My fifth grade teacher intentionally removed all the covers from the classroom reading material, asking the class to embrace the expression, “Never judge a book by its cover”. The class was instructed to pick a page at random, read a paragraph, and then decide if you wanted to continue the story. This taught me at a young age to pay attention to what’s on the inside and to be curious past a first impression. I still use this method to pick out a new books. - LC

Stories & Reconnecting

Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

By: Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

"Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society's attempt to 'civilize' us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become overdomesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped."

In her now-classic book that spent 144 weeks on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, and is translated into 35 languages, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., shows how woman's vitality can be restored through what she calls "psychic archaeological digs" into the ruins of the female unconscious. Dr. Estés uses her families' ethnic tales, washed and rinsed in the blood of wars and survival, multicultural myths, her own lyric writing of those fairy tales, folk tales, and stories chosen from her life witness, and also research ongoing for twenty years… that help women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype.

Dr. Estés collects the bones of many stories, looking for the archetypal motifs that set a woman's inner life into motion. Her "La Loba" teaches about the transformative function of the psyche; in "Bluebeard," we learn what to do with wounds that will not heal; in her literary story "Skeleton Woman," we glimpse the mystical power of relationship and how dead feelings can be revived; "Vasalisa the Wise" brings our lost womanly instincts to the surface again; "The Handless Maiden" recovers the Wild Woman initiation rites; and "The Little Match Girl" warns against the insidious dangers of a life spent in fantasy. These and other stories focus on the many qualities of Wild Woman. With them, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand her, and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine.

In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., is an internationally known poet, post-trauma recovery specialist, senior training psychoanalyst [Jungian], and cantadora [keeper of the old stories] in her mestizo Latina tradition. Her doctorate is in ethno-clinical psychology / indigenous history from The Union Institute. She is an award-winning author both performance art and spoken word. 


Currently reading..

The Power of Sound

By: Joshua Leeds

What we hear, and how we process it, has a far greater impact on our daily living than we realize. From the womb to the moment we die we are surrounded by sound, and what we hear can either energize or deplete our nervous systems. It is no exaggeration to say that what goes into our ears can harm us or heal us. 

Joshua Leeds--a pioneer in the application of music for health, learning, and productivity--explains how sound can be a powerful ally. He explores chronic sensory overload and how auditory dysfunction often results in difficulties with learning and social interactions. He offers innovative techniques designed to invigorate auditory skills and provide balanced sonic environments. 

In this revised and updated edition of The Power of Sound, Leeds includes current research, extensive resources, analysis of the maturing field of soundwork and a look at the effect of sound on animals. He also provides a 75-minute CD of psycho­acoustically designed classical music for a direct experience of the effect of simplified sound on the nervous system. With new information on how to use music and sound for enhanced health and productivity, The Power of Sound provides readers with practical solutions for vital and sustained well-being.


Just finished..

The Art of Non - Conformity

By: Chris Guillebeau

If you've ever thought, "There must be more to life than this," The Art of Non-Conformity is for you.

Based on Chris Guillebeau's popular online manifesto "A Brief Guide to World Domination," The Art of Non-Conformity defies common assumptions about life and work while arming you with the tools to live differently. You'll discover how to live on your own terms by exploring creative self-employment, radical goal-setting, contrarian travel, and embracing life as a constant adventure.

Inspired and guided by Chris's own story and those of others who have pursued unconventional lives, you can devise your own plan for world domination-and make the world a better place at the same time.


Local Author

You Don't Have To Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism

by: Alida Nugent

“Feminist” is not a four-letter word, but Alida Nugent resisted it for a long time. She feared the “scarlet F” being thrust upon her for refusing to laugh at misogynistic jokes at parties; she withered under the judgmental gaze of store clerks when buying Plan B, and she swore that she was “not like other girls.” But eventually, like so many of us, she discovered that feminism is an empowering identity to take on. It’s okay to criticize beauty standards but still love dark lipstick, investing in female friendships is the most rewarding thing ever, and no woman should feel pressured to eat an “unseasoned chicken breast the size of a deck of playing cards” as every sad dinner for the rest of eternity.
 
With sincerity, intelligence, and wit, Nugent invites readers in to her most private moments of personal growth. From struggling with an eating disorder for most of her teen years to embracing all aspects of her biracial identity, she tackles tough topics with honest vulnerability making it a perfect gift for teens and young adults. Smartly-written, unapologetic, and laugh-out-loud funny, You Don’t Have to Like Me is perfect for readers of Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, and Sloane Crosley.


The Basics

Until we see the depth of the ignorance and delusion in our own mindstreams, we will not be able to understand the depth of the suffering of others, and in the same way, until we have entirely eliminated that ignorance and delusion, we will not have the skill to help others do the same.
— The Awakening Mind, Volume 4 - Geshe Tashi Tsering

The Awakening Mind, The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 4

by: Geshe Tashi Tsering

Bodhichitta, often translated as "great compassion," is the gem at the heart of Buddhism. From this altruistic desire to serve others, all other Buddhist practices naturally flow, therefore, this state of mind is one Buddhists should understand and cultivate. In The Awakening Mind, Geshe Tashi Tsering leads us through the two main methods to develop bodhichitta that have been developed by the great Indian and Tibetan Buddhists over the centuries: the seven points of cause and effect, and equalizing and exchanging the self with others.

This is the fourth release from Geshe Tashi's Foundation of Buddhist Thought series, which individually and collectively represent an excellent introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. These unique and friendly books are based on the curriculum of a popular course of the same name, developed by Geshe Tashi himself.

Geshe Tashi's presentations combine rigor and comprehensiveness with lucidity and accessibility, never divorced from the basic humanity and warmth of his personality. In Geshe Tashi, we encounter the new generation of Tibetan monk-scholars teaching in the West who are following in the footsteps of such revered and groundbreaking teachers as Geshe Wangyal and Geshe Sopa.

 

The Power of Now : A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

By: Eckhart Tolle

It's no wonder that The Power of Now has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 foreign languages. Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light. 

In the first chapter, Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, "the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death." 

Featuring a new preface by the author, this paperback shows that only after regaining awareness of Being, liberated from Mind and intensely in the Now, is there Enlightenment.

 

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story

by: Dan Harris

Winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Memoir

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.

After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.

We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice – that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It’s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it’s something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness.

10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

 

The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended

By: Ainslie MacLeod

Have you ever sensed that your life has a deeper, more meaningful purpose, but you don't know what it is? If so, you're not alone. To help you and the millions like you, psychic Ainslie MacLeod's spirit guides have given him a systematic approach to uncovering who you really are—and the life your soul has planned for. They call it The Instruction.

Now, for the first time, this unique teaching is offered as a step-by-step program for realizing personal fulfillment. The Instruction will take you through 10 doorways to unveil the life plan your soul created before you were even born, including:

  • Your Soul Age—Determining how it shapes your beliefs and behaviors

  • Your Soul Type—Are you a Hunter? Thinker? Creator? What your Soul Type reveals about your true self

  • Your Powers—Connecting fully and permanently with your spirit guides to create your destiny

  • Your Talents—Using your past lives to enhance the present

By taking you on a journey beyond this plane, Ainslie MacLeod uses a groundbreaking system to help you unlock the secrets of your soul's purpose, and illuminate the path of your life with The Instruction.


Breathwork

Holotropic Breathwork : A New Approach to Self-Exploration and Therapy

Authors: Stanislav Grof & Christina Grof

In this long awaited book, Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof describe their groundbreaking new form of self-exploration and psychotherapy: Holotropic Breathwork. Holotropic means ‘moving toward wholeness,’ from the Greek holos ( whole) and trepein (moving in the direction of). The breathwork utilizes the remarkable healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. These states engender a rich array of experiences with unique healing potential—reliving childhood memories, infancy, birth and prenatal life, and elements from the historical and archetypal realms of the collective unconscious. Induced by very simple means—a combination of accelerated breathing, evocative music, and bodywork in a safe and supportive setting, Holotropic Breathwork integrates the insights from modern consciousness research, depth psychology, transpersonal psychology, anthropology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions. The Grofs’ work with holotropic states of consciousness has introduced revolutionary changes to psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy. Written in a clear, easily understandable style, this indispensable book summarizes their remarkable insights.

Stanislav Grof, MD, is a psychiatrist who teaches at California Institute of Integral Studies and is the founder of the International Transpersonal Association. He is the author and editor of many books, including Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research; The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness; Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy; and Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science, all published by SUNY Press.

Christina Grof, PhDhc, is cocreator of Holotropic Breathwork, founder of the Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN), and the author of many books, including Beyond Death: The Gates of Consciousness; Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis; The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth through Transformational Crisis (all with Stanislav Grof), and The Thirst for Wholeness: Attachment, Addiction, and the Spirit. They reside in Mill Valley, California.