5 Books That Changed My Life

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I’ve read a lot of books in my adult life, so trust me when I say that I had a very difficult time narrowing it down to five life-changing ones. I picked out about twelve and let them sit on my desk for a few weeks, eliminating and eliminating until I narrowed it down to these five. And the truth is – the below books truly have changed my life. They are a part of me now; forever shaping how I live from day to day. I really hope that they hold as much value for you that they have for me. (ps- the photos are linked to Amazon so you can grab them for yourself.)

If you’re not a big reader… I challenge you to try to be. In my opinion, reading is the most important thing you can do for yourself. I’m always reading a book – whether it takes me a week or three months to get through it. Reading is an acquired taste, I didn’t always love it. But like anything else that is good in life (wine, sex, exercise, straight espresso), you have to experience it enough to realize that you like it. So please, start with these really amazing books. I feel like they will inspire you to become a book worm.


Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

For the creative;

This book is probably in my top five. It is so practical, so playful, so inspiring and it brings peace of mind to a creative. There is such a gray area between your craft & what makes you money… this book dives into practical ways to have both. I love the way that Elizabeth Gilbert writes and the way that she views her creative mind. 10/10 need this book. Here’s a handful of my favorite quotes to give you a taste of what’s inside;


“Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.”

“My genius – wherever it comes from- does not keep regular hours. My genius, for what he is worth, does not work on human time and he certainly doesn’t arrange his schedule around my convenience.”

“Go back far enough and you will find people who were not consumers, people who were not sitting around passively waiting for stuff to happen to them. You will find people who spent their lives making things… This is where you come from.”

“You must possess a fierce sense of personal entitlement… Simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that – merely by being here – you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.”

“Most things have already been done – but they have not yet been done by you.”


First, We Make the Beast Beautiful. A journey through anxiety

Sarah Wilson

For the anxious;

This book is very near & dear to my heart. It changed my life and taught me how to embrace anxiety and make it work with me not against me. It fell into my lap in a time when I needed it the most. I feel like Sarah Wilson gave me words to describe the experiences that I was having with anxiety and I felt less alone in the struggle after reading her journey. This book is physically beautiful; the colors and the texture of the pages… it is truly an all encompassing read.  If you struggle with anxiety, depression, lack of purpose, lack of meaning… you need this book. Here are some of my favorite parts;


“No, we are the sky, and anxiety and depression are but clouds that pass through us.”

“Insomnia is a cry from our core to spend reflective time with ourselves.”

“unlike a table or garlic crusher or whatever, which has a comfortingly obvious purpose, we don’t know why we exist.”

“Happiness is a lovely by-product of the process. Not the (mostly unattainable) end goal.”

“Neuroscience now tells us that our brains are not rigid entities. They’re more like plastic (or muscle!), and we can reshape them with small movements over a period of time.”

“One of the worst things we can do to ourselves on the anxious journey is to get anxious about being anxious.”

“When you’re an anxious type, meditation is non-negotiable.”

“Literally, you can’t be grateful and anxious at the same time.”

“When you’ve only known two speeds – on and off – the mild mediocrity of walking pains your sense of self.”

“Yes, I’ve got these conditions – anxiety, depression, addiction – and they almost killed me. But they are also my superpowers.”

“Why do we all expect to be happy? We all came out of our mothers crying. Pain is what we do.”

“To heal, we have to weave our own unique path through it all.”

“An anxiety spiral is a descent toward grace.”

“Trust life.”


You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay

 

For trauma;

I think the hardest part about realizing that you’re experiencing a trauma as a result of someone else inflicting pain, is that it’s your responsibility to heal your life – not theirs. This book is another really practical one that helps you to recognize what is broken in your life & provides ways to heal our patterns (for good).

“We are all victims of victims”

“No matter what the problem is, our experiences are just outer effects of inner thoughts.”

“Even our concept of God needs to be one that is for us, not against us.”

“Our skin represents our individuality. Skin problems usually mean we feel our individuality is being threatened somehow. We feel that others have power over us. We are thin-skinned. Things tend to get under our skin, we feel skinned alive, our nerves are right under our skin.”

“There are so many ways you can approach your healing.”

“Like any other new thing you are learning, it takes practice to make it part of your life.”

“The adults around you when you were a child may not have known how to comfort you at that time. Now you are the adult in your life, and if you’re not comforting the child within you, then that is very sad indeed.”


Radical Forgiveness – Colin Tipping

For the unforgiver;

This book blew my mind & changed everything I thought I knew about forgiveness. I feel like we could all agree that forgiveness is a necessary thing, but none of us actually know how to go about doing it. It’s a lot easier said than done. This book changed how I thought about forgiveness and it gives practical action steps (I like practical) to actually following through with forgiving. I love this book so much. It was a precious gift and I definitely highlighted every page.

“Life will always prove your beliefs right.”

“The willingness to see the situation differently is the key to your healing.”

“Through the Law of Resonance, we attract people who resonate with our issues so that we can heal them. For example, if abandonment is our issue, we will tend to attract people who abandon us. In that sense, these people serve as our teachers.”

“Everything is being orchestrated at a spiritual level”

“We recognize that perfection always resides somewhere in the situation, even if it is not apparent at the time.”

“repression occurs when feelings like terror, guilt, or rage become so overwhelming that the mind simply blocks them entirely from conscious awareness.”

“Feelings begin with you. Not them.”

“Ironically, the people who seem to upset us the most are those who, at the soul level, love and support us the most.”

“I am convinced that if we keep the energy flowing in our bodies as it was designed to do, we will never get sick.”


The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck – Mark Manson

For caring too much;

Mark Manson is probably my favorite author… he has an amazing blog if you ever want more of his hilariously true perspective. This book really helped me to remove myself and my emotions from trying to make and keep everything perfect. He helped me to see that struggle is actually necessary and growth is nonnegotiable.

“Instead, hope for a life full of good problems”

“Emotions are merely signposts, suggestions that our neurobiology gives us, not commandments. Therefore, we shouldn’t always trust our own emotions. In fact, I believe that we should make a habit of questioning them.”

“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for”

“Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life’s problems”

“Because when you give better fucks, you get better problems. And when you get better problems, you get a better life.”

“Conflict exists to show us who is there for us unconditionally and who is just there for the benefits.”


 

I hope you consider letting these books into your mind/heart. It’s so important to be choosey about what/which content you consume as it definitely does influence how you live your life. Choosing to fill your thoughts with books that will challenge your current perspective is the quickest way to grow.

xx,

b.

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