For this week’s post I want to share some books that have been very inspirational to me and I thought it would be worth sharing them with you. They are not listed in order of preference, just a way to list them neatly. Here we go:
I read this book when I was living in New York. I was staying at a friend’s house in Valley Stream which is on Long Island and to get to work I would have to commute for 2 hours. Not many people like to commute this long but I made the most of that time. I actually read quite a few books in about 3 weeks during my stay in Valley Stream until I moved to West Harlem later on. Anyway, this book is truly amazing. I had already seen Deepak Chopra on TV and I was very interested in his wise words. He is the author of many books but this book was the one that caught my attention. It was easy to read and very enjoyable. He explains every law in good detail and also gives some ideas and suggestions on how to live by these spiritual laws. It changed my perception of certain things in life and also made me feel grateful, humble, and surrounded by abundance.
Amazingly, I also met him in person on the subway a few months later which totally made my day!
I first saw Eckhart Tolle on YouTube when he and Oprah Winfrey were doing a worldwide web podcast. His spiritual knowledge and awakening story are fascinating. You can see an extract here. Of course a lot of people say that you should live in the present, not in the past or future. This is something that is often thrown around without further detail about what it really means to live in the present moment, how you can become aware of the present moment, and how you can do that every moment, every day. Eckhart talks about this and much more in this eye-opening book. It may at some points be heavy and requires a lot of attention, but it helped me to read a few pages then put the book aside to let the message sink in before I moved on to the next part.
Dr Jill Bolte Taylor appeared on TED a few years back. As a neuroscientist she suffered a stroke in her late thirties and then after her long recovery wrote this book. Let me tell you, aha moment after aha moment. She covers a bit of brain science, living in the present moment, how to appreciate our bodies, etc. Here is one of my favourite passages from her book:
“… I knew no one had the power to make me feel anything, except for me and my brain. Nothing external to me had the power to take away my peace of heart and mind. That was completely up to me. I may not be in total control of what happens to my life, but I certainly am in charge of how I choose to perceive my experience.”
I love how she shows that we are in control of our reaction to internal and external stimuli and that we constantly have a choice as to how we behave, that we are not at the mercy of our brain circuits that lead to dysfunctional behaviour. There are many life lessons to be picked up in this very inspirational book.
A shame and vulnerability expert, Brené Brown has nailed this field. Her first TED talk on vulnerability went viral because of its realness – but she was ashamed about it because she told not only to the people in the room, but to over 15 million people that she had had a nervous breakdown from her own research project. I saw her TED talk on vulnerability and shame and I was hooked. I got her book and read it with such interest. In her words: “Shame is an epidemic.” And if you’re not sure of that, make sure you watch her TED talks and see if you can identify the shame that lives within you and around you and how we can deal with of our feelings of shame. A HIGHLY recommended book for people who feel they are under pressure of social norms and expectations of femininity and masculinity.
Finally, one of my absolute favourite books of all time. This book was made into a movie which I saw before reading the book and it sparked my interest. The movie was good but it is quite different from the book and is also more superficial. This book has been written as a fictional book but in the prologue he mentions how most of the details have been derived from other books through research which he lists in a bibliography at the end of the book. It is about life after death. This book may for many people be completely different from their own beliefs about the afterlife but nevertheless, even as a fiction, it is one hell of a good book. If you’re curious about different beliefs regarding the afterlife or you’d like to read a good book for the summer, do read this book! You will not regret it.
I hope you got inspired to read one of the books I mentioned above. Feel free to share your thoughts or your top 5 inspirational books below.