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Books I come back to time and time again (besides Austen + romance novels) are self-help and personal growth books. A constant in my life has been the desire to improve, to transform. I have a strong desire to get better, to be more open minded and to live life with an open heart. While it can be difficult at times to embrace constant change, books have been the gateway to motivation and transformation for me. Staying stagnant for too long drives me bonkers. I crave change and transformation. Or maybe it’s my sense of curiosity wanting to see how far I can push myself to improve. After all, when you change and transform yourself, you’re not the same person you were yesterday. You can ultimately create new adventures in life simply by reading a book and committing to the actions and or changes within it.
Self-help and personal growth books are like choose your own adventure novels for adults. Because when you change who you are, you embark on a whole new adventure.
This list is only the beginning in this category of books. I’m always searching for new insights on life, how to live better, and how to love others without judgement. The books that help transform the relationship with yourself and the world around you. All of these books deal with the inward journey.
This book is the one that started it all. After my divorce, I was searching for a way to connect with myself spiritually and to understand myself as an individual. I was looking for spiritual growth and guidance. To be honest, I felt disconnected and lost. I wanted to learn forgiveness. I wanted to learn to love myself and I was also lacking in self-confidence and had what Marianne calls “a negative sense of self”. I knew I needed a more positive thought pattern and it was time to transform the mundane life I had been living. This book opened my heart and my mind in ways I cannot express. I cried and I felt every word of this book in my core. See, told ya, hard to explain how I felt when reading this.
When one book by an author has a profound impact on me spiritually, I have a tendency to binge read that author’s range of books. So it’s no surprise to find more of Marianne in this list. A Return to Love talks about connecting to your inner guide and spirit. For many of us, we become disconnected from love or our inner spirit, the universe, God, (insert what other worldly being you believe in here) and because of that disconnection we lead lives that are less than stellar. This book teaches love over fear.
‘Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the relinquishment — or unlearning — of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts. Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth.”
Oh this book! If you want to bring more mindfulness into your life and dip your toes into meditation, this one’s got your number. I read this book back in 2012 and devoured it. Well, sort of. It took me 2 months to complete but I wanted to comprehend and fully experience each exercise within it. It also contained my introduction to Thoreau as there are sprinklings of his text throughout. Meditation, mindfulness and simplicity are all contained within – three of my favourite things in life.
I purchased this book on a whim and purely based on the sticker on the front. I figured, if Oprah featured it on Super Soul Sunday, it’s gotta be a worthwhile read. I mean, Oprah gets it — she understands the need for soul nurturing. As I continued my journey of looking inward, this book helped me with the painful thoughts and memories that kept me from being truly happy and self-aware. When I read this in 2014, I was struggling with debt, shopping excessively, and contemplating whether my career was the right one for me.
The Zen habits blog was one of my first reads on the journey to understanding myself and minimalism. This book is a practical look at habit change and offers simple actionable steps to creating true change in your life. Leo takes you on a journey of changing one habit at a time before adding another to your list. So, if you struggle with change or sticking to habits, this one’s a must.
Self-help, personal growth, transformation — whatever you call it, is a subject near and dear to my heart. It’s the path to self-awareness, to understanding what we want out of life and who we are. It helps us get better at not only loving ourselves but being able to love others. Are you a fellow self-help + personal growth spirit junkie? What’s your fave read?
Interested in other books I’ve read? Check out my Goodreads profile.
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