- Fat is a Feminist Issue– Susie Orbach
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success– Deepak Chopra
- Getting the Love You Want– Dr. Harville Hendrix
- The Alchemist– Paulo Coehlo
- Ageless Body Timeless Mind- Deepak Chopra
These books changed the way I look at the world, and at myself. They opened me up to new ways of thinking and experiencing the world, and helped me to understand and know myself on a deeper level. They are books that talk about, encourage, are based in and stem from self-awareness. Some of these books took me a really, really long time to get through. Some I still haven’t read to the very end. Some of these books challenged my existing beliefs and forced me to look inside myself on such a deep level, that I could only get through a few pages at a time, months apart. They are books that I have been so grateful to encounter, that came at a time I needed them most, and after which my life has never been the same.
Fat is a Feminist Issue– Susie Orbach
I have no words. This book is amazing and it changed my life to the core. It has forever changed how I relate to my body and helped me identify things about myself I wasn’t even aware of. Possibly the first book that forced me to look inside myself and begin my journey of self-awareness. I can’t stress how important this book is to any woman suffering from poor body image, which, sadly, affects most women at some point in their lives.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success– Deepak Chopra
The way I came across this book is quite serendipitous. I was watching an interview with Deepak Chopra on Super Soul Sunday, and he talked briefly about this book (written 20 years ago). At the time I was looking for a birthday gift for a friend, who was also a fan of the show, and decided to buy the book for her. When the book arrived, it was damaged, and wasn’t presentable as a gift and a replacement was on its way. Around the time the book arrived, I experienced a very difficult, heartbreaking day and was feeling defeated- I saw the book on a table nearby and decided I needed a distraction. That book turned out to be exactly what I needed at that time, and taught me valuable insights I needed to know. It landed in my lap at a time that I needed its wisdom the most- if the book had arrived undamaged, it would have gone straight to my friend- it’s almost like the universe wanted me to read it! Funny how life works out like that.
This book is where I began my meditation practice. It wasn’t until I read that book that I understood what meditation really was, and how to begin. More than a year on, I attribute this book to my daily meditation practice, that has brought me calmness, mental clarity, insight, self-acceptance, and honestly just a mental and emotional break from all the noise in the world. Meditation has been my single greatest ally, and I am so grateful I came across this book.
I am a huge advocate of meditation. I truly believe that if everyone took even only 10 minutes out of their day to sit in silence with their eyes closed and just breathe, the world would be a much kinder and more compassionate place. Meditation, or simply put, just sitting and breathing, connects us back to ourselves, and the more connected we are to ourselves, the more we can connect with others and see that at the end of the day we’re all just human. Once you get to that place, hate and violence doesn’t have a place to exist.
Getting the Love You Want– Dr. Harville Hendrix.
This is one of those that I haven’t finished yet. This is the most incredible book I have read about relationships. Good relationships and deep connection often require a great deal of self-awareness, at least that’s what I believe, and what Dr. Harville Hendrix writes about. This book can heal so many people and so many relationships, by encouraging you to look inside yourself and your conditioning, and how your deeply entrenched belief system affects the way you think, feel and behave as an individual, and how that affects the way you relate, communicate and connect in relationships. And how to inspire a relationship that heals and creates a space for real connection and total acceptance.
The Alchemist– Paulo Coehlo
Ahh The Alchemist. It took a long time to get around to reading this book- I heard whispers of its name over the years from a few different people, but I never really knew what it was about. Finally the time came to read it and OMG did it blow my mind. Paulo Coehlo is such a beautiful, inspiring writer whose words just touch your soul. I truly believe in his words that if you want something, the whole universe will conspire in helping you to achieve it. Your only job in life is to find your Personal Legend, and to follow your instinct at every turn; it will lead you in the right direction and keep you on your path, and man, have I seen this truth play out in my life.
In moments of self-doubt, I try and remember the words of this book. I try and listen to the language of the world, be on the lookout for omens and notice the serendipities and coincidences that occur, and have occurred in the past, to get me to where I am today.
Brida has been another of Coelho’s books that I have read and loved, but The Alchemist was life changing.
Ageless Body, Timeless Mind– Deepak Chopra
Another one I haven’t finished yet, but man is this one incredible. This book is everything that Deepak Chopra, and ancient wisdom tradition, talks about, in one place. This book introduced me to quantum physics, and another context to meditation and its endless benefits: this time studied in the context of how it alters the ageing process. It taught me an entirely new way to think about life, ageing, health and wellbeing. It is fascinating.
And another one for good measure:
The Body Book– Cameron Diaz
I love this book. It is so body-positive, and so encouraging of women to love and accept their bodies, and themselves, as they are. This is such an important and responsible message to spread. Alongside women like Mindy Kaling who are brave enough to defy Hollywood confines of “beauty” and promote self-acceptance, it is very heartening to see Cameron Diaz publish a book that encourages just that. It provides information on nutrition, the history of food, benefits of movement, and mindset to help women who may not yet have accessed such information before, all in the one place. It reiterated a lot of which I already knew, so I’m not sure if it was as life-changing for me as the others listed here, but it definitely connected me back to myself and I loved reading it so much. It has so much information on health and nutrition, written in such an accessible and inspiring way. It was wonderful to read a book written by a person who has a lot of influence on young women, aimed at increasing women’s awareness and knowledge of their bodies and their health, and to promote a balanced life and encourage self-acceptance, rather than weight-loss or body-shaming. Great message!