I haven’t considered myself a Spiritual person until recently. In fact, I was quite the opposite for most of my adolescent and early adult life. I attended Catholic school in first, second and third grade and remember thinking, “ummm, no.”
A proud atheist emerged and remained that way. If god was mentioned in any conversation, book, podcast, blog or show – I was out.
The frustration with this lay in the fact that I was constantly seeking self-help advice because I felt so disconnected from myself. I read book after book about how to find my purpose. The term god wasn’t always mentioned in these books, but there was often a hint of ‘something else.’ Source, Universe, Energy, Meditation, True Self etc.
I slowly started to understand that the ‘something else’ had nothing to do with offering all of your problems up to something outside of yourself but rather, learning to connect to the wisdom within you. We are all inherently Spiritual. My journey to realizing this started in the below books.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
I would describe this book as the ‘seed planter’ for me. It mentioned god but also acknowledged that the word does not resonate with a lot of people, so you could substitute the universe or any other word that works. This acknowledgement made me feel safe and allowed me to soften on that ‘g’ word going forward. I remember devouring this book and thinking “Yes, this but how?” I wasn’t quite sure how to apply his teachings to my life in New York City. But I remained curious about ‘awakening’ and becoming conscious to my life.
The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended by Ainslie MacLeod
Ainslie MacLeod is a Psychic Medium. I heard of him through Oprah (classic, I know.) This book terrified and fascinated me. He introduced me to the idea of a Soul. I wasn’t sold, but he was relatable and funny, discussing his resistance to his Psychic gifts out of fear of judgment. The overall lesson of this book is that each of us has a soul, a soul age and a soul’s purpose in this lifetime. Each soul reincarnates until it’s mastered this human life thing. Once we do, our souls move onto the other side where we guide humans on how to best live their lives (Spirit guides). I read this book very skeptically (i.e. this is weird…but tell me my soul’s age and purpose!) This idea had a larger impact on me than I recognized at the time.
The Way of Integrity: Finding The Path to Your True Self by Martha Beck
I’m a trained Life Coach through Martha’s program and I’m a bit of a fan girl, but she’s the best in the self-development space. The Way of Integrity was the book that really moved my life forward. So I guess you could call it life changing but I don’t want to oversell anyone 😉 I finished this book and something clicked. “Oh change is possible for me and I can lead a more purposeful life.” I signed up for Martha’s Wayfinder coaching program almost immediately and a year of wild and unexpected changes ensued.
Whole Brain Living : The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life by Jill Bolte Taylor
I would title this book: Science meets Spirituality. Following my Life Coaching course, I experienced a Spiritual Awakening. Vivid dreams, hearing voices, and feeling with a deep sense of knowing that the ‘something else’ I was confused about for so long was very real. I didn’t know where this feeling came from, but I just had it now. This experience was very confusing and at times terrifying. I didn’t understand what was happening so it was hard for me to articulate. Whole Brain living gave me language for some of this and the understanding that the connection I was now feeling was a part of my, and your, brain.
In brief! (I’m paraphrasing here.) There are four parts of our brain, left thinking, left emotional, right thinking and right emotional. Most of us are very well versed with the left side of our brains: fear, anxiety, self-doubt, identity, past memories, to-do lists, organizing, critical thinking etc. The left side of our brain is all about the self, me me me. The Right side of the brain is where creativity, fun, joy and our connection to WE lives. Connection to the collective and to the universal energy that all is made of. My awakening was remembering the right side of my brain.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This is my favorite book of all time. And I don’t have many favorites. I remember reading this book in my early 20’s and thinking ‘this is it.” This IS the meaning of life. To be light, to have fun, to recognize and not get caught up in all of the trivial things we like to get caught up in. It planted that knowing in my subconscious, that knowing that I’m good. I’m good no matter what. And since the world could be blown up at any moment in order to make a highway bypass for the galaxy, why don’t we all just have a laugh while we can?
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I love the overview of books and how they have served you. I’m particularly pleased to hear the part that you discovered about all people being inherently good and I couldn’t agree more! And I say, you are the best. Thanks for sharing your personal insights. It takes courage:)