Today we’re going to talk about books. I often have two or three books on the go and I have a strong Amazon and library habit. In 2016, I ordered from Amazon 53 times (sorry bank account) and borrowed 72 books from Hackney Library …
Books do a lot for me. They are are my relaxation, my education and my therapist.
I’ve mentioned before that I started to work on myself and began to recognise that my relationship with myself, and with alcohol, was detrimental to my quality of life.
Over the last two years, real shifts have happened. I’m nowhere near the end of my journey, in fact I feel like I’ve barely even started on the path. But something about the last year few years, and all of the books I read and people i spoke to, fundamentally changed my perspective and my relationship with myself.
It took work. Bloody hell it still takes work. Every. Single. Day.
Sometimes I slip into full on “princess” mode – I’m actually having one of those days today as I write this – I think “it’s not fair”, “why am I naturally inclined to the dark and stormy?”, “why do I have to work so hard just to get up in the mornings?” Why. Why. Why.
I strop. I cry. I get incredibly annoyed with my own situation.
But then I get back to it. I acknowledge that my life is better for the routine I’ve but in. I’m better for the challenges I’ve faced. And when the darkness shifts, I feel brighter. So much brighter.
The level of self awareness that I am beginning to cultivate has breathed light into so many different areas of my life. I’m expanding every day, and “princessing” less often.
It’s a long one! Here’s my pick of the books that worked to change my perspective on money, food, drinking, myself and life in general. These books helped me become the girl who is sitting here, writing to you, sharing her hopes, dreams & all the shit in between with you in her tiny corner of the internet:
Written by Timber Hawkeye, this book is broken down into short stories that can be digested easily. I keep it by my bedside table and still pick it up most mornings.
Each story, inspirational quote, and teaching offers mindfulness-enhancing techniques that anyone can relate to. You don’t need to be a Buddhist to find the Buddha’s teachings motivational. As the Dalai Lama says, “Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.”
Anyone can be creative, and you can be creative in all aspects of your life. There are a few books on this list that help give you permission to be creative, this is one of them. Full of anecdotes and useful tips, it will inspire you to be creative. It inspired me. I scribble constantly, and it even got me drawing again, but creativity isn’t being an artist – and this book will guide you towards your own creativity in life, business and beyond.
Be stubborn about compromise.
Plan to have more accidents.
Be mature enough to be childish.
Contradict yourself more often.
Discover the Art of Creative Thinking.
I mentioned this book in my post about mornings, reading Hal’s Miracle Morning
was my first proper foray into self development. It helped me structure a morning routine and got me set on a path to changing my habits. I don’t stick to his SAVERS (more on that in this post) religiously anymore but I do strive to have a morning practice every day.
I first read this at the beginning of 2016. I had yet to go through a lot of the shifts that happened last year and then my goals centred around getting promoted and losing two stone (that is a story for another day). Inspired by an interview I listened to with Jen Sincero recently, I downloaded the book on Audible & it was the best thing I could have done! It got me in the third week of January when I was feeling the very typical January blues and like the things I wanted weren’t going to happen. Jen get’s it, and she sets up a very practical guide to making shit happen for you and embracing the crazy life and world we live in in all it’s wonder.
Another book I have on Audible and the book version, though I think I’ve listened to the Audible version 5+ times … (if you’ve never used Audible before – or have but it’s been over a year – you can get a months free trial and a free book) it’s another great book for when you are in a total life funk – plus Liz herself narrates it which I LOVE.
By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Liz Gilbert challenges you to embrace your curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.
I love the anecdote she uses of her friend who skates, every morning 3 times a week – not because she wants to be a skater or give up her job to become a skate coach, but because she loves it. Creative living, every day. Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic inspired me to start this blog, to write more and to follow my curiosity (most days) …
Ahhh The Inner Fix! I could rave about this book all day long … Joey & Persia’s practical step-by-step programme guides you to help dramatically improve your relationships, feel more confident and satisfied with your work, confront your financial blocks and become the best version of yourself – both inside and out. Working through sections on money, work, relationships and more, the girls guide you with their own stories and wisdom.
The book also comes with lots of extras including some meditations, which I still listen too regularly (they’re saved on my phone). I’ve bought this book for two friends also, highly recommended.
If you struggle with disordered eating, or any sort of body image issues, or a lack of self confidence, this book could be magic for you. It was for me. I lost count of the number of books I bought to help me through my food struggles, and the money spent on therapy and CBT (invaluable), but this book by Mel just clicked.
She is positive and inspiring and I read it in about two days! In this book Mel shows how it is possible to have a healthy, satisfying and guilt-free relationship with our bodies without any dieting or strict regimes. She tackles modern issues – including ‘fitspiration’ and the unrealistic strive for perfection caused by celebrity culture and magazine airbrushing – and shows us how we can truly start to show our body the love it deserves, take back our power around food and, in return, feel better than ever.
A totally different approach on not drinking, from a female perspective. I guess in someways it is quite alike to Jason Vale & Allen Carr’s books but it is so easy to read and approachable. Annie’s words don’t force or slam into you that you shouldn’t drink but it is a persuasive read and one to buy if you’re contemplating quitting drinking – or already have!
I have read a lot of books on finances, in fact I could probably write a whole blog post on those books but I’ll hold off until I have a better grasp on mine. The stories and anecdotes are great but what really helped me in this book were Kate’s step-by-step exercises that address both the emotional and practical aspects of your financial life. They help you figure out your personal perceptions of money and wealth and how to change them for the better. This book teaches you how to shift your beliefs about money, create a budget, spend in line with your values, get out of debt and so much more. It’s the beginning of my money journey, not the end – but I felt inspired when I completed the exercises & not depressed at my situation and that was a very positive shift for me!!
I’m not sure I can do this book justice with my words but I urge you to read it. My copy is a mess, scrawled throughout with notes, underlines and folded corners. This book is an inspiring guide to how to live a more whole. fulfilling and spiritual life.
I’ve borrowed from Amazon to explain Marianne’s book better than I can … Marianne explains how applying the principles of love to all difficulties can aid in healing and bring about a personal transformation of the reader. She reveals how you can bring universal spiritual principles into your everyday life by accepting God and expressing love.
Whether your ‘pain’ is in the area of relationships, career, health or emotions, this book shows you how love is the key to inner peace, and how by practising love we can make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful and loving world for our children.
Another book that had a profound effect on me yet I struggle to explain how. Pema is a buddhist nun, and her voice recordings (which you can hear on Audible) have also helped me profoundly. Her book shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.
Rebecca’s second book, Rise Sister Rise shook me right up. It felt like the call to action I’d been waiting for to truly start being myself and to start something (you’re reading it!). It is full of stories, anecdotes, mantras and actions that will help you embrace your light and yourself. I still keep it on my bedside table and often pick it up and open it on a random page for a little bit of guidance.
A friend lent Love Warrior to me and I haven’t been able to put it down since! Although my life is on paper very different to Glennon’s, her words seem to write a lot of my story and I have been totally engrossed.
Glennon’s words stick with me as I tell my own story: “Me too, me too, me too. We see your dark and it matches ours. You are not alone …”
It is a memoir and so much more, I’m not sure I can write much more that will do it justice but if you have ever struggled with self worth and self love you will find something of yourself in her story.
I would recommend any and all of these books to you. I’d love to know which ones, if any, you’ve read and which you are planning to read.
I’m going to work on a few more book posts, one specifically for booze, and I’m planning on keeping an online list and a roundup of what I’ve been reading over 2017. Let me know if you’d find that useful, and any books you’d recommend …
All my love as always, L xx
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