June—that first month we finally get to call summer—is named for the goddess Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and protector of women. It’s also considered a time to celebrate light and consciousness, making it the perfect month to focus on strong, brilliant, out-of-the-box thinking women and the books they authored for self-improvement, self-acceptance, and perhaps a little self-indulgence. It just seems fitting to kick off this season celebrating writers, creators, and experts who are goddesses in their own right. Here are our top 5 wellness books for the month of June (all penned by women) with book descriptions inspired by our personal goddess posse.
Wreck this Journal: Now in Color by Keri Smith
YOUR PERSONAL GODDESS KALI
Kali is the Hindu goddess of destruction and creation, and Keri Smith’s journal also celebrates the destructive and the creative by prompting you to destroy the book with painting, shredding, and transforming—unleashing your creative side. The original Wreck this Journal was an international bestseller, with over 7 million copies sold. This new edition calls to mind the Technicolor of summer as it helps you let go of your inhibitions and helps you realize that your creativity doesn’t have to look like any one thing—you can destroy to create while also embracing chance and change.
DON’T FORGET: Kali was known for destroying ignorance, so embrace Wreck This Journal’s prodding to challenge your own perceptions—you can’t truly embrace new wisdom and creativity until you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of the old.
Instant Presence: Allow Natural Meditation to Happen by Enza Vita
YOUR PERSONAL GODDESS TARA
Tara is a Buddhist goddess and Boddhisatva. In Sanskrit, the root tar- means “to cross [over],” and that is what Enza Vita’s book on meditation will help you do. Instant Presence is not your regular guide on how to meditate. In fact, her take on finding enlightenment is that you have to let go of the end goal to start going anywhere, so we must break down those ideas of “achieving X and Y” before we can make true progress. Much like the above journal, this how-to is all about challenging your own perceptions and finding amazing wisdom and awe-inspiring enlightenment in the here and now. Her “no-practice practice” will appeal to even the most intimidated of us who think we cannot meditate and are too “modern” for true enlightenment.
DON’T FORGET: Tara has myriad definitions and incarnations, but she’s always known for compassion and enlightened action, so while Instant Presence is a no-pressure way to expand your spiritual practice, if you do get frustrated on your path, remember Tara and take it easy on yourself!
The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less by Christine Carter, PhD
YOUR PERSONAL GODDESS BIA
The Greek goddess Bia is the goddess of raw energy, but really, with Christine Carter’s The Sweet Spot, you may not actually need her, which is why Carter fills the role so admirably with this book. Exhausted by the busyness of modern life, multitasking, and always pressuring herself for more, Carter examined ways of maintaining her life’s successes—both personal and professional—while still achieving more, but doing so efficiently, so she had time to enjoy it. All of the suggestions in this volume are author tested and happiness approved, and the practical tips will be a snap to implement in your own life.
DON’T FORGET: The goddess Bia was the daughter of Titans, but in the war between the gods and the Titans, she believed the Titans were in the wrong and stood as an enforcer for Zeus. Translation, she never got so set in her ways that she couldn’t see right from wrong, and implement change when necessary!
How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly’s Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life by Heather Havrilesky
YOUR OWN PERSONAL GODDESS IAMBE
Iambe is the Greek goddess from whom we got the term iambic, but she also had a more fun side than just poetry meter, and that was being known for communication, creativity, humor, and playfulness. Which is exactly what you’ll get with Heather Havrilesky’s delightful How to Be a Person in the World. You may know Havrilesky from her wildly popular Ask Polly column, but if you don’t, you should get to know her. Her advice isn’t always a black-and-white answer—which is refreshing if you ask me; we don’t always want to be told what to do or not do (Amirite?), but it is always heartfelt and often hilarious. More than anything, as a reader, no matter what you struggle with, you’ll feel like you aren’t alone and that it’s imperative that you let go of perfection and embrace who you are.
DON’T FORGET: Iambe is known for cheering up Demeter with her poetry. Her words, beautiful though they may have been, didn’t fix people’s problems, but they made them laugh, perhaps made them forget for a time, and definitely made them feel they were not alone. After all, most of us don’t need to be “fixed”; we just need help realizing the problem and then laughing at the hiccups along the way.
Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories by Fany Gerson
YOUR OWN PERSONAL GODDESS AUDUMBLA
Audumbla is a Norse sustenance goddess in the form of a giant cow who emerged from the ice in Niflheim and—no joke—provided sustenance for the first frost-giant, Ymir, by letting him suckle the ice cream from her teats. What?! Yes, and no summer reading list is complete without a book on ice cream, and Fany Gerson’s is just the ticket. Not only is it fun to read due to the personal stories and history of food that Gernson includes throughout, but also the bright, gorgeous photos of Mexico and delectable desserts will definitely put you in a summer frame of mind. And, of course, the recipes are beyond amazing, giving you some straightforward combos, like Hibiscus-Sangria Sorbet and Horchata Ice Cream, and the more adventuresome, like Molé Ice Cream and Corn and Cocoa Sorbet.
DON’T FORGET: Adumbla nourished others with her ice cream, so plan a party, invite some friends over, and make a few different icy treats to enjoy. It’s a lot easier than you think!