
There are a lot of us living with chronic pain, and it can be a huge distraction from what really matters in our lives. Live Pain-Free Without Drugs or Surgery is a simple book with stretching exercises for various problems, such as fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tension headaches. The author is a neuromuscular therapist and yoga instructor at the renowned Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. I can tell you from personal experience that the exercises in this book work if you work them…which is always the challenge, isn’t it?
From the back cover: Women are amazing. We climb to the highest levels in the business world, juggle our time between friends and family, and volunteer a helping hand when asked – all without seeming to break a sweat. But frequently what hides beneath that ultra-competent exterior is someone screaming out for change.
Yes! I nodded the whole time I read this book. Evelyn Resh’s premise is that the more pleasure you can infuse into your life, the better your sex life will be. With easy-to-read chapters and journal prompts, it’s a great book for getting you to think about how you can bring more pleasure into your life in big and small ways.
“The things you keep in your home not only represent who you are, they also affect who you will become.” – Rebecca West
Rebecca West focuses on thinking about what you want out of life, and then helps walk you through how to make changes in your home so that it help support your goals. The author is a speaker, interior designer, and design psychology coach who helps people to use their home as a tool for happiness.
I love love love Brett Larkin’s yoga videos, especially her Chakra Challenge Series and the 18 Days of Yoga for Your Body and Soul Series. She has plenty of videos for different skill levels and lengths of time (like 8 minute videos for days when you’re short on time).
Jessamyn Stanley is a self-avowed yoga teacher, body positive advocate, and the author of the upcoming book, Every Body Yoga: Let go of fear. Get on the mat. Love your body. She has her own YouTube channel and you can also find her classes online here.
With a focus on deciding what your goals and values are, and then putting your money where your beliefs are, this book has really made me pause and think about where my money is going and how to make sure I’m making the right choices. Plus, my partner and I now sit down at the end of every month and make a budget for the following month, and we both feel so much better about our finances – and our relationship – since starting this practice. Any book that can get the two of us on the same money page is a miracle in my mind!
Stacey Erickson Edwards battled sleep apnea for 16 years without knowing it or why she felt so awful. When she finally got diagnosed, she started an instagram page and website to help raise awareness and help people feel better about wearing their CPAP masks.
“Mary Oliver’s poetry takes me someplace exalted, plants my feet firmly on the ground, and reminds me who I am.” – Janice Carduner
Jon Kabat Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, which has been incorporated into hospitals worldwide. He is the author of several books, such as Wherever You Go, There You Are, and a series of guided meditations which are available here.
“It creates such a fresh, grateful perspective on life!
It’s refreshing and each subject is a half page to a few pages, so it’s nice to use as a daily devotional to remember to keep breathing, that life is precious, and that we choose how we perceive everything that is happening. It’s a reminder that Spirit is moving through us, that we can pause, that every moment is sacred.
One of my favorite chapters talks about television and how the media knows how to quicken our pulse, how to increase our blood pressure, how to stress us out in order to keep us watching. And he compares it to leaving the windows to your home open during a storm. I had always felt this on some level, but once he stated it so clearly, I consciously chose to stop watching shows that I liked, but I noticed were bringing un-needed negative energy into my world.
Most of the entries are much simpler, about spending time with family, about really hugging back, even about looking at a flower. But it changed the way I looked at the world, myself as a being to be honored, and the importance of self-care. It is very life-affirming!” – Laura J. Novak
Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist, teacher, and the author of several best-selling books, such as, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.
Have a resource you’d like added to the list? Send me an e-mail at iris(at)irishiggins.com with a link to your resource and why it has been helpful for you.