These are four books that will EASILY put you in a happy place…quickly. I LOVE to read. Everything and anything that I can get my hands on, I read. I love to read articles, magazines, books, blogs, food labels, instructions, recipes, you get the point. I.love.reading. If I were the kind of person that put bumper stickers on my car, I would have one that says, I LOVE READING. Recreationally, for work, for pleasure (I recently read the book Taint, its 50 shades-ish yum…I digress), but I also like reading to learn. I pretty much taught myself how to cook through books and recipes, I learned life changing tips for being a better mom through magazines and blogs, and I’ve also learned a lot about nutrition through reading all of the above. The one thing, however, that I NEVER thought that I would learn about through reading some book was myself. I learned so much about myself through self-help books and I am not ashamed to say it! Some people think it’s a bad thing (like therapy! But let’s save that for another day, and another post). These books have made a world of a difference in how I manage my emotions, my reactions, my children, my relationships, and my world in general. These books helped me through some dark times. And I’ll be honest, I pick one of them up to read my favorite parts, which I’ve dogeared, highlighted, and written all over, EVERYDAY. Here are the top five that have made a lasting impression on me.
Discovering Your Soul Signature by Panache Desai
This book is awesome because it really teaches you how to face your emotions. It is a 33 day “path to purpose, passion, and joy” and everyday has you recall and face a certain emotion or experience from the past. It also helps you identify hurdles and patterns in your life accompanied with exercises and activities. The difficult part of this book is that everyday has a morning, afternoon, and evening section that you have to read. I would read morning and afternoon together 😕 to save time. But I feel that it was extremely helpful just the same. Towards the end of the book, I felt like I learned what my triggers were and how my reactions lead to patterns in my life where eventually stand in my own way.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Omygod! This book is nothing short of amazing. I have gifted this book to people that I know are struggling with something in their lives and I myself have read it TWICE and each time have found a more profound meaning to Don Miguel Ruiz’s message. His explanation of life is pretty simple: Your life would be much easier if you lived by these Four Agreeements:
Be Impeccable with Your Word
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
Yeap! Simple. He also has prayers at the end that in my opinion, serve as mindful meditations to help you life your life on the frequency of love and happiness, not the other ugly stuff like fear, guilt, and anxiety. This book is awesome and it is a quick read (128 pages).
A Taste of Chicken Soup for the Soul – Stories of Faith
I read my first Chicken Soup book in college and really enjoyed it. This is just a Taste (about 90 pages) but the concept is the same. These are short passages about people who have overcome and manifested truly great things in the face of adversity. What these people overcame truly taught me that I could endure any kind of hardship and come out stronger, just like they did. There was one story in particular where a single parent wanted to take a flight to see his son play in his marching band. The marching band was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in a parade. However, the family could not afford for either ticket. The man had a positive outlook and recited this everyday “Commit thyself to the Lord, and he shall bring all things to pass.” Bottom line, there was a friend of a friend who worked for an airline and got them both on a standby trip, for free. After reading this, I recite this line every single day, along with a prayer, and it gives me a real sense of peace.
A Daybook of Positive Thinking – Daily Affirmations of Gratitude and Happiness
This is one that I read and re-read everyday. It features daily affirmations that really uplift your spirit. I read one every morning (sometimes I read about five, they’re addictive) and they automatically put me in a great mood! Here is one of my favorites:
Believe in Miracles!
Love your life. Believe in your own power, your own potential, and your own innate goodness. Every morning, wake with the awe of just being alive. Each day, discover the magnificent, awesome beauty in the world. Explore and embrace life in yourself and in everyone you see each day. Reach within to find your own specialness. Amaze yourself, and rouse those around you to the potential of each new day.
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
This is one of my absolute favorites! It also makes a great gift! It’s a coffee table book and has REALLY COOL pictures of everyday New Yorkers with extraordinary stories. This really renewed my faith in the human spirit and our capability to see each other as human beings, souls surviving the day to day, regardless of what we look like. One young lady in particular resonated with me. She had one side of her head shaved with a tattoo that said something in French. The photographer asked her what it meant and she said, “It’s French for “Army of Shadows.’ I was going through a really rough time in my life, and it felt like a whole army was after me. But when I started feeling better, I realized it was nothing but an army of shadows.”
If you’re looking for something to read this summer, pick any one of these up. I am sure you will love them, too!
Blessings, love, and light,