My whole life I have always loved to read. I just love how you can be transported into someone else's mind by following the words on a page. It is no surprise to me then that the spark for my spiritual journey came from a book. I figured I would share a few of the books (in no particular order) that had the greatest impact on me.
I would say this is the first book I read that impacted the way I look at life and it's events. It gives the reader 4 agreements to make with themselves that counteract self-limiting beliefs that many of us have. They are:
1. be impeccable with your word
2. don't take anything personally
3. don't make assumptions
4. always do your best
The book describes each agreement and how it can be integrated into life. I love this book so much because it can be used in any and every situation to self-reflect. It helped me to find solutions for myself instead of looking to the outside world. I began to do mental self-checks to make sure i was following the agreement when faced with difficult situations or decisions.
This book might be my favorite from the list for the fact that I love a good metaphor. If you have a passion, a goal, or a dream you are trying to reach but unsure if you should take that leap of faith, then this book is for you. It tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who decides to give up his flock and go on a journey in pursuit of his treasure.
"The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams."
"The Alchemist" is so refreshing to read. I read it periodically as I move through my journey and it speaks to me in a new way each time.
This book is another favorite. It traces defining characteristics of black culture back to African spirituality. "Cool" is examined as a spiritual state of being so strong that it is the factor in black culture that allows it to persist and pervade so much of the world.
"Cool is "the mask of mind itself," Thompson concludes, the means for attaining the calm and balance of transcendence when facing difficulty, whether playing bebop and/or confronting racist brutality."
I feel like too many people are only knowledgeable about black history beginning at slavery. This book spoke to me because it goes past that into who we were before. It then shows how we have carried a reminder of we are in the form of our art and culture. It is a great tool for gaining self-knowledge!
"The Untethered Soul" is an easy to understand breakdown of looking inside of oneself. It shows the reader from both a scientific and spiritual perspective how to look inside of themselves and let go of negative energy. The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. After reading this book I began to notice how I truly was my own problem and solution. It helped me to begin to hold myself more accountable for the balance of my inner state instead of blaming the outside world.
Using the monkey as a metaphor for the mind this book pulls from a variety of sources to give practices that help the reader basically learn how to focus. The book is broken down into levels from novice to master. Each section has exercises specific to that level, each section also has riddles at the end to gauge the readers progress in developing non-linear thinking which is a key component of creativity.
"Taming the Drunken Monkey provides comprehensive instruction for developing and improving three basic behaviors of the mind: concentration, awareness, and flexibility. Discover the power of breathwork exercises based on yogic pranayama, Chinese medicine, and Western respiratory science."
this book is so so important because I feel too few are aware of the true purpose and power of sexual energy. This book discusses sex far beyond the physical act. It looks at sex as everything, as life itself. This makes it a great introduction into the world of metaphysics. It touches on astrology, chakras, numerology, masculine/feminine energy and so much more. I went through a time of really struggling with my sexual energy mainly because I had so much confusion about it, especially in the modern dating world. This book shed light on a lot of things and brought me clarity. I definitely recommend everyone read this book because sexual energy is powerful (yet very misunderstood) and can benefit us so much when used to its full potential.
This book discusses mans true nature and how to get back to it in the form of 11 laws. The laws build upon each other and govern our lives. Once we integrate the 11 laws we will begin to act in our higher selves. The book starts off by breaking down creation from a metaphysical perspective. Then it goes through each of the 11 laws, how they affect us, and how they relate to each other.
"By observing them any spiritually mature person will gain access to wisdom and spiritual power and thus serve as a vehicle for the manifestation of God in the world."
"You Are Special" is a children's book and probably contains the most important message of all the books on this list. We used to read it all the time in class when I was in elementary school. The overall message is that you were created special and unique and when you know this, no one else can tell you who you are. I love children's movies and books because I feel like they always have messages that we adults need maybe sometimes more than the little ones. I recommend this book for nostalgia's sake for adults and children. It is beautifully written and illustrated.
The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Hindu scripture written in Sanskrit. Many gurus have written their own translations and commentaries. I read this particular version by Swami Satchidananda for my yoga teacher training as he is a guru from that lineage. The book is about a battle between a family which represents the internal battle we each go through to reach our higher selves. The metaphor made the concepts so much easier to understand and apply to my own life. Arjuna, the main character is guided by Krishna to win the battle by giving up all attachment to results and thus suffering. Arjuna represents the human soul seated in the chariot of the body and Krishna is the inner Spirit, the God within, who is there to counsel him. I recommend this book to those who are facing challenges on their journey and losing hope as a result.
The Gita comes to teach us that it is only when we rise above human schemes and calculations and awake to the presence of the indwelling Spirit that we can hope to find the answer to our need."