Whenever I'm asked for recommendations on the best in relationship self help books, I can't help but suggest they read Awaken to Love.
Because I wrote the book I couldn't find on the bookshelves.
When my own relationship was in trouble ten years ago, I wanted to read something that I could sink my teeth into... something that I could relate to. I wanted practical advice, but I was looking for a whole lot more than the easy answers that are rife in most relationship self help books. As a relationship therapist, I knew there was NO one-size-fit-all recipe that was going to save my marriage. I guess what I needed was validation that all the counselling tips and tools and techniques didn't mean a thing if you weren't willing to go deeper.
For me, the answers settled gently in my psyche as I started looking at an intimate relationship as a spiritual journey. The bad news is that not all spiritual journeys have a happy ending, but the good news is that single every step you take is necessary and needed to grow as a person.
The lessons that I learnt during the breakdown of my marriage taught me as much as finding my way through the labyrinth of establishing a new relationship. I've experienced first hand how fragile love is; how essential it is to nourish your relationship with more than you think you have to give.
Above all, I learnt that there is happiness beyond pain. There is love beyond bitterness. There is always a new beginning just waiting to be born.
Here are a few of my favourite relationship self help books:
1. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a classic. If it feels as if you and your partner are speaking two different languages, it's worth getting to know your partner's primary love language, which may be quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. Understanding and speaking your partner's love language will help you to strengthen your relationship as you learn to fulfil your partner's deepest needs.
2. Not all people are equally fond of Dr Phil, but if you're looking for a no-nonsense guide to repair a relationship that's on the rocks, you may enjoy his very popular Relationship Rescue. What I like about Dr Phil's approach is his insistence that you take responsibility for what has gone wrong in your relationship. His program is not a quick fix and he stresses the need for serious self-reflection and taking serious action.
3. Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix is an insightful take on the practical skills you need to make a relationship work. If you want to learn more about the stages that all relationships go through and how to overcome the challenges in each of those stages, this is the book for you. I also like the idea of creating a 'conscious marriage' where romance is renewed and confrontation replaced by growth and support.
Awaken to Love is one of those rare treasures that you want to return to again and again and again. The author shares generously about her own relationship challenges and her work with clients as a relationship therapist, and provides practical teachings and exercises that can be implemented immediately to transcend pain, heal heartbreak and transform an intimate relationship from a place of disconnection and conflict into a haven of love. This sounds like a big promise, but it is fulfilled in the explanation of how relationship is essentially a spiritual journey.
Relationships aren't meant to be 'perfect'. The author explains how relationships challenge you, shape you and help you grow. The book provides excellent guidance on how to love yourself first, release old patterns and manage intense emotions, as well as how to deal with conflict, practice forgiveness, celebrate passion, and actualise the true meaning of love.
A highlight is the author's 'Love Illuminations' that introduce each chapter. For example,
'As challenging as they are, love relationships are part of the moving, breathing, unfolding cycle of life. Just like the seasons, relationships change. If you expect it to be sunny every day, you will be disappointed. If you resist the wind and the rain, you will be frustrated. The very nature of love is dynamic. Nothing can stay alive and vibrant without dying and being reborn occasionally. The challenge is to embrace change because it also holds the gift. Without change there is no growth. Without growth, love dies.'
This book should be required reading for all couples who want to work towards having happy, soulful and fulfilling relationships. ~ Willow Johnson
From Awaken to Love....
"There comes a time when talk evaporates and words fail. Only the call of the heart can be heard. And in answering the call, you slowly but surely begin to heal. Love is the greatest gift of life. It awakens your passion and softens your heart. It allows you to live more fully, and with more tenderness and honesty. It transports you to a place where your inner wisdom calls for surrender.
If you listen, you transcend change. You transform. And that is a miracle.”
~ Mia Rose ~
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Amazon Best-selling Author
First Prize Winner:
"most impressive, most marketable title..."
~ Chosen by Hay House Team, including President and CEO Reid Tracy
Mia Rose with Deepak Chopra at the Hay House Writer's Workshop, Melbourne 2013.
"Dr. Mia has created a compelling work that explores loving relationships in a whole new light. She leads the reader to explore the most tender and intimate aspects of loving relationships using her mastery as a professional therapist with a twist - she shares from her heart! The power, warmth and beauty of her personal experience connect with the reader in ways most books on relationships never will!" ~ Mark E. Hundley, Licensed Professional Counselor and Author of Awaken to Good Mourning.
"Mia Rose is a modern day master in the art of LOVE and personal relationships. Her compelling story of her own transformation and the wisdom she shares in Awaken to Love is food for the soul and wisdom for anyone who has ever been in love." ~ Ariaa Jaeger, Spiritual Life Strategist, Philosopher, Author of Ariaaisms ~ Spiritual Food for the Soul, AriaaQuotes and The Book of Ariaa