Books & Audiobooks: Anxiety & Grief Edition
Mmmmmmm what a sexy topic we are about to talk about...
I cringe reading and typing those words while simultaneously feeling a pit in my stomach and a lump in my throat. It's not comfortable to talk about, think about, read about, live through... but ignoring these emotions and feelings don't work for us either.
Oliver's sudden passing has rocked me deep, deep, deep, and since March I have been actively working on feeling better, feeling happier, feeling capable, strong, powerful, worthy, light, calm, balanced... Every day is different and every day I have to start fresh.
Since April I have been going to cognitive + yoga therapy and reading books nonstop. I've always been into self-help stuff, metaphysical stuff, spiritual stuff, and true life stories; all really fun things to read about but lately I have felt the need for some..."rewiring" if you will... something a little deeper and more complex, but helpful, for my brain.
Now...don't click outta this post yet! Or just scroll down to the bottom to see the books/audiobooks I'm talking about if you're tired of my typing...do what you want, boo...
I'll elaborate more on this "rewiring" down the road when the time is right, but for now I want to touch on the basics of what's been helping me heal, think clearer, return to center, and get out of my own fucking way.
We all have blocks, fears, anxieties, overactive minds, hurt hearts, souls we have protected and built walls around creating more of a stress on us everyday... We are complicated human beings! We can get lost in our thoughts that, as I have deeply come to learn and understand, are just our imagination basically... getting us into trouble internally... and sometimes it feels like these thoughts are FACTS. Did you know your thoughts are indeed NOT facts? If that got you thinking/questioning, you are going to really enjoy these books:
1. Clarity by Jamie Smart
First and foremost, if you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, stress, hopelessness, loneliness, fear, ANY emotion that is negative (and, if you're a human being reading this right now, ya do suffer from these, it's natural) this audiobook is for YOU. This is where I started the healing of my heart and mind. Chris has been urging me to listen to this book for YEARS and stubbornly I didn't. I had a big panic attack back in the Spring after Oliver's death (two actually but the 2nd one is the one that was ready for change...) and Chris brought his audiobook up again, swearing and promising it will help me more than I can even imagine. He was so right and now I'm here to tell you if you need help controlling your ever changing, talking, annoying thoughts, this audiobook will calm you down and start to rewire the way you think in a safe, loving, easy to listen to way. Sometimes when I'm feeling anxious at night I fall asleep listening to Clarity. Sometimes when I just want to get outside and walk without music, I listen to Clarity. Clarity can seem a little woo-woo if you're not used to going inward and doing this internal work, but if you give it a shot and you're ready for a change and you're OPEN, what do you have to lose?
2. The Alchemist
Chris, again, pushed me to read this book, but this time it was at the beginning of our relationship 6 years ago. I read it, loved it, and then didn't touched it again till this year. The Alchemist is a fable that offers hope, passion, love, trust, faith, endurance, and so much more. Everyone takes away their own meaning behind this book which makes it beautiful. I can read it, Chris can read it, my mom and dad can read it, and we will all connect with it in totally different ways, apply it to our lives how it seems fit, and finish the book with the same sense of purpose, peace, and love. I once wrote in a moment of clarity (that audiobook is the real deal, clarity is real) that, "You cannot give someone The Alchemist and expect them NOT to like it. It's the complete example of God talking to us. It stirs something in EVERYONE who reads it and it's rare that you could give the same book to every person you know, and you KNOW they'll like it. Beautiful." It's the truth. Try it if you're searching for something.
3. The Untethered Soul
Now...this book...has been one of the most challenging ones for me to read and get through. I'm about 2 chapters shy of the end as of today and I have to read maybe a chapter at a time. It's heavy. It's deep. It has helped me TREMENDOUSLY in my fears (which I have found I used to be, and still am, a pretty fearful person which is so exhausting). The Untethered Soul is very powerful and can make you feel uneasy. You start to understand that your thoughts and who you are might not be who you are...wtf right? I read this book in the mornings or afternoon because at night time it keeps my head spinning and awake. It connects with you in a DEEP eye opening level that you have to be ready for while offering guidance, wisdom, love all in return. This is a book you can read once through and refer back to it when life gets hard again down the road. Or you need a refresher in trusting yourself in the highest level.
And lastly, I've been reading the Bible every morning. I downloaded The Bible app (I mean it doesn't get much easier than that!) and I use it for these devotional courses they have. They have a devotional course for EVERYTHIIIIING and it's become my routine every morning; I feed Butters breakfast and then sit in our big chair for about 20/30 minutes reading that days devotional message.
Death, fear, anxiety, panic attacks, swirling thoughts, they are heavy to digest and figure out and gain peace with. Like I said, this is a daily practice I am doing and we all should be doing, but when a panic attack starts to come on I know now how to calm it... when my thoughts start to swirl and make me scared or anxious, I know now how to come back to the present, and when I think of Oliver's death or anyone who dies or loses someone, I know now that it's absolutely, 100% ok to be sad, angry, depressed, lonely, helpless, grieve and at the same time still feel love for things. The biggest take away from all these suggestions I have had is to lean into LOVE. When we feel scared, helpless, angry...lean into LOVE and learn what that means and practice it when you become aware.