One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.
– Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
I have been in an on-off relationship with books for as long as I can remember. There are times when there is nothing I’d rather do than to curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and devour chapter after chapter. Eventually though, this is always followed by a dry spell, where I leave my books to gather dust on my shelves and my e-reader not seeing the light of day for weeks.
Of course, my literary cravings partly depend on my schedule, the weather and the selection of loose-leaf teas that’s available in my kitchen cabinet. But this dynamic also seems to be related to the right information coming to me at the right time. Some books have quite literally changed my life, from the way I eat my breakfast to the way I feel about life’s fundamental questions, and looking back I might not have been ready for that kind of shift, had these books made it into my awareness at a different time.
Words can have a lasting impact on our consciousness and can sometimes provide us with that little spark we need to ignite a bonfire of transformation. So I am excited to share with you a couple of books that have changed my view on life for the better, in the hopes that they will also inspire you.
1. The Kind Diet – Alicia Silverstone
A plant-based lifestyle was not exactly on my bucket list until The Kind Diet opened my eyes to the impact of animal products on our health and the environment. It turned all my beliefs about good nutrition and health upside down and left me astonished for a good couple of days. This book came to me at a time when I was traveling through Southeast Asia, where the way we use animals for consumption is displayed out in the open, not neatly tucked away behind closed doors as we are used to in Western society. I started to realize that there wasn’t any difference between the pets I love and cherish and the animals that end up on our plates. Alicia introduced me to vegetarian and vegan lifestyle with such natural ease and encouragement, that I turned vegetarian overnight and gradually progressed into a fully plant-based diet. I haven’t looked back ever since, as the diet turned out to be really kind to me as well.
2. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
I love Liz Gilbert. Ever since she planted a seed of adventurism in so many of our hearts with her bold memoir Eat, Pray, Love, I have been smitten with her authenticity, wit, and refreshing take on things. In Big Magic, she writes about the enchantment of the creative process and the ways we all seem to stumble while following our curiosity. The book is a real page-turner and so much of it rang true for me. I found her words to be unbelievably inspiring and encouraging to take my creative life to a higher level. Whenever I feel insecure about my creative abilities some of her words pop into my mind and help me to put things back in perspective, so my inspiration can flow freely again. Big Magic indeed!
3. Journey of Souls – Michael Newton
Well, I don’t even know where to start with this one. This book contains a collection of case reports of regression hypnotherapy sessions conducted by Dr. Newton. During these sessions, his clients were regressed to memories of their past lives. He accidentally discovered that clients were able to recount what happened to them after passing in a former life and before reincarnating into their next one. The selected cases describe in astonishing detail what they experience in the spirit world. These tales about “life in-between lives” struck a chord with me on a whole new level. I am not one to easily take something as gospel, but somehow throughout the pages, I got a feeling of recognition that is hard to put into words. This book has definitely strengthened my beliefs about this life being a temporary training ground and a platform for playing out karma with members of a predestined soul group. It has changed the way I feel about death to a point where I am no longer consumed by fear when confronted with the thought of my life ending, which has brought a certain lightness to my life. Definitely a must-read for anyone who’s interested in the idea that we’re all souls residing a temporary body.
4. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L. Hay
Love really is the ultimate answer, more specifically self-love. That is the main insight I took away from reading this earth-shattering bestseller. After having this book recommended to me on several occasions, I decided to check out what all the excitement was about. It turned out not a word too much was said. Louise tells it like it is, whether we like it or not. We, and only we, are responsible for our own health and happiness. Negative self-talk and limiting beliefs can make us mentally and physically ill and this is what is causing many of us great misery. But the good news is that the counterpart is also true: that with loving intention and positive determination we can heal ourselves back to our natural state of joy and vibrant health. She gives practical tools to implement this truth in our daily lives and most importantly: she speaks from her own experience, which made this read exceptionally accessible. This book is one of the main reasons I became an advocate for self-love and a firm believer in creating our own reality, and I am ever grateful for her spreading this inspiring message that has the ability to turn so many lives around.
5. The Highly Sensitive Person – Elaine N. Aron
Now this book might not appeal to everyone, but when I read a feature about Elaine’s research in an online magazine I had a true epiphany. Throughout my whole life, I had been hearing that I was too emotional, too jumpy, too shy, too sanguineous, too easily affected, yada yada. And finding out that being highly sensitive is actually a thing, that there is a simple explanation for the reason why I always seemed to be the odd one out, made me cry with relief. I immediately ordered the book and when it came I read it back to back in a matter of days, filled with gratitude and self-recognition. With every page, I was able to connect more and more dots and shed a new light on experiences from my past in which I felt I was defective in some way or the other. It still continues to help me to rewire my brain into accepting all of my beautiful highly sensitive traits and seeing them as valuable assets, instead of things I need to tone down or change in order to be worthwhile. Just the mere recognition that there is a place in this world for HSP’s has been transformational on every level of my daily life.
Did you have similar experiences reading some of these bundles of wisdom? Which inspiring books have you read that have changed your life? I’d love to hear all about it in the comment section below!
Love and light,