One essential part of my self-care practice is gifting myself. Periodically, I’ll treat myself to a little something that makes my eyes sparkle—a form of desire hunting.
I do this for myself for two reasons. . .
(1) It’s a small (but mighty!) acknowledgment of my desires.
(2) It’s a simple gesture of taking care of myself.
When I feel taken care of, I show up better in my world. I show up better to my work, to my relationships, & to the connection I have with my body & senses.
Actually, one of the assignments I frequently prescribe my clients is the gesture of doing something nice for themselves, something seemingly frivolous that they wouldn’t have done otherwise. Sometimes that’ll look like taking a long, hot bubble bath or buying a piece of jewelry they spotted on their way home.
The importance isn’t in what they gift themselves necessarily, it’s in the intention behind it.
I’d like to invite you to gift yourself.
Below, I’ve listed 9 of my favorite books (+ one not-book) that I read this year. And at the end, I’d like to suggest that you gift yourself one of them.
Because you’re awesome. Because you’re beautiful. Because you survived a challenging, intense year. Because you love yourself. Because you deserve a little something-something.
// Sex & Sexuality
If you want to begin (or continue on) your sexual liberation journey. . . Treat yourself to Women’s Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston. You’ll learn about your glorious clitoral erectile network & how your arousal works; you’ll learn the importance of having a sexual relationship with yourself first & foremost; & you’ll learn how to communicate your desires to your lovers (there’s even sections that give sex tips to clueless guys). A must read.
If you want to titillate your erotic senses. . . Hunker down for an evening & read some juicy erotica. My favorite is Anaïs Nin’s Delta of Venus, but Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden is also sinfully delightful. Light some candles. Cosy into a warm blanket. Put on some sultry music (maybe FKA Twigs’ Kicks). Let your mind wander.
If you want to play around with the sacred side of sexual release. . . Gift yourself a Chakrub. It’s not a book, but it’s quite the gift of love. I’ve gushed at great length about these amazing pure crystal sex toys, & have recently given my clients the Sacral model as a gift to their own incredible work toward sexual liberation. (Psst! Use the code ‘SLL10′ at checkout to get 10% off your purchase.)
// Love & Relationships
If you want to uncover a kind, loving relationship with yourself. . . Pick up Marion Woodman’s Coming Home to Myself. Part poetic, part sage wisdom. Lots of poignant passages that’ll likely be your new mantras.
If you want to explore spiritual intimacy with your male partner. . . Read Dear Lover by David Deida. Each short chapter is written as if they were a collection of letters from a man to his lover, & I couldn’t get through one without bursting into tears. It’s sentences like these that fill me with longing & pleasure: “I want to drink your love & dive into your heart & take you open to God.” Yes, please.
If you want to expand the idea of love within all areas of your life. . . The Mastery of Love will crack you wide open. Give it a read if you want to come back to a cleaner, freeing, playful expression of love—love of your body, love of the people around you, love of yourself.
// Liberation & Self-Discovery
If you desire to unearth your deepest, wildest feminine wisdom. . . You must read Women Who Run With the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. If you’ve been looking for your inner Wild Woman; if you’ve been craving to reclaim a sense of deep inner knowing; if you respect the origins of a good myth, this book is for you.
If you want to learn some secret, ages-old, feminine-centered knowledge. . . Treat yourself to The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets. Did you know that the original meaning of the word ‘witch’ is ‘wise woman’? Did you know that the word ‘bitch’ was one of the most sacred titles of the Goddess Artemis? Did you know that the left side of the body, in terms of myth, is considered feminine? I knew none of this until I cracked open this book.
If you are a woman of color & want your soul to be stirred by gorgeous, tender, & feminist poetry. . . Get Nayyirah Waheed’s poety book, salt. This book has changed me forever.
Listen to this:
you do not have boundaries.
on your inability
they take no
return it to your mouth.
— swim | women of color
/ / /
There’s a lot of hidden empowerment within the act of indulging yourself. It’s a beautiful expression of self-love.
So, which one of these books will you gift yourself? Send me a tweet & let me know.