Personal Growth Resources

Emotional/Mental Health | Healing Tool Links | Healing Tool Links for Kids
Near Death Experiences | Personal Development/Insight | Physical Health
Reincarnation | Scientific Theory and Spirituality | Spirituality | Spiritual Fiction
Spiritual Non-Fiction | Trauma

 

A WORD FROM ME:

I've been officially passionate about personal, emotional and spiritual development since 1997 but, to be completely honest, my mother owned a copy of Wayne Dyer's "Your Erroneous Zones" when it came out in the 1970s so I guess you might say it was already in my blood.

In any case, if you've been on my site for more than 30 seconds, you must already know that I am very enthusiastic about sharing information related to Emotional Freedom Techniques, as it has changed my life in very profound ways. A description of EFT is here and a page with EFT resources is here.

My belief is that no one tool, however powerful it may be, can do all the work by itself. For me to even find EFT, a self-discovery journey was required. I offer below a list of books, links and other resources as a few of the things I've found particularly valuable and enriching on that journey or that have been suggested to me by respected friends and teachers (I haven't gotten around to all of them, yet).

Every human being is unique. I invite you to investigate what calls to you, what you think will suit you, personally, and leave the rest. Use your intuition to choose. Namaste!

 

Emotional/Mental Health

 

General

Narrative Medecine

Narrative Medecine Narrative Medecine by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD:
I loved this book. It really expanded my thoughts, ideas and views on the importance of using myth, story, history and especially community in our approaches to healing emotional and mental health.

 

Healing Trauma

The latest trauma research is finding that the ways in which we have been trying to resolve trauma (post-traumatic stress or anything like it), generally talk therapy and related modalities, are ineffective because the language parts of the brain are turned off during traumatic experiences. These experiences are, however, stored in the body and, as many know, can be triggered by seemingly innocuous situations. Somatic types of therapy are now being suggested to finally clear the trauma from the body and allow true, deep healing to occur. These books offer not only scientific explanations about what happens to our bodies when we experience trauma but suggest a number of techniques that can be used to heal.

 

The Body Bears the Burden

The Body Bears the Burden: A highly praised book on this subject. One of those on my "to-read but as yet unread" list. Make sure you pick up the most recent edition (3rd at the moment) as this is a quickly evolving field with more and more details coming to light all the time. He explains the connections between the mind, body and the processing of trauma as well as the ways in which we can spot the symptoms of traumatic stress.

 

The Body Keeps the Score:The Body Keeps the Score I loved this book. He not only explains very clearly what happens to the brain when we experience a trauma (fascinating stuff!) but the whole final section of the book, 5 chapters or more, discuss the different modalities he uses to help his clients heal. Go to your library right away and get a copy. We all have SOME trauma in our lives.

 

Shake It Off Naturally

Shake It Off Naturally: Another book I have not yet read but I have seen the YouTube videos and heard many theories of how neurogenic tremors ("shaking it off") can release the trauma from our bodies. The videos show animals (we are mammals like the rest of them after all) shake their bodies after a trauma, releasing the pent up energy from the physical body, allowing them to avoid lasting trauma.

 

Waking the Tiger

Waking the Tiger:Waking the Tiger Peter Levine not only explains scientifically what is going on in the body but also describes/prescribes many exercises that you can do to learn to sense your body and begin to recognize the different sensations that are caused by anxiety, joy, anger, etc. allowing us to better understand and release them.

 

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Physical Health

You may think that physical and emotional health are two separate things, and so do many medical doctors today. Once you have read these books, you will see that you and they are missing some really important pieces of the puzzle regarding the long-term effects of emotional stress on our physical systems. I suggest that everyone on the planet who cares about their physical health read these three books, all written by medical doctors. They just make so much sense to me.

Coyote Healing

Coyote Healing Coyote Healing by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD:
Dr. Mehl-Madrona looks at so-called "miracle cures" and finds the common threads that helped the patients heal. We can use this information on our own healing journeys.

 

 

Mind Over Medicine

Mind Over Medicine Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, MD:
Driven by her own health issues and a deep desire to help her patients, Lissa also dug into the "miracle cure" medical literature. Then she questioned her patients about what they thought their bodies needed to heal. In her book, she gives practical ways to find what your body needs. Backed by scientific proof, she insists that despite the prevailing medical point of view, green juice consumption and personal trainers are not enough.

 

When the Body Says No

When the Body Says No When the Body Says No by Gabor Maté, MD:
This book really opened my eyes to my own habitual patterns and has impressed upon me the importance of learning to be aware of my own emotions and to speak my truth. The body says no when a part of us needs to and we don't. I challenge all healers to read this book and recognize themselves in some of the personality profiles he talks about.

 

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This book takes a more spiritual/meta-medicine point of view in looking at physical health. I see a link to the books above in that it is wonderful for giving insight into the message your body might be trying to send you. It talks about the possible causes, about what might not be working in your life, and which is reflected back to you as the physical problem you are experiencing.

You Can Heal Your Life

Heal Your Body A-Z Heal Your Body A-Z by Louise L. Hay:
I use this book for myself, my friends, my family members and my clients alike. As we are so often blind to or in denial of our own inner turmoil, this book can sometimes light the way to seeing what is going on. It has on many occasions given us a place to begin our healing explorations.

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Healing Tool Links

Aside from EFT, my personal favourite, there are some other amazing healing modalities out there. Some of them, some of the best and most effective I might add, offer their basic levels for FREE on their websites with lots of YouTube videos available to get a bit more nuance in your delivery. I'm not talking about a taste-test FREE sample that won't satisfy your hunger, either. Often the Level I is a full-course meal in the tool or technique and you won't need more to get noticeable results.

Below, I have listed some of these modalities. If you're in need of healing and the present-day Medical Model has left you somewhat disappointed, try some of these tools and techniques. ADD* those you like to whatever medical or psychological healthcare regimes you presently follow. I'm hoping you'll find that your healing gets a turbo-charge from this.

* PLEASE NOTE:  The holistic healing modalities that I suggest here are in NO WAY intended to replace your present medical or psychological regimes or treatments. They are intended to be used to augment and support those regimes in the same way that eating a balanced diet helps your body to function at its best.

 

"The Work" of Byron Katie:
Don't get me started on the greatness of Byron Katie and her "Work"! I will go on and on. It's my favourite technique after EFT. Four questions and a turnaround that create emotional miracles. I've had some amazing, life changing shifts using her work, like bubbles of negative emotion popping in an instant never to return. She's another that gives away the how-to for FREE on her website. She has also written a few booksBooks by Byron Katie that you might find interesting.

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Percussive Suggestion Technique™:
PSTec, as it's called, has its basis in suggestive hypnosis, sound healing and conditioned responses. It is very fast and powerful! You start by downloading the instructions and FREE basic audio files (mp3s). To use it, you focus on a negative memory or experience while you listen to the audio. You move your fingers when it tells you to and, similar to the effects of EFT, the emotions drain away and they don't come back. I used it on an aspect of my spider phobia and it was incredibly effective. Important note: To use the audio files, you need access to some type of equipment that reads mp3s as well as stereo headphones.

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Tapas Acupressure Technique® (TAT):
Tapas Fleming, using the meridian-based theories from Traditional Chinese Medicine, developed this gentle modality that uses verbal statements combined with hand positions which are related to certain acupressure points. I find TAT great for removing issues that are more global. Tapas offers a FREE "how-to" booklet.

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Hypnosis:
Hypnotic Spiral This is an amazingly powerful tool for reprogramming the subconscious mind, the part that is really making all your decisions for you. If you don't like the results you're getting in your life, please consider this option.

You can either reprogram yourself using self-hypnosis or, if you prefer, you can get support in doing this with a knowledgable and experienced hypnotherapist (make sure you reseach your choice of hypnotherapist thoroughly). Hypnosis sometimes works by simply overwriting the beliefs and ideas that you have and which are keeping you stuck in learned patterns. When overwriting doesn't work, hypnosis is particularly good at bringing to the surface for healing and release the underlying memories that are causing these patterns in the first place.

There are far too many hypnosis related books, audios and other programs out there for me to list them but you can begin your search on Google or contact your area's chapter of the National Guild of Hypnotists to find a competent hypnotherapist.

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The Journey

The Journey The Journey by Brandon Bays:
This woman went through so very much in such a short time and she tells how she not only overcame but embraced what was happening as a spiritual lesson. In learning how to let go of her own pain on her road to healing, she created a technique that uses imagery and identification of emotions to bring insight and deep release, discovering that underneath all pain resides the divine. You can find more information on her website.

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Healing Tool Links for Kids

 

Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?

Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? by Byron Katie:
A great book for kids, "Tiger-Tiger" will introduce them to "The Work" of Byron Katie and teach them how to find inner peace by themselves early in life. This way they can avoid accumulating all the baggage many of us have and wish we didn't. For an explanation of "The Work" in general see the Healing Modalities Links above or go to Byron Katie's website.

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Personal Development and Insight Work

Personal growth... insight work... it's never over. I've come to see it as a bit of a trial that I put myself through as I try to "fix" something that I (erroneously) perceive needs "fixing". Deep personal work really takes courage and perseverence and it's not always easy. At the same time as I struggle and rail against doing it, I find my own inner-workings and those of other people to be absolutely fascinating so it's kind of fun at the same time. I share below many resources that I've found helpful, some invaluable, over time.

 

General

 

The Cube

The Cube The Cube by Annie Gottlieb and Slobodan Pesic:
This book is somewhere between a party game and a deep instrospective journey. It can be taken on any level and I love to pull the exercise/game out when I'm not sure where to start with people I don't know. It's easy to remember and the interpretation is always very personal and fascinating. People enjoy playing it.

 

Le Petit Prince

Le Petit Prince Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
A classic parable about what is truly important in life. Short and easy to read. Though it was written in 1943 during WW II, it's teachings and social commentary are still, unfortunately, incredibly relevant today. Read it in the original FrenchLe Petit Prince if you can, if not... here's a link to the English version.

 

Revolution from Within

Revolution from Within Revolution from Within by Gloria Steinem:
Read this book in my early thirties. Gloria Steinem is a well-known feminist writer and activist but this book speaks to all people. She looks at Western education, at our religions, at how we are treated by our society and how that affects how we see ourselves, male or female. This was probably the first book I ever read that suggested I stop accepting what my society was feeding me without asking some questions first and making an informed decision about whether to swallow it or not. Thank you, Gloria!

 

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Spirituality

 

My definition of spirituality is anything that you experience that feels like a connection to:

Actually it's really hard to put a finger on it as I think the definition is probably different for each and every one of us; we are that unique. All I know is that you don't need to be a religious person to have a spirituality or be a spiritual person. Sometimes you just get the feeling from being in nature and that's enough. What I've posted hear speaks to MY personal spirituality and I hope it will stimulate yours in a positive, if sometimes challenging, way but if it doesn't that's okay, too. I encourage you to look elsewhere.

 

Optimal EFT:
Gary Craig, the developer of the EFT healing tool has begun to discuss what he calls Optimal EFT. As it isn't really a tool yet and it isn't the usual EFT or even a practice for the moment but more of a spiritual development course, I'm putting it here as something to follow if you are interested. He talks about his out-of-body experience and the spiritual beliefs that came from that adventure. His desire is to lead all who wish to follow, to the other side of the belief that we are a body and that the world exists. The idea is to free us from what he and A Course in Miracles (ACIM) call "the illusion", the "illusion" is also commonly known as "duality".

 

General Spiritual Non-Fiction

There are at least two ways to absorb spiritual teachings through books: one is through NON-FICTION and the other is through fiction. I tend to like the more direct approach and have a penchant for reading non-fiction as my analytical brain requires as much logic and clarity as spirituality can offer. Here are some resources that have helped me grow and expand my spiritual ideas over time.

 

Living in the Light

Living in the Light Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain and Laurel King:
At the age of 33, this was the first unadulterated, non-fiction spiritual book that I ever read. The concepts (e.g. The World as Your Mirror, Trusting Intuition, Becoming Balanced, etc.) were new to my mind but they resonated deeply with emotional parts of me. I found it to be an easy read and a great intro to spirituality.

 

My Life As a Medium

My Life As a Medium My Life As a Medium by Betty Shine:
Betty Shine became a medium in spite of herself. She just wanted to be a healer but spirit had other ideas about what she was here to do on this planet. Her descriptions of different phenomena appearing in her life are delightful. A fun read that at the same time gives insight into the fact that even in our own lives we don't have the full picture.

 

What the Bleep Do We Know?

What the Bleep Do We Know? (Down the Rabbit Hole) What the Bleep Do We Know? a DVD:
Wrapped in an illustrative story, interviews -some with scientists- attempt to explain how we create our reality by only seeing what we already believe and, therefore, failing to see opportunities that come our way if they don't fit into these expectations. I particularly love the basketball court illustration. I have the video so I backed it up and checked. It was a good lesson, we are completely conditioned by our beliefs and we do NOT see things we are not "expecting" to see.

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General Spiritual Fiction

The other way, as I mentioned, is to absorb spiritual teachings through FICTION. Once in a while, I come across a fiction book that tells a good story and expands my consciousness at the same time. They're often fables and literary style isn't always their strong point but I have enjoyed them for their emotional and spiritual content.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho:
The story of Santiago and his treasure hunt is a really pleasant way to get in a few spiritual teachings without having to read the more "clinical", non-fiction books on the subject.

 

The Celestine Prophesy

The Celestine Prophesy The Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield:
It's got adventure, love, spiritual growth - everything you could ask for in a book. I don't know if spiritual unfolding actually happens in the order in which the chapters are written but I liked the way he explains the progressions of awakening.

 

Illusions

Illusions Illusions by Richard Back:
This is another good book that stretches our minds toward other possibilities. I don't know that I believe most of us can aspire to a BIG awakening where everything flips over to a new reality in one shot but I believe we all have the capacity to take small steps very often and this is the type of book that can inspire a step or two.

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Back:
The story of a seagull who is different because he's not content to just be like the other seagulls. He's made fun of, he's misunderstood, he is ostracized. But he dares to listen to his own inner voice, his own inner knowing. By doing this, by believing in himself and stretching himself, he pushes through and ends up in a place that none of the other seagulls believed possible.

 

The Prophet

The Prophet The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran:
Though written in 1923, it was composed by a poet so the style remains timeless. In this very small book, only 60 pages, he's packed a lot of wisdom and spiritual teachings. He talks of love, of marriage, of work, of joy and sorrow, of crime and punishment and more. I've included a link to the book on Amazon but if you're anywhere other than the US, the book has become part of the public domain and you should be able to get a free copy somewhere.

 

The Shack

The Shack The Shack by Wm. Paul Young:
I'm not naturally attracted to the Christian version of spirituality and my take on how/what God is is quite different from the Holy Trinity but I enjoyed this story. I always like a good conversation with All That Is and I appreciated the way many things were explained. It was good anthropomorphic fun, though, I should warn you that parts of the story are very sad.

 

Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Way of the Peaceful Warrior Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman:
I remember being highly challenged and resistant while reading this book back in the 1990s. If I read it again, I might find that the concepts make more sense to me now as I've learned to love myself more. If you react to it the way I did, it will certainly push you to stretch your ideas about what's important and how to find happiness within instead of without, the opposite to what we're taught in our Western culture.

 

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Spirituality and Scientific Theory

Science and spirituality have never really seen eye-to-eye but as time goes on, there are those that are taking the latest scientific data and connecting the possible dots between the two. It seems that a meeting of what appear to be opposite minds may be closer than many in either community expects. I'm not a scientist so I cannot judge the science behind these works and, I'll be honest, most scientists consider these books "pseudoscience". Is that really the case? Or is it just, as Bruce Lipton suggests, stubborn "dogma" that finds it difficult to question perceptions it has held for a great many years? If you take issue with this section and these books, please simply ignore it.

 

The Biology of Belief

The Biology of Belief The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton:
Bruce is a researcher in stem-cell biology who was struck by the idea that identical stem-cells become what they become depending on the environment in which they are grown. If cells are so affected by environment and we are only really a huge conglomerate of separate cells, what does that mean about the effects of our environments on US? Among other things, he also concluded that our beliefs are what create our environment.

 

The Divine Matrix

The Divine Matrix The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden:
Everything is connected to everything is connected to everything else... and how that can affect our perception of our lives. Gregg has written many, many books like this one where he talks about fascinating scientific experiments that are being done and what that means about the nature of the universe and us within it.

 

The Field

The Field The Field by Lynne McTaggart:
McTaggart is not a scientist, she's an investigative journalist, but her theories about "The Field" and how it fits into our regular and spiritual lives are very interesting.

 

My Stroke of Insight

My Stroke of Insight My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte-Taylor:
This woman, a brain scientist, had a stroke, experienced the difference between the two sides of her brain and lived to tell about it. A fascinating journey both scientifically (I recommend it for anyone dealing with a familiy member having suffered a stroke) AND spiritually. Very engaging despite what might seem a "heavy subject"! Watch her TED talk if you want to get an idea beforehand.

 

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Near-Death Experiences (NDEs)

I love reading these accounts. I get from them both spiritual teachings and uplifting feelings. I consider that until each of us dies ourselves, no one can know "the truth". While I'm waiting to find out for myself, these stories fascinate me and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I hope you experience that as you read these books.

 

Consciousness Beyond Life

Consciousness Beyond Life Consciousness Beyond Life by Pim van Lommel, MD (cardiologist):
I haven't read this book but I have seen this 40-minute talk on YouTube by Dr. van Lommel so I know how fantastic the content of this book is. He really makes it hard to argue with the reality of near-death experiences. He has not had one himself but he studied those of his cardiac arrest patients.

 

Dying To Be Me

Dying To Be Me Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani:
To anyone interested in spiritual concepts: I cannot recommend this book enough! In fact, if you have an easy place to listen to it, I suggest that you get the audio version read by Anita herself. I think you'll get the most out of it. Such profound spiritual teachings from this unassuming woman. I've listened to the last 2 CDs in the set over 30 times each. No joke. I LOVE Anita!

 

Proof of Heaven

Proof of Heaven Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, III, M.D. (neurosurgeon):
As a medical doctor specializing in brain surgery, before his experience, Dr. Alexander DID NOT believe in NDEs except as a possible "chemical dump" at a time of trauma to the brain. This is the story of what happened to him when his own brain shut down during a very severe and rare form of meningitis. Fascinating stuff!

 

Saved by the Light

Saved by the Light Saved by the Light by Dannion Brinkley and Paul Perry:
I haven't read this book myself but it comes highly recommended by many who are interested in this subject. It's on my "to-read" list.

 

 

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Reincarnation

The first book I ever read about reincarnation changed my mind about it completely. Before that, I had had some vague idea that I was being threatened with coming back as a slug next time around if I wasn't nice this time. That didn't hold any logic for me so I had dismissed the whole concept as implausible. However, as soon as I read "Many Lives, Many Masters", reincarnation made so much sense to me that I've never been able to go back to believing in us having only one life.

 

Children Who Remember Previous Lives

Children Who Remember Previous Lives Children Who Remember Previous Lives by Ian Stevenson, MD (psychiatrist):
In-depth study of cases of children who began to speak of their previous lives to their families. Stevenson investigated these cases and found some to appear to be true cases of memory seepage from past lives. He occasionally found that birth marks or birth defects correlated to something in the previous life's experience. His investigations took him to distant places to meet the families from the previous lives. Very interesting reading!

 

Many Lives, Many Masters

Many Lives, Many Masters Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss, MD (psychiatrist):
This is the book that turned my belief system on its head. He tells the story of how he was a very left-brain, scientific, medical psychiatrist and that, by hypnotizing a particularly desperate client, he came to believe in past lives (among other things). When I read it, I sensed Dr. Weiss' personal integrity but I believed it mostly because it explained many things in my own life that had not made sense out side of this framework.

 

New Age Short Stories

New Age Short Stories New Age Short Stories by Dick Sutphen:
Entertaining fiction stories written by Dick Sutphen, a big past life researcher who is well-known in the spiritual hypnosis world. Fun to read!

 

 

You Have Been Here Before

You Have Been Here Before You Have Been Here Before by Edith Fiore (psychologist):
Like Brian Weiss and Dick Sutphen, hypnosis is the tool that Ms. Fiore uses to access past lives. Fascinating stories of how the past lives of her clients were affecting their present lives, wreaking havoc and pain and explaining some things that seemed to have no reason within the present life time. What it comes down to is that releasing these memories (or fantasies if you prefer - belief is not required) often allows for very deep healing.

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