Below is a list of the resources, tools, and devices that I found most useful while making myself one day stronger. It’s the best books I read, videos I watched, and tools I used for working out, meditating, and keeping myself sane. If you see it below, I’ve used it and it was of great value to me. Enjoy.
When Things Fall Apart – By Pema Chodron
Pema’s honesty about pain, as well as giving real world methods on how to skillfully use it are extremely refreshing. Hell, just her the paragraph about how this all began for her…the day her husband came home and matter of factly said, “I’m in love with another woman and leaving you.” is worth the price of the book. Why?!
Because (and I’m paraphrasing here) she speaks of looking up at the sky, feeling the vastness of her spirit and the power of the Universe….and then grabbing a rock and throwing it her husband’s head. Ha!
True story. Two months after my wife left I was at UCLA listening to Pema speak live. She said, “Now at the age of 80, when I look back at my life, it was the darkest times, the most difficult ones that I am most grateful for. For they are the times when I learned the most.”
Yea, she said that. And I cried like a baby.
Buy this book. Read it. Read it again. And again. Start your day with a short passage and end your evening in the same manner.
Defy Gravity – By Caroline Myss
Full disclosure, I’m a HUGE Caroline Myss fan. I’ve been in the audience numerous times for her public talks and digest as much information from her as I possibly can.
This book was a massive help to me during my divorce because it made me see the things I was going through in a different perspective. Caroline speaks of “heaven” but also says she could care less about religion. She speaks about a higher power, or a higher intelligence at work in our lives, one that made sense to me then and does even more so now.
One of the best quotes of the book, the one I go back to over and over, after using my divorce to changes virtually every area of my life is:
“Sometime’s its hard to tell if the crisis occurred because a person needed to move on or if the person realized during a crisis that in order to heal from the situation, a transformational decision would have to be made. Either way, what is apparent is that events frequently make decisions for us that we would otherwise never be able to make.”
Sound about right with what you’re using this program and pain the of your situation for?
This book is a great call to live your highest life, one devoted to serving humanity but doing so by first taking care of yourself.
Highly recommend this.
This Is How – By Augusten Burroughs
I’ll start by saying this book pisses some people off so don’t blame me if you find it upsetting, I didn’t write it!
That being said, I found it extremely useful in coping with my divorce. The author has lost a partner to AIDS and dealt with severe alcoholism…when you’re on the other side of those two life twists, I think you get to say whatever the hell you want.
His basic gist is that everything in life is a choice, or at least how you react to everything in your life is a choice, be that the death of a child, rape, addiction, or heartbreak.
The author’s pull no punches style resonated heavily with me and I found myself underlining passages constantly.
Passages such as, “If you are betrayed, focus on what you learned, not how you were fooled. If you lose your home, focus on what you want your new home to feel like. If you fall out of love, remember the love and not the fall. If all you focus on is the fall, the fall will swallow you because it will grow. Focus is water and sunlight, it causes growth.”
And…”Be grateful for the bad things that happened and were in some way responsible for the good things that followed.”
Give this a go.
The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
This is a MUST if you haven’t read it. Oh man do I wish I’d read this before I was married. I wish I’d read this when I was ten years old!
Gary Chapman breaks love down into five give-able and receive-able expressions:
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Gift Giving
- Acts of Service
And then he brilliantly explains how and why you need to know both your own and your partner’s love language or your relationship is doomed. This book is a game changer, that’s all I’ll say about it.
To Be A Man – By Robert Masters
This one is for the guys. READ this book. I’m not affiliated with Robert in any way, but I have worked with him on a number of occasions. He is one of my greatest teachers and this book is a true guide for all men looking to understand the path of the masculine on the deepest level.
Robert is a peaceful man in his sixties who advocates living the expression of your masculine power to its fullest. What does this mean?
It means having a wide range of emotional intelligence. It means living with integrity, standing for your beliefs, and standing up for yourself. It means understanding if you’re sexualizing your wounds and numbing yourself with alcohol, drugs, or pornography. It means being honest with your partner and doing the deep work necessary to face your wounds.
Robert Masters is a powerful teacher and healer. This book is his life’s work.
If you are a man, you should read this book.
I love my kettlebell. Love it. When I traveled for an entire year, my kettlebell came with me. I did workouts in hotel rooms, at rest stops, and in parks. Truly this is the most versatile workout tool I know and I’ve been in the strength and conditioning world for my entire life.
If you’re new to the bell, a great starting weight for men is – 35 lbs. For women, a great starting weight is – 20 lbs.
In the One Day Stronger workout series, we use a kettelbell in a number of workouts, this piece of a equipment is a must to build strength, and burn fat.
Being busy isn’t an excuse not to workout, it’s all the more reason to workout. Jumping rope has been around since the dawn of time and is still the go to training method for fighters, boxers, wrestlers and more.
This is the jumprope I personally use and even though it takes some time to get used to, it’s the best one for single unders, double unders, warm ups and warm downs.
Grab one, they’re super cheap and you’re going to use them.
You just need a yoga mat. Guys, you need to be doing yoga. It’s not only a great counter to any ballistic or explosive weight lifting you may be doing and is also perfect for slower days when you need to stretch to move some energy.
Yep, Manduka mats are more expensive, but I love mine. It’s traveled the world with me and been used from Guatemala to New Mexico. It’s still in great shape and I love it.
Get one of these, they’re great for bodyweight routines at home or to stand on while you’re swinging your kettlebell.