a few weeks back i was in ojai sitting on a blanket outside, next to this small running creek in the mountains, birds chirping, the perfect breeze, dappled sun coming through the trees (does it sound like a disney movie yet? because it felt like one!) i thought to myself…”man, has the world always been like this?” the word “awakening” has never really resonated with me…well mostly because i wasn’t at that point in my life and i thought the word sounded kinda cheesy. but in the past year, with a LOT of soul searching, reading, listening, learning, therapy, exploration…i have found a peace that i have never felt before. i do feel like the sun shines differently, and that i can find a sense of calm where i used to experience fear. i have started to understand mindfulness and have learned tools that i am sure will change my life forever. i really wanted to make a post of the resources i have been using and get your feedback if you have suggestions too! i still love this platform very much for this reason.

i also have this LONG post about my journey to self love right here. sorry if i repeat myself some, this is all new to me!

about two years ago i started EMDR therapy (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) it’s supposed to help alleviate the distress associated with trauma. i have some significant emotional and sexual childhood trauma that has followed me into my adult years and caused me to form bad patterns that would worsen my anxiety. i felt like i was stuck in a loop of pain. while work has always been my safe space, my outlet, my comfort…i needed to shift and put more focus on ME. who i am. why i didn’t love myself. why i was stuck in this fearful state of anxiety. after a pretty dark depression last year, my weekly therapy appointments and a few other things led me to a state of happiness. so here are some of those…



the power of now: eckhart tolle is a BIG one for me. i was just thinking about how grateful i am that i read his books before my wedding, because i felt like he taught me how to be fully present. i felt absolutely no stress (which is nuts for me) the whole wedding week. i highly recommend listening to this series on oprah’s super soul conversations podcast. it’s a 10 week series that i would just listen to anytime i was in my car and it was AMAZING for me. he seriously opened my eyes, taught me mindfulness, i am forever grateful.

the road less traveled: joanie and i both just finished this and i see such a shift in the way we handle life situations and stress. i keep looking at her thinking, wait are YOU different? or am i? we both are shifting and it’s really amazing to experience it together. i hope more and more people become more conscious and aware of themselves. we all have so much potential!!

the empath’s survival guide, life strategies for sensitive people: ok WOWOWOW. every word of this book resonated with me. i never really knew what an empath was. i was turned on to the idea of the “highly sensitive person” a few years ago and thought it sounded similar, but once i did more research on empaths i knew immediately i was in the right spot. i have always been realllly sensitive to people’s energy, moods, physical symptoms, light, noise, feelings etc. this definitely has it’s perks and it’s downsides. i feel like i could really use this skill for good, maybe helping children with trauma somehow has been on my mind a lot lately. but it also can bring a lot of distress if you don’t know how to manage it properly with boundaries. people tend to dump their feelings on me and i would take on a lot emotionally. this book taught me ALL about this and gave me coping mechanisms. a lot of empaths have narcissistic parents or abuse in their childhood that makes us more susceptible to catering to other’s needs and “people pleasing.” if this sounds like you, definitely check out this book!

the gifts of imperfection: it feels like brene brown is really having a moment right now (new netflix series) but as she SHOULD. she’s candid, easy to understand and likable. she teaches you to lean into vulnerability and helps you overcome a lot of those really tough feelings of shame we all carry. brene sent me down a path of huge growth a few years ago and continues to do so. try listening to her on the goop podcast too!

rising strong – another brene book! i must have highlighted every three pages. this book helped me grow in a way that i could easily understand. it helped me to see my emotional triggers more clearly.

inward – i love following yung pueblo on instagram and his book is great for moments of meditation.

also, speaking of instagram. it’s a place of mixed emotions. but you gotta mute all the stuff that makes you feel bad! replace with healthier accounts. things that help you learn, help you grow, make you happy and inspired. it doesn’t have to be a bad place to spend time. the holistic phycologist is a really beautiful account that breaks down these topics very clearly. i just recently started following and i love it! let me know if you have others like this!

attached – i am very much a believer in attachment theory. i remember when i first read about “anxious attachment” and where it stems from, i had never felt more understood. this book helps me see co-dependency for what it is. fear and control.

speaking of attachment theory, this podcast with bruce muzik helped open my eyes a lot to the feelings i was having and helped my relationship move more into a secure functioning place.

aaaand one more on this! recently listened to this podcast from couples therapist stan tatkin. triggers that hold us back from love and growth. all good stuff. i just started his book We Do also, love it so far.

in defense of food – a big shift in my anxiety happened because of my diet and i cannot deny that. reducing the amount of sugar/alcohol/dairy/carbs/processed food made a massive difference in my mood. it was difficult for a while, but after 4 months it has become second nature to eat clean food. i still treat myself to my cravings but with a lot more intention. i don’t find myself eating to numb out anymore, and michael pollan definitely helped drive that home for me. if you like listening, try his goop podcast interview!

co-dependent no more – i’ve read this one twice and it’s just so spot on. learning to let go of guilt, fear, people pleasing and create healthy boundaries was such a big one for me. i used to be one of those people who felt extremely uncomfortable by myself, with my own thoughts. now i really look forward to my alone time and have figured out the balance a lot more. so freeing!

conscious loving – a lot of people have asked…how is it being in a relationship when you have trauma or anxiety. and just like most relationships…it’s a lot of work and communication. the key for me was finding a partner who was open to learning my triggers and who had the desire to make me feel safe. i read this book before we got married and really enjoyed it’s perspective. it would be great to read as a couple!

also cannabis. i know, it’s controversial (well, not in california) but it’s moving quickly towards being widely accepted. i experimented with it a little here and there in my early 20’s, laughing and eating cereal on the couch, ya know. but once i got my medical card for it in my late 20’s i started to really track what was helping my anxiety and mood. this is something i use mostly at night to unwind (way better for me than wine). now with the little vape pens you can really control the amount you have and not feel as nervous if you are new to it. a brand i really like is kiva confections. these espresso beans (you can just take a little bite if you want to try) they make me feel really calm, relaxed, positive, happy. also try CBD for anxiety! i am excited to see this industry open up natural healing to more people.

lastly THIS POST has a lot more detail about daily practices i’ve been incorporating into my life that have helped me a ton.

ok! that’s enough for now! but i would LOVE to hear your helpful resources, and follow up with me if you read any of these. let’s have a little book club on here! here’s to becoming our best selves and healing our bodies and minds. it’s only the beginning of my journey and i am so excited. we ALL deserve joy and happiness, and i hope this helps you too. xx bri


Add your own

    Emily says:

    If you liked Attached, check out Stan Tatkin’s Wired for Love. Attached is great but mostly focuses on anxious attachment (bc, let’s be real, who is picking up a self help book other than the anxiously attached!) but wired for love focuses on avoidant attachment equally and is just a lovely book to read at the beginning of a marriage!

    bri says:

    yes!! i recently listened to stan and then started his book! totally forgot to add, thanks for the reminder. i like his style for sure!

    Kristen Jansson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! You’ve done all the hard work, I hope you are proud of yourself. Question for you: if you could give advice to your younger self during that trauma, what would you suggest? Would you have been open at the time to all of this healing, being that the trauma was so recent? My point is, I’ve got a nephew who’s right at the cusp of turmoil… so how does an outsider help a young person during that time? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Lynnae says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. This kind of information is invaluable to me. I too am on a journey to betterment and hope to be where you are in a year. I am finding a lot of your recos so useful and eye opening. These materials, in addition to my personal therapy and meditation, have helped so much. Please never stop sharing about this, the world needs more people like you who are open. 🙂

    Lei says:

    Thank you for all these resources, Bri! And again, congratulations on your journey and your marriage!

    I totally resonate with your comment about Instagram not having to be a negative place. At the end of 2018 I unfollowed a lot of accounts, muted some more accounts that would cause an awkward situation if I unfollowed, and then followed a bunch of positive accounts. For me, it has been body positive accounts that promote Health At Every Size (HAES), intuitive eating, and body respect. I’ve struggled with my weight and my self-image since I was 10, but about 6 months ago (at age 28) I decided to try to stop hating my body and not obsessively control it. I’m still on my journey, but having those positive accounts in my feed really helps.

    OMG sooooo amazing you awe the best unicorn ever! i’ve follow your journey forever ago, life color goals and happy vibes but like anybody we all have our own struggles thank you so much for opening your heart to us and walk us trough , so admiring and mind blowing you had time to even gives us a like description of each book and now my todo list, I had recently life changing situation the last year and having a hard time coping with it because we gotta keep a awesome happy smile for the sake of our brand to keep up business but inside its really difficult! thank you soooo much beyond blessed to scroll through this positive you are ever in maui come say hi! will take you to a local of the beaten path adventure, Clapping and cheering for you from far through all your wedding day for updates sooo awesome you had the wedding of your dreams and of course all things pink and what a rad and creative way!. Thank you for keeping the light of inspiration in this world, for all boss babes!. Love!. Angie

    Kate says:

    Bri, so happy to see you on this path and congratulations on the marriage. I am a big fan of EMDR. I think I sent this to you earlier on Insta, but I highly recommend anyone who has gone through trauma to consider Somatic Experiencing Psychotherapy and reading the books:
    Waking the Tiger by Dr Peter Levine
    The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk.

    It changed my complete understanding of PTSD and the SE made the hugest difference. It all suddenly made sense. Trauma is a hijacking of the nervous system and as such, our whole nervous system should be treated. And just like our muscles have memories, so too does our nervous system. Sadly most medical systems are behind on this.

    Other helpful things: Kava (the root part – not Fiji hallucinogenic drink – get it from a naturopath) has been very helpful for me when I have hit a full fight or flight response. Massage on the iliopsoas group of muscles is also good to (did you know they are the muscles in our legs and hips that help us get ready to fight or flight? Makes sense they can tighten after long periods of activation – but this then also send signals of alert to the rest of our body that the body is still in survival mode). Acupuncture for sleep. Putting boundaries in place to protect me from triggers also helped me feel safe- and thus my body had a chance to recover.

    Thank you for sharing xx And thank you for helping me and providing a shining light when I was going through my trauma seven years ago. Your page was my daily reprieve from the hell I was going through. And coming to your course in San Fran was the start of an epic travel journey for me. I will always be grateful. I wish I had shared more of what I knew then (knowing now you were going through this), but information has a way of coming to us at the right time. We each have our journey – wish you all the best for the next part of it too xx

    Andrea says:

    i have read and loved your blog for years and today I find myself more connected to you than ever.
    As a kid of a very abusive home I can relate to you and your healing path (all the books and therapies, so familiar).
    I recently finished How to change your mind from Michael Pollan and it was eye opening. Go in open minded!

    Dana says:

    Remember just because your married now everything will b fixed perfect marriage does not change everything that ever happened marriage adds new source of stability support comfort happiness ect I want to read to jakes new book 📚 I’m sorry I got put thru stuff like that

    Kaylie says:

    Thank you so much, Bri!

    I’ve been looking for new ways to supplement my current self-care cocktail of therapy/meds/yoga/dogs and this is a great reading list.

    Going to get these asap for summer reading!

    Andrew says:

    Almost everyone faces some form of stress at some point in their lives. It is not a fun thing to deal with and can make it difficult to get things done. The good news is that there are ways to deal with it and avoid stress. I wrote essay about it with the help of https://bestessayseducation.com/ service.

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