As the commercials for the profit-driven holidays are reminding us of the wonders of credit, not everyone does well during these times. Below are a few book title recommendations, with brief descriptions, for folks looking for respite in your mind, brain, heart, and body, and gifts for people we think might benefit from these ideas.
"If you change your brain, you can change your life. Great teachers like the Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, and Gandhi were all born with brains built essentially like anyone else's—and then they changed their brains in ways that changed the world. Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain, and more and more, we are learning that it's possible to strengthen positive brain states. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of mindfulness practice, you too can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom."
"Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world's foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers' capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust."
"Conceived at the crossroads of Buddhism and indigenous earth-based practice, The Shamanic Bones of Zen explores the deep human traditions of transformation that are made possible by meditation, ceremony, ritual, dreams, and spiritual connection to one's ancestry."
Your Healing is Killing Me by Virginia Grise
"Your Healing is Killing Me is a performance manifesto based on lessons learned in San Antonio free health clinics and New York acupuncture schools; from the treatments and consejos of curanderas, abortion doctors, Marxist artists, community health workers, and bourgie dermatologists. One artist's reflections on living with post-traumatic stress disorder, ansia, and eczema in the new age of trigger warnings, the master cleanse, and crowd-funded self-care. Capitalism is toxic but the Revolution is not in your body butter."
"Cancel or call-out culture is a fraught topic these days. Originating as a way for marginalized and disempowered people to address harm and take down powerful abusers, often with the help of social media, it is seen by some as having gone too far. In We Will Not Cancel Us, movement mediator adrienne maree brown reframes the discussion for us, in a way that points to possible paths beyond our impasse."