Where Ever You Go, There You Are
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
This is one of my all-time favorite books; I give it to everyone. I have learned so many lessons from this book and go back to it, time and time again. Learning to be in the moment, to find stillness, to pause before a decision or a reaction is so simple, yet so hard. Kabat-Zinn takes mindfulness out of just meditation and applies it to all areas of life.
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
by Dan Harris
I have had a daily meditation practice for years, but have had trouble getting my husband and teenage son to see the benefits. This book is really good for those skeptics. Its purpose is to make meditation accessible to everyone.
A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles
by Thích Nhat Hanh
Thích Nhat Hanh is a powerful voice in the world of mindfulness. This book helps parents and caregivers introduce kids to meditation. Through clear instruction, it teaches the basics of mindfulness. Kids can learn to practice alone, or even better, as a family.
I am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness
by Susan Verde
This is a whimsically illustrated picture book on mindfulness and how to be present. It shows kids how to slow down and pay attention to the sensations of the world around them. It was written for younger kids, but the lessons will resonate with any age, including adults.
The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices
by Casper ter Kuile
In today’s landscape where in-person religious services may not be a option for everyone, this book helps us to connect deeper meaning to everyday secular practices. It is about taking the things we do daily (many times without thinking) and instilling them with spiritual purpose that helps nourish our souls.
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
by Jenny Odell
I started reading this book right as the pandemic shut down our lives. To reduce my anxiety, I found myself reading this book outside in the fresh air. This book made me take a look around and realize that the mindset of productivity above all else is not sustainable or healthy, on either a personal or societal level.
by Brené Brown
I recommend any of Brown’s books, but I thought this one resonates especially well right now. Daring Greatly is about dealing with risks and uncertainty by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable; it is a strength, not a weakness.
Help Train Your Dragon Deal with Anxiety
by Steve Herman
This is an engaging story that tells a story of a boy and his anxious pet dragon. Through the story, kids can discover a few different techniques to recognize and handle their own anxieties. Other books in the series cover topics like change, anger, empathy and other relatable topics.
So You Want to Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo
It is time to have the difficult conversations and Oluo provides both honesty and empathy. This is not a comfortable, easy book - but it is an education.
How to be an Anti Racist
by Ibram X. Kendi
This books asks us all to go beyond simply declaring we are not racist to actively becoming anti-racist. This book challenges all people to radically re-examine their beliefs. For instance, one that was particularly eye-opening to me, is the idea to examine current policies with the understanding that racism didn’t create the policies, but rather those in power used racism to justify their policies. There is a lot to digest in this essential book, but there is also hope.
Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice
by Mahogany L. Browne with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood (ages 8 -12)
Woke is a collection of poems that will inspire kids to fight for social justice. The poems, in combination with the vibrant illustrations by Theodore Taylor III, are relatable and important. Poetry is powerful tool to speak truth - and Woke will hopefully spark deeper conversation around topics such as empathy, gender, immigration, body positivity and so much more.