Looking for Something to Read this Summer?

Most of us who are avid readers usually cart around more than one book­­ something light, possibly something related to work or sometimes a self-help book. I'm getting so I dislike the term self-help when coupled with a book. People sometimes look at you strangely when you say you're reading a book on self-help. "Oh, really" they say, end of conversation. You can almost see the wheels turning, "what's the matter with her?" they're thinking.

I have to confess I did that very thing myself here not too long ago. I'd been with a group of friends at a social gathering when someone I didn't know introduced himself and struck up a conversation. It became very apparent early in the conversation that this person was very lonely. I did my best to lend a sympathetic ear but the more we talked the worse it became. When he said he was reading a particular book, self-help in nature, I was not terribly interested. I guess so many people then use that as a way to open up. To open up and dump on the other person is something any good self-help book would tell you not to do. Anyway, I wasn't offended but I did want to tell this person, "keep reading but read something else!"

Maybe some genius-type person could come up with a new name or classification for these books that tell us what to do with our lives and bodies. Garbage men have become waste management specialists, housekeepers have become environmental management specialists and technicians, the telephone sales people have become telemarketers. Why not something with a little less of the 70s sound to it for self-help material? Got any ideas?

Helping others help themselves is now what I do for a living­­ whether it's a chronic illness, a crisis time, depression or just job stress. Because of that, I spend a certain amount of time perusing self-help material. I guess what is so disturbing for me is that I see so much of this kind of material that is totally off the mark. That's not to say there isn't a plethora of good self-help books out there, there is. But when someone is advising you to do something that feels and sounds ridiculous and you take their advice you're going to feel and sound ridiculous!

Here are some of my favorites along with some new books that are practical and down to-earth. They make light reading for the beach, the plane, the train or anywhere else.

Seeds Of Light by Elizabeth K Stratton MS. Outlines a program of meditations to heal the body, heart and soul as well as stimulate healing energy in others.

The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. This book demonstrates ways to restore your inner ecology with changes in eating and cleansing the body.

Listening To Your Hormones by Gillian Ford. This book illustrates the pervasive role hormones play in women's lives and can help you identify hormonal fluctuations and unlock the mysteries of many maladies.

8 Weeks To Optimal Health by Andrew Wiel MD. A step by step program to clean up your diet and enjoy better health in eight weeks. It may take some of you longer than that. (It always takes me longer than the allotted time, my body is a slow learner or a slow to forget, one of the two.)

Natural Woman, Natural Menopause by Marcus Laux, ND and Christine Conrad. The whole truth about natural, safe ways of dealing with menopause.

The so called "Age of Aquarius" with its philosophy of immediate self-disclosure to those you wish to become close to is finally passing. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now. Keep reading those self-help books but when company comes, put them on the shelf and talk about something a little lighter!

Till next time, Rebecca.

This article posted to Zephyr online August 1, 1997
Back to the Zephyr home
page.Send us e