What Heals You? • My Own Self Soothing Process Through Past Trauma

Book Review in Marigold Henley Top Reading The Reluctant Healer at White Dining Table - The Calm Collective

Marigold Henley TopHigh Rise Flare Jeans (The most amazing fit. I also have them in black) • Free People Bralette (I also have it in this color and this color and wear them with everything | size down one size) • Embellished Mules (true to size) • Earrings • Pendent Necklace (similar) • Stone RingRope Ring

Up until my dad passed away in 2013, I wouldn’t have really known how to answer the question:

“What Heals You?”

I’ve been through my share of discomfort and trauma, from watching my dad take his last breath, surviving two of my own intense #metoo situations in my teenage years, being harassed by a group of older girls in my high school to the point of feeling extremely unsafe (even a case of trying to be run off the road in my car), unfortunately the list does go on. When these things would happen, I’d often just go inward (and not in the healthy kind of way). I wouldn’t talk about it because when I had tried, it wasn’t taken seriously – so I always thought, “what’s the point?”

I never journaled, I didn’t want to hear about anyone else who had gone through similar pain and situations, and I certainly didn’t want to air my dirty laundry to anyone who would listen. To me, these experiences felt like failures. They always felt like my fault, so I kept them close – which as we all know will eat you alive if you let it.

The closest I got to healing myself during those darker times was by distracting myself with friends by drinking gross, cheap beer and pretending like none of it was even happening. You know, numbing reality. You can imagine how much that helped. It wasn’t until my dad got sick in my young adult life (I was 24 when he was diagnosed) that I was coming to terms with the fact that I had no means for self soothing. I knew I could always talk to my sister and my mom and my friends who are basically family, but there’s real magic in being able to know what you need when you need it, and not having to rely on others to get yourself to a nurturing, loving space. That’s about the time that I started grief therapy, which completely changed my life alongside the things I’ll talk about below.

For me, today, those healing things look like free journaling, hot epsom salt baths (or being in any kind of water really • a hot tub, the pool, the ocean), sessions with my intuitive healer who is absolutely amazing, reiki, listening to podcasts and reading.

That last one surprises me still to this day. It’s not that I despise reading – it was just never something that I felt drawn to. When I’d have to read for school I’d dread every single second, which made doing it for pleasure that much more daunting. Writing on the other hand, that was therapeutic. But reading never offered that some source of comfort. When 2013 rolled around and my dad passed, I remember subconsciously just paroozing the internet for any self help book I could get my hands on. If it portrayed someone’s similar situation, I’d devour it. If it made me feel less alone, I’d read it two times over.

Book Review in Marigold Henley Top Reading The Reluctant Healer at White Dining Table - The Calm Collective

Reading for me became not a way to escape, but a way to relate and feel less alone.

So when I started on this spiritual/self healing journey almost 6 months go, I turned to books to educate myself. I could have focused on blogs and websites, but for some reason being able to physically turn pages, highlight the passages that stood out, dog-ear the content that I knew I’d be coming back to – there was something so comforting about it. I couldn’t get enough, and slowly but surely my collection grew and grew. All of the books that I’ve collected have been non-fiction and biography based. Again, it all comes down to my love for being able to relate to real situations and real people (a major reason why I started this blog).

But when I received an email from the editors at Smith Publicity in regards to reading and reviewing one of their fiction authors within he spirituality category, I thought “why not?” 

Little did I know, this fiction book would also offer ways for me to relate and feel less alone.

So what is this book exactly?

It’s called The Reluctant Healer by Andrew Himmel, and it’s amazing.

The day I received it in the mail, I started reading it. By day three, I was finished. Keep in mind, this is not a short read! It’s 286 pages long. But the way that Andrew Himmel writes is so effortless and relatable, you feel like you’re sitting down to coffee and hearing a compelling story from a friend. You know that moment when someone is telling you something, and they pause to take a drink of water, or god forbid they have to use the restroom and and you’re just like, “WAIT, KEEP TALKING!”  You know that feeling? That’s what it’s like to read this book. After each chapter I’d have to devour the next.

The main thing I love about this story so much is that it portrays a relationship between a woman who is so unapologetically herself in her workings as an intense energy healer, and just so happens to fall in love with an analytical lawyer who could not be more her opposite – living a life of skepticism. The struggle that they go through together to find that loving, accepting balance is both agonizing to witness, and heart warming all at the same time. The catch of the book, which is where the title comes from, is that Will has a gift that he refuses to accept. Erica wants nothing more than for him to live a life of authenticity, joy and truth and to use his gift for good, while he simply feels content living a life of, well… discontent. It’s what he knows. It’s what he’s been conditioned to believe he deserves.

How many of you can relate to that?

Society tell us again and again that if you take pause, you’re lazy. If you rest, you’re worthless. If you’re not making 6-7 figures, work harder. If you’re not in corporate, can we really take you seriously? If you believe in the Universe, you’re a witch and you’ve lost your marbles. But if you believe in an organized religion, well then okay. That’s something we can all digest a little easier.

Book Review in Marigold Henley Top Reading The Reluctant Healer at White Dining Table - The Calm Collective

This book does such a beautiful job of going through those painful judgements (which is something I feel from others on a semi-regular basis whenever I open up about the universe/spirit/my intuitiveness), and the struggles of getting someone you love to realize their full potential (all while honoring and holding space for those who aren’t quite ready to accept what it is they’re capable of), and honoring different beliefs and values that are different then your own.

I really do believe that we’re all just doing the best that we can, and if we’re really lucky – (a) human(s) will come along who loves us in spite of our fears, who pushes us to see things in a different light, to open up our minds, to accept all forms of human essence, and to let go and surrender to our own true authenticity.

The Reluctant Healer did just that. It helped me to surrender to the fear of being judged for what brings me healing and comfort, and to remember that while not everyone may understand, the right people will hold that loving space, no matter what.

As of today, this book is now available for purchase, and while this post is sponsored by Smith Publicity, I really couldn’t recommend it enough. Whether you’re spiritual, analytical, or just figuring it all out • this is a book for every human.

Smith Publicity Book Review of The Reluctant Healer - The Calm Collective

Other Noteworthy Things:

• I’ve been working on this year’s Fall Capsule and I can’t wait to share it with you guys! Here’s last year’s to give you a little refresher of where it all started. It was my very first attempt, and I was hooked.

• I’ve started putting collagen powder in my coffee. The best way to do it to ensure it blends all the way through? Add it to your coffee pot or French press alongside the ground coffee. When the boiled water hits, it does the blending for you! • I use this one, but this is another great option, and this was the very first one I ever used, and it was equally as great.

• So the mini boudoir sessions that I’m hosting on Nov 18th sold out (yay!), but if it’s something that you’d still like to do as a gift for the holidays, click here and fill out the contact form. Professional hair and makeup by my talented friend Deb is included, along with champagne :)

• Starting this week, I’m going to be guest posting for my good friend Kelly over at Kelly in the City! So be sure to head on over there each Thursday.


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