We have the powerto lead ourselves to happier, more intentional, grounded lives. From the people we spend time with, to the media we consume, to the books we read. I am finally (finally!) done pushing off my resolution of “I need to read more” and hitting the books. I love sharing book ideas, especially ones that have contributed something so meaningful to our lives.
Here are some titles that have motivated, inspired and enlightened me. And I’ve also included a few that I’m itchin’ to read!
1. Women and Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth
This book book brought such illuminating ideas to the surface. It completely shifted my thoughts on “healthy” eating and why it is easier for some people more than others. The book is based on the concept that our eating habits are directly related to how we view ourselves, circumstances and ultimately, life. This is not about a fad diet or how to drop weight quickly. It’s about the spiritual experience of eating and how if we would just listen to our bodies, we’d know that they are telling us exactly what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Once we can adopt this practice, we will feel lighter and brighter. We don’t need rules, laws or restrictions. We need to eat out of love, not out of emotions or because we are insecure or lonely. It’s all within us. And our bodies are our guiding force.
2. Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD.
This book is truly a gift. On a hot day this summer during my time in Cali, I was moseying around Mystic Journey Bookstore, scooping out some good titles. But I wasn’t just looking for a good read, I was looking for something more. At that time, I needed a spiritual book in the way that I couldn’t really explain. I ended up talking to a woman who works there about finding this special book. She explained that out of all the books she has read, Women Who Run With the Wolves has changed her life the most.
It discusses the idea that women are deeply intuitive beings. We are naturally strong and we always know what is best for ourselves. The problem is that society has made us question ourselves, made us more timid, disconnected us from our wild and instinctual nature. This book includes intercultural myths that provide examples for how modern women could connect with this side that we may be ignoring. It’s about relationships, personal endeavors and how we greet life. We have it in us to reclaim our strength as powerful beings. This book dives into deeply important and vastly common issues that women find themselves in. We don’t need to be restricted or stuck any longer! We are free and more capable than we may think.
3. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Reading this book was one of the most life-changing experiences for me. It altered the way I thought about, well, everything. You want in on the secret? (It almost seems too simple.) Whatever we think, the universe manifests for us. It’s all based on the law of attraction. Think about the things you want to see in your life and the universe will provide them. What and how we think can change our lives. Shift your thoughts from your fears to what you want your ideal life to look like. And watch as the good energy comes flowing in.
4. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
This deserves all the hype it has received, and more. There are four chapters and each one addresses a different source of pain that humans commonly experience. Rupi Kaur’s writing is simple, raw and impactful. It always touches a part of me deep down. Rupi Kaur, an activist and passionate feminist, gives us the gift of this empowering must-read.
5. Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen
Commonly known as “Yoga Girl” on Instagram, Rachel Brathen is much more than a social media presence with a vibrant life. She is honest about her feelings and her struggles and connects to her audience by ensuring that she is not perfect and nothing about her life is perfect. She discusses real challenges that we can all relate to and how yoga has helped her to surpass them. Rachel Brathen’s journey through her troubled childhood and search for a better life is nothing short of motivating. She is an example of someone who let her heart guide her, even if that meant moving all over the world with no plan at all. She didn’t intend on becoming a famous yoga instructor or having the most followers out of anyone on Instagram and what’s really refreshing about her is that is not what keeps her going.
6. The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
This book seriously, seriously changed my outlook on how I live my life. After reading it and completing the workbook activities, my life was no longer was about how I could get done all of the things I needed to do. It was about discovering what I wanted to do. The basis of this book is about living your life based on your “core desired feelings,” feelings that keep you grounded, that you want to experience every single day. Rather than chasing external goals or meaningless desires, LaPorte encourages chasing the feelings that make you whole. When you focus on your passions and working towards feeling good every single day, you’ll be surprised at all you can accomplish in your life and most importantly, how genuinely happy you can be.
7. Survival of the Prettiest by Ashley Olafson
I’m so proud to say that a great friend of mine wrote this book. This is such an important book for girls and women of all ages to read. It examines crucial topics that are so pressing, especially at this time. Body image, media, self-esteem, mental health and sexualization, etc. I appreciate this raw and authentic piece of work featuring real things that Ashley went through, using them as an example for us all. It's an easy read, interactive and so incredibly relatable, yet it challenges readers to look beyond. To search for deeper meaning and to encourage one another to look at these issues our society faces and to be a change. After reading it, saying I was empowered is an understatement. Plus, it’s definitely a book that you can revisit and take something else from it each time. Highly highly recommend!
8. The Power by Rhonda Byrne (Sequel to The Secret)
9. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg
10. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
11. Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan
12. A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey by Chrissie Wellington
14. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
15. The Places That Scare You by Pema Chödrön
16. The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
17. Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepok Choprah
18. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
21. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
22. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Support ya local bookstore and pick up some copies. Or if you just really need one of the copies immediately, I’ve linked them all to Amazon.
I’d love to hear from YOU. What are you reading these days? I’ll add it to our list!