Self-Love, Healing, and Growth: Top 5 Books to Read

Over the past year, I’ve read so many wonderful books about self-transformation and the power of love and positivity. Each of these books have all in some way taught me how to rewire my thinking in order to create a life filled with joy, peace, and freedom. Because I have been so changed by these books, I thought I would share a few of my favorites in hopes that they will enlighten you too!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.

-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

What it’s about: As the front cover suggests, Big Magic is about living a creative life. From this book, you’ll learn that living creatively doesn’t always have to mean painting, writing, or building something, unless that’s your thing. It just means doing what you love, as often as you can, and for no reason other than because you enjoy doing it. Gilbert discusses the idea that our creative ideas, desires, and inspirations are always out there, invisibly floating around, just waiting for someone to bring them to light, and that someone could definitely be you; you just have to believe and start! This book is filled with stories of how others used that magic to create their beloved work, as well as tips on how you can change your mindset and do the same for yourself.

Why I love it: This book motivated me to stop wasting time, and instead to just go ahead and get started doing what I love, now. It helped me realize that the things I’ve always dreamed about doing but never got around to aren’t just silly fantasies. I have those desires for a reason; they are just waiting for me to take action in order to make them a reality. This book was definitely a life-changer for me.

Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

“To be able to look ahead while also celebrating now is a delicate kind of art, to imagine what could be without discounting what is.”

-Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday

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What it’s about: Simply Tuesday is a Christian-based book that teaches readers how to slow down while still managing to get things done in the fast-paced world we live in today. It teaches that more, bigger, or faster isn’t always better – especially if we aren’t leaving space in our lives for thing that really matter, like our family, creativity, and most importantly, Jesus. This book is filled with wonderful insights of grace and truth about life and God, and will leave you feeling light and refreshed after reading it.

Why I love it: I have always had the tendency to be a person who naturally rushes through life. I’m always thinking about what’s next, how much I have to do, and how fast I want to get things done. This book helped me realize it’s not only okay, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to slow down and take a breather. Simply Tuesday allowed me to see the tremendous beauty that can be found in the small, calm, and seemingly ordinary moments of life.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.”
-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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What it’s about: The Power of Now is a book made to guide people through a total life transformation in order to reach their highest sense of self. If you aren’t absolutely serious about changing your life, or if you are not willing to expand your normal way of thinking and/or doing things, I do not recommend this book. The author is very straight-forward and brutally honest about what is so wrong with our minds. What he suggests doing to cure the diseases that ail our minds will be a bit of a stretch of the imagination for many, and is quite easy to blow off as nonsense if you aren’t serious. However, if you are open and willing to change, by reading this book you will discover that the key to the end of anxiety, pain, and suffering is to be found in being totally present every moment of your life. The only reason we ever experience any sort of suffering is because we are focusing too much on the past (depression), or too much on the future (anxiety), neither of which are controllable. Presence in the here and now is all we have, and it is all that matters.

Why I love it: My mind has been absolutely blown away by The Power of Now. I’m not even all the way finished with this book yet and have already felt a radical change within me. This book is not one to be read quickly. It contains many deep ideas that aren’t necessarily complex, they just require a great deal of focus in order to truly resonate. I will warn you, this book will more than likely bring up all kinds of strange feelings and emotions within you, because you are their home, you are what they feed off of, and thus, they are going to try to fight you in order to stay alive. But if you allow them to simply be, meaning just feel them and observe them, instead of fighting or judging them, then you will discover the power within you to defeat them. So, if you are ready to finally drop all of the unnecessary baggage you have been carrying around within you for probably far too long, if you are ready to be free of the mind and its mental traps of fear and depression, then this book is definitely for you!

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

-Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass

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What it’s about: You Are a Badass is about how to stop feeling sorry for yourself and being ashamed of what you want, and instead how to embrace who you truly are so that you can begin loving your life. Sincero explains that it is totally useless to continue hating ourselves or shying away from our uniqueness. In fact, your uniqueness is the gift you have to bring to the world. No one ever did anything great by being the same as everyone else, or by staying in their comfort zone. This book teaches you how to stop being afraid of the discomforting challenges life brings, and instead how to go after what you want, with no apologies or regrets.

Why I love it: This one was an easy, enjoyable read, and a huge confidence-booster. I often find myself randomly picking it up when I’m not feeling so great about myself, and after reading just a few pages it always helps get my mindset right again. It’s definitely one of my favorite books!

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

“Separating from love means that you deny the presence of a higher power (the presence of the Universe) and learn to rely on your own power to feel safe. The moment you choose to disconnect from the loving presence of the Universe, you lose sight of the safety, security, and clear guidance that is otherwise available to you. The moment you realign with love and stop relying on your own strength, clear direction will be presented. The presence of love will always cast out fear.”

-Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

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What it’s about: The Universe Has Your Back is filled with inspiring examples of people who have radically changed their lives by changing their beliefs. This book contains several guided meditations that teach readers how to silence the chaos, doubts and fears that plague the mind. From reading this book, you will learn that the end of fear begins with love. Staying constantly connected with the universe (God), and choosing to see everything though love, will ultimately lead you to a life you love.

Why I love it: I discovered Gabrielle Bernstein by listening to some of the talks she’s given online and was extremely drawn to her teachings, so naturally I decided to start reading one of her books. Bernstein used to be an addict but is now over a decade sober, and is helping people all over the world transform their lives. She is a great example of how anyone, no matter where they came from or what they’ve done in the past, can rise above and create a brand new life, filled with light, love, and joy. I recommend any of her online teachings or books to those seeking peace, wisdom, and enlightenment.

 

So that’s my list! There are so many more I want to include, but for time’s sake I will wait for another post. However, I’m always looking for new books to read, so what are some of your favorites?! Let me know in the comment section! As always, keep checking back for more posts! ❤

The Benefits of Solitude

There is nothing I love more than sitting at home alone on a rainy day, coffee in hand, reading a book, listening to music, or writing. For a lot of people this kind of day would be considered dreary or boring, and I get why they would feel that way. But for me, the freedom I get from spending time alone is one of the best feelings in the world.

If you are an introvert, living in today’s fast-paced society can be mentally exhausting. You may frequently wonder what is wrong with you, asking yourself things like, “Why don’t I like doing what everyone else likes doing? Why don’t I want to go out and party every weekend?” It is easy to feel out of place in this world when you are an introvert because our society more often than not encourages extrovert behavior. If you are anything different than that, you’re often labeled weird, rude, or anti-social.

Fortunately you are not the only one who feels the way you do, and there is nothing wrong with you! Being introverted doesn’t make you weird, awkward or anti-social. You don’t have to have social anxiety or even be shy to be introverted. Being introverted simply means you need more time alone than others to recharge in order to function at your best.

Once I finally began embracing my introvertism, I discovered that there are actually tremendous benefits in making time to be alone, which is why I’ve created a list of three reasons why solitude is beneficial for introverts.

  1. Solitude is a great opportunity for improving your mental health and practicing self-care. Every time I use my alone time wisely (meaning I don’t spend hours on my phone aimlessly scrolling through Instagram!) I am able to do things that make me feel better, both mentally and physically. When I am alone I can freely exercise, meditate, listen to a podcast, take a bubble bath, practice yoga, read, write, or listen to music without any interruption. All of these activities help me clear my mind and relieve stress, and through taking the time to care for my well-being, I have learned how to analyze and reflect on any negative thoughts that enter my mind and then replace them with positive, uplifting truth. Since consistently taking the time for self-care in solitude, I have adopted a totally new and much healthier mindset that wouldn’t have been possible without my time spent alone learning during self-care.b48266a03ba269ac93545f4ae3a07165
  2. Solitude gives you the time and space to create your art and be creative in your work. Your work shouldn’t feel like work; your work should be your art, and I don’t necessarily mean art as in drawing or painting, unless that is your thing! I mean art as in whatever you love to do. For me, it’s writing. Whenever I am alone my mind tends to wander, and I often get my most creative ideas during this time. My daydreams become ideas that I use in the stories I write. When I am with other people it is very hard for me to be creative and focus on my work. The stimulation from people talking or the TV blaring in the background is not a conducive work environment for me. However when I am alone, I am able to take create a calm, quiet environment that allows me to concentrate and get more work done while still making the work enjoyable. Many times I don’t know how I truly feel about something or what to do about a situation until I start writing about it. Being able to put my thoughts in writing allows my mind to make sense of all the ideas bouncing around in my head.                         e30d6daa223a94f6bac2ea2a694d6491.jpg
  3. Solitude allows you to get to know yourself. When I finally grew too tired to fake being friends with the people in my life who I was just friends with for the sake of having friends, it left me with quite a bit of free time. In this time away from those people who had a large influence on what I did on a daily basis, I was able to start over. I got to know myself. I rediscovered who I was, what I liked to do, what I wanted out of life and who I wanted to be. The new things I found myself doing I never would have done before because it wasn’t considered ‘fun’ or ‘normal’ to my so-called friends. However, I’d decided that I’d much rather be alone than settle for a ‘normal’ life. In this process I learned to love myself, which unexpectedly was also the cure for my anxiety disorder. Yes I was lonely at times, and I sometimes doubted my decision to end these friendships, but it ended up being one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I discovered that I am my own home and I already have everything within me that I’ll ever need. I no longer need outside validation from anyone or anything, and that has been the most freeing experience I’ve ever had.

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Contrary to the belief of many in today’s society, there are extremely positive advantages that can be gained through spending time alone. Although sometimes working and/or being in a loud, largely populated area is unavoidable, and it definitely isn’t healthy for us introverts to completely isolate ourselves from others, we don’t need to feel guilty for taking some time to be alone every so often. So please don’t be ashamed of your introverted ways! They make you, you. 🙂

What are some benefits you have seen in your own life from spending time alone or being an introvert? I’d love to hear from you! As always, keep checking the blog for new posts.<3

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