I am a book junkie. I love reading books, buying books, borrowing books, swapping books, sharing books, researching books, taking books out from the library. Needless to say, I can always be found reading a book on the subway or at home, sometimes I’m reading two books at the same time! Well one at home and then a second on the train. Books have the power to transport us to another place or time. They can also impart wisdom and knowledge into our lives. As an avid reader I have a wide range of tastes in what I enjoy.
So, it seemed natural to me that while on my wellness journey I would come across books that inspired and/or empowered me to make changes in my life. We will all have different reactions to books we read with some resonating more than others. Allow me to take you on a journey of my bookshelf sharing the few books I continue to reference when needed in hopes that others may find them helpful. This is only the beginning of my book sharing as I have many more on my Goodreads list.
1-Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book changed my life by giving me the courage to move to New York City back in 2009. I have actually read it 3 separate times while dealing with different struggles in my life. Each time I took away new insights and messages for my life. This book helped me to learn to love myself and judge myself less. It wasn’t until after the third time that I finally attempted meditation. I was on my own wellness journey by then and really working on healing myself. However, I never really thought meditation was for me, but I realized I had to try. I began to understand it wasn’t going to be easy but if I just started, at some point I would find my way. I have struggled with depression and loneliness for many years. Reading this book brought all my self-doubt, insecurities, and shame to the surface. I found though that I wasn’t alone and saw ways I could fix myself and my circumstances. This book started my journey to finding my purpose without me even realizing it. I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth Gilbert at a book signing where I thanked her for writing this book. (I may have cried a little, she didn’t mind ?) At the time I thought I had what I wanted in my life, but as it turned out, my life would be upended again, and I would reach for this book to help me survive. If you need to learn self-love, courage, how to meditate or how to become closer to the Universe or God, then I hope you reach for this book as well.
2-Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I obviously appreciate the wisdom of Elizabeth Gilbert as this is another one of my favorites. When I was in junior high and high school, I wanted to be a writer and an actress. I still have many of the stories I wrote back then. Along the way though, I shelved that dream due to fear and doubt. I have recently decided to shake that writing dream out by starting this blog, partly in thanks to this book. But it’s more than just writing, I know I need to live in a place of creativity. I’m a creative person and when that is stifled, I don’t feel so well. I’m not living my authentic self or my purpose. Therefore, I needed to have the courage to be creative in some way every day no matter what others thought. I had to do this for me. We all have the capacity to be creative, we must just go for it. We don’t need anyone else’s permission. Once you decide on a life of creative living you must be persistent, show up, and work on it every day. (Don’t worry I still struggle with this one myself.) Then trust that this will all work out, believe in yourself and your dreams. Also, don’t be afraid to have fun. When you are having fun and being authentic, it shines through. So, if you are looking to live a more creative life, then grab this book. It contains so much more than I could ever capture here.
3-Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein
I stumbled upon Gabrielle Bernstein when I attended a talk featuring two other women I had been following. After, I found one of Gabby’s earlier books, Spirit Junkie. This book chronicles her change from PR party girl to a spiritual speaker about love and the power of the Universe. I have always had a spiritual relationship with God, but I feel it might have been superficial. This book forced me to confront my faith and learn to truly believe. This book also made me contemplate meditation. It helped me to see the benefits it offered and become more consistent in my practice. Gabby had studied “A Course in Miracles” and used this book to spread the lessons she learned. She teaches that we need to stop letting fear control our lives, instead choose love and belief in ourselves. This book showed up exactly when I needed it (as is how the Universe works). Each time I feel myself go off course, I carve out some quiet meditation time and tune in to the miracles. I recommend this book for those looking for a spiritual journey.
4-You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
The overall theme I took from this book is that you need to love yourself. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we expect others to treat us well. We show people how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves. We need to remember our self-worth and act accordingly. We need to remember how badass we already are. Look at all you have accomplished in life so far. This book is full of so many insightful little phrases of wisdom. It should be mandatory reading for all young people. In the meantime, make it mandatory reading for yourself and learn how to start manifesting your awesome life.
5-The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
I am a perfectionist while also being a people pleaser. I have spent most of my life being who I thought I was supposed to be or who others wanted me to be. I am slowly learning to let that go after reading this book. It doesn’t matter what others think of us, that is in fact on them, having to do with themselves not us. We do not have any control over it. We need to then focus on our own authentic truth. I have found more authenticity in my writing and daily life when I stop trying to get others to like me. Again, trust your intuition and have faith that you are doing the best you can. These same themes seem to show up over and over in all these books. Now that I’m putting them into practice, I realize their importance in living a wellness lifestyle. This book also discussed letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to.” Each of us has a life that belongs to us where we live our purpose in a way that brings us joy and happiness. Celebrate the person you are instead of being someone else. Find out how to do that by reading this book.
Hopefully I’ve given you a great start to building your bookshelves as you create your own wellness lifestyle. Happy reading!