Some of my favourite books
Today I want to share with you some of the books I’ve been reading about relationships, healing and intimacy.
Sex and Desire:
"The Heart of Desire. Keys to the Pleasures of Love." By Stella Resnick, PhD. 2012. Fantastic book for couples who’ve been together a while and wonder where did the passion and desire go; and most importantly what can we do about it.
"Love Worth Making. How to have ridiculously great sex in a long-lasting relationship." Stephen Snyder. M.D. Ignore the cheesy title. This book is about refreshing approach to sex in long-term relationships. It’s not about positions or performance, it’s very real. Life is difficult, says Dr Snyder, sex should be easy.
"Sexual intelligence. What we really want from sex and how to get it." by Marty Klein, Ph.D. Oh what an interesting read. Challenging. Marty is not afraid to get real with the readers. This book is all about redefining sex - and figuring out how to have very enjoyable and connected sex through your lifetime - once the high of a honey moon stage wears off, once you are no longer 18. How do we approach sex and aging, changing bodies, long term relationships? We want closeness, we want pleasure - all of us do. How come then in sex we are so worried about performance, and do more thinking and worrying and judging, than actually enjoying the experience.
"Good Sex. Getting off without checking out." Jessica Graham. Sex and mindfulness. Sex and spiritual awakening. Sex and awareness. Sex without separation. I knew I was going to love this book the moment I opened it. Very personal and real. This book is eye-opening to see what is possible in sex when we are present. If you find yourself feeling disconnected during sex, if you hope there’s more to intimacy, I highly recommend it. If you have (or want to have) a meditation practice, I think you’ll find this book delightful, like I did. If you want a spiritual approach to sex, but you are not into meditation or mindfulness, read "Woman on Fire" by Amy Jo Goddard. Marty Klein defines Sexual intelligence as information + emotional skills + body awareness. Jessica's book is perfect for exploring emotional intelligence and body awareness practices from a meditator's perspective.
"Better sex through mindfulness. How women can cultivate desire." by Lori A. Brotto, PhD. We need a lot more books like this. There’s a lot of information and many practices that gives hope to women who experience low desire, pain during sex, get easily stuck in their thoughts and don’t know how to change it. It shifts from purely medical approach to a mindful body- mind- emotions integrative approach, suggesting that usually if a woman experience difficulties in bed, giving her a pill is probably not the solution. This book is based on solid research that proves what Neo-Tantric people were saying all along: if you want better sex, work on developing on presence, awareness, intention, and sensory focus (non-judgmental focus on all the 5 senses as well as sensations and feelings and thoughts that arise in the moment). Neo Tantra goes a lot further and hopefully western medicine and psychology can catch up soon. While Jessica Graham (see above), offers personal insights, Lori Brotto offers scientific research that backs it up. Both books are filled with practices.
"Your resonant self. Guided meditations and exercises to engage your brain’s capacity for healing." by Sarah Peyton. I knew I needed to have this book the moment I’ve read “The inner voice can be a flow of emotional warmth” in the first few pages. Learning to turn inwards with warmth, care and generosity that we usually reserve for others. What a beautiful concept - self-warmth. I’m in love with this book and want everyone to read it. It’s a very powerful and beautiful path to healing.
"Heal pelvic pain. A proven stretching, strengthening and nutrition program for relieving pain, incontinence, IBS, and other symptoms without surgery." By Amy Stein, M.P.T. Wonderful little book, highly recommended for everyone dealing with pelvic floor disorders or sexual dysfunctions. Working with a pelvic floor physio therapist is best, it’s essential to get a proper diagnosis. But while you are looking for a specialist, for prevention, better understanding of what’s going on, and for better way you can support your health, this book is the best. Healthy pelvic floor is so important to our wellbeing, healthy aging and intimacy. I’m very excited about this book and will recommend it to many clients.
"Healing through Yoga. Transform loss into empowerment." By Paul Denniston, founder of Grief Yoga. I loved this book. I love yoga, but I’m very particular about teachers and books and this one I highly highly recommend. It’s filed with kindness, and wisdom and it offers gentle support to those who are struggling with loss, grief, anger, heartbreak, unprocessed or suppressed emotions. “When I’m lonely and sad and longing for the past, I will nurture my heart and connect to that beautiful vulnerability within”. “Your grief doesn’t get smaller, you just grow bigger. Allow your heart to grow”. I cried reading this book, but I could feel what it offers - a pathway to hope, connection and light. https://griefyoga.com/
"It takes one to tango. How I rescued my marriage with (almost) no help from my spouse - and how you can, too." By Winnifred M Reilly. This book is wise and full of wisdom, but make no mistake it’s about hard work. She’s real and she’s been there - through her 40 years of marriage and almost as many years as a therapist. What does it really take to have a happy marriage? It takes one person - just one - to make a choice. If that person is you, you’ll find this book very valuable. Trying to change the other partner is a complete waste of time. It’ll take a lot of work, will feel hopeless at time, but it’s through this work you’ll grow as a person. If you are choosing this partner, this marriage, then it’s your job to figure out how to live a happy and satisfying life with this person, and how to live in a way that makes you feel whole and alive.
"What happened to you. Conversations on trauma, resilience, and healing. " by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey. It's a wonderful, profound, amazing book. It’s not an easy read. It’s probably one of the best books on trauma out here, that explains very clearly what scientists now understand about neuroscience and brain development and connection to trauma. Resilience. Nervous system. This book is also full of real people's stories that are relatable and heart breaking and inspiring all at the same time. It explain what happens and why we are the way we are, and it gives people hope. If you had trauma in your life, you are not crazy, and it’s not hopeless. You are also not alone. Help is available. Understanding is available. Kindness is available! Please make sure you have support you need while reading this book.
"It didn’t start with you. How inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end the cycle." By Mark Wolynn. I’ve read this book in the bath and I cried and cried and then I asked the water to carry away the grief and sadness and struggle and pain. I think it’s an important book to read, but I’d say to make sure you have a practitioner or a friend who can support you through it. If you’ve dealt with a lot of trauma in your life, be gentle with yourself. It’s a book about multigenerational trauma, and it shows a path to connect with your family history in a wholesome and beautiful and loving way. It’s a path of healing.
"Younger next year. Love strong, fit, sexy, and smart - until you are 80 and beyond." By Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD. Wonderful, inspiring, informative and fun book for people in mid life wanting to stay healthy and strong in the last third (or half) of their life. I’ll be 50 soon and I’m paying attention. Chris Crowley was 70 years old at the time of writing, and 88 now and I want to have just as that much energy and enthusiasm for life as he does when I'm that age.
What have you been reading? What do you recommend?