On this page, I offer a collection of favourite resources and books that I believe will help you show up fully to your imperfect and beautiful life. I read a lot and don’t update this frequently but hopefully, my list will feel helpful to you anyway.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases which means if you purchase a book or resource on Amazon through my referral link, I earn a tiny commission that helps me run this site. Of course, you may want to support your local shops or library instead. You’ll notice that on my sidebar I also keep a rotating list of a few books from my shelves or reading stack to offer ongoing reading inspiration.
Topical Resource Pages
I’ve pulled together posts, interviews, and other resources to help you grow and learn on the topics of mental health, happiness, embracing imperfection, learning that you are enough, and slow and seasonal living. You can access these pages here.
Personal Growth & Happiness (or novels)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: this cranky old man captured first my attention, then my heart in this story about relationships, loneliness, and learning to look beyond the surface of things.
Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett: Within the first two chapters had underlined and otherwise marked it up more than most books altogether. This is a book that gets you thinking and nodding along – full of wisdom and insight.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: This is not about making something “big” happen in our lives but about stepping out of fear and enjoying the process. Just doing that thing we want to do and holding the outcome loosely.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown: This was gifted to me many moons ago and oh, how I needed it. I think my whole life has been a journey to loving and accepting myself as is, all my broken and beautiful bits, and Brené speaks directly to the heart of this. Highly recommend.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: This is an oldie but goodie that I have kept on my shelves. I like the way Gretchen explores self-awareness and taking personal responsibility for her own happiness.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown: Let’s be honest; anything by Brené Brown is worth reading. Like Big Magic, this book was further inspiration to me to ditch comparison and just step out and offer my small gifts. Good stuff.
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton: I did not want to read this and when I finally gave in, it hurt me. It hit me in the gut and opened me up and made me sob. Our stories are not the same but I know the desire to escape. To disappear. The need to numb out because living is too hard. The awareness from a tender young age that I was not enough. Realizing as an adult that the only way to growth is through.
Glass Houses by Louise Penny: Pure pleasure. I love the interesting characters in Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series and I love that it is set in Québec, Canada. This is book #13; I urge you to go back and dive in from the beginning.
Purpose & Productivity
Purposeful Printable Pack $14: 11 worksheets purposefully designed to help inspire and support you in living a life of purpose, health, and joy. I keep this in my Life Management Binder and check in with them regularly to live with intention and because we progress in what we track!
I ALWAYS carry a small Moleskin notebook in my purse – to capture words, phrases, ideas, or to-do lists as I think of them.
I have bought a Taproot calendar for the past handful of years. The art changes each year and it makes me happy (not an affiliate link – it goes to the homepage since the old calendar is sold out).
Essentialism by Greg McKeown: I think this should be considered a classic in the realm of simple or purposeful living. Worth coming back to over and over again.
The One Thing by Gary Keller: I’m not interested in copying people or chasing all the shiny things and this book is yet another that helps me come back to what is MOST important and let go of the rest.
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin: This is the book that introduced me to Gretchen’s Four Tendencies – a simple model for determining how we respond to inner and outer expectations (very useful in life!).
Health & Wellness
Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty: The author interviews experts in neuroscience, psychology, biology, genetics, and sociology to explore how to show up to midlife and beyond with curiosity and joy.
The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal: My absolute favourite non-fiction book of 2016. Kelly challenges the idea that we have been sold, that all stress is bad. This book definitely shifted my stress mindset and I have been able to apply what I gleaned from Kelly to the work I do in classes and with clients.
Loving What Is by Byron Katie: This book came in a dark season of my life and helped me learn that I get to be the boss of my thoughts.
For years I’ve used these pads for my menu planning (I write my shopping list on the back).
The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover: I love books that encourage Seasonal Living (and I’m writing my own!). This is a gentle book that encourages you to reflect, eat seasonally, and move through the seasons awake and aware.
Show up Afraid $60: My self-guided course for messy humans ready to move through perfectionism, comparison, and fear to show up fully to their imperfect and beautiful lives. Take imperfect action. Loosen your grip. Enjoy the journey. Show up afraid.
Brain-Training For The Highly Sensitive Person, Techniques To Reduce Anxiety & Overwhelming Emotions: Julie Bjelland’s course for HSP’S.
52 Mondays: Seasonal Mindfulness Journals: This is a set of four journals – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Sessions are available. Each week offers you a reflection plus three prompts to help you “pause & consider” so you can show up fully – with joy and on purpose – to your imperfect and beautiful life. All proceeds of the winter journal go to establish an art scholarship in my son’s name.
Mind, Body & Vagus Nerve Summit: The Mind, Body & The Vagus Nerve Connection Summit will help you understand and address the root causes of low vagal tone, recognize symptoms of vagus nerve dysfunction, optimize gut-brain communication, address emotional trauma and chronic stress, improve relationships and strengthen vagus function with physical and mind-based approaches. All reasons not to miss The Mind, Body & Vagus Nerve Connection Summit, online and free from June 15-21, 2020!
Brain-Training for the Highly Sensitive Person: If you’ve identified that you’re an HSP and want to learn how to reduce anxiety and overwhelming emotion so you can live your best life, I recommend Julie Bjelland’s 8-week program.
Business or Voice & Vision
The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson: I’ve always loved learning about personality type, habit formation, WHY people operate the way they do. I’ve had fun with Myers Briggs and many other tests but finally dove into the Enneagram and am so glad I did.
The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness by Bari Tessler: When I was little, for pure pleasure, I’d pull out the Sears Catalogue and write out then add up columns of prices of all the stuff I imagined filling a house and life with. It was the math and building a home more than the stuff I cared about. I’ve always enjoyed discussing, reading about and managing our money. Two of my favourite bits of advice from this book are to create a Values-Based Spending Plan and to have regular, fun, money dates:) Sounds good to me.
Being Boss: Take Control of Your Work and Live Life on Your Own Terms by Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon: Not just a business book but a practical read for anyone wanting to live on purpose. Love it.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott: I’m actually surprised I don’t own this as I’ve read it twice and have plans to read it again. I love Anne’s honest, straightforward way of writing about life. She challenges me and makes me feel safe all at once.
In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney: a pretty, inspirational book for those wanting to show up and offer their creative work.
Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone: I love this book. It has great information about colour theory and branding. It’s pretty and genuinely useful when building an intentional business.
Fired Up & Focused by Racheal Cook. Racheal seems kind and practical – I learn something from each of her podcast episodes and her book is down to earth and full of valuable information for people wanting to end overwhelm and get clear on their most important tasks.
The 3 Word Rebellion by Dr. Michelle A. Mazur. I like that Michelle self-published this book but also I agree that a strong, compelling, 3-word rebellion can stop the scrolling and draw people to your work. I wouldn’t say I have this figured out for my own business necessarily, but it’s an idea worth pondering.
The Charge by Brenden Burchard. I decided to include this book because It was one that greatly inspired me 7 years ago when I was recovering from a difficult surgery and still studying, preparing for the work I do today. I took loads of notes from this book related to 10 things that drive us in work and life: control, competence, congruence, caring, connection, change, challenge, creative expression, contribution, and consciousness.
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller: I love story so this had massive appeal to me. The story brand method helps us drill down to the essential components of our message and learn how to articulate it to our ideal clients and customers. This framework helped me identify that from the get-go I’ve written about one main villain – fear – and how to show up though fear to build lives of purpose, health, and joy.
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