My Top 5 Current Favorite Growth Books

My Top 5 Current Favorite Growth Books
I have GROWN so much in the past year -- physically stronger and truly healthy (nope, I wasn't really that physically healthy before, though to most in our culture I would have looked it), emotionally more stable and empowered, mentally fitter and challenged, relationally in connecting with others, and more grounded in who I am and my God-given purpose.

Much of this growth has been through being challenged by mentors in relationship (a HUGE perk of our wellness team. I would have never met these amazing people who encourage and spur me on were it not for this journey over the past 3 years!), but a lot of my own growth has been having the space in life to READ again. Of course I read and was reading the Bible, but I used to read a ton during high school, both personal development books but also fiction. College left me with only time to read assigned textbooks and such, and after college I found myself super overwhelmed figuring out my career and reading got put on the back burner.

One blessing from this pandemic season has been getting back to reading! It's been so healthy and transformative for me. So without further ado, my top 5 recommendations for personal development and growth:

1. Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf -- Mindset and emotions work. SO powerful. She talks about retraining our brains, as our brains are a muscle and SUPER adaptable just like other muscles and parts of our bodies. I gift this book to people who join my Empowering Emotions/Managing Mindset Challenge (contact me for more info!).

2. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell -- I've learned a lot about the skill and art of relating to people recently from this book. It really IS something we can get better at and learn how to do (it's not just something some people are born good at and others aren't). I'm in a Tuesday morning book club right now going through this one and LOVING it!

3. Sensing the Rhythm by Mandy Harvey (70% off on Amazon as I write this!!) -- A memoir type book following Mandy's story of losing her hearing but still going on to be a singer/songwriter, her spiritual and growth-driven perspective isn't just inspiring, but motivating. I see SO much of my own story in hers (my journey through TMJD to the other side and the unexpected blessings from pain).

4. The Superior Ningxia Wolfberry by Hugo Rodier -- I just HAD to learn more about why I am feeling so much better and my body is doing so much better now than I was a couple years ago. This little book was a goldmine. And if you'd like to start this wellness journey with me and join our natural wellness community, I'm happy to give you this one for free. Ask me for more details if you're interested.

5. The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron -- This book started our (my and Gabe's) journey to understanding ourselves better, so much better, in the context of relationships with others and with God. We are SO grateful for reading this book first, but also being able to dive deeper in learning about ourselves through some amazing friends/mentors. If you're interested in learning more about yourself via the Enneagram or coaching opportunities with my friend Kristi, you can check it out here.



There you have it! What are your favorite books that have led to growth and personal development?




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Enneagram -- My Thoughts as a Type Four

Enneagram Type 4 wing 3
(graphic credit to @justmyenneatype)
I never would have thought a few years ago that I would resonate so much with type 4. As I learn more about each type, I think, 'How am I a 4? Really? 4s are SO emotive.'
I grew up thinking that emotions were too big and too much for me and for others. Somehow I got the message that if I felt sad or frustrated or extremely passionate, that wasn't necessarily a good thing. My big feelings often turned people off. I often felt like I came across as "too much" to other people. So I shut them down (at least the ones I deemed unhelpful by others' standards), and I toned down the big emotions that were more "acceptable."
I'm learning now, that's really not helpful.
If someone doesn't like me for who I really am... then why am I trying to change to fit their ever-changing expectation of who I'm supposed to be?
How does that help the people I desire to serve well?
What does that show children -- that we shouldn't be who God has made us to be? That God made us somehow "wrong" and we have to change to fit others' molded expectations? That depending who we are around we ourselves have to change?
How does that give me the energy and drive to do my jobs well?
It doesn't.
I am learning to embrace who God has truly made me to be, to serve others from who I am at my core, to share my story with others in hopes that those who need it will hear it, to be God's light to others by being who I truly am, not a facade of someone I think I'm supposed to be.
I am embracing and leaning into my type 4-ness, big-imagination tendencies, my feelings and ability to empathize, my ability to relate and cheer someone on through something I've already been through... and learning to harness this for good and growth rather than use my big imagination to worry.
The people who need to hear my story will hear it and feel connected and loved and served... exactly my desire. ❤
And the people who don't? Oh well! Maybe it will mean a less close relationship or distancing of sorts. Maybe it will change nothing and we'll still be good friends! Maybe it will improve some relationships! But are any of those really truly bad things? If someone cannot accept me for who I actually am -- bumps and bruises, successes and failures, feelings and big thoughts and dreams, growth and mistakes, desires to change or stay the same and all -- how close are they REALLY? How much am I really caring for others if I'm not fully myself?
Just some thoughts. Love you guys! REALLY. I mean that.