1. Recovery Books and More by Susan B.
2. Dr. Sarno, TMS, & JournalSpeak
3. Art Supplies
4. Handwriting and Lettering
5. Mandalas

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Recovery Books and More by Susan B.

The Sum of Our Parts: An Art Book about Emotional Sobriety, Chronic Illness, and the Mind/Body Connection

In this little book of 56 original inspirational readings and artwork, Susan B., recovery writer & artist, shares her experience, strength, & hope (along with more than a bit of her struggle) on the topics of emotional sobriety, chronic illness, and healing from mind/body syndrome (also known as TMS). Plus, she’s written an essay at the end of the book explaining more about these subjects in the context of her personal journey, for those new to the concepts. Book includes a list of her favorite resources.

Whatever you are going through, remember you are not alone. May you find comfort in these words and images.

Ben and Max: An Unlikely Friendship

Children’s Book about Friendship and Bullying from a Recovery Perspective


When a friendly mouse named Max befriends a grouchy bear named Ben, the forest animals are delighted! But when a sly fox named Sylvester comes along, he stirs up trouble between Ben the bear and Max the mouse, and Ben does something he regrets! Can the fox be stopped? Can the friendship be saved? Read and find out!

Ben and Max: An Unlikely Friendship is a compelling story for 7-9 year olds that also teaches how our behavior affects others, including the “golden rule” of treating others as we wish to be treated, the issues of gossip and envy, and how to better handle anger.

The book contains colorful, highly detailed illustrations depicting a wide range of emotions.

The last two pages of the book contain questions relating to the book’s content as a guide to help you talk about these issues with your children.

Ben and Max: An Unlikely Friendship with special illustrated text.
Ben and Max: An Unlikely Friendship – Plain version

If you are a compulsive spender or debtor, you might be interested in the following books, blog, podcast and free budgeting course:

Getting Out from Going Under Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders

The Getting Out from Going Under Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders is an invaluable aid to recovery for those who suffer with this debilitating and demoralizing addiction. At 366 pages, it’s filled with practical tips, inspiration, and a thought for each day, the Daily Reader will encourage and motivate you to stay on the path of recovery.

Fearless Budgeting Training Course for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders

The Fearless Budgeting Training course is 100% free and includes 50 audio and text lessons, along with a PDF workbook.

Getting Out from Going Under Blog

This blog is now an archive containing hundreds of articles on all aspects of working a program of recovery around compulsive debting and spending.


“I Can’t Stop Spending” Podcast


This podcast contains 54 episodes that you can download for a small fee. But you can download the 132 page PDF that contains all the links and show notes from each episode as my FREE gift even if you don’t order the podcast! (There are lots of valuable links contained in the PDF.) You’ll find it available to download when you sign up for the free preview (just scroll down the curriculum).

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Dr. Sarno, TMS, & JournalSpeak


JournalSpeak by Nicole Sachs, LCSW and Dr. Sarno have literally, yes, literally, saved my life. I’m about 50% better from my chronic illnesses. Won’t go into it all here, but will be making a video of my progress. Nothing, absolutely nothing, shifted my chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic dizziness, food sensitivities, IBS-C, and more … until I decided to listen to Dr. Sarno and found Nicole’s JournalSpeak process. A couple of books, four free videos, and 22 minutes a day of feeling my feelings is all it took … years of chasing after cures and spending tens of thousands of dollars.

Nicole’s YouTube Channel with the Four videos that rocked my world!

The Meaning of Truth by Nicole Sachs. After watching the videos, I needed still more instruction. And this book provided the extra information I needed.

Nicole’s website. Please note that she does have a paid course, but please start with the four free videos and her book.

Please note: Nicole has a fabulous Facebook group and she also does one-off individual coaching. I had a session with her after I had been engaging in her process and with her Facebook group for about five weeks. It was invaluable, but, for me, I needed to do the work on my own first, to better assess the questions I had.

I highly recommend her Facebook group. It’s an incredibly nurturing environment.

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Dr. John Sarno & TMS

Sadly, Dr. Sarno passed away in 2017. Gratefully, he left us with a simple, simple, simple method to heal our pain. He called the overall problem TMS (Tension myositis syndrome). Please know that I am the biggest skeptic around. If you have suffered from the same types of invisible illnesses that the medical community dismisses as I have, then you know the search for help is expensive and leads nowhere.

Celebrities like John Stossel from 20/20, Howard Stern, Larry David, and many others, suffered from intractable back pain and were cured by Dr. Sarno. Here is the famous video on 20/20 about Stossel’s experience:

If you can afford it (as of this writing, it’s $49), I would just start by getting the DVD of his lecture. It’s a bit hokey with the audience members, but he lays everything out as he did for thousands and thousands who were healed by him. This link is to their official website because the DVD is ridiculously expensive on Amazon!

His books are quick and easy to read. He started out by helping people with back and neck pain, but eventually discovered that many other pain syndromes are TMS as well. Rather than trying to explain it, here are links to two of of his books that you can get at the library as well.

  • This is a later book that delves more into other types of TMS symptoms and conditions (like fibro and CFIDS, etc). It’s my favorite of his books: The MindBody Prescription.
  • Dr. Sarno’s final book (really meant for health care professionals) is The Divided Mind.

My Strong Suggestion

If this resonates with you and you begin to walk down this path, I strongly urge you to keep things simple. There are many TMS resources, groups, and practitioners adding their own spin to Dr. Sarno’s formula. I, myself, started down that rabbit hole, and found that it just became overwhelming.

Nicole worked with Dr. Sarno and developed this very focused journaling method in concert with him based on what worked for his patients. I, personally, found it counterproductive (not to mention overwhelming) trying to add in additional components, and only began healing when I threw myself into this one targeted approach.

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Art Supplies

Pitt Artist Brush Pens

I LOVE Pitt Artist pens! With my chemical sensitivities, I had to find products that were odor-free. These are just amazing. Over the years, I’ve learned to use them like paint brushes.

For outlining, I use the fineliners (lately, particularly the 1.5 mm bullet nib) and the brush pens for color. I primarily use the normal sized brush pens, but when I have a larger area, I do use the Big Brush pens.

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Handwriting and Lettering

Handwriting Repair

Gunnlauger SE Briem is my hero in the field of everyday handwriting! He has lots of information on handwriting, including a free ebook called, “Handwriting Repair: The Italic Approach.”

I just stumbled onto his newer paperback book at the library and am working my way through it!. It’s called Improve Your handwriting (Teach Yourself), which he co-wrote with Rosemary Sassoon. I’m in love with the style they teach. Though he doesn’t specify, it looks like some of the letters for training are based on Chancery italic (my very favorite everyday handwriting font!).

Brush Lettering

I just finished going through Amy Latta’s excellent resource book, “Hand Lettering for Relaxation: An Inspirational Workbook for Creating Beautiful Lettered Art.” What an excellent book. The pages are really thick and smooth, and the book lays flat, so doing the exercises was lovely.

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Maja Muse Simple Mandala Video

Fabulous video teaching you how to make a mandala. Such simple and clear instructions. It was the best mandala instruction video I ever found.

While I’ve enjoyed other resources, they usually left me feeling frustrated and struggling to follow their lead. But after watching this video, I began drawing mandalas, using my own imagination, which she helped me unleash!

Since then, I’ve gotten much more out of other books and videos because of Maja’s simple approach. Her website is

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