November can feel like a month of opposites. In the Northern Hemisphere, fall has fully kicked in, which means the plants and the earth are starting to go dormant, the nights are getting longer, and the temps are turning colder. It can all work to cause seasonal affective disorder to kick in for some. However, November also brings Thanksgiving, which kicks off what most think of as the holiday season. Twinkle lights start to appear everywhere and some people are already looking forward to the start of the new year. It’s a month of antipodes as we embrace the dark while looking forward to the light.
To celebrate a month of dichotomies, here is a list of our favorite November wellness books that explore ideas we tend to think of as opposites: life and death, beginnings and endings, and finding strength at our weakest.
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Holding Space: On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go
by Amy Wright Glenn
Endings are not easy for anyone. Even when something we don’t enjoy ends, we are faced with the unknown, which in itself is a new beginning. Amy Wright Glenn, a hospital chaplain, has seen a lot of suffering, but she’s also witnessed the significant insights that come as a result of great love, loss and significant change. Her new book, Holding Space, offers beautiful real-life stories, philosophy, and new research on death to take the reader on a journey that will bring them to the revelation that holding space for dying and grief is really holding space for healing and love.
Origins & Endings (A Divination Book and Card Deck)
by Lindsay Tunkl
It’s hard to imagine anything dealing with The End (capital T, capital E) as lighthearted or fun, but Lindsay Tunkl’s new book and card deck manages it. Combining the idea of the apocalypse with Rorschach tests, this deck of colorful inkblots encourages readers to consider what they are challenged by as well as what they’re attracted to when death is part of the equation. Combining psychoanalysis, psychology, meditation, and pop culture, the deck manages to be contemplative and entertaining at the same time.
Renegade Beauty: Reveal and Revive Your Natural Radiance—Beauty Secrets, Solutions, and Preparations
by Nadine Artemis
While we have never before experienced as much technology as we do today, this also means that we’ve never been so bombarded with ads and other people’s ideas of what would make us beautiful. In direct defiance of that, Nadine Artemis has encouraged women to embrace nature and the elements and to forgo the chemicals, products, facials, and so on. With a bevy of famous women as fans, it’s not hard to see why Artemis’s ideas, and her new tome Renegade Beauty, have a following. It also makes it pretty easy to dive into a beauty routine that involves nature’s gifts—as well as your own.
A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment
by Spring Washam
As Spring Washam puts it, “Cultivating a fierce heart is about learning to embrace it all, even the most painful aspects of our lives.” In A Fierce Heart, the co-founder of East Bay Meditation Center brings a much-needed energy to self-help and American Buddhism, showing the reader how embracing impermanence—our own as well as the state of the world—can lead us to strength, courage, and wisdom. Her unique, modern take on the Dharma and the Buddha’s teachings also integrates incredibly personal stories of her own childhood, her journey toward healing, and the wisdom of other traditions to present the reader with an inspiring and accessible teaching on finding fortitude in all that tries to weaken us.
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