Reading is part of my daily morning routine. I love reading blogs and web articles, fiction and non-fiction books, but I especially enjoy books that soothe our souls and inspire action. There are so many worth mentioning, but here are a few that have soothed my soul, or will soon, with a brief description.
The soul-soothing books I’ve read:
Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives. Sabbath time can be a Sabbath afternoon, a Sabbath hour, a Sabbath walk. With wonderful stories, poems, and suggestions for practice, Author Wayne Muller teaches us how we can use this time of sacred rest to refresh our bodies and minds, restore our creativity, and regain our birthright of inner happiness.
Autobiography of a Yogi. With engaging candor, eloquence, and wit, Paramahansa Yogananda tells the inspiring chronicle of his life: the experiences of his remarkable childhood, encounters with many saints and sages during his youthful search throughout India for an illumined teacher, ten years of training in the hermitage of a revered yoga master, and the thirty years that he lived and taught in America. Also recorded here are his meetings with Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Luther Burbank, the Catholic stigmatist Therese Neumann, and other celebrated spiritual personalities of East and West.
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success — money and power — has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, asThrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.
The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul. With The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte brings you a holistic life-planning tool that will revolutionize the way you go after what you want in life. Unapologetically passionate and with plenty of warm wit, LaPorte turns the concept of ambition inside out and offers an inspired, refreshingly practical workbook for using the Desire Map process. Goal setting just got a makeover.
What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question. Po Bronson tells the inspirational true stories of people who have found the most meaningful answers to that great question, “what should I do with my life.” With humor, empathy, and insight, Bronson writes of remarkable individuals—from young to old, from those just starting out to those in a second career—who have overcome fear and confusion to find a larger truth about their lives and, in doing so, have been transformed by the experience.
The soul-soothing books I want to read:
Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles. Gabrielle Bernstein shares the story of how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. Bernstein has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high.
A Year of Living Prayerfully: How A Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life. While filming a documentary about sex trafficking, Jared and Michelle Brock felt a deep need for prayer in their personal lives. In an effort to learn more about prayer, the couple traveled the globe, exploring the great Judeo-Christian prayer traditions: in mountains and monasteries, in Christian communities and cathedrals, standing up and lying down, every hour and around the clock. Jared’s witty reflections on his fast-paced journey will both entertain and inspire you to think about your own prayer journey.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits? Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.
A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller. A Year in the World is vintage Frances Mayes—a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest. With her beloved Tuscany as a home base, Mayes travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, and to the Mediterranean world of Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa.
This I Know: Notes On Unraveling The Heart. This book is about unraveling the layers of our lives, delving beneath the surface in order to better understand ourselves, our relationships, and our path. Author Susannah Conway uncovered this process following a tragedy—the sudden death of the man she loved. She reveals how grief reshaped her life and led her to reconnect with her creativity, make peace with her past, and learn to appreciate herself.
What books have soothed your soul and inspired action in your life?
I keep a list of books I want to read in Evernote, and another list of most of the books I’ve read here.
I know there are many titles to add to this soul-soothing list. I’d love your recommendations in the comment section. What books have you read that soothed your soul, and moved you to take action in some way? Feel free to share your all time favorites, or something you’ve read recently.