Books

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Reading this book I realized that I have no problems. Viktor’s memoir about his experience as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II is painful and must be read. It’s a remarkable story that exemplifies Nietzsche’s quote “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.” Viktor was a psychiatrist and based his observations on the everyday struggle of inmates. Man’s Search for Meaning is a short book and one everyone in the world should be required to read. The wisdom shared amidst unfathomable suffering will resonate with you long after you finish the book.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

If you are even remotely interested in growth, this isn’t an optional read. Read carefully; this book will change your life. Do you know that voice always talking inside your head? The one that comes up with problems to solve and narrates every second of your day? What if understanding that you are the one who hears the voice, not the voice itself is the first step in your liberation? This book will take you on a journey into the question “Who am I?” It explains how you can be free of all disturbed energy and maintain your peace of mind, no matter what. The writing is simple and clear making for an easy read on a substantial topic.
I love the audible version of this too.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

This book had me smiling and laughing out loud because of my identification with the content the entire way through. I wouldn’t have picked it up unless a mentor of mine had suggested it because I didn’t know the author or care about the Dilbert comic. I loved Scott’s voice and perspective immediately. He has me hooked at “To put it bluntly, goals are for losers.” Scott’s writing is bold, clear and concise throughout. I absorbed more distinctions and tools from HTFAAEASWB than I do from most books that market themselves under the “Self Help” category. I love the audible version of this too.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

I am going to assume that if you are on my site, that you have read The Four Agreements or another book by Don Miguel Ruiz. All of his books provide simple and practical tools that are helpful to everyone on a spiritual path. I am still a huge fan of his first book, The Four Agreements. The Four Agreements are 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. Implementing these four principles into your life as a practice will change everything. His new book The Three Questions will be released June 26th which I will purchase right away.

Bring Me the Rhinoceros and Other Zen Koans that will Save Your Life by John Tarrant

Working with koans has expanded the way I think and quieted my mind. Working with a koan is like meditating as you are going about your day. I became familiar with koans from hearing Tim Ferriss reference them regularly on his podcast. At church recently, the sermon began with a koan that dominated my head space for days- “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” After researching that koan and using it to deepen my spiritual practice, I purchased two books on koans, and this one was my favorite.

A Manual for Living by Epictetus

A small, accessible book to read, I reference it regularly. Epictetus was a former slave and a Stoic philosopher. The hallmark of a great lesson is the test of time, and his wisdom holds up as powerfully today as it did during his lifetime. The underlying themes in his teachings are: focus on the things within your control, life events will happen, and you are always in charge of how you internalize them, use your time on this earth wisely. It’s a great gift to humanity and a friend.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

This book is a tough love manifesto. Not just for writers or creative types, it’s for anyone who is aware that they are currently not living out their divine destiny. The War of Art names the enemy that is stopping you from moving forward: Resistance. It’s the force standing in between you and greatness in a secular and spiritual realm. The book is broken out into three sections and Book Three, Beyond Resistance, The Higher Realm makes remarkable distinctions between the Self and Ego. After I finished the book, I started listening to chapters on audible regularly as I run errands. I can’t get enough of it, and my productivity level has improved drastically.

Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

If you are a practicing Christian or grew up with some Christian doctrine in your life, this book is worth reading. I grew up going to church every Sunday. I hated it and did not believe in God. Maybe Jesus was a historical figure, but the son of God story was too literal. The mass church structure felt too rigid and the old doctrine boring. A friend gave me this book years ago, and it changed my views on the religion of my childhood. It’s a book for skeptics filled with the fundamental teachings of Christianity that will change the way you believe forever; my life is so much fuller with faith. Mere Christianity is one pathway.

The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope

I read The Great Work of Your Life during a family vacation. The entire period took on a magical quality due to the stories and guidance in this book. Cope shares the story of Krishna and Arjuna from the Bhagavad Gita peppered with biographical stories about Jane Goodall, Harriet Tubman, and Mohandas Gandhi. Dharma is the thread connecting all the stories. There are so many different paths, and expressions of one’s unique personal destiny and Cope is a gifted storyteller. The stories come alive and pull you in. Each of them moved me. I ended the book inspired and committed to pursuing my dharma path.

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

I am a huge Tony Robbins fan. After watching Tony’s Netflix movie, this was the first and only book I ever listened to before I attended two of his workshops. I listened to this book on audible over the course of a few days. It’s one of the best self-help books ever. It effortlessly conveys all of Tony’s best strategies on how to gain control of your life and shape your destiny. I started taking 100% responsibility for my emotional state and energy after reading this book. It’s not perfect every day, but the actionable steps are easy and unforgettable

The Bulletproof Diet by David Asprey

After the yo-yo dieting in my 20s and binge eating in my early 30s, I don’t commit to restrictive diet plans. I read this book due to my mid 40s brain fog. Even well rested, I felt hazy. My memory had deteriorated to the low end of mediocre, and after taking the year-long Integrative Nutrition course, I also know that inflammation is the cause of all pain and disease in our bodies. I also don’t like eating breakfast or being told it’s the most important meal of the day. The bulletproof coffee alone is a reason to read this book. I don’t follow this diet exactly, and I have changed the way I eat and think about food because of the research in this book. I feel a lot better and have lost weight without trying.

Transcending the Levels of Consciousness by David Hawkins

I was given the Levels of Consciousness chart at the beginning of a year-long course I took in 2012-2013 called the Evolutionary Collective. I still have the chart pinned to my tack board and refer to it often. This book explains each level of the ego’s expressions in detail and offers instructions on how to transcend them. It’s a dense book and can better read slowly or a chapter at a time according to where you fall on the chart on any given day. Learning that Courage is always the portal to higher levels of consciousness has encouraged me to step into it more regularly.

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso

I first heard about the Enneagram in the EC, the course I mentioned above. Always an astrology fan, the Enneagram was right up my alley and I started studying it outside the class. It’s a personality typing system with nine different categories. When you spiritually disintegrate or integrate you become another type, so there is movement within the system. It’s alarmingly accurate and helpful because you can track the way you are showing up in the world with your optimal path. Even people who don’t feel they fit into the system become believers after reading the extensive write up on their profile after taking the test at the beginning of the book. It’s also a helpful tool when dealing with people. I can immediately sense what personality type someone is and if we will mesh. Getting along is never personal, some types do well together, and others do not. The Enneagram has saved me a lot of time and energy.

Razors Edge by Somerset Maugham

I don’t read much fiction, and this book has a special place in my heart. Long before I discovered all the fantastic people who populate the world of transformation, Larry Darrell was my hero. Someone willing to walk away from a conventional life driven by a desire for deeper meaning. Published originally in 1944, it’s a masterpiece. Do not watch the movie, ever in my opinion, or at least until you have read the book.

Originals by Adam Grant

My copy of this book has so many sentences underlined that the underlining has no purpose. Originals re-defines what it means to be an innovator, by debunking popular beliefs. It shifted the way I think. Grant gives practical advice for all creative pursuits by weaving stories and data together. He pulls examples from every field. The Actions for Impact section at the end provides structure to the tools given throughout, and I still refer to it.

Start with Why/ Find Your Why by Simon Sinek

I had no idea that I was missing my Why. After years of deep work, I would have told you with certainty that I knew it. After reading these two books, I became crystal clear, and it helped me restructure my time and create this blog. Simon is a great guy. After reading Start with Why I listened to him on a podcast and watched a few interviews. Jerks can write great books, but at this point in my life, I am interested only in people who walk their talk.

The Body Keeps the Score

A transformative book about trauma, I read it when I realized that I was experiencing PTSD symptoms after my son had an accident. If you have experienced any trauma in your life, read this book. To heal, I believe it’s a necessity to understand the science behind trauma which The Body Keeps the Score makes easily accessible. The book also provides the most effective cures for trauma sufferers. Skip a therapy session and read this instead.