Hello friend! I saved the best for last. I’m concluding Rosy Blu’s 10 Days of Reading with my two favorite categories. In my mind, they blend together: self development and spirituality. Both of these categories are about turning inward and becoming the person you want to be—a topic which takes a million forms.
Self discovery is a journey that started, for me, around the time I figured out that I wanted to be self employed. A lot of these books were instrumental during the time period as I learned to stop living my life on autopilot, according to the expectations that were placed on me from externally…and instead learned to figure out how to live my life from the inside first.
Since there are so many books in this category, I’m starting with the more practical side of the spectrum today, and calling it Self Development. Enjoy!
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey
The first time I read this, I expected it to be dry and dull, being so popular in the corporate world. I was shocked to find that it sucked me in like a page-turner…and I was hungrily eating up all the nuggets of wisdom that are jam-packed into this classic. It’s a classic for a reason…and I personally found it at the perfect time and place in my life. I can’t recommend this highly enough if you want to live a better, more intentional life, personally and professionally.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
by Elizabeth Gilbert
God bless Liz Gilbert. For a taste of this book’s wisdom, watch her Ted Talk. This book is a constant inspiration for me to identify and work through the fear that is an intrinsic part of a creative pursuit, while encouraging space in my life for creativity to bloom. I tend to read it very slowly, in bits and pieces, because it’s so effective at getting me “in the zone” that I need to put it down and get to work, right away.
I first learned of Brene Brown from her back-to-back viral Ted talks on vulnerability and shame. I admire her voice and perspective on dealing with these uncomfortable emotions as avenues to get to what we really want as humans—joy, connection and belonging. Learning from Brene Brown makes me a wiser, more wholehearted person.
The Desire Map
by Danielle LaPorte
I’ll be honest: I don’t always see eye to eye with DLP, but this book is pure gold. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of letting your feelings—particularly the feelings you want to have—guide your life, this is an excellent doorway into that world. Allowing your choices to be guided by your innermost desired feelings, rather than external voices or more traditional goal-setting, will change your life in a most amazing way. True story.
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
by Christiane Northrup, MD
I was introduced to this book in a Women’s Studies class in college and proceeded to read it from cover to cover. This is a paradigm shifting guide to living in a female body, with information you simply won’t get from mainstream medicine.
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual
by Michael Pollan, illustrated by Maira Kalman
There are a lot of books about eating (what to eat, and how much, for example) and this is one of my absolute favorites. It’s the most common-sense approach to eating well in the modern world, with common sense advice, like don’t eat ingredients your grandmother wouldn’t recognize, and try to eat more plants. Plus, this edition is beautifully illustrated. Win!
Food is so important. And in our culture, it’s so loaded. This book is packed with some really great wisdom on unpacking the bag of food issues and approaching fueling your body with more love and intention.
The Game of Life and How to Play It
by Florence Scovel Shinn
More than once I’ve read this book when I’ve been in a funk, and it has given me a jolt to pull myself together and get on a better track. You could say it’s about law of attraction. It’s a bit on the woo side, but I dig it. (Click the link, this book is free!)
Reading this book felt truly nourishing. Tara combines spiritual, psychological and practical discussion to provide a well-rounded approach for women seeking to make a greater contribution through their work. This book resonated with me in a way that other books on the topic of “women in the workplace” haven’t, because it’s not about pushing women to make it in a man’s world, but rather re-making a world guided from the inside, where both men and women can work without changing their core way of being. Beautiful words from a wise woman. I highly recommend this book, and in fact, can’t wait to read it again myself.
I’ve read a ton of books about money, but this is one of my favorites. It balances logical and holistic approaches to money, which is hard to find in personal finance. Check out her blog first if you want to get a taste for her style.
The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life
by Sara Avant Stover
You’ll find this book bouncing between my nightstand and my kitchen. It’s my favorite primer on seasonal living and self care, with great ideas on adjusting your lifestyle to evolve and cycle with the seasons. Plus, seasonal yoga! The yin sequences are my favorite. Since I bought it years ago, I’ve picked it up nearly every season for a refresher on ways to connect with nature.
The Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System
by Anodea Judith
For a long time I was curious about the Chakra system but couldn’t find a single book that would serve as a good introduction and overview. Finally I found this one—it’s big and thick, but full of really great information.