5 Life Changing Reads
5 Life Changing Reads
Confession time…I am a complete bibliophile. Perhaps you are too. Do you find extreme joy in reading, sharing, and collecting books? If you are like me you could get lost in books for days, hours, weeks, years…well you get the idea. I make great use of Kindle and iBooks for their sheer convenience when traveling (I mean when you have to decide between shoes and books, it’s a bit like Sophie’s Choice) but logistics aside, nothing compares with the sensory experience of a great book in your hands when reading.
With so many incredible options out there having to name your favorite book is like trying to pick your favorite child (so I hear) or favorite pet for that matter. It’s impossible to chose just one. That being said there are several books that certainty have impacted my life almost daily since reading them.
They all somehow managed to show up for the first time, and sometimes even repeatedly thereafter, just when I needed them most. These are my go to all time heavy hitters for reference, inspiration, guidance, and support. I open at least one of them just about every day that I’m home, usually first thing in the morning, just before I go to bed at night or in the middle of any stressful situation. And if you know me at all I have most likely recommended or given one or more of them to you at some point in our friendship.
- The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
I think I read this book for the first time in the late 90’s and was completely blown away. The story of Santiago a young Shepard boy who knows that he is destined for greatness of purpose and bravely sets out on his hero’s journey. As with any great quest he encounters many challenges along the way, but also comes to learn that the universe conspires to help him reach his goal, and that every obstacle is actually a rung on the ladder he is climbing towards his dreams.
I have purchased and given away this book more times than I can count. Every time I buy a new copy I meet someone who hasn’t read it yet who I know will love it as much as I do, and as I result it never resides on my bookshelf very long.
I think I have read it at least 5 times over and every time I discover something new, or have a fresh perspective from where I am standing at that moment in my life. Pure magic. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, don’t just take my word for it.
I’ve read and enjoyed several other books by Paulo Coelho since, including Eleven Minutes, The Fifth Mountain, Warrior of the Light and Aleph. While he remains one of my all time favorite authors, The Alchemist is by and far his stand out work for me.
- Ask and It is Given (Esther and Jerry Hicks)
This was my first introduction to “The Law of Attraction” or the concept of manifesting your own reality. What??! Thoughts become things…mind officially blown! As I’m sure many of you have also experienced, this realization and subsequent expansion of reality changed my life forever in the best possible way.
I was in Barnes and Noble (a.k.a. book heaven or addiction central however you want to look at it) exploring when I stumbled across this gem. It was sitting out on a table beside one of the aisles and I was instantly drawn to it. I settled in one of the chairs to read it and knew a few pages in that I was taking this one home.
The book focuses on the teachings of a collective consciousness identified as “Abraham” channeled through Ester Hicks. The concept seemed completely foreign to me at first but the more I read the more I began to understand the universal support that we have on our side.
I was working in a difficult environment at the time I first read this as well as navigating some drama in my personal life. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel in either situation but the more I read and practiced the exercises at the back of the book, the more my life started to shift. Certain difficulties seemed to evaporate into thin air and happy “coincidences” began occurring all around me.
Most people seem to be much more aware of the overall concepts today thanks to books like “The Secret”, and incredible teachers like Wayne Dwyer and Louise Hay, but for me this is the book that opened the door to all the rest.
- The Sedona Method (Hale Dwoskin)
I was introduced to this book when I was participating as a subject in an EFT study with Vicky Drews. I was doing a lot of inner work and also seeing Jodi Jay to receive Reiki healing treatments. I was starting to uncover some repressed memories from childhood and was feeling stuck in working through the residual emotions that were coming up.
This is not a book that you read immediately from cover to cover. At least it wasn’t for me. It takes you through facing and releasing not only your emotions, but the root causes of your emotions step by step. It can get pretty intense, but it shows you how to handle that going forward.
One of the things I loved about the Sedona Method was it’s balance and symmetry. You learn the importance of releasing all emotional states, both positive and negative, to keep you from remaining “stuck” in any particular moment. I found that to be extremely liberating!
These days if I’m feeling any resistance to a situation happening in my life, I randomly open to an exercise and trust that it’s the one I need. I can feel the energetic shift through my body almost immediately as I start releasing. It’s pretty profound, and my go to secret weapon to destress.
- God Calling (A.J. Russel)
This was gifted to me by my best friend’s mother who has also been a 2nd mother to me through most of my adult life. This little book resides on my nightstand and has become extremely well worn from daily use.
I recently looked at the inscription she had included in the front of the book and was surprised to realize that I’ve had this one since Sept. 3, 2001. I read from this every night just before I go to sleep. Whatever page I randomly open to is always apropos for what is on my mind or what has happened through the day.
It is written by two women known only as “the Listeners” who in 1932 attempted to connect with God through free writing to hear and understand his guidance in a more personal way. The resulting book is the daily messages that they channeled. I find the humble introduction to be extremely moving.
I attended Catholic school from Kindergarten through 12th grade and admittedly, while I always had faith in a higher power, was never diligent in bible study. I always wondered what messages we would receive today, and if they would be any different. I found, and still find the updated messages in this little book to be inspirational, heartwarming, and poignant. It is easily received and speaks in a gentle way to today’s world and the sometimes outdated perceptions of faith we may struggle with.
- The Untethered Soul (Michael A. Singer)
This is the most recent addition to my collection. It was gifted to me by a thoughtful friend just before I left on my creative rehab retreat to Bali in March of this past year. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that several other attendees had arrived with the same reading material in hand. Such a wonderful validation!
It helps us to realize that we are actually the presence inside of us that is observing rather than feeling. Feelings are something we get trapped in if we allow them to hold to much of our attention. We ultimately build and shape our personalities, and therefore our world, around preventing bad feelings and hurt as much as possible with out the awareness of how much we are driven by fear.
Very simplistically, if you can regain the perspective of watching the movie rather than starring in it, you can rediscover the true freedom of your soul in this experience called life. I’m still putting this one into practice, but it creates a very interesting shift in your awareness of self, not to mention the reactions and habits of others.
I love both giving and receiving books, as the words with in can affect and touch someone’s life with a far greater reach than we ever anticipate. These five books have enriched, blessed, and shaped my own life over the years in more ways than I can count!
I hope these recommendations do the same for you, I would love to hear your favorites as well! I’m always on the look out for a great new read to add to my collection and share with friends.
Light and love,