In his remarkable book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote: “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
You have the resources to make choices – a well of resources with which to face life’s narrow spots. External resources enlighten and enhance your internal resources; those gifts, like resilience and tenacity, with which you have been abundantly blessed. You need only to discover them, strengthen them and use them. Here are a few external resources I have found helpful:
Books affirming of what I know to be true:
The Power of Myth
by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers – I read this 20 years ago, still true.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
by Pema Chodron – A wonderful book of Buddhist wisdom.
Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally
by Patti Digh – I met Patti in 2011, her outlook on life resonated true with mine.
Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl – A classic and a must read for navigating narrow spots.
Hinds’ Feet On High Places
by Hannah Hurnard – This is an allegorical tale written with a decidedly Christian perspective, but in my opinion, with a much broader message – the heroine’s journey. I read it for the first time 35 years ago. I have re-read it several times since then, always requiring a new copy due to highlighting and margin notes. Read it with an open heart and mind.
Visions from the Heart
by Jennifer James – A constant reminder of the importance of slowing down the pace of life and following your own path.
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
by Jon Kabat-Zinn – The single most significant contribution to successful navigation of my narrow spots.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamont – Humorous and irreverent in its inspiration. A favorite.
Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow
by Elizabeth Lesser – A book that affirms my message perfectly.
The Beethoven Factor: The New Positive Psychology of Hardiness, Happiness, Healing, and Hope
by Paul Pearsall – My husband says I could have written this book. Be a thriver!
Books of beautiful and pure inspiration:
A Blessing in Disguise: 39 Life Lessons from Today’s Greatest Teachers
by Andrea Joy Cohen – A significant reminder of the importance of mindfulness.
I Knew You Could!
by Craig Dorfman – A children’s book with a meaningful perspective.
Letters to a Young Poet
by Rainer Maria Rilke – Beautiful, meaningful and timeless.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle – A classic.
Books for practical navigation of narrow spots:
Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery: A Step-by-Step MBSR Approach to Help You Cope with Treatment and Reclaim Your Life
by Linda Carlson PhD RPsych, Michael Speca PsyD RPsych – A powerful program and a very helpful book.
The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better
by Richard J. Leider – Practical guide to discovering and living on Purpose.
One-Handed in a Two-Handed World: Your Personal Guide to Managing Single-Handedly
by Tommye-K Mayer – Showing the importance of acceptance, adaptation and accommodation.
Finding Your Way: Families and the Cancer Experience: A Guidebook
by Gail A. Noller – Out of print, but well worth the effort to find it, if possible.
Finding My Way: Healing & Transformation Through Loss & Grief
by John M. Schneider – A meaningful guide on the importance of acknowledging the losses of life and working through the grief that accompanies them.
Gilda’s Club of the Twin Cities
No one should face cancer alone. That’s why there is a Gilda’s Club in the Twin Cities.
Rein in Sarcoma
An outstanding resource on sarcoma.
The American Cancer Society
The official sponsor of birthdays.
Help when cancer strikes.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Works with public, non-profit, and private partners to create and implement strategies to help the millions of people in the United States who live with, through, and beyond cancer.
Remarkable support, information and resources.
Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota
An NCI designated cancer center with the mission to Advance Knowledge and Enhance Care.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Perhaps the single most important resource I have experienced. It started in Massachusetts with Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is available in most metropolitan areas.
NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship
Its’ mission is to enhance the quality and length of survival of all persons diagnosed with cancer and to minimize or stabilize adverse effects experienced during cancer survivorship.
Retreat center for spiritual well-being.
A Health Crisis Resource Center in Minneapolis, MN.
Use these as you wish to inspire your days. They will change quarterly – so check back for more inspiration. It would be my pleasure to send you an entire set of 50 images if you have a Dropbox folder. Just send an email request to