A Foreword to Christopher Dines’ Book, Super Self-Care
I wrote the following piece as a Foreword for my friend Christoper Dines’ new book. Find out more about it here—and please be sure to get a copy for yourself and any loved one who you think would benefit from Christopher’s important and deeply compassionate message of healing from addiction.
When my friend Christopher Dines sent me a copy of his new book, Super Self-Care: How to find lasting freedom from addiction, toxic relationships and dysfunctional lifestyles, I was sold on the title alone. As the founder of a global community that’s all about moving into collective resilience and power, no matter the odds that are stacked against us, I am all about the practical tools that will help us to live our best lives.
Then, as I got deeper into the book, my enthusiasm grew. I thought to myself, Finally! A book that doesn’t pay lip service to self-care but actually talks about the whys and the hows in depth!
Super Self-Care is as comprehensive as it is illuminating. Christopher writes about a form of self-care that is leagues beyond the buzz-wordy clichés that a lot of us are inundated with by advertising, which tend to focus on buying one’s way into fulfillment. In many ways, Super Self-Care is about radical new ways to parent yourself and give birth to the beautiful being who lives within you—even though your wings might have been clipped by anything from toxic relationships, to addiction, to the wear and tear you have suffered at the hands of limiting beliefs and habits that don’t serve you.
For years, I’ve led retreats that help women claim their voices and their messy brilliance (which I define as the polished gem of our truth and beauty, which we discover only by diving into the mess and the so-called darkness). As an incest survivor and someone who’s suffered my fair share of hardships, I know what it’s like to walk through the muck and feel buried beneath the weight of it all. But as a mother, author, and teacher, I also understand that our trauma and pain can be potent fuel for transformation. They can be the very things that equip us with empathy, perspective, wisdom, and compassion for ourselves and others. They can also be the very ingredients that lead us to lasting joy and peace—the kind that cannot be taken away from us, no matter what challenges we’re facing in our lives.
This brilliant observation that it is our “brokenness” that has the power to lead us back to our essential wholeness is at the heart of Christopher’s book.
I know Christopher Dines as a friend, colleague, and one of the Truthtellers in my global community, Women For One. Christopher has repeatedly shared his wisdom with my community; he has written and talked about the power of kindness in moving through addiction and recovery, as well as what it means to cultivate authentic self-acceptance in the face of paralyzing shame.
Christopher is someone whom I deeply respect, because he is a man who walks his talk. He’s also a kindred spirit who has gone through the school of hard knocks and come out a better person for it.
Self-care is an ongoing process, and we need reliable and credible guides to help us navigate the way. In Super Self-Care, Christopher takes you on a journey through the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual value of self-care, and how you can pick yourself up and sustain the courage and faith to keep going—especially when you face setbacks or doubt your ability to rise above your circumstances.
Gentleness is at the core of Christopher’s message. His focus on the power of vulnerability, the importance of asking for help and finding support on the self-care path, and removing yourself from the clutches of shame are all aspects I seldom hear self-care experts talk about. Christopher also offers gorgeous insight on dealing with resistance and limiting beliefs, gaining awareness of dysfunctional patterns that have been with you since childhood, and honoring your feelings while learning to locate the still point in the center of inner tumult. All of this is powerful food for thought that will support you throughout the book.
In this book, you’ll find everything from powerful personal anecdotes to inspiring activities and guided meditations that will help you put the concepts in each chapter into practice. And, of course, you’ll also get plenty of timeless wisdom that will allow you to embrace your whole self. The questions in each chapter will guide you through a deep process of self-inquiry that will be foundational when it comes to creating your own unique self-care rituals.
Ultimately, in the most non-shaming way possible, Christopher is here to help you gain awareness of the patterns that keep you feeling stuck or in a place of despair and hopelessness. But, as he shares, “rock bottom” doesn’t have to be a life sentence. As Christopher skillfully reveals, self-care isn’t an all-or-nothing journey. We can all find joy in the midst of pain, comfort in the wake of loss, and awareness right in the heart of chaos.
Super Self-Care is a book that is gentle, like its author, but packed with powerful methods for finding peace, and ultimately the kind of freedom that we are all searching for. Although the current state of our inner and outer worlds can feel overwhelming to sit with, Christopher demonstrates that it’s possible to do so with courage, humor, commitment, and deep self-love.
Every single one of us is here to become who we were always meant to be: powerful, purposeful beings capable of transforming our lives and worlds for the better. As the old saying goes, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Super Self-Care will make that sense of coming home to yourself all the sweeter.