Bibliotherapy

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Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.—John Green

When I crave energy, a sense of connection, or the feeling of being grounded, I turn to books. If I long to escape, I browse the shelves of a bookstore.

Last week I hit three bookstores within 48 hours.

For years books have been my respite. Some love wine, live music, or favorite TV shows. Give me a book and cuppa tea and I’ve entered into a new dimension.

Despite putting myself on book-buying moratoriums multiple times over the years, I struggle with curbing my habit. My tiny home overflows with books. They are stuffed into corners and shelves, and stacked high on most surfaces. Each one holds a promise—new insights, a 10-step plan, getting lost in her adventure.

According to an article on Goodtherapy.org, “Bibliotherapy is a therapeutic approach that uses literature to support good mental health, is a versatile and cost-effective treatment option often adapted or used to supplement other types of therapy.”

Who knew it’s actually a thing?! For the past few years I’ve recommended numerous books to my clients and was somehow practicing “bibliotherapy.” I called it “offering resources,” but, hey, I like the fancy word better.

One of my favorite authors, Anais Nin, wrote, “You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

That’s the power of a book.

As we navigate through this challenging time and enter into the bustling holiday season, I picture myself spending lots of time curled up with a book (as evidenced on Instagram), cuppa tea, and two pugs.

What provides respite for you? Maybe it’s baking, getting away, taking a nap, binging on Netflix, calling a good friend, being part of a spiritual community.

Whatever it is, bask in it right now because the world needs you to return fully engaged and awake to do what you’re called to do—raising your family with attention, volunteering, sharing your voice, making a difference through your daily actions.

And sometimes this all begins with a good book. Bisous. x

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