FABULOUS BOOKS TO INSPIRE US ALL TO BE WHO WE ARE REALLY MEANT TO BE.
From the random to the revolutionary,
here are a few of our new and old favorites.
BY AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS
Whether we find ourselves in the winter of our lives or not, THIS IS HOW: SURVIVING WHAT YOU THINK YOU CAN’T is a powerful, deeply raw, pulls-no-punches guidebook.
I have revisited this book several times since first stumbling upon it several years ago following the end of a relationship. Augusten’s words crystallized in plain detail what I was looking for within myself. He strips away the pretense and asks his readers to stare directly at life. I love him for it. I revisited this book again in early winter of this year because I knew it was time to whittle away false narratives sneaking their way back into my mind. Broken into specific chapters on how to be or do a specific thing, Burroughs adeptly challenges you to own your bullshit and live with deep honesty — beginning with yourself.
Are you vacillating between telling yourself the truth or subscribing to the affirmations of others? Read this book. Are you constantly in a state of worry about something? Read this book. Are you preparing for or in the heart of deep grief, change, or transition? Read this book. Have you always wanted a down-to-the-floor-of-the-earth approach to self-development? Read this book. We needn’t be in a place of survival to find fuel and meaning in its pages but if we are, this is a damn good blueprint. Snag your copy of THIS IS HOW here.
BY ECKHART TOLLE
When was the last time you actually felt the grass in your hand? Or what you now hold in your hand? Like really felt it?
When was the last time you felt the energy of the water at sunset, the pulse of the thunderous city street, or the sheer power of the oak tree in your back yard?
Our environment often brings us back to the present moment. And while the phones we’re always holding can engage us in anything, anywhere, we frequently lose touch with what we’re actually experiencing in the now. This breath. This moment.
The Power of Now slices through all the noise about ourselves, our purpose, our thoughts, and life’s ‘shoulds’ to remind us of the foundation upon which we all stand and breathe: in the now. This book is about everything. Sincerely. Everything comes back to presence. This present moment and how we engage the power of now in our busy lives.
All we have is now. Full stop. We don’t create in the past nor the future. We don’t experience anything outside of each present moment. We cannot show up to anything else but now. And we don’t actually live in the past or the future—even as much as our minds would like us to believe we do. Being here now; dropping back into this moment is profoundly empowering and healing.
Eckhart Tolle’s gentle manifesto on what presence actually means, how to engage it, and how to observe our mind without becoming enslaved to its voice is so deeply transformative — if we let it in. I urge you to let it in, friends.
This book has changed me. Deeply and far more intimately than any other book I’ve read in a very long time.
As my own spiritual mentors encouraged me, I also recommend listening to the audio version of The Power of Now, which is structured as a Q & A-style interview between Eckhart and the book’s publishers, which you can find on Audible.
In any format, this work may be robust for the average reader and is best experienced in small pieces to fully engage its meaning from a place of actual conscious presence rather than of mere book knowledge added to an already-full mind space. Think of this book more like a practice to engage rather than words to read or file away in your thoughts.
BY KATHERINE CENTER
Game-changing moments don't just change our lives; they change the way we look at life too. We change in an instant from the inside out. And then we spend the days following this moment making choice after choice about whether or not we will resist or embrace what is meant for us.
While this work of fiction isn't for everyone, beneath its backdrop of predictability, Katherine Center takes us on journey into the heart of one woman's game-changing moment and what she ultimately does with it.
Margaret Jacobsen seemingly had it all -- the new fantastic career, the relationship, and a full landscape of opportunity on the horizon. Then everything changed. The relationships, the opportunities, and the beliefs she held onto so tightly slipped away. She must then confront her limiting beliefs, particularly her perceptions of strength, beauty, connection, and purpose.
How To Walk Away holds many parallels with my own life narrative, including a physical therapist of the same name and the emergence of a purpose I least expected to unfold within me. Snag a copy of this book for yourself if you are wading through challenge and need a fictional ear along the way. Or gift it to the friend trying to pick herself up after a bitter fall or at the intersection of possibility -- in life, career, health, or relationships. We are not our limitations, friends, unless we choose to be. In the heart of challenge, we can cultivate joy and actually become more fully ourselves.
BY MARK NEPO
In honor of National Poetry Month here in the States, we begin this month's recommendations with a fabulous collection of poetry, thoughtful perspective, and deep wisdom. Even if you kinda hate poetry, this title is still worth the read.
A quiet, subtle game-changer for life, leadership, and business, Nepo guides us in short daily passages (perpetual-calendar style) to consider how close the life we want actually is by listening more closely to the life we already have. Well-versed in looking both fear and courage in the eye, Mark gently challenges us to widen our view, deepen our curiosity, and engage rather than simply observe.
This title has sat on my bedside table for years. (I've honestly lost count of how many years.) Dog-eared, sharpie pen marks in the margins, I've returned to its daily passages again and again, finding something new every time. Mark's ability to bring us home to what really, really matters is powerful and deeply inspiring to our practice. If you're looking for a brief yet potent way to start or end the day, look no further. Snag your copy here.
BY NIKITA GILL
This book landed in my lap last year during a deeply pivotal time. A faraway friend threw it in the post for me--it isn't exactly easy to find--because she believed it would be the perfect reflection of what I needed at the time.
Gill emphasizes the power of the seasons, the power of our senses, the earth, the universe, and the collision of stars that is each one of us. The poems are short and potent.
Wherever you are in this life, if you'd like to explore your emotions but unsure of how, I encourage you to check this one out. Nikita can has a beautifully simple ability to give voice to what is unsaid and unhealed in our hearts.
Some of the poems ache a little too much for me and still others possess a tinge of co-dependency about them but even then, all of her words bear real significance to how we heal, live, love, lead, and move through the world--at times consciously and other times seeking consciousness through external forces, people, places, and experiences. Here's a powerful favorite: When every part of you aches with loneliness, seek no one else. Now is the time to seek yourself. Snag your copy here.
BY MARY OLIVER
Her brilliance knows no boundary. Her ability to bring us to the core of who we are is unshakeable, each poem weaving together all natural beings within Mother Earth's palm.
Mary Oliver's new collection is lovingly curated by Oliver herself, spanning her entire career and leaving us in awe of her ability to bring all living things together to really look one another in the eye.
My first encounter with Mary Oliver's work was actually in a business development course in college years ago. The professor began class with Oliver's words, reminding us that we are never far from universal nature and when we embrace nature consciously in all we do and contribute, it will embrace us. If you are new to Mary Oliver, this collection is a perfect introduction. Snag your collection of Devotions here.
BY STEVE NEALE, LISA SPENCER-ARNELL, & LIZ WILSON
This book is an old favorite -- one re-read at the beginning of every year since I found it in 2012. I just finished it once again and pulled out new, resonating pieces to add to my day-to-day practice in coaching and living.
I wish everyone wanted to read this book, regardless of their profession or the roles they play in life. It offers information, structure, and wisdom for all of us, particularly for our communication and collaborations. Emotional Intelligence is growing in popularity yet this book turns it into a tangible practice (you all know how much I love practice) by guiding us to understand how emotions, habits, and beliefs inform our actions and attitudes. The best part? It gives you clear approaches to get unstuck, navigate challenge, and harness emotions in a powerful way.
Looking to become a stronger coach? This book belongs on your desk, highlighted and dog-eared. Looking to improve your interactions with others? This book is worthy of your bookshelf or bedside table. Want to better understand how you approach decision-making, problem-solving, communication, and development? Snag your copy here.
BY BOB ROTH
As with our bodies, our mind craves rest.
Our minds work out daily...and our sleeping and dreaming consciousness is yet another workout.
TM offers the rare opportunity to give our minds the deepest of rest while strengthening our resilience, effectiveness, decision-making, sleep, health, to name a few...
In his book, Strength in Stillness, Bob Roth delves into the basics and the brilliance of this particular form of meditation. A world-renown authority on Transcendental Meditation and a sought-after TM teacher, Bob outlines the practice in a clear way. He illuminates how TM serves as a powerful tool in many a community--from the free to the incarcerated, from the young to the old, from the marginalized to the privileged. No matter the situation or the person, the pattern is poignantly clear; TM makes a transformative difference for all who regularly practice.
I too know the difference and have been deeply appreciative of the clarity, resilience, effectiveness, and depth of conscious rest I've experienced since practicing Transcendental Meditation. For both skeptics and students of TM, I highly recommend this book.
BY NORMAN E. ROSENTHAL, MD
Ready to change your life from the inside out? Read this book and then learn how to begin a TM practice.
Whether you're new to Transcendental Meditation, a strong skeptic of meditation, or a life-long practitioner, Dr. Rosenthal offers an engaging, practical perspective on the transformative power of the TM approach.
Filled with the latest ground-breaking scientific research on the health benefits of TM combined with personal narratives which provoke thought and stir the spirit, Transcendence is a fabulously effective introduction to Transcendental Meditation as well as an equally profound re-immersion for seasoned TMers.
I personally have been practicing TM for a year and cannot honestly describe in words how much this form of daily meditation has positively impacted my health, leadership, business, and life. After years of practicing other styles of meditation with varying degrees of success, the power of TM for me lies in its ease. TM engages the immense ocean of my mind in an effortless way. Transcendence is a great, easy-to-read way to learn more about TM and illuminates the inextricable connection between our mind, body, and spirit in a way that is deeply hard to dismiss in our stress-saturated culture.
BY SHERYL SANDBERG & adam grant
We all want Option A. Our first choice, our first decision.
So when Option A is removed from our grasp, we have to grieve and then look Option B in the eye to move forward. Sheryl and Adam bring together their brilliant minds, hearts, and Sheryl's raw, intimate experience to offer us deep, soulful wisdom within these pages.
Sheryl's vulnerability is somehow equal parts anguishing and empowering. She offers us a courageous glimpse into what it means to release Option A and seek joy within Option B while learning how to rise following immense and tragic loss.
Finding joy in times of adversity and challenge is downright hard. Building resilience can feel out of reach in times of grief. If we feel even a tiny bit triggered by this title, it is the perfect time to read it. Snag your copy and then join the community.
INSIGHT: WHY WE'RE NOT AS SELF-AWARE AS WE THINK, AND HOW SEEING OURSELVES CLEARLY HELPS US SUCCEED AT WORK AND IN LIFE
BY TASHA EURICH
Did you know self-awareness is a skill you can develop? Organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich combines Fortune 500 work, research, and an innumerable stack of studies to illuminate the power of self-awareness and how we can sharpen this skill to strengthen our leadership, lives, and relationships.
Insight offers tangible ways on what it really takes to understand ourselves from the inside out and on how others can share truthfully about how we come across to them. Eurich adeptly unpacks what works--and what doesn't--when developing self-awareness and reminds us that to sincerely know ourselves is the true beginning of all the rest. Snag your copy.
BY BRENÉ BROWN
The subtitle says it all. "The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone."
Brené has captivated us again. Her deep research combined with her uniquely brilliant and grounded storytelling offers us a glimpse both into the woods of our lives and into the high lonesome of our souls.
Each chapter, beginning with its title, challenges us to look squarely in the eye what it actually means to belong--to others, and most importantly, to ourselves. Braving the Wilderness is perhaps Brown's most raw, intimate work and equally, her most important. In a time when true connection is fractured by...well, nearly everything...Brené raises her wise voice and our consciousness toward the way through the wilderness and back to ourselves. And it is from that authentic place, we can then find each other. Snag your copy.
BY JENNIFER B. KAHNWEILER
Beneath the genius lies wisdom, care, and listening. Seeking to understand as much, if not more, than being understood. Nurturing any kind of relationship with opposites is born of intention. This is a quiet force of a book for all of us, no matter where we fall on the spectrum.
Dr. Kahnweiler, well-known for her work on introversion in life and leadership, brings research, insights, stories, and perspective together in a clear and engaging way, challenging us to leverage the power of our differences to achieve what we want, wherever we want.
This book is a subtle and poignant kick in the ass. As an introvert, I fell in love with my extroverted people again. I saw them more clearly. And I saw myself as an introvert more clearly too. Above all, I was reacquainted with the sheer magic we make when we work, live, love, and carry out our genius together. Snag your copy.
BY GREGORY STOCK
Since I was a child, I have loved questions and cannot get enough of them. Living the questions rather than endlessly searching for answers isn't easy but definitely worthwhile.
This little gem of a book reminds us that questions nourish our leadership and our lives more deeply than any answer. From the hilariously random to the poignantly profound to the mundane, you'll find it all here.
A useful resource for leaders, teams, partners, and friends to elevate the fun and learn how to better understand each other. The Book of Questions in your possession means never having to ask 'how was your day?' again. Snag your copy.